Significance of seeing Neelkanth the Bird of Heaven on Dussehra


Today, I saw a brilliant blue green coloured flying creäture basking under morning sun, sitting on a branch of tree, reaching down to my balcony. I went inside, got my spectacles to look it up, and true to my imagination Oh my god! I saw Neelkanth. I was so much delighted by the vibrant colours. It is considered auspicious if you get chance to see Neelkanth on the occasion of Dusshera. But latter on I got to know that the bird was white breasted kingfisher. ?

Coincidentally today is the dussehra(Vijay Dashmi) too!! And to top of all , in today’s newspaper also, an article was published about Neelkanth to throw some light over the drastic decrease in the number of this species. I always mesmerized by the beauty of this blue colored bird which is not so common to spot.

Significance of seeing Neelkanth on Dussehra

Neelkanth holds an important role for many people as it’s an auspicious bird and is mentioned in mythological stories also. Neelkanth means “blue throat” a name which is associated with Lord Shiva who drank poison during sagar manthan, resulting in blue throat.

It is said that seeing Neelkanth bird and worshipping “Prosopis cineraria”(Shami tree) on the day of dussehra can bring prosperity and lucky to your life. Its a belief that in Ramayana, Sri Ram had killed Ravana after seeing the bird Neelkanth. Also, its a belief that in Ramayana time the Pandavas had hidden their weapons under the Shami tree. There is around more than 400 years old tree in “Bhuj” place of “Kutch” of Gujarat.

In north India, there’s a saying when people spot it: “Neelkanth tum neele rahiyo, dudh bhaat ka bhoj kariyo, hamri baat Ram se kahiyo (Neelkanth, you stay blue, feast on rice and milk and convey our wishes to Ram).”

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Many people buy these beautiful birds from the market and let them free after making wishes. But in some places the bird is killed also in the name of religion or faith.

Meaning of name “Neelkanth”

English name of Neelkanth is “The Indian roller”. This heavenly bird is said to be sacred to Lord Vishnu and used to be caught and released during festivals such Dusshera and Durga pooja.

Where we can find Neelkanth commonly in India?

It is very common in the populated plains of India. Indian roller has been chosen as the state bird by Odisha, Karnataka and Telangana. Earlier Andhra Pradesh had Indian Roller as state bird, but after Telangana parted from it, new state bird is choosen- Rose-ringed parakeet. White-breasted kingfisher is state bird of West Bengal.


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