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Donkey in Hinduism



Donkey is referred to as Gardabha in Hinduism. It is held sacred by certain communities in Hindu religion.

Donkey is the Vahana, or vehicle, of Goddess Kalaratri and of Goddess Shitala in Hindu tradition. 
In Vedic stories, the donkey appears to be drawing the chariot of the Ashwini Kumars.

Goddess Kalaratri is mainly worshiped on the seventh day of Navratri and she is depicted as riding on an ass.



Shitala Mata rides on a donkey carrying various germs in a basket. She scatters them creating various skin diseases.

Certain medieval painters used to paint a male donkey above the ten heads of Ravana. This symbolically indicates Ravana’s stubbornness of not parting with Mata Sita despite numerous warnings by Sri Ram, Lakshman, and the Vanara Sena.

Vautha Fair held in Gujarat on Kartik Purnima is dedicated to the animal. The animals are painted in different colors and decorated and this is a major highlight of the fair.