What Does Peacock Symbolize in India: Unveiling the Meaning and Significance

India is a country filled with diverse wildlife and rich cultural symbolism, but out of all the animals that call India home, the peacock is perhaps one of the most intriguing. This beautiful bird has been a source of fascination for Indians for centuries, with its strikingly vibrant feathers and mesmerizing dance rituals often taking center stage in various cultural and religious ceremonies. But, what does the peacock actually symbolize in Indian culture? It turns out that this avian creature has a strong connection to various religious and cultural traditions, with its symbolism dating back centuries.

Indians have long considered the peacock as a symbol of grace, beauty, and majestic pride. In their mythology, Lord Krishna, a popular Hindu deity, often depicted with a peacock feather on his head or playing a flute while surrounded by peacocks. It is believed that the peacock’s plumes symbolize Krishna’s playfulness and love for nature. Similarly, in the Buddhist tradition, the peacock is a symbol of purity and the spiritual and moral progression of the soul. These beliefs highlight the fact that the peacock’s significance extends beyond just its stunning physical characteristics.

Moreover, peacocks have cemented themselves as a cultural icon in India over the centuries. From textiles to jewelry, the peacock’s feathers and imagery have become synonymous with Indian art and crafts. In fact, the beautiful shape and colors of the peacock feathers have inspired various forms of Indian art, including traditional paintings and embroidery. All of these are just a few examples of the remarkable impact peacocks have had on Indian culture, making them an essential part of the country’s aesthetic and heritage.

Peacock as a National Bird of India

The peacock, scientifically known as Pavo cristatus, is the national bird of India. It is considered a symbol of grace, pride, and beauty. The peacock has been revered in Indian culture since ancient times and has been mentioned in Indian texts like the Vedas and Upanishads.

The peacock was officially declared as the national bird of India in 1963. The decision to declare the peacock as the national bird was made by the Indian government because of its cultural and religious significance, as well as its unique and striking appearance.

  • The peacock is associated with Lord Krishna, who is depicted as having a peacock feather on his crown.
  • In Hindu mythology, the peacock is considered the vehicle of Lord Murugan, the god of war and victory.
  • The peacock is also believed to symbolize good luck, prosperity, and happiness.

The peacock has a unique and striking appearance due to its vibrant plumage. The male peacock has a colorful fan-like tail, which it displays during courtship to attract a mate. The tail feathers are made up of iridescent blue, green, and gold feathers, which shimmer and reflect light, making them a sight to behold.

The peacock is not just a symbol of beauty and grace, but it also has ecological significance. Peafowls are important seed dispersers, and they help in pollination and controlling pests and insects.

Scientific Name Common Name Family
Pavo cristatus Indian Peafowl Phasianidae

The Indian peafowl is found throughout the Indian subcontinent, and it is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, hunting, and the illegal wildlife trade.

In conclusion, the peacock is a cultural, religious, and ecological icon of India. It is not just a beautiful bird but plays an important ecological role in the environment. Preservation and conservation efforts are necessary to ensure that the peacock continues to thrive and remain a symbol of India for generations to come.

Mythological significance of Peacock in Indian culture

The peacock is known as the national bird of India, and it holds a significant place in Indian culture, religion, and mythology. The bird is characterized by its beautiful iridescent blue and green feathers, a distinctive fan-shaped crest on its head, and an elegant strut that has been the muse of poets and artists alike.

In Hindu mythology, the peacock is associated with various gods and goddesses and symbolizes different aspects of their personalities. Here are some of the most prominent instances:

  • Lord Krishna: In Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna is often depicted with a peacock feather on his head. This feather symbolizes beauty, knowledge, and a connection to the divine. Lord Krishna’s love for the peacock is evident in the stories, where he is often seen playing with the bird and dancing with it.
  • Goddess Saraswati: The goddess of learning, music, and wisdom, Saraswati, is also associated with the peacock. Her association with the bird symbolizes her mastery over language and expression. According to mythology, the peacock is believed to dance in front of the goddess whenever she plays her veena (an ancient Indian musical instrument).
  • Goddess Lakshmi: The Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, and beauty, Lakshmi, is also associated with the peacock. It is believed that the bird is her conveyance and symbolizes her grace, elegance, and beauty.

The peacock has also been featured in various Hindu myths and legends. For instance, it is believed that the thousand-eyed peacock was the mount of Indra, the god of rain and thunder. The bird is also associated with Kartikeya, the god of war, and Shiva, the destroyer.

The peacock in Indian art and culture

The peacock has been a popular motif in Indian art and culture for centuries. It is a common sight in Indian paintings, textiles, and architecture. The bird’s feathers have inspired various forms of Indian art and design, including intricate embroideries, jewelry, and sculptures.

The peacock’s beauty and grace have also made it a popular subject in Indian poetry and literature. It is often used as a symbol of love, beauty, and creativity. The bird’s striking appearance has also been the inspiration behind many Indian classical dance forms, including Bharatnatyam and Kathak.

The peacock and its symbolism in modern India

Even in modern India, the peacock continues to be a significant symbol of the country’s heritage and culture. The bird has been featured on the Indian currency and has been designated as the national bird of India. The peacock’s feathers are also a popular souvenir for tourists visiting India.

State State bird
Odisha Indian Roller
Tamil Nadu Emerald Dove
Andhra Pradesh Indian Roller
Karnataka Indian Roller
West Bengal White-throated Kingfisher
Punjab Northern Goshawk
Haryana Black francolin

While the peacock’s symbolism and significance have evolved over time, its beauty and grace continue to enchant people from all around the world.

Peacock in Indian Art and Architecture

The peacock has been an integral part of Indian culture and mythology for centuries. It is considered to be a sacred bird and is often associated with different gods and goddesses. In art and architecture, the peacock has been depicted in various forms and is a significant symbol.

  • Association with Lord Krishna: The peacock is closely associated with Lord Krishna, who is often depicted wearing a peacock feather on his head. In Hindu mythology, Krishna is believed to have tamed the proud peacock and incorporated its feathers in his adornments. The peacock symbolizes divinity, royalty, and beauty, and Lord Krishna’s association with the bird represents his majestic aura and divine presence.
  • Symbolism in Mughal Art: The Mughal emperors were great patrons of art and architecture and used the peacock extensively in their creations. The intricate peacock motifs on the walls of Taj Mahal and other Mughal monuments are a testament to their love for the bird. In Mughal art, the peacock represents beauty, grace, and pride.
  • Three feathers of peacock: The Indian national bird, peacock, is also a symbol of the country’s rich cultural heritage. The peacock’s three feathers symbolize the three qualities of humanity – Satvik guna (goodness), Rajasik guna (passion), and Tamasik guna (ignorance). These feathers also stand for the three fundamental aspects of Indian philosophy – Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), and Kama (desire).

The peacock’s significance in Indian art and architecture can also be seen in the way it has inspired different art forms. From intricate paintings to beautiful sculptures and carvings, the peacock’s majestic beauty has found expression in various art forms.

Art Form Description
Tanjore Paintings Tanjore paintings are a traditional art form that originated in Tamil Nadu. These paintings feature intricate depictions of deities and are often adorned with gold leaf and semi-precious stones. Peacock motifs are a popular theme in Tanjore paintings.
Wood Carvings Wood carvings are a popular art form in India and are often used for decorative purposes. Peacock motifs are commonly seen in intricate wooden carvings on doors, windows, and furniture.
Stone Sculptures Indian rock-cut architecture is famous for its intricate sculptures and carvings. The peacock is a popular motif in stone sculptures and can be seen in different forms in temples and other monuments across the country.

The peacock’s vibrant colors, majestic presence, and rich symbolism have made it an essential part of India’s cultural heritage. Its beauty and grace have inspired artists and architects through the ages and continue to do so even today.

Peacock in Indian Literature and Poetry

The peacock is a prominent symbol in Indian literature and poetry, representing many qualities and emotions. Here are some examples of how the peacock is portrayed in Indian writings.

  • Beauty: The colorful and vibrant feathers of the peacock have always been associated with beauty and grace. In the poem “The Peacock,” Indian poet Sarojini Naidu describes the peacock as “a bridegroom’s gift to the bride,” emphasizing its beauty and its role in romantic rituals.
  • Love: The mating dance of the peacock is often considered a symbol of love and courtship. In the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, the love between the prince Arjuna and the princess Subhadra is compared to the dance of two peacocks.
  • Arrogance: In some Indian writings, the peacock is portrayed as a proud and arrogant bird, flaunting its beauty and looking down upon other creatures. In the play Abhigyan Shakuntalam by Kalidasa, the king Dushyanta compares the heroine Shakuntala to a haughty peacock.

Overall, the peacock is a widely-used symbol in Indian literature and poetry, representing various aspects of nature, human emotions, and cultural traditions. Its rich symbolism continues to inspire writers and artists across India and beyond.


1. Naidu, Sarojini. “The Peacock.” The Golden Threshold, 1905.

2. Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 215.

3. Kalidasa, Abhigyan Shakuntalam, Act 6.

Symbolism Significance
Feathers Beauty, Grace, Royalty
Mating Dance Love, Courtship
Proud Stance Arrogance, Haughtiness

Table: Various Symbolism and Significance of Peacock in Indian Literature and Poetry.

Peacock in Indian Folklore and Folk tradition

Peacock, also known as mor or mayur, holds a significant place in Indian culture and is considered a symbol of grace, pride, beauty, and divinity. It is believed that the peacock feathers are associated with Lord Krishna, who used to wear them on his head and adorn his flute with them. In Indian mythology, peacocks are also associated with several other deities, including Lord Shiva, Lord Indra, and Goddess Saraswati. Below are some of the ways in which the peacock is symbolized in Indian folklore and folk tradition.

  • Immortality: Simbolically, when a peacock sheds its feathers, new ones will grow in its place, indicating the concept of regeneration and renewal. This has led to an association with the concept of immortality.
  • Protection: In Indian folk tradition, it is believed that the peacock’s dance will warn other animals nearby of approaching danger, making it a symbol of protection.
  • Royalty: The image of peacock is extensively used in Indian architectural design, particularly in ancient Mughal architecture, as it represents royalty, luxury, and wealth. Maharajas were also known to keep peacocks in their courtyards and gardens.
  • Love: In Indian folk tradition, red peacock feathers are commonly used in wedding ceremonies as they symbolize love, passion, and commitment.
  • Spirituality: The peacock’s beautiful plumage and impressive courtship dance have made it an important symbol in Indian spirituality. It is seen as a representation of the human soul, which is always striving to reach its full potential and showcase its true beauty.

Peacock in Indian Art and Literature

Peacocks have been a popular subject in Indian art and literature for centuries, inspiring numerous songs, poems, paintings, and sculptures. The bird’s beauty and grace have been depicted in various forms, such as intricate embroidery, colorful textiles, and ornate jewelry. In many Indian paintings, peacocks are depicted alongside Indian royalty, symbolizing their wealth and status.

In conclusion, the peacock is a symbol that holds deep cultural and spiritual significance in Indian folklore and tradition. From being an emblem of immortality and protection to representing love, royalty, and beauty, the peacock’s symbolism remains an integral part of Indian culture even today.

Symbolism Description
Grace Peacocks are known for their graceful movement, making them a symbol of beauty and elegance.
Pride The peacock’s striking appearance and assertive behaviour also represent pride and self-confidence.
Divinity The peacock’s association with Lord Krishna and various other deities has led to it being regarded as a divine bird.

Overall, the peacock remains one of the most revered symbols in Indian culture and continues to be a source of inspiration for artists and writers across the country.

Peacock in Indian Fashion and Textile Industry

The peacock holds a significant place not just in Indian spirituality, but also in the fashion and textile industry. The vibrant and iridescent colors of the peacock’s feathers have inspired many Indian fashion designers to incorporate them into their designs, giving the outfits a regal and majestic look.

Peacock motifs are widely used in Indian textiles, from sarees and salwar kameez to home decor items such as bedspreads and curtains. The intricate designs of peacock feathers have been a popular choice for embroidery and prints on fabrics.

  • The colors of the peacock- blue, green, and gold- are synonymous with Indian fashion, and have become a staple in the Indian color palette.
  • Peacock motifs have been used in various forms of Indian textiles, such as Banarasi silks, Chanderi fabrics, and Kalamkari prints.
  • The resurgence of handloom fabrics in recent years has also seen an increase in the use of peacock motifs, as they are a popular choice for hand block printing and embroidery techniques.

One of the most famous examples of the peacock’s influence in the Indian fashion industry is the peacock blue color that is associated with the famous Indian designer, Manish Malhotra. A-list Bollywood celebrities often sport his designs, which feature intricate peacock embroidery and motifs.

The table below shows a few examples of how the peacock has been used in the Indian textile industry:

Type of Textile Peacock Motif Detail
Banarasi Silk Saree Peacock motifs woven with gold and silver threads
Chanderi Dupatta (shawl) Hand block printed peacock motifs using natural dyes
Kalamkari print cotton fabric Hand-painted peacock motifs on a base of natural dyes and organic cotton

The peacock’s symbolic value has added to its artistic appeal, making its influence in fashion and textiles even more poignant. Its association with beauty, grace, and pride has added a deeper meaning to these designs, elevating them from just being aesthetically pleasing to culturally significant.

Medicinal and Ayurvedic properties of Peacock feathers

In India, the peacock is considered a sacred bird and its feathers are believed to have numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties. The vibrant and colorful feathers are often used in Ayurvedic treatments for a variety of ailments. Let’s take a closer look at some of the medicinal and Ayurvedic properties of peacock feathers below.

Number 7: The Seven Colors of Peacock Feathers

  • Peacock feathers are known for their vibrant and iridescent shades of blue, green, gold, and purple.
  • According to Ayurveda, the seven colors of the peacock feather correspond to the seven chakras, or energy centers, in the body. Each color is said to have a specific healing property for a particular chakra.
  • The colors of the peacock feather, when used in meditation or energy healing, can promote balance and harmony of the chakras, leading to overall physical and emotional health.
  • Some Ayurvedic practitioners also use peacock feathers in acupuncture and acupressure treatments, placing the feathers on specific meridian points to promote healing and balance.
  • Aside from their spiritual and therapeutic properties, peacock feathers are also used in traditional Indian clothing and decor, adding a touch of elegance and beauty to various items and occasions.
  • It’s important to note that the use of peacock feathers for medicinal purposes should only be done under the guidance of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner.

Overall, the seven colors of the peacock feather hold significant meaning and therapeutic properties in Ayurvedic practice. Whether used in meditation, energy healing, or simply for aesthetic purposes, the peacock feather is a symbol of beauty, spirituality, and wellbeing in Indian culture.

Peacock Feathers in Ayurvedic Treatments

Aside from their vibrant colors and symbolism, peacock feathers also have a variety of medicinal properties that make them valuable in Ayurvedic treatments. Some of these properties include:

  • Anti-inflammatory agents to reduce swelling and pain
  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to fight infections
  • Detoxifying qualities to cleanse and purify the body
  • Anti-aging effects to promote healthy skin and hair
  • Immunomodulatory properties to boost the immune system

Peacock feathers are often used in Ayurvedic treatments for joint pain, skin conditions, respiratory issues, and digestive problems. The feathers can be used in a variety of forms, including teas, oils, powders, and tinctures.

Ayurvedic Treatment Peacock Feather Properties
Arthritis and Joint Pain Anti-inflammatory agents
Respiratory Issues (Asthma, Bronchitis, etc.) Antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
Digestive Issues (Indigestion, Diarrhea, etc.) Detoxifying qualities
Anti-Aging Treatments (Skincare, Haircare, etc.) Antioxidant properties

Overall, peacock feathers are a valuable and versatile tool in Ayurvedic treatments. Their unique properties and symbolism make them an important part of Indian culture and traditional healing practices.

Peacock as a Symbol of Beauty and Grace

The peacock is India’s national bird and has been a symbol of beauty, grace, and royalty for centuries. The bird’s stunning appearance, with its elaborate feathers and iridescent blue-green hues, makes it one of the most attractive species in the world.

  • The peacock represents beauty and grace: In ancient Indian mythology, the peacock is considered a symbol of beauty and grace. Its vibrant colors and striking appearance have always captivated people’s attention and admiration.
  • The peacock as a representation of Royalty: In India, peacocks are often associated with royalty and considered a sign of luxury and prosperity. The bird’s feathers were used for decorating the clothes of the royal family.
  • The peacock is a symbol of pride and confidence: Peacocks are known for their confidence; they are proud of their beauty and always display their feathers in full glory. Their confidence is an inspiration for humans to be confident in their own skin and show off their true selves.

The number 8 is also an important aspect of the symbolism of peacocks in India. In Hinduism, the eight feathers of the peacock’s tail are said to represent different characteristics and qualities:

Feather Number Quality Represented
1 Dharma (righteousness)
2 Jnana (knowledge)
3 Vairagya (dispassion)
4 Aishwarya (prosperity)
5 Kama (love)
6 Madhurya (sweetness)
7 Soumya (gentleness)
8 Samyama (control over the senses)

The peacock has inspired many artists and designers with its stunning beauty and symbolism. Its grace has contributed a lot to Indian art and culture. The peacock’s significance has been that it’s accepted and appreciated by people from different backgrounds and religions, making it an essential part of Indian heritage.

Peacock as a link between man and nature

The peacock is a magnificent bird that has been celebrated in Indian art, poetry, and mythology for centuries. In Hinduism, the peacock is a symbol of Lord Krishna, one of the most revered deities in the religion. As a symbol, the peacock has many meanings, one of which is its ability to link man and nature. This subsection will explore this link and the role that the peacock plays in it.

  • The beauty of the peacock
  • The peacock’s role in nature
  • The peacock’s cultural significance

The beauty of the peacock is undeniable. From its vibrant blue and green plumage to the intricate patterns on its feathers, the peacock is a work of art. Its feathers, in particular, have been used in everything from fashion to home decor. But the beauty of the peacock is not just superficial. It is an intricate part of nature, too.

In India, the peacock is associated with the arrival of the monsoon season. Their arrival marks the beginning of the rainy season, and their feathers are said to capture and store the rainwater. In this way, the peacock is seen as a symbol of both beauty and practicality.

But beyond its beauty and practicality, the peacock is also deeply intertwined with Indian culture. As a symbol of Lord Krishna, the peacock is thought to embody divine beauty. Its feathers, meanwhile, are said to represent the cosmic consciousness.

Number 9 Meaning
9 feathers on the peacock’s tail 9 is a sacred number in Hinduism, representing completion and fulfillment
9 colors in the peacock’s feathers Each of the 9 colors is said to represent a different quality, such as compassion and wisdom.

In this way, the peacock serves as a link between man and nature, as well as between the physical and spiritual worlds. Its beauty, practicality, and cultural significance make it an important symbol in Indian art, religion, and mythology, and a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

Conservation and Protection of Peacock in India

Peacocks have long been an integral part of India’s cultural heritage and are celebrated for their beauty, grace, and resilience. However, the increasing threat to their population and habitat has raised concerns over their conservation and protection. Here are some of the measures taken to conserve and protect peacocks in India:

  • Creating Protected Areas: The government of India has established several protected areas, including national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, to conserve the habitat of peacocks and other endangered species. These protected areas provide a safe and sustainable environment for the birds to thrive.
  • Ban on Hunting: Hunting peacocks is illegal in India, and those found guilty of poaching the birds face severe punishment under the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Community Participation: Local communities play a crucial role in peacock conservation and protection. Several community-based conservation programs have been initiated to increase people’s awareness of the importance of peacock conservation and encourage their participation in protecting the birds.

Despite these measures, peacock populations in India continue to decline due to habitat destruction, poaching, and climate change. Hence, it is essential to take urgent and effective measures to safeguard the future of these beautiful birds.

Here is a table showing the distribution of peacock in India:

State No. of Peacocks
Andhra Pradesh 87,000
Rajasthan 56,000
Tamil Nadu 24,000
Karnataka 23,000
Madhya Pradesh 21,000

Peacock has been an enduring symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and biodiversity. Efforts must be taken to conserve and protect these magnificent birds to ensure that they continue to grace the Indian landscape for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Peacock Symbolize in India

1. What is the significance of peacock in Indian culture?

Peacock is a symbol of grace, joy, beauty and love in Indian culture. Its feathers are considered very auspicious and are used in various rituals and ceremonies.

2. Why is peacock associated with Lord Krishna?

Peacock is believed to be the vehicle of Lord Krishna and it is often seen in his artwork. It also symbolizes infinite love and compassion, which are the core qualities of Lord Krishna.

3. What do the peacock feathers represent?

In Hinduism, peacock feathers represent purity, auspiciousness and immortality. The feathers of peacock are believed to possess healing and protective energies.

4. Why is peacock considered a sacred bird in India?

Peacock is considered sacred because of its association with various deities and its beautiful feathers. It is believed to be a symbol of purity, renewal and grace.

5. What is the importance of peacock in Indian art and literature?

Peacock is a common motif in Indian art, textiles and poetry. It is often depicted as a symbol of love, beauty, and grace.

6. What are some of the rituals and festivals in which peacock feathers are used?

Peacock feathers are used in various Hindu rituals and festivals, including weddings, housewarming ceremonies and other auspicious occasions. They are also used in many folk and classical dances of India.

7. What is the role of peacock in Indian history and mythology?

Peacock has been a part of Indian history and mythology for many centuries. It is mentioned in several ancient texts and epics, and has been a source of inspiration for poets and artists.

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Thank you for taking the time to learn about what peacock symbolizes in India. This bird has been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries, and its beauty and grace continue to inspire people today. From its association with Lord Krishna to its use in art and literature, peacock holds a special place in the hearts of many Indians. We hope you found this article informative and fascinating. Please visit us again for more such stories.