Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ganesha the elephant god!

In India the elephant has been venerated since ancient times as a sacred animal and a symbol of royalty - representing qualities of steadfastness, strength and intelligence. Even today the elephant - in the Hindu religion, in art, architecture and in daily life as a benign beast of burden - is omnipresent.
Ganesha, one of the most popular deities in Hinduism, has a child's body and an elephant's head. On city streets - particularly in festivals and wedding processions, in temple compounds and in fields and forests - the elephant acts as a powerful link between the past and the present, the spiritual and the mundane.
Indian elephants, called kumkies when they have been tamed, are still used for labor, and as the tallest animals, in festivals to carry the religious images. widely represented in posters, wall paintings, and in architecture, elephants appear as stone or wood carvings on capitals, ornamental brackets, and keystones.
Every Indian home has at least one idol of this cheeky lovable elephant God and I know many friends who have enviable collections of brass, wood, jade, silver, gold, glass, clay, name it!
Here are some images of the ever present various forms!

In this house in Rajasthan, the elephant's trunk forma the graceful handrail on a small staircase.


Patricia Torres said...

Nice post!! All your pics are awesome!!

GB said...

Can there be anything more quintessentially Indian? :)

Turmericnspice said...

beautiful post with lovely pix!

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