By: Shankar Chawla
The elephant is an icon of Indian culture and depictions of this mighty creature can be observed in every aspect of Indian life. From intricate artwork to colossal sculptures, decorated festivals, and long-lasting traditions, the elephant has permanently embedded itself into the hearts of the Indian people. However, the reason for the abundance of this majestic animal runs much deeper than many suspect. Across India, elephants are thought to correspond with the prosperities of wisdom, strength, and outstanding luck. Because of the countless virtues attributed to elephants, many Indians choose to keep small statues or trinkets resembling the animal around their homes, bringing the prosperity of the magnificent mammal to their households. These statues often have their trunks positioned skyward since elephants typically perform this action during times of happiness. Additionally, it is a widespread custom for elephants to be present at Indian weddings to represent the loyalty, longevity, and fortune of marriage. Elephants often appear at these functions in the form of sculptures or small statues much like those kept in homes. On occasion, the animal itself appears within the wedding ceremony for the couple to ride on during their procession. These notions regarding the lucky nature of elephants have provided countless Indians with inspiration and hope over thousands of years, and the elephant itself has become one of the most widely recognized and worshiped symbols of luck in Indian culture.