Skip to main content

Kamadhenu, The Wish-Granting Cow

c. 1825-1855
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
This vision of Kamadhenu, the wish-granting cow of ancient Hindu legend, combines a white zebu cow with the crowned, frontal female face, colorful “eagle” wings, and peacock tail of Buraq, the animal that the prophet Muhammad rode to heaven on his night journey (Miraj). From at least the fifteenth century, Persian paintings showed Buraq with a horse’s body, wings, and a woman’s face; the peacock tail may have been an Indian addition. Popular portrayals of Kamadhenu in India today often show her in this Indo-Persian composite form; this may be one of the earliest images to merge the visual characteristics of the Hindu Kamadhenu with the Islamic Buraq.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.