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

Printed Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023







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 (Penguin Book India, 2010)

Image: https://fryap.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/blood-pheasant-130430-107eos1d-fy1x5296.jpg