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Indian Elephant in Indian Culture


Indian Elephant

Elephant is an only biggest mammal on earth.

Here I am going to talk about Indian Elephant and how Indian elephant is a part of the Indian culture and religion.

Elephants are commonly found in Africa and Asia with the former larger in size. So there are two types of elephants - African and Asian.

How to distinguish these two types of elephant?

1. Asian Elephants have shorter tusks and smaller ears than African elephants

2. African elephants are taller and bigger than the Asian elephants.


Indian Elephant in Mythology & Epics

Colors of Incredible India

Samudra Manthan

There is one incident explained in Indian mythology. During "Sagar Manthan" the Gods [Deva] and the demons [Asura] churned the ocean for the elixir of life called "Amrit" [Nectar] which make them immortal, the 'navratnas' [nine jewels] surfaced. And one of these jewels was the elephant. Since that time elephant is considered enormously precious to be preserved and protected like the way jewels are.


Lord Budhha

In another mythological story, Buddha's mother has dreamt of a white elephant in one of her dreams. After that the prophet of peach Gautam Buddha was born. Obviously, therefore, a white elephant in Indian culture context can never connote redundancy, as it would in the West.



After that, what comes the 'Airavat' (elephant) - the greatest of the all 'vahanas' meaning the carriages of Gods. The God of all Gods - Indra - chose the Airavat as a carriage for him. Though other gods were also riding the elephants, but this Airavat was specially known among them. More amazingly, unlike the ordinary elephants having two tusks, this Airavat had ten tusks with regal size.


The Mahabharata

The Mahabharata epic also glorifies the legendary story of such elephant called 'Ashvatthama' and there was the similarity of the name between him and the name of the revered teacher Guru Drona. In the midst of the great battle Kurukshetra which was faught between the Pandavas and the Kauravas an innocuous lie was announced that Ashvatthama was dead. It was intended to upset the Kauravas by the impression that the teacher's son was dead but in fact, it was the elephant that was killed.

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What's Your Thought!

informationorg on July 12, 2012:

informative topic about elephants in india

julieannbrady on March 14, 2012:

The elephant is such a magnificent creature. Lovely page.

WorldVisionary on October 17, 2011:

Lots of great information about such amazing creatures! Thumbs up and an Angel blessing for you!

ChrisDay LM on February 19, 2011:

Wonderful lens showcasing these very spiritual creatures

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on February 16, 2011:

thanks for displaying indian culture. wonderfully presented lens.

imolaK on February 14, 2011:

Very interesting les. Thank you for sharing it with us! Blessed!

SandyPeaks on December 19, 2010:

Delightful lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel.

Robin S from USA on October 06, 2009:

Congratulations new Giant!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on September 12, 2009:

What a fabulous lens! I love the way you included the myths and the facts

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on September 12, 2009:

Interesting lens...learned some new things about elephants! Thanks.

anonymous on September 12, 2009:

Lovely pictures of the elephant.

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