Elephant symbology : ................................

In Indian temple architecture, the elephant has contributed to an important concept called the ‘Gajthar’ ( gaj = elephant ; thar = base ). It simply represents the lowest slab of the entire construction spectrum made up of the element of the square at the base and overlain by the elements of the circle, the triangle, the crescent and the dot respectively. It is commonplace to find the elephant symbolically replacing the square so that the temple appears to be upheld by sculpted elephants. The point here being that the elephant is considered an epitome of strength, adequate enough to uphold the weight of a stone temple. The symbology of the elephant extends into the domain of the sacred, with the ‘Ganesh’ ( Indian God with human body and elephant head ) being worshipped as a sign of welbeing, prosperity as well as a mover of good things and events. Inspite of these mighty attributes, Ganesh ( ‘gan’ = common man ; ‘ish’ = god ) is more loved than feared by the common man. .




~Elephant in mythology and Indian epics~

~Elephant depictions by man~

~The majestic elephant - through history and the present~

~Elephant in everyday life in India~

~Elephant symbology~

~The elephant and the designer~

~Elephant Home~