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Peacock in Indian Art

First Online: June 01, 2005
Page Last Updated: May 09, 2017

Peacock in Indian Art

Peacock is the national bird of India and known for beautiful feathers. 

The colorful feathers are  associated with Lord Krishna. Indian artists always show Krishna as wearing a feather in his hair.

Peacock population is higher in the arid zone of Rajasthan, where in spite of their destroying crops,  they are not killed since some divinity is attached to the birds.

Peacock is also the vehicle of Shanmukha son of Lord Shiva.

Peacock feathers are collected and sold as these birds shed them frequently. Fans and dainty broom sticks are prepared from these feathers. Sanctums, puja or worship-rooms etc are swept with peacock feather-brooms.

In ancient days tribals like Bhils wore apparels made of such feathers. Even today, these play important part in tribal dances. Here is a collection of peacocks depicted in various forms of Indian art.

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Peacock in a North Indian Painting
Peacock in a North Indian Painting

Corel Professional Photo/Kamat's Potpourri
Peacock Doorway Inside City Palace
Peacock Doorway Inside City Palace
City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Artisan Selling Fans Made with Peacock Feathers
Artisan Selling Fans Made with Peacock Feathers

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Peacock from a Cave Painting
Peacock from a Cave Painting
Illustration by K.L.Kamat based on a cave shelter painting

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Colorful Peacock
Colorful Peacock
Design on a Kashmiri shawl

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Peacock in a Folk Painting
Peacock in a Folk Painting

See Also:

  • Exploits of Krishna -- Depiction of life of Lord Krishna in Indian art and mythology; includes a number of pictures from Krishnaleela.

 Birds of India

Crossing the Highway Letter writing and the use of birds as messengersNight Heron Landing on a TreetopA Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii)
Made for Each Other -- The Dovey CoupleThe Jungle Crow A female painted stork at a nesting siteTwo Young Painted Storks in their Nest
Bird in FlightEgret in FlightGarden Lizard Performing BalletPainted Storks, the Village of Belluru
A Crow Mother Feeds ChildIn the Danger ZoneGaruda, a Sacred Bird of Hindus

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