But the stars of the place were, obviously, these birds who hopped in and out of the property, flying high enough to clear the second floor roof. Here's one young, beautiful (let anyone try to disagree with me about that adjective!) male...
They were having a great time walking around as if they owned the place:
Here's another view of two of them. The males are just coming into their famous breeding plumage; and instead of "the peacock's tail has a thousand eyes"...this youngster's tail seems to have just one!
The neck feathers are so incredibly iridiscent; we have a famous silk saree woven in the town of Kanchipuram (Kanjeevaram) which is called "Mayil Kazhutthu" or "Peacock's Neck"...the silk colours are bright green on the warp and bright blue on the weft....
Soon, they flew up to the terrace of the building (that dun-coloured one is, of course, a peahen)
And I got this great close-up:
There one of them is, standing at the corner of the wall, majestically:
Then they decided to come back down. This they accomplished in different ways. One looked carefully down first:
And then jumped down in a flutter of wings and feathers:
But the other fellow just about tilted himself off the roof; it was amazing to see his confidence in his ability to defy gravity!
Off they went, with the typical high-stepping peacock strut...the words "proud as a peacock" do make sense when you watch these birds! Alas, they didn't dance for me that day; but click on "these birds" at the top of my post; the Wiki entry has a picture of the dancing peacock, though no picture could ever do justice to the actual sight!
In Hindu mythology, the peacock is the vehicle of Karthik, also called Subrahmanya, the younger son of Shiva. I always think he must have been the first in the line when the vehicles were allocated, it must have been the first to be "taken"!
The only other bird I have seen to(sort of!) equal this is the Monal Pheasant of the sub-Himalayan region. These are not easy birds to see, but I was lucky enough to see one twice, both out of a running vehicle during our Uttaranchal trip, when I didn't have a camera handy!