Monkeys are everywhere, always amazing when you're not used to being around these cunning little animals. In India, monkeys are sacred and represent the god Hanuman. They make the city their playground and it is important to separate them well. Red-bottomed macaques are real thieves and don't attract all the sympathy of Indians. On the other hand, langurs with grey coats and black heads are clever and will bother you less.
Revulsion is the first word that comes to mind when we think of rats. But they are a sacred animal in India, a temple is dedicated to them in Rajasthan. These small rodents do not only roam free in Delhi or Bombay stations but also in the temple of Deshnok. Called Karni Mata temple, it is located a few kilometres south of Bikaner. To try the original visit, take off your shoes before entering the temple and look for the white rat! Moreover, the relation between Lord Ganesha, the god of prosperity and the rat is unique, wait until you hear about it from one of our experienced guides.
In India many gods are associated with animals. The most emblematic is certainly Ganesh. You will find the domesticated elephant in Rajasthan, very popular at weddings and festivals. It was used a lot in the days of the Maharajas, synonymous with power and wealth. You will usually see them in Jaipur, in front of Amber Fort, but instead you will be advised to take care of them on a farm which offers many activities. For wild elephants, you will need to get closer to wetter areas. These pachyderms do indeed need a lot of water. In the North-East in Assam but also in Kerala, they are protected in national parks.
Essential animal of Rajasthan, also called as the Ship of Thar desert in India. iI is associated in our collective imagination with sand. You will therefore not escape the mythical safari in the Thar Desert on the back of camels. You will also find them during the great Pushkar fair. You will estimate the value of this once essential animal in trade. In Ladakh, in the far north of India, Bactrian camels, hairy and two-humped, remained at the bottom of the Nubra Valley, on the passage of the old Silk Road.
Geckos are tiny lizards often found in homes in India after dark. They are about 10 cm long and their multicolour skin with various patterns may make you think of salamanders. They have the advantage of being insectivorous and therefore of getting rid of all kinds of insects naturally, including mosquitoes. They are also the only reptiles with vocal cords and can quickly get loud if they are all together!
The wild life in India is extremely rich. From birds to wolves, you will see as many animals as possible depending on the region. By virtue of their sacred character, wild fauna is relatively well protected through the parks and reserves present throughout the territory. There are about 500 species of mammals including the famous tigers and rhinos. Deer and antelopes are also protected in the parks. In Ladakh, you can observe wild donkeys (khyang) in the middle of nature between the zebra and the horse. They are magnificent as soon as they gallop in a herd.
In the same region within Hemis National Park there is a rare species: the snow leopard. With its speckled coat and golden eyes, this magnificent animal, about 1.30 m long, has a tail almost as long as itself. There are believed to be only around 50 people left in Ladakh who confine themselves to the high, cold and steep terrain. Wolves are also an endangered species. Often present in arid or semi-arid areas, there are now only 1,500. The Indian rhino, characterized by its unique horn, is mainly found in northeast India, in the large Kaziranga National Park in Assam. There are just under 2,000 species in India.
Depicted as the animal on which the goddess Durga rides in Hindu mythology, the tiger is India's most iconic wild animal. The country is home to 70% of the tigers in the world, with around 2,200 tigers. This species is extremely well protected thanks to NGOs and many parks and reserves. However, let us not forget that in 1947 there were 40,000 tigers in India.
To discover the animals of India, we offer: