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Lokpalas – the protectors the world – Eight Lokapalas in Hinduism and Their Elephants

Lokpalas are the protectors of the world and they guard the eight quarters of the earth. They have eight elephants protecting the eight corners. The eight Lokapalas in Hinduism are:
  • Indra
  • Agni
  • Yama
  • Surya
  • Varuna
  • Pavana
  • Kubera and
  • Soma

Directions of Lokapalas

  • Indra guards east direction.
  • Agni guards southeast
  • Yama south
  • Surya southwest
  • Varuna  west
  • Pavana or Vayu guards northwest
  • Kubera north
  • Soma northeast
In some lists Surya is substituted with Nirrti.

Northeast is the Ishana kone or a holy spot and this is often substituted with Shiva or Pirthvi (earth).

Eight Elephant Lokpalas

Each of the guardian deities have an elephant and they take part in the protection of their respective direction. The elephants themselves are also known as Lokpalas.
  1. Elephant of Indira is Airavata and his consort is Abhramu.
  2. The elephant of Agni is known as Pundarika and his consort is Kapila.
  3. Vamana is the elephant of Yama and his wife is Pingala
  4. The elephant of Surya is Kumuda and his consort is Anupama.
  5. Elephant of Varuna is Anjana and his consort is Anjanavati.
  6. Pushpadanta is the elephant of Vayu and his consort is Subhadanti.
  7. The elephant of Kubera is Sarvabhauma and his consort is Tamrakarni
  8. The elephant of Soma is Supratika and his consort is Anjaana. 

Airavata is also known Abhramatanga (elephant of clouds), Arkasodara (brother of the sun god), Nagamalla (fighting elephant), Sadadana (always in rut) and Madamabara (covered with ichor).

In Ramayana, the name of Indra’s elephant is Virupaksha; of Varuna is Saumanasa; Yama is Mahapadma and of Kubera is Himapandara.