Observing the Street Animals of India

Last Licks

Last Licks

The subjects that captivate me the most to photograph are people but animal behavior is so strikingly similar to our own that they often make us smile and nod our heads when we watch them. When animals cross my path in a tempting way, I enjoy photographing them too, but for me, they are more difficult to photograph. With them the moment is so fleeting and equipment so essential. I have limited equipment but occasionally I capture the moment.

In the photograph above a cow is licking the remains of some oil lamps in front of a Hindu temple while the “lion” watches in frustration.

Monkeys with Cow and Lingam

Monkeys with Cow and Lingam

Cows, monkeys and then dogs are probably the most easily sighted animals on the streets of India.The omnipresence of cows and monkeys enchant most foreign visitors because of the contrast of the mostly sanitized streets in the west and their requirements that animals be leashed. In this photograph, a mother Langur monkey closely watches her mischievous child while seated on top of one India’s most sacred symbols, the lingam. A holy cow passes by, indifferent to the presence of the monkeys. The sacrosanct nature of cows and monkeys in India partially contribute to the reason that they roam so freely.

Cows on the Street

Cows on the Street

In Delhi and Mumbai, cows are not permitted in central areas but outside of the big cities they still take precedence. The traffic moves around them. It is a serious legal offense to injure a cow in India as well.

 The Majestic Peacock

The Majestic Peacock

Although I love birds and occasionally go birdwatching, I don’t have the right lenses to capture them well. I was lucky, though, with this photograph. I was staying at a beautiful hotel on one of my tours and they had peacocks roaming around the property. These peacocks do not fear humans and don’t flee when you approach them. In fact, they often came right up to you, looking for food! The peacock is the national bird of India. These birds, in all their magnificence, remind me of a beautiful woman who expects admiration and adoration from everyone.

Monkeys in Motion

Monkeys in Motion

There are two kinds of monkeys that are frequently seen all over India: the Langurs, with black faces and very long tails (seen above) and the Rhesus Macaques that are heavier and more fierce and have red bottoms and faces. I haven’t found any good shots of them in my archives but will keep looking because I have quite a few tales of them bothering me. They are more aggressive than the Langurs.

One of the many charms that India holds for me is this intimate relationship between man and beast. They are part of the mythology and part of every day life. This helps us to have a better perspective on our relationship and place in this universe. Ultimately, it helps us to understand ourselves. There is so much to learn simply through observation.



















About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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6 Responses to Observing the Street Animals of India

  1. The Awayfarer says:

    “One of the many charms that India holds for me is this intimate relationship between man and beast. They are part of the mythology and part of every day life.” Nicely said.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Thank you for the appreciation and for taking the time to comment. India is extraordinary, on so many levels.

  2. I had the great luck to live in India for 18 months. Your animal pictures bring back great memories. 🙂

  3. pradeep1512 says:

    Wow – nice captures and perception

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Thank you, Pradeep. Pleasing others with my photographs and my take on things is my pleasure and reward.

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