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King Cobra vs. Indian Cobra: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 12, 2024
King Cobra is largest venomous snake, primarily eats other snakes. Indian Cobra is smaller, famed for its hood and presence in Indian mythology.

Key Differences

King Cobra, a highly venomous snake, is distinguished by its sheer size, making it the largest of all venomous snakes. The Indian Cobra, in contrast, is smaller but is revered in Indian culture and mythology.
The venom of the King Cobra is neurotoxic, highly potent, and can be fatal. On the other hand, the Indian Cobra's venom, also neurotoxic, is used in small doses in traditional medicine.
King Cobras are solitary and prefer hunting other snakes, including smaller cobras. Conversely, Indian Cobras have a varied diet, including rodents and small animals.
The habitat of the King Cobra spans across Southeast Asia, in rainforests and plains. The Indian Cobra is more commonly found in various habitats across the Indian subcontinent.
King Cobras are noted for their distinctive growl, unlike typical hissing snakes. Indian Cobras are famous for their hood and association with snake charmers.

Comparison Chart


Largest venomous snake, up to 18 feet.
Smaller, up to 5 feet.

Venom Type

Extremely potent, neurotoxic.
Neurotoxic, used in traditional medicine.


Prefers other snakes.
Eats rodents, frogs, and small animals.


Southeast Asia, diverse environments.
Indian subcontinent, various habitats.

Cultural Significance

Less in folklore, feared for size and venom.
Integral part of Indian mythology and snake charmers.

King Cobra and Indian Cobra Definitions

King Cobra

A large venomous snake native to Southeast Asia.
The king cobra is revered and feared for its size.

Indian Cobra

Venom used in small doses for medicinal purposes.
Traditional medicine sometimes uses Indian cobra venom in treatments.

King Cobra

A solitary and primarily ophiophagous (snake-eating) species.
The king cobra often hunts other snake species for food.

Indian Cobra

A smaller venomous snake, known for its hood and found in India.
The Indian cobra is often seen in the rural areas of India.

King Cobra

Capable of delivering a fatal bite with neurotoxic venom.
The bite of a king cobra can be deadly without prompt medical treatment.

Indian Cobra

Exhibits a characteristic threat display by spreading its hood.
When agitated, the Indian cobra spreads its hood as a warning.

King Cobra

Symbolizes power and danger in various cultures.
In folklore, the king cobra is often a symbol of strength and danger.

Indian Cobra

Revered in Indian mythology and associated with deities.
The Indian cobra is symbolic in Hindu mythology, representing Lord Shiva.

King Cobra

Known for its impressive hood and intimidating posture.
When threatened, the king cobra displays its hood.

Indian Cobra

Commonly featured in snake charming and cultural representations.
The Indian cobra is a popular snake in traditional snake charming.


Can Indian cobra venom be lethal?

Yes, Indian cobra venom can be lethal without treatment.

How long can a king cobra grow?

A king cobra can grow up to 18 feet in length.

How does the Indian cobra react to human presence?

Indian cobras may display their hood as a defensive posture.

Are king cobras aggressive towards humans?

King cobras are generally shy but can be aggressive if provoked.

Is the Indian cobra worshipped in India?

Yes, the Indian cobra is revered and associated with deities in Hindu culture.

Do king cobras have natural predators?

Large birds of prey and mongoose are natural predators.

What is unique about the Indian cobra's appearance?

The Indian cobra is known for its distinctive hood and pattern.

What do king cobras primarily eat?

King cobras primarily eat other snakes, including smaller cobras.

What is the lifespan of a king cobra in the wild?

They can live up to 20 years in the wild.

What is the main threat to king cobras in the wild?

Habitat loss and human conflict are major threats.

Can king cobras be found in urban areas?

They are primarily found in forests but can wander into villages.

Is the Indian cobra's venom used in medicine?

Yes, it's used in small quantities for certain traditional medicines.

How fast can a king cobra move?

Despite their size, king cobras are quite agile.

Do Indian cobras have good eyesight?

They have decent vision but rely more on their sense of smell.

Can king cobras be trained by snake charmers?

It's rare due to their dangerous nature and size.

What kind of habitat does the Indian cobra prefer?

Indian cobras can thrive in forests, plains, and populated areas.

How does the king cobra care for its eggs?

The female king cobra builds a nest and guards the eggs.

Are Indian cobras protected by law in India?

Yes, they are protected under Indian wildlife protection laws.

Are Indian cobras solitary?

Yes, like most snakes, they are solitary creatures.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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