Top 10 Buffalo Breeds in India: Discovering Amazing Animals

Hey dear readers, we hope you are doing well. Through previous articles, we explored half part of the Indian livestock sector – Cows. But now it is time to learn about another part of the cattle population that contributes significantly to the Indian livestock sector. We are talking about the buffalo breeds in India.  The livestock sector contributes 5.73% to the Indian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 30 % of the total Agricultural GDP and plays a vital role in increasing the incomes of rural households. 

However, when we think about livestock or cattle, the first image that is projected on everyone’s minds is that of a cow. Very rarely would someone envision a buffalo.

India harbors nearly 57% of the world’s buffalo population. Of the total 210 million cattle population, 93 million are buffaloes. These buffalo breeds in India are worth giving your attention and hence we will be learning about the top buffalo breeds in India.   

India is the home of buffalo breeds and has the best buffalo breeds in the world. They are popularly known as the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).

The 48 million milch buffaloes in the country contribute more than 55% of the milk produced which is higher than cows. The high milk-yielding buffalo breeds in India are better than cow breeds in terms of milk production.   

As part of understanding the types of buffalo breeds in India, let us examine the taxonomy of these animals.

Kingdom Animalia
PhylumChordata
Class Mammalia
OrderArtiodactyla
FamilyBovidae
Subfamily  Bovinae
Genus Bubalus
Species Bubalus bubalus

The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is the ancestor of the domestic buffalo.

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The types of buffalo breeds in India can be categorized on the basis of their region of occurrence. The classification is as follows

Sl. NoGroup Examples 
1MurrahMurrah, Nili-Ravi, Kundi
2Gujarat Surti, Jaffarbadi, Mehsana
3Uttar PradeshBhadawari, Tarai
4Central IndiaNagpuri, Pandarpuri, Manda, Jerangi
5South IndiaToda, South Kanara

The specialty of these buffaloes is that they are strong, agile, and are high milk-yielding buffalo breeds in India.

Now let us get to the core of this article and closely examine the top 10 buffalo breeds in India among these different breeds of buffalo in India.

1. Murrah

  • Origin: Best breed of buffalo in India. The origins of this breed are in Rohtak, Hisar, and Jind of Haryana. However, the Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab are also considered to be home tracts of this breed.
  • Synonyms: Delhi, Kundi, Kali.
  • Color: The breed is jet black in color. White markings are present on the tail, face, and extremities.
  • Weight: The bulls weigh 750 kg and the cows weigh 650 kg on average.
  • Lifespan: They have an average lifespan of 12 years.
  • Their body is massive and adjoined with long necks and heads.
  • The fore and hindquarters are drooping. The hips are broad.
  • The breed should be fed with protein-rich grass, hay, and green plants for proper growth and lactation.
  • Milk yield: Murrah is the best buffalo breed in India and they have a milk yield of 1500 to 2000 kg per lactation period. This is why the Murrah buffalo breeds price in India is high.
  • The age at first calving is 45-50 months. The inter-calving period is 450 to 500 days.
  • The pregnancy period of the breed is 9 months.
  • Price: Considered the best breed of buffalo in India, the Murrah buffalo breeds price in India is ₹50,000 to  ₹1,00,000.
Murrah | Buffalo Breeds in India
Murrah | Buffalo Breeds in India

2. Surti

  • Origin: The origin of this breed is in the Kaira and Baroda district of Gujarat. 
  • Synonyms: Surati, Gujarati, Nadiadi, Talabda, Charotar, and Deccani. 
  • Color: The breed exhibits great variation in skin color from black to brown, copper, or bronze. The coat color varies from dusty brown to silver grey.
  • Weight: The bulls of the Surti breed weigh 500 kg and the cows weigh 400 kg on average.
  • The height of the breed is around 130 cm for males and 125 cm for females.
  • Medium-sized body with a wedge-shaped barrel.
  • The sickle-shaped horns grow downward and backward and ultimately upward.
  • Two white collars, one at the brisket and one around the jaw.
  • The females have a well-developed, finely shaped udder that is squarely placed between the hind legs.
  • Milk yield: Considered one of the best buffalo breeds in India, it produces 900 to 1300 kg of milk per lactation period. The fat content in the milk ranges from 8-12%.
  • Age at first calving is 40 to 50 months and the inter-calving period is 400 to 500 days.
  • Price: The price of Surti buffalo is from  ₹60,000 to  ₹1,50,000.
Surti | Buffalo Breeds in India
Surti | Buffalo Breeds in India

 3. Mehsana

  • Origin: the breed originated in Mehsana town in Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra state.
  • Synonyms: Mehsani
  • Color: The body is mostly black, but a few animals are black-brown in color.
  • Weight: The males weigh 750 kg and the females weigh 650 kg on average.
  • The Mehsana breed is produced due to the crossbreeding between Murrah and Surti.
  • However, compared to Murrah, the body of the Mehsana breed is longer and the limbs are lighter.
  • The head is longer and heavier than Murrah.
  • The horns have a similar curling as that of the Murrah breed but the horns of Mehsana are less curved at the end than the Murrah breed. The horns are longer and could be of irregular shape (sickle-shaped to curled type).
  • The forehead is wide and has a slight depression in the middle.
  • Milk yield: The breed has good persistency in milk production and the milk yield is 1200 to 1500 kg per lactation period of 310 days.
  • The age at first calving is 42 months and the inter-calving period is 450 to 550 days.
  • Price: The Mehsana buffalo breed costs around  ₹50,000 to  ₹1,30,000 per buffalo. 
Mehsana | Buffalo Breeds in India
Mehsana | Buffalo Breeds in India

4. Bhadawari

  • Origin: The Bhadawari is an Indian river-type buffalo whose home tract is the Agra and Etawah districts of Uttar Pradesh and Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Synonyms: Bhadwari, Etawah
  • Color: The body is light or copper colored and the eyelids are copper or light brown in color.
  • Weight: The males weigh 475 kg and the females weigh 425 kg on average.
  • The body is medium-sized and wedge-shaped and the head is comparatively small. 
  • The legs are short and the hooves are black.
  • Similar to the Surti breed, two white lines are present at the lower portion of the neck.
  • Horns are black, curling slightly outward and downward before running backward parallel, close to the neck, and finally turning upward.
  • The feed comprises straw, corn products, corn stalks, roughage (barley or wheat straw), sorghum, and sugarcane residues.
  • The Bullocks are good draught animals with high heat tolerance.
  • Milk yield: The breed produces 800 to 1000 kg of milk per lactation period of 280 to 300 days.
  • The fat content of milk is 6 to 12.5%. The milk has high butterfat content due to the breeds’ ability to convert coarse feed to butterfat.
  • Price: The Bhadawari breed of buffalo in India is from ₹60,000 to ₹1,50,000.
Bhadawari | Buffalo Breeds in India
Bhadawari | Buffalo Breeds in India

5. Jaffarabadi

  • Origin: The Jaffarabadi breed originated in the Gir forest area of Gujarat.
  • Synonyms: Gir
  • Color: The breed is uniformly black in color.
  • Weight: The weight of the buffalo ranges from 450 to 600 kg.
  • The Jaffarabadi is the heaviest Indian buffalo breed.
  • They have well-developed dewlap and prominent foreheads.
  • The characteristic feature of the breed is the heavy horns that curve downwards on each side of the neck and then curl upwards forming ring-like structures.
  • The bullocks are strong and heavy and are used for ploughing and carting.
  • Milk yield: the breed produces 1100 kg of milk per lactation period of 305 days. The fat content of milk is 7.6%.
  • The age at first calving is 50 months and the inter-calving period is 440 days.
  • Price: The price of the Jaffarabadi breed in the Indian market is ₹55,000 to ₹1,40,000.
Jaffarabadi | Buffalo Breeds in India
Jaffarabadi | Buffalo Breeds in India

6. Nagpuri

  • Origin: The Nagpuri breed is a river-type buffalo breed that originated in Nagpur, Akola, and Amaravati districts of Maharashtra.
  • Synonyms: Arvi, Berari, Chanda, Gangauri, Shahi, and Varhadi.
  • Color: They are predominantly black colored with white patches on the face, legs, and tail.
  • Weight: The mature males weigh 525 kg and the females weigh 425 kg on average.
  • The breed has small body. The face is long and thin.
  • The horns are long, flat, and curved, and bend backward on each side of the neck. They have sword-shaped horns.
  • The animals are hardy and are very well adapted to the semi-arid conditions of the Vidarbha region.
  • Milk yield: The Nagpuri produces 700 to 1200 kg milk per lactation period of 286 days.
  • The fat content of milk is 7.7% and is of good quality.
  • The age at first calving is 45 to 50 months and the inter-calving period is 450 to 550 days.
  • Price: The price of the Nagpuri buffalo breeds in India ranges between ₹40,000 to ₹1,00,000.
Nagpuri | Buffalo Breeds in India
Nagpuri | Buffalo Breeds in India

7. Godavari

  • Origin: The home tract of the Godavari breed is the Godavari and Krishna deltaic area.
  • Color: The color is black with a mix of brown hair on the body 
  • Weight: The weight of the breed ranges between 400 to 600 kg.
  • They have medium stature with compact, muscular body.
  • Milk yield: They have a high milk yield of 1200 to 1500 kg per lactation period of 305 days.
  • The age at first calving is 45 months and the inter-calving period is 570 days.
  • Price: the price of the Godavari breed is between ₹50,000 to ₹1,00,000.
Godhavari | Buffalo Breeds in India
Godhavari | Buffalo Breeds in India

8. Toda

  • Origin: Toda is a swamp buffalo breed that originated in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu.
  • Synonyms: Toda Mundan
  • Color: The coat is fawn colored with a mix of Ash-grey.
  • Weight: The average weight of the breed is 380 kg.
  • The animals have long body with deep and broad chest. The legs are short and strong. 
  • They have very long horns of 62 cm in length, that curve inward, outward, and then forward, forming a crescent shape. 
  • They possess thick hair coats found all over the body.
  • Milk yield: They produce 500 kg of milk per lactation. The fat content is 8.22%.  
  • The age at first calving is 48 months.
  • Price: The Toda buffalo breed in India is ₹35,000 to ₹80,000.
Toda | Buffalo Breeds in India
Toda | Buffalo Breeds in India

9. Padharpuri

  • Origin: It is a water buffalo breed that originated in the Solapur and Sathara districts of Maharashtra.
  • Synonyms: Dharwari
  • Color: The coat is light-black to deep-black in color.
  • Weight: The males weigh 450 kg and females weigh 420 kg on average.
  • Medium-sized animal with long, compact body. They possess long and narrow faces.
  • The horns are very long and extend beyond the shoulder bone and curve backward and then upwards.
  • Milk yield: 1000 to 1500 kg per lactation period of 350 days.
  • They produce a calf every 12-13 months.
  • Price: The breed costs about ₹65,000 to ₹1,65,000.
Padharpuri | Buffalo Breeds in India
Padharpuri | Buffalo Breeds in India

10. Nili Ravi

  • Origin: The breed is found in the Ferozpur district of Punjab and Sahiwal district of Pakistan.
  • Synonyms: Panj Kalyan (due to white markings on 5 parts of the body).
  • Color: The color is black with white markings on the forehead, face, muzzle, legs, and tail.
  • Weight: The average body weight of males is 700 kg and that of females is 600 kg.
  • Medium-sized animal with fine muzzle. The head is long and depression is present between the eyes.
  • The horns are small and tightly coiled.
  • Milk yield: The breed produces 1500 to 2000 kg of milk per lactation. 
  • The age at first calving is 45 to 50 months and the inter-calving period is 500 to 550 days.
  • Price: The cost is between ₹50,000 to ₹2,00,000.
Nili Ravi | Buffalo Breeds in India
Nili Ravi | Buffalo Breeds in India
Sl. no.Breed Origin Weight Milk yield (kg per lactation)Price 
1MurrahHaryana, Punjab7501500-2000₹50,000-₹1,00,000
2Surti Gujarat 500900-1300₹60,000-₹1,50,000
3MehsanaGujarat, Maharashtra7501200-1500₹50,000-₹1,30,000
4BhadawariU.P & M.P475800-1000₹60,000-₹1,50,000
5Jaffarabadi Gujarat 6001100₹55,000-₹1,40,000
6Nagpuri Maharashtra 525700-1200₹40,000-₹1,00,000
7Godavari Godavari and Krishna delta6001200-1500₹50,000-₹1,00,000
8Toda Tamil Nadu380500₹35,000 to ₹80,000.
9Padhanarpuri Maharashtra 4501000-1500₹65,000 to ₹1,65,000.
10Nili RaviPunjab 7001500-2000₹50,000 to ₹2,00,000.
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In this article, from the majestic Murrah to the high-yielding Nili Ravi, we have looked at the top 10 buffalo breeds in India. Buffaloes form a significant chunk of the Indian livestock population and they contribute even greatly to the total GDP. but they have garnered very little appreciation. Buffalo rearing is a venture that you should seriously think about.

Shuhaib Sherief
Shuhaib Sherief

Hi! I am SHUHAIB, an Agriculture graduate . I am deeply honored to contribute my knowledge and skills to the betterment of the Agriculture sector. Passionate in disseminating information on Agriculture in the form of creative blog articles on the internet.

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