National Bird of India

National Bird of India - Peacock

The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), is the national bird of India. It is a symbol of grace, joy, beauty and love. Peacock is a large and majestic bird. Peacock is a colorful, swan-sized bird with a fan-shaped crest of feathers on its head, a white patch under the eye and a long-slender neck.

The male of the species is more colorful than the female with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail. Peacock occupies a respectable position in Indian culture and is protected not only by religious sentiments but also by parliamentary statute. It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The significance of peacock is attached to cultures of India, Far East, Ancient Persia, Greek and Christian. In Hinduism, the image of the god of thunder, rains and war, Indra, was depicted in the form of a peacock. In south India, peacock is considered as a 'vahana' or vehilce of lord Muruga. The figure of peacock is painted in various Islamic religious buildings. In Christianity, the peacock was also known as the symbol of the 'Resurrection'.

In India people believe that whenever the cock spread its tails in an ornamental fashion, it indicates that rain is imminent. In a way it is partly true. At the sight of dark clouds the bird outspreads its tail and starts dancing in rhythmic fashion.

Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. The peahen has no plumage. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look they have a harsh call.

In 1963, the peacock was declared the National Bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian traditions. A peacock is a living rainbow. A peacock alone has the whole world of colors.The richness of colors gives it a heavenly beauty. A peacock represents the very essence of Indian philosophy.