India is very rich in flora and fauna. I shall discuss Indian plants and flowers on other pages as depicted on Indian postage stamps. India is famous for its rich and diverse fauna, i.e., animals, reptiles and birds. This page is about Indian animals in the context of Indian philately.
The most renowned Indian animals are the big cats, namely the Royal Bengal Tigers. Equally famous are the white tigers which were originally found near Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. India has plenty of leopards too. Even snow leopards, which are an eluding species, exist in the snow covered higher elevations of the Himalayas. Snow leopards are very difficult to see in the wild. But you can see them in India in Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling. This zoo of Darjeeling is world renowned because it has been successful in breeding snow leopards in captivity. And then, there are lions in the Gir forests of Gujarat. Asiatic lions are slightly smaller in size than their African cousins and their mane is also not as regal. Nevertheless, they are lions and thanks to the conservation efforts by the Indian Government, this once dwindling population of Asiatic lions is once again flourishing. Aside from tigers, leopards, and lions, many other species of the cat family, such as caracals and leopard cats, are found in India and they have been depicted on Indian postage stamps.
Two other very important and well renowned big animals of India are the elephants and the Indian rhinos or one-horned rhinos. Like the lions, the Indian elephants are slightly smaller in size than their African counter-part, and the span of their ears are also slightly smaller. Elephants are found in many parts of India, both north and south. But the rhinos are confined to only one area of India, i.e., Assam and adjoining areas. The one-horned rhinos which are not found anywhere else in the world, once faced the danger of extinction, thanks to the poachers and encroachment of their natural habitat by human beings. Once again, careful conservation effort by the Indian Government has saved these unique animals from the danger of extinction.
Gaur is a large wild buffalo which roams in the forests of India. The population of this majestic animal was also dwindling at one point. Up in the jungles of the Himalayas can be seen another uncommon animal - the Himalayan panda, or the lesser panda, or the red panda. The zoo in Darjeeling also breeds the red pandas in captivity, and you can see these uncommon animals in that zoo if you visit Darjeeling. All these animals have found place on Indian postage stamps.
India has so many animal stamps. I am not trying to show them all here, because animals are not really the subject matter of this site. I am only showing some representative samples of some of the famous animals of India. If you are adventurous or if you take interest in wild life, India can give you immense opportunity to observe wild life in its natural settings. Just visit some of its national parks. Excellent facilities are available these days. Tours of all kinds to these national parks are available through your travel agent. Just ask.
You can click on any stamp on this page to learn more about the animal shown on the stamp.
Also to be seen on Indian stamps are various deers and antelopes, and smooth Indian otters. Here are some examples:
A good collection of Indian animals/reptiles stamps can be seen here.