The Peacock is the national bird of India. The scientific name of the species is Pavo cristatus. Full of grace, pride, mysticism and beauty, peacocks have long been a part of the mythological tales of India and a symbol of royalty and divinity. Its beautiful shimmering colors made it a favorite amongst the Mughal period art and architectural motifs. It is a large and majestic bird. Peacock is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, 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 elaborate courtship dance of the male by fanning out the tail and quivering the feathers is a gorgeous sight. The peacocks usually perform their dance early in the morning or early evening. Especially when they spread their feathers on a cloudy day just before it rains and dance gracefully. A crown-shaped crest their head lends them a more exotic look. The female bird, peahen, slightly smaller than its male counterpart. Brownish in color, the female bird also lacks the train visible in the male specie.
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'.
Peacock is predominantly found in the Indian sub-continent, ranging from the south to east of the Indus river. Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula also is home to this impeccable bird. The bird lives in jungle lands near water and is thus, chiefly found in the wilds in India.
In 1963, the peacock was declared as the ‘National Bird of India’ because of its rich religious and celebrated involvement in Indian traditions.The bird must be well-distributed within the country so it could truly 'national'. It is recognizable to the common man and is valued for its gorgeousness and magnificence. In India, peacock is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 not only for religious sentiments but also by parliamentary statute.