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Home  |  Animals   |  Asian Animals   |  Thai Animals   |  Erawan : The Mighty Elephant

Erawan : The Mighty Elephant

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At a glance

Description
Origin Thai Mythology
Classification Animals
Family Members Iravati (Mother)
Region Thailand, India
Associated With War, East

Erawan

Introduction

According the Thai Hindu Mythology, one of the names of Airavata in Thailand is Erawan, which is a massive elephant that can have up to thirty-three heads. It’s typically depicted with multiple tusks. Some statues show Indra, who is the king of the kingdom of Tatimata Heaven.

The elephant symbolized Bangkok when it was established as the capital of the new Kingdom of Thailand, which was founded by Indra. It is also associated with the former Kingdom of Laos and the Lan Xang in Laos. The latter was also referred to as the “three-headed elephant” due to its royal flag being used.

Physical Traits

The massive white elephant with seven trunks and four tusks became the steed of Indra, who was the god of war and thunder. According to Thais, Erawan has 33 heads. However, there is no mention of the elephant having even three heads in Hindu mythology.

Each of the 33 heads of Erawan bears seven tusks each. There are seven lotus ponds, each with seven pads, each with seven blossoms, and each with seven petals. On each petal you have a dancing angel and each of the seven angels has seven ladies-in-waiting. In other words Erawan has a total of 231 tusks, 1,617 ponds, 11,319 lotus pads, 79,233 lotus blossoms, 3,882,417 angels and 27,176,919 ladies-in-waiting.

Family

According to the Ramayana, Iravati was the mother of Airavata. The Matangalila states that he was born when Brahma sang sacred songs over the egg shell halves hatching 7 more male and 8 female elephants. The mythical creature Garuda was also born from this process.

Other Names

The Hindu mythical being known as Airavata is referred to as Airawana in Sanskrit and Airapot, Airawat, or Erawan in Thai. These names refer to the actions of rain clouds and lightning that fall when the god Indra rides the elephant known as Erawan.

Powers and Abilities

The main duty of Erawa is to fulfil his duties as the mount of Indra as he travels to various places on Earth and in the heavens to observe the various fortunes of mankind. Erawan is associated with the east, and it serves as the war elephant of Indra when he battles against demons.

The gods’ chief deity, Indra, uses the lightning bolt as a weapon to fight against drought and bring good rains to the world. When the rain returns, Erawan will act as a conductor, bringing the moisture from the sky to the earth. South and Southeast Asian people have long regarded Erawan as a life-giving god due to his benevolence and association with rainfall.

Modern Day Influence

In modern times, the Erawan has become one of Thailand’s cultural symbols with a giant statue of the creature being built at the entrance of the Erawan museum in Bangkok. No visit to Thailand is complete without a visit to the museum and a trip inside the hollowed statue of the mythical Erawan.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.