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Airavat – About the White Elephant of Indra in Hindu Tradition - Airavata

Airavat is the vahana or vehicle of Indra, the king ofDevas. Airavata is the king of elephants and is believed to have appeared during the Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean. The name is derived from Iravat suggesting that it appeared from water.

Airavat has four tusks and is noted for its pure white color. It was king Prithu who made him the king of elephants.

Airavat is the chief of the elephants that protect the four cardinal points of the earth. He defends the corners of earth. He has also got names like Ardh Matanga (elephant of clouds), Arkasodara (brother of sun), Naga Malla (the fighting elephant). Abharamu is the wife of Airavat.

White elephants are worshipped in India, Thailand and Burma. There are numerous stories in these regions associated with the divinity of white elephants.