Peacocks in India are symbols of glory, beauty and poise. Its splendid beauty has inspired many Indian poems and songs. It is believed when a peacock dances and displays its impressive plumage, it’s a sign of incoming rains.
The figure of Lord Krishna is depicted wearing a peacock feather on his head. As a vahana (carrier) of goddess Saraswati and god Kartikeya (brother of Lord Ganesha), it is considered sacred in Hindu religion.
The famous Peacock throne built by the Mughal monarch Shah Jahan represents the artistic accomplishments of the Mughal Empire.
Peacock was declared the National Bird of India in 1963. The unique features of this vividly colourful bird coincide well with the vibrant culture and traditions of India.
Indian peacock (male) is a species of peafowl that is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Over the years they have been introduced to other parts of the world.
Peafowl refers to both male and female of this bird species. Female peafowl is called a Peahen. They prefer a warm climate and tend to live near all-season water sources.
It is one of the most eye-catching birds I have ever seen in the Indian forests. Who wouldn’t love to catch sight of this magnificent bird in the wild!
Scroll down to know which places you can visit to witness wild peacocks in India.
- Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
- Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary
- Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary
- Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
- Naygaon Mayur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kasu Brahmananda National Park
- Morachi Chincholi Village
- Keoladeo National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Sariska Tiger Reserve
1. Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
Established in 2006 for the conservation of peacocks in India, Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary is one of the less explored wildlife destinations in Karnataka.
It is situated inside the Bankapura Fort in Haveri district of Karnataka. Sprawling 139 acres, the sanctuary lies on a cattle breeding farm.
The fodder which is grown for the cattle also feeds the peacocks living in the sanctuary. Given a healthy population of peacocks in this area, it’s not uncommon to sight a muster of peacocks.
Apart from peafowls, many other types of birds are found here, such as magpie, green bee-eater, paradise flycatcher and Indian robin.
Early morning and evening are the best time of the day for birdwatching in the sanctuary.
How To Reach Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
The sanctuary is almost 7 hours drive from Bangalore. From Haveri, it takes roughly 30 minutes to reach the sanctuary.
Haveri is well-linked by train from cities, like Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune. By flight, Hubli airport is the closest to the sanctuary. It is nearly 1.5 hours drive from the airport to the sanctuary.
2. Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary
Blessed with a large number of peacocks, Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary is locally called as Mayiladumpara. The word Mayiladumpara means ‘the rock where peacocks dance’.
Located in Choolanur village almost 30 km away from Palakkad, the sanctuary is spread over 500 hectares in the Alathur Forest Range.
The dry rocky terrains inside the forest provide a perfect habitat for peacocks. It is a popular wildlife destination for spotting peacocks in India.
It also hosts a huge herbal garden spread across 200 hectares of the forest area, known as Kunchan Smritivanam. The garden has been named after the famous Malayalam poet Kunchan Nambiar.
Peacocks are shy creatures. They quickly vanish from sight even with a slight noise. Witness them from a distance to capture some impressive shots on your camera.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to April. The heavy rainfall during monsoon may not allow you to enjoy your trip.
You can visit Parambikulam Tiger Reserve also if you are on a trip to Palakkad. The reserve is almost 90 km away from Palakkad. Read this post to know more about Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
How To Reach Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary
The nearest railhead is located in Palakkad, roughly 30 km away. From Palakkad town, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the sanctuary.
Coimbatore airport is the closest airport, located almost 90 km away from Choolanur. The other nearest airport is in Kochi.
3. Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary
Known for the abundance of wild peacocks, Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary is nestled amidst Viralimalai hills in Tamil Nadu.
Located approximately 30 km from Tiruchirapalli and 40 km from Pudukottai, the sanctuary is one of the best places to witness peacocks in India.
There is also a famous temple on top of Viralimalai hills dedicated to Lord Muruga. You can sight beautiful peacocks roaming freely around the temple.
The best time to visit Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary is from the months of October to April.
How To Reach Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary
Tiruchirappalli International Airport (31 km) is the nearest airport to the sanctuary.
By train, Tiruchirappalli Junction is the nearest railhead which connects to many major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Madurai.
Many buses ply from Tiruchirappalli. So you can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach there.
4. Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Set up for the protection of wild peacocks, Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary is a fabled destination for sighting peacocks in India.
This sanctuary is situated near the Chunchanagiri temple in Mandya district of Karnataka. The forest area around Adichunchanagiri hills is a stronghold of peacocks.
Besides peacock, there are numerous other birds in the sanctuary, such as grey pelican, black eagle, grey heron and bulbul.
You can spot a variety of lovely butterflies in the sanctuary. Don’t forget to carry your favourite camera when you make a visit to the sanctuary.
How To Reach Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary
The nearest airport is in Bangalore, almost 130 km away from the sanctuary. The nearest railhead is in Mandya, which is some 67 km away. It can be reached from Bangalore by Road via Nagamangala.
5. Naygaon Mayur Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over 30 sq km in Beed district of Maharashtra, Naygaon Mayur Wildlife Sanctuary is a famous destination for sighting wild peacocks in India.
The hilly terrain of the sanctuary provides an excellent habitat for peacocks. The forest area comprises a mix of scrub forest, grassland and plantation blocks.
The sanctuary hosts many types of wild animals. You can spot hyena, wolf, fox, black hair and jungle cat.
There is a watchtower inside the sanctuary to sight wild animals. From the watchtower, you can get some really good shots of the forest landscape and wildlife with your camera.
Beed has a hot and dry climate. Extreme summers and winters are not recommended season to visit this place.
It falls under the rain shadow area, which means this region gets less rainfall even during monsoon. The months from June to October are considered the best months to visit the sanctuary.
How To Reach Naygaon Mayur Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearest airport is in Aurangabad (155 km). Beed doesn’t have a railway station. The nearest railhead is Barshi Town Railway Station (98 km).
Many buses ply from Aurangabad and Pune to Beed. The sanctuary is almost 20 km away from Beed.
6. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
Popularly known as KBR National Park, it is one of its kind forest located within the municipal boundaries of Hyderabad city.
This national park is part of Chiran Palace complex spread across 400 sq km. The palace was built in 1940 by then Nizam of Hyderabad and established as a national park in 1998.
The park boasts of a large number of peacock population and numerous types of birds and butterflies. It is also home to porcupine, pangolin and jungle cat.
The palace has a building named Mor (Peacock) bungalow on a hillock, which is testimony of abundance of peacocks in this area.
The ease of access makes it one of the preferred places to sight wild peacocks in India.
How To Reach KBR National Park
The park is approachable from all parts of Hyderabad city by road. It is well connected with MMTS trains and buses.
Jubilee Hills Check Post is the nearest metro station to reach the park. You can hire an auto-rickshaw from the station or walk up to the park.
7. Morachi Chincholi Village
A place where peacocks roam freely but it is not a wildlife sanctuary or a national park. Located roughly 200 km from Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra, this place is known as Morachi Chincholi village.
The name ‘Morachi Chincholi’ literally means ‘the village of tamarind trees and dancing peacocks’. It is teeming with colourful peacocks all across the place.
Peacocks are friendly with villagers but live in the wild. Despite not being a government approved protected area, it features in the list of places to spot wild peacocks in India.
How To Reach Morachi Chincholi Village
The village is located 55 km from Pune. It is almost 2 hours drive from Pune and 4.5 hours drive from Mumbai.
8. Keoladeo National Park
Recognized as a bird haven, Keoladeo National Park is one of the most important bird nesting and breeding ground located in Rajasthan.
Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the park once was a hunting reserve for the Maharajas and the British.
Established as a protected sanctuary in 1971, it was upgraded to national park in 1982. Later in 1985, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Covering 29 sq km, the geographical landscape of the park comprises wetlands, dry grasslands and woodlands.
With more than 360 species of resident and migratory birds, this place is a birdwatchers paradise.
Peacocks are a resident bird of the park and they are sighted near grasslands and woodlands. It is amongst one of the best places for spotting beautiful peacocks in India.
Besides peacocks, most commonly spotted resident birds are heron, stork and cormorant. It is wintering ground for a large number of migrant ducks and rare Siberian cranes.
How To Reach Keoladeo National Park
The nearest airport is in Agra (56 km). Air India operates direct flights from Jaipur to Agra.
Flights from cities, like Mumbai and Delhi connect to Agra via Jaipur. Bharatpur railway station (5 km) is the nearest railhead to the park.
9. Kanha National Park
Sprawling 940 sq km core forest area, Kanha National Park is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. Combining the surrounding buffer area it measures 2000 km in size.
It was set up as a national park in 1955 and upgraded to a tiger reserve in 1973. The forests of Kanha are home to numerous endangered and elusive forms of wildlife.
It is the last home of twelve-horned swamp deer (barasingha). Kanha is also renowned for its birding experiences. You can sight resident as well as migratory birds that arrive here during winter season.
One of the most conspicuous birds in this forest is the peacock. You can stumble upon many of them during your forest safari. Keep your camera ready and take the shots from some distance.
Your photography session will be spoiled if you approach too close. Undoubtedly Kanha is one of the best destinations for spotting wild peacocks in India.
Check this post to know more about wildlife experiences in Kanha National Park.
How To Reach Kanha National Park
Jabalpur (172 km) houses the nearest airport for reaching the park. It has direct flights from many metros including Mumbai and Delhi. The other nearest airport is in Raipur (205 km).
The nearest railway station is located in Balaghat, almost 82 km away from the park. Kanha is well connected by road from all nearby cities. It is 3.5 hours drive away from Jabalpur.
10. Sariska Tiger Reserve
Once known for its impressive tiger population, Sariska Tiger Reserve was left with no tigers in 2004 due to rampant poaching.
In 2008, two tigers were relocated here from Ranthambore National Park. Since then it has witnessed progress on the growth of the tiger population.
Situated in Alwar district of Rajasthan, Sariska covers an area of 881 sq km. Initially maintained as a hunting preserve for the Alwar state, it was established as a forest reserve in 1955. Sariska was brought under the Project Tiger in 1978.
The reserve is part of the Aravalli mountain range and almost all of the reserve area is dominated by hilly terrains. There are many large lakes inside the forest, like Mangalsar and Siliserh lakes.
Peacocks are often spotted near these water bodies. Sariska is a popular destination for sighting wild peacocks in India. The forest is also known for sightings of rare birds, such as white-throated kingfisher and grey partridge.
If you are interested to know about the other beautiful birds found in India, check this post: 15 Most Beautiful Birds in India
How To Reach Sariska Tiger Reserve
The reserve is easily accessible by road from Jaipur (107 km) and Delhi (200 km). The nearest railhead is in Alwar (35 km), almost an hour’s drive to the reserve location.
Jaipur is the nearest place to arrive by flight. It is roughly 2.5 hours drive from Jaipur airport.
Over To You Now…
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