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Dove / Pigeon

Scientific NameColumba sp
Common NamePigeon, Kabutar (Hindi), Pura (Tamil), Kapota (Sanskrit)
DistributionThroughout India

In religion and mythology

Goddess Rati, the Goddess of passion and lust and the consort of Kama, the God of love, is believed to be usually depicted with a pigeon as Her vahana .

The bird also features in the Sibi Jataka. King Sibi ruled of the Kingdom of Sibi. He was well known for his philanthrophy. One day Lord Indra and Agni came to test his generosity. The Gods disguised themselves as hawk and pigeon. The pigeon chased by the hawk fell on King Shibi's lap seeking his protection. The hawk argued that the pigeon is its food. Shibi offered to compensate with his own flesh. Finally he offered himself to be eaten. King Sibi is believed to be an ancestor of Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana.

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