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Native Indian Cows

Cows are one of the first species to have been domesticated by man mostly during the late Neolithic period (Stone Age). More than 200 species of large land mammals exist on earth yet over 90 percent of these have been found to be impossible to domesticate. Cow is the only species in the world whose every product and by-product is wholesomely consumed by the human race inherently for its betterment.

In the course of their evolution through the ages, the Indian native cows have developed some special characteristics and are hence acclaimed the world over for their unique and wonderful properties. With a capacity to absorb energy from the sun’s rays through the “solar pulse” located on the humps on their backs, these native cows yield superior quality milk with the potential to enhance man’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.

Srimad Bhagavat Gita: Chapter 10, Verse 28

“Dhenunam Asmi Kaamadhuk”

Meaning: Among cows I am the wish-fulfilling Cow.

Here Lord Krishna is manifest as Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow.

Kamadhenu, also known as Surabhi, is described in Hindu mythology as the mother of all cows. All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu.

It is believed that out of the countless vibrations present in the universe, 33 crore different vibrations are necessary for sustenance of different types of lives on earth. The Native Indian breed of Cow is the only animal to have all these 33 crore vibrations present in its body.

In the scriptures different types of “snanam” (bathing) like Mantra snanam, Yoga snanam, Brahma snanam etc is mentioned to purify oneself and to get rid of ones negativity. The most important and best “snanam” for purification is called the Gau Dhuli Snanam. This signifies application of the dust that accumulates under the feet of the cow on one’s forehead for the purpose of cleansing and ridding oneself of all negativity.

Surabhi Vana is home to multiple cow breeds. The following are details on each of these breeds.

Gir

The Gir is considered to be one of the gentler breed of cows. Basically a milk-breed, the Gir cows are known for their heavy build and docile temperament. This breed originated in the Gir forest region and the surrounding districts of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

The Gir breed loves being with humans. They adore being brushed and caressed.

They are distinctive in appearance, with a large head, a domed forehead, narrow face, long pendulous ears and horns which sweep back and spiral up. Their eyes are hooded and black-pigmented. Their coat colours are varied but generally mottled and consist of red and speckled red/white. Their skins are darkly pigmented with short glossy hair.

They have whip-like tails which can be deadly on the insects. These cows are not susceptible to any infestation and have good general resistance to diseases.?

Today, the Gir breed is apparently on the verge of extinction from India. Gujarat is estimated to have only around 3,000 pure breed Gir cows at present.

Currently, at Surabhivana, we have around 16 pure breed Gir cows.

Kankrej

The Kankrej are a breed of cattle originating from the district of Kankrej in North Gujarat. They are also known by various other names - Bannai, Nagar, Talabda, Vaghiyar, Wagad, Waged, Wadhiar, Wadhir, and Wadial.

Surabhivana houses a total of eighteen Kankrej cows.

The Kankrej are dual purpose breed of Gujarat, highly prized as fast, powerful draught cattle and are also fair producers of milk. This breed is resistant to tick fever and shows very little incidence of diseases. Considered to be one of the heaviest of the Indian breeds of cattle, they are also very active and strong. Agricultural operations and road transport in the villages are mainly carried out by bullocks of this breed.

Physical characteristics of this breed:
  • They have broad foreheads, slightly dished in the centre with large, pendulous and open ears.
  • They have strong lyre-shaped horns, covered with skin to a higher point than found in other breeds. 
  • Their colours vary from silver to gray to iron gray or steel black. 

It is relevant to note that the animals of this breed have been exported to Brazil, certain Latin American countries and also to the southern states of the USA . The Guzerat breed of cattle that has been developed from the Kankrej cattle in Brazil are very similar but darker, bigger and have longer horns than the Kankrej. They also have good heat tolerance and pest resistance. 

The Kankrej are a breed of cattle originating from the district of Kankrej in North Gujarat. They are also known by various other names - Bannai, Nagar, Talabda, Vaghiyar, Wagad, Waged, Wadhiar, Wadhir, and Wadial.

Surabhivana houses a total of eighteen Kankrej cows.

The Kankrej are dual purpose breed of Gujarat, highly prized as fast, powerful draught cattle and are also fair producers of milk. This breed is resistant to tick fever and shows very little incidence of diseases. Considered to be one of the heaviest of the Indian breeds of cattle, they are also very active and strong. Agricultural operations and road transport in the villages are mainly carried out by bullocks of this breed.

Physical characteristics of this breed:

  • They have broad foreheads, slightly dished in the centre with large, pendulous and open ears.
  • They have strong lyre-shaped horns, covered with skin to a higher point than found in other breeds. 
  • Their colours vary from silver to gray to iron gray or steel black. 
  • Their forequarters, humps and hindquarters are darker than their barrels, especially in the males. 
  • Their hair is soft and short and the switch of their tail is black. 
  • They have short faces with the slightly upturned noses. 
  • Their legs are shapely, balanced with small, round and durable feet. 
  • Their skin is of medium thickness, has dark pigmentation and is slightly loose.
  • The males have well-developed humps though not as firm as found in some of the other breeds. 
  • The dewlap [folded skin in the neck region] is thin but pendulous and the males also have pendulous sheaths.

Kapila

This breeds of cows are small in stature with golden color skin and eyes. A substance known as Gorochana is found in the horns of the Kapila. Apart from its dung and urine which is magical in the cure of cancer, this Gorochana is a life saving drug. It can be extracted from the horns which this breed of cows shed, once in every 2 years.

Thaarparkar

Is a dual purpose breed raised primarily for its milking potential. The breed derives its name from its place of origin - The THAR desert - They originated in Tharparkar district of southeast Sindh in Pakistan and are also found along the Indo-Pak border covering western Rajasthan and upto Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The characteristics are majestic build, white in colour, tall, long legged with round barrel. They are resistant to many diseases and are also known for their good reproductive efficiency.

Vechur

Vechur breed derived its name after the village of Vechur in Kottayam district, Kerala. With an average length of 124 cm and height of 87 cm it is the smallest cattle breed in the world and is valued for the larger amount of milk it produces relative to the amount of food it requires.??The Vechur cow was popular in Kerala until the 1960s but became rare when native cattle were crossbred with exotic varieties.??This breed has very high resistance to diseases and its milk has healing powers. This breed is also referred to as Vechoor.

Rati

This is a medium sized important milch breed of cattle mostly found in Bikaner , Ganganagar & Hanumangarh districts in Rajasthan and also found in Fazilka & Abhror districts of Punjab.

Malenadugidda

Malenadugidda is a small, multipurpose breed of cattle reared by the farmers in western ghat region of Karnataka. ?This breed produces nominal quantity of milk and is highly resistant to diseases and infections.