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Home  |  Hybrids   |  Asian Hybrids   |  Thai Hybrids   |  Makara : The Elephant Crocodile

Makara : The Elephant Crocodile

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At a glance

Description
Origin Thai Mythology
Classification Hybrids
Family Members N/A
Region Thailand, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka
Associated With Protection, Water, Rain

Makara

Introduction

A large and powerful dragon-like creature known as the Makara can be found carved from the walls and gateways of various temples and shrines in Indonesia, Thailand, and Bali. Its numerous teeth and bulging eyes scare away evil spirits. Various versions of the Makara are found in Indian, Thai, Cambodian, Sri Lankan and other South East Asian mythologies.

The Makara is regarded as an important deity in Buddhist and Hindu temple iconography, as it can protect various areas of the shrine, such as the entrance and throne rooms. It can also appear as a Gargoyle or a spout connected to a natural spring. In Hindu astrology, Makara is equivalent to the Zodiac sign Capricorn.

Physical Traits

This mythical creature is referred to as a sea creature that’s made up of various parts, such as an elephant, a crocodile, and a serpent. Usually, statues of the Makara feature a 5-headed Naga carved into its mouth. The snake or Naga is often shown to be being swallowed by the angry Makara or crocodile. The head of the Makara is usually shown as an elephant’s trunk with 3 ruffs on the side.

Family

The Makara is an aquatic servant of the powerful Vedic god, known as Varuna. In Vedic mythology, he was able to control the cosmos’ various means. The Naga is also an important part of the retinue of the god Varuna in Thai Hindu mythology.

Other Names

The Sanskrit word for crocodile, which literally means “sea-animal,” is the Makara. It’s also the origin of the Hindi word for the same creature, which is also known as the Mugger crocodile. According to German scientists and researchers, the makara is based on the dugong depiction found in the Jain text of Suryaprajapti. The South Asian river dolphin may have also contributed to the mythology of the makara. In Tibetan, the word “chu-srin” literally means “hybrid creature.”

Powers and Abilities

The Makara is regarded as an important deity in Hindu and Buddhist temples as it’s responsible for the various sources of water. Its depiction on the temple’s outer walls and ceilings is symbolic of the rising and falling of rain. It can also be seen as a link between the earth and heaven through a rainbow, which is a cosmic stairway made up of different colors.

Modern Day Influence

The presence of Makaras in Thailand symbolise the rich Hindu and Buddhist heritage that this island nation can lay claim to. With the growing influence of modern international influence and spread of Islam and Christianity in the island, the Makaras help the locals keep their ancestral beliefs alive. Even today traditional Thai architecture involves including the Makara on the staircases and entrances to most important places.

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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.