Indian Elephant in Indian Culture
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
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.
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 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.
WWF's Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS)
New hope for dwindling populations of threatened pachyderms
WWF's Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) grew out of the recognition that conservation success for these endangered large mammal species and their habitats