A crested peafowl, also known as Peacock, is an exotic bird commonly found in India. Nature has been quite gracious to this bird. It is gifted with a blue velvety slender neck and blue-golden plumage which ends in long tail consisting of bright and shiny blue-green and bronze feathers. It has long sturdy brown legs with small silvery beak and similar eye patches along a natural crown-make on its head adorn a royal touch to it.
On 1st February 1963, Peacock was adopted as the ‘National Bird’ of India. The criteria set for the selection of national bird by Government of India were gracefully fulfilled by the peacock. The motifs of this bird are used in the architecture of Indian temple, design of fabric, coinage, etc.
This bird was considered royal in Gupta era. The above-shown King Skandagupta silver coin depicts crested peacock on the reverse side. The gold dinar of Kumargupta depicts king offering twig of gapes to a peacock on the obverse side.
In south India, the peacock is the Vehicle of Lord Murugan also known as Skanda. The lord of rain and thunder ‘Indra’ is portrayed in the form of a peacock. The feather of this bird is ornamented on the crown of Lord Krishna.
Peacock is protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. This bird was a favourite topic for the Poets for its grace, love and beauty. In the rainy season, the site of a Peacock is mesmerizing when it spreads out its feathers and dances to woo its female counterpart. This elegance and allure is a sight for the sore eyes.
India Post has issued various commemorative stamps with special attention on our national bird.