Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023



Blood Pheasent





Scientific name



Ithaginis cruentus (Hardwicke, 1821)


Common name

Blood pheasant


Chillimey or semu


Mountains of Nepal and Sikkim

Religious association

The blood pheasant is sacred to the Lepchas who are the aboriginal inhabitants of Sikkim. For the Lepcha hunter-gatherers of Sikkim, the blood pheasant is part of a sacred myth wherein the bird saved the Lepcha ancestors by guiding them to the safe environs of Mount Tendong during a terrible flood. The blood pheasant is the state bird of Sikkim.



Source: “Sacred Animals Of India” by  Nanditha Krishna,  Published by Penguin Book India, 2010