Types of Cows in India

About Indian cows

The cows population in India is about 300 million according to updated reports. India has a buoyant diversity of cows with reference to the races and the distribution as well as milk yield. The types of cows in India comprise about 40 breeds, each with unique features and distribution areas. According to the potential use of the cow breeds, they are classified into three categories like dairy cows for milking, drought cows and dual-purpose cows.   Milk production is the major purpose of cow farming. As mechanization took over agricultural labor and rural transport by motor vehicles, the draught cattle farming has turned to be a lesser choice. However, the genetic diversity and advantages of individual cattle races make the domestication of each race practically relevant. Some of the important types of cows in India are the folllowing.


Native to the Gir forests and surrounding districts of Gujarat. This is one of the popular dairy breeds. The cows are well built and mostly white in color and few with red spots. They produce profuse milk ranging from 1500 to 3000 kg per lactation. This breed has been used extensively for raising hybrids and got exported to various other countries for the purpose. These cows are of cool temperament and easy to maintain and domesticate. Gir is one of the best types of cows in India.


This is a zebu breed of cattle, originated from the Sindh province of Pakistan. Sindhi is a common domestic cow breed popular across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries. This breed is heat tolerant, tick resistant, disease resistant, and adapted to drought conditions. This is another Indian cow breed used for raising cross breeds in Europe and other countries.


The Ongole breed is native to Andhra Pradesh and is a high milk producing dairy breed popular in India. The milk of this breed is valued for its high-fat content. These cows have good physique with well-built body.


Rathi is one of the popular types of cows in India. This breed has its origin in the Rajasthan and Punjab borders. These cows are brown with white patches all along their bodies. Full brown or black are some other coat colors of these cows. This is a dual purpose cow breed.


This is a dual purpose breed of Indian cow originated from the adjoining parts of the Thar desert region of Rajasthan. They are white or grey in color with a changing shade. This breed is well-known for its disease resistance.


This is a south Indian cattle breed native to Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu. This breed is known by alternate names like “Mottai Madu” and “Mollai Madu”. These cows are light built, medium-sized and basically domesticated for work in the marshy rice fields of the plains.


This is a dwarf cow breed native to southern Kerala and named after its native village Vechoor near Kottayam in Kerala. This cow has found a place in the Guinness Book being the smallest cow in the world. This type of Indian cow is popular for the medicinal milk and is in high demand during the recent years.

Malnad Gidda

This breed also is a dwarf cow, native to Karnataka and similar to the Vechur breed. This cow provides high quality milk and a popular domestic breed in the hilly regions of Karnataka.

Amrit Mahal

This is a drought cattle breed of erstwhile Mysore province of Karnataka and mainly kept for transport of weapons during wars by the Kings. The bulls are well known for their speed and power of endurance.


This is native of the Erode district of Tamil Nadu and named after the original native tract of the breed in the Bargur forest tract. They are brown with white patches all over the body. They are adapted to the forest environment of the Western Ghats, and best known for their power of endurance, speed, and trotting ability.


This is a premier draft breeds of Indian cows belonging to Karnataka. The bulls were used in cart race in the past due to their endurance and running abilities. These types of Indian cows are well adapted to drought conditions and hence popular in the arid regions for domestication.


A native of the Banaskantha region of Gujarat, this breed has a robust body with huge horns. This breed is known by different names like Nagar,  Bannai, Talabda,  Wagad, Vaghiyar, Waged, Wadhiar, Vadhiyar, Wadhir, and Wadial. This cattle breed yields moderate quantity of milk. 

Click here to see the complete list of Indian Breed of Cows. 

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