The skōlex (Indus Worm or the horrible Indian worm), in ancient Greek writings, was a supposed giant, white, carnivorous worm with a large pair of teeth that lived in the Indus River.
This is a list of legendary creatures from Hindu mythology, folklore and fairy tales, sorted by their classification or affiliation.
PipeelikaGold-digging ant is an insect from Medieval bestiaries. They were dog- or fox-sized ants that dug up gold in sandy areas. Some versions of the Physiologus said they came from Ethiopia, while Herodotus claimed they were located in India.
Myrmekes is a mythical creature in Greek mythology. Their name is Greek for "ants." Greek sailors that arrived in India have told stories of their encounters with the Myrmekes.
MadhupaBhramari is 'the Goddess of bees' or 'the Goddess of black bees'. She is associated with bees, hornets and wasps, which cling to her body.
VṛścikaChelamma, a Scorpion Goddess, native to southern Karnataka.
The Echeneis is a legendary creature; a small fish that was said to latch on to ships, holding them back. They were said to be found in the Indian Ocean.
Matsya is the first avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish.
In Hinduism, The Rainbow Fish was a fish that was as large as a whale. It ate Buddha, an incarnation of the deity Vishnu.
Timingila is a huge aquatic creature that can swallow whole whales in one bite.
Suvannamaccha is a daughter of Tosakanth (Ravana) appearing in the Thai and other Southeast Asian versions of Ramayana. She is a mermaid princess who tries to spoil Hanuman's plans to build a bridge to Lanka but falls in love with him instead.
Macchanu is the son of Hanuman in the Cambodian, Thai and other versions of the Ramayana, and who looked like a vanara from the waist-up but had the tail of a fish.
Bheki is the name given to a frog that symbolises the sun on the horizon in Sanskrit legend.
In Hinduism, Kurma is the second Avatar of Vishnu, in the form of a turtle.
The World Turtle in Hindu mythology is known as Akupāra, or sometimes Chukwa.
Huhu is the crocodile in the legend of Gajendra Moksha.
Antaboga is the world serpent of traditional Javanese mythology. It is a derivative from Hindu Ananta Shesha combined with Javanese animism.
Gogaji also known as Jahar Veer Gogga is a folk deity, worshiped in the northern states of India. He is a warrior-hero of the region, venerated as a saint and a 'snake-god'. He is worshiped as a pir amongst Hindus.
Ketu is an Asura who has the lower parts of a snake and said to have four arms.
Nagnechiya Maa (Nagnechi Ma, Nagnechia Ma), a snake goddess, is the kuldevi of Rathore, a Suryavanshi Rajput clan of India, as well as Brahmbhatts (who are also Vaitalik Kaumudik Bramhins),
Rahu is the severed head of an asura called Svarbhānu, that swallows the sun causing eclipses. He is depicted in art as a serpent with no body riding a chariot drawn by eight black horses.
Shahmaran (Kurdish : Şahmaran) (Persian: شاهماران, Şamaran; Turkish: Şahmeran, Tatar: Şahmara / Шаһмара / شاهمار, literally, shah (king) of the snakes.) is a mythical creature from the folklore of The Kurdish people. Shahmaran is known as the queen of the serpents. This story can be traced from the Middle East to India with different variations.
Vritra is a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and adversary of Indra.
NāgaThe Naga is an entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake — specifically the king cobra. A female nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī. Notable nagas.
Astika is half Brahmin and half naga, son of Manasa.
Kaliya, a snake conquered by Krishna.
Karkotaka controls weather
Manasā, also Mansa Devi, is a Hindu folk goddess of snakes, sister of Vasuki and wife of sage Jagatkāru (Jaratkāru).
Paravataksha, his sword causes earthquakes and his roar caused thunder.
Surasa is a Hindu goddess, who is described as the mother of the nagas (serpents).
Shesha is the nagaraja or king of all nāgas. The snake on whom Vishnu is in yoga nidra (Ananta shayana).
Takshaka is mentioned as a King of the Nagas.
Ulupi, a companion of Arjuna in the epic Mahabharata
Vasuki is a nagaraja, one of the King serpents of Hindu mythology, who coils over Shiva's neck.
Gandaberunda (also known as the Berunda) is a two-headed mythological bird of Hindu mythology thought to possess magical strength.
The Huma (Persian: هما, pronounced Homā, Avestan: Homāio), also Homa, is a mythical bird of Iranian legends and fables, and continuing as a common motif in Sufi and Diwan poetry. The kingship-bestowing function of the Huma bird reappear in Indian stories of the Mughal era.
The Karura is a divine creature with human torso and birdlike head in Japanese Hindu-Buddhist mythology.
Sirin is a mythological creature of Russian legends, with the head and chest of a beautiful woman and the body of a bird (usually an owl). According to myth, the Sirins lived "in Indian lands" near Eden or around the Euphrates River.
Vultures who were the sons of Aruna, brother of Garuda.
Sampati, the King of Vultures, was the oldest son of Aruṇa and a brother of Jatayu.
Jatayu is the youngest son of Aruna, brother of Sampati.
The hamsa (Sanskrit: हंस, haṃsa or hansa) is an aquatic bird of passage, such as a goose or a swan. Its icon is used in Indian and Southeast Asian culture as a spiritual symbol and a decorative element. Hamsa is a part of the mythical love story of Nala and Damayanti.
Arayanna, or heavenly hamsa (swans), are said to live in Manasasaras in the Himalayas.
Chanda, a crow, is the father of Bhusunda and his twenty brothers (Bhusunda and his brothers were born from the union of Chanda and the seven swans of the Goddess Brahmi).
Bhusunda is a very old sage, in the form of a crow. In the Story of Bhusunda, a chapter of the Yoga Vasistha, Bhusunda recalls a succession of epochs in the earth's history, as described in Hindu cosmology. He survived several destructions, living on a wish-fulfilling tree on Mount Meru.
Krichi is the rooster of Murugan, depicted on his war flag, the Seval Kodi.
Citramekhala is the mayura of Saraswathi, Goddess of learning and wisdom.
Paravani is the mayura vahana of Murugan, the God of War.
Jarita was a certain female bird of the species called Sarngika. She was wife of saint Mandapala.
The Garuda is a large bird-like creature, or humanoid bird. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. According to the Mahabharata, Garuda had six sons from whom were descended the race of birds.
Chakora, a kind of partridge, is a legendary bird described in Hindu mythology. It is believed to reside upon the beams of the moon, that is, the Chandra.
Kapinjala, a partridge associated with Indra, or a form of Indra.
Erawan (Thai: เอราวัณ, from Pāḷi Erāvana, or Sanskrit Airāvana) is the Thai version of Airavata. He is depicted as a huge elephant with either three or sometimes thirty-three heads which are often shown with more than two tusks.
Gajamina Gadjamina, Gaja minah, or Eon is an elephant headed mythical figure with the body of a fish used for patulangan sarcophagi in Bali,
The Gajasimha is a mythical animal with the body of a lion and the head of an elephant. At Angkor, it is portrayed as a guardian of temples and as a mount for some warriors.
Gajasura is an elephant demon killed by Shiva, in his Gajasurasamhara form.
Gajendra the elephant, was rescued by Vishnu from the clutches of Huhu, the Crocodile in the legend of Gajendra Moksha.
Ganesha also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka. The elephant headed God.
Iravati is a daughter of Kadru and Kasyapa. She is the mother of Airavata, the mount of Indra. She is also associated with a sacred river.
Malini, an elephant-headed goddess associated with the birth of Ganesha
In Hindu mythology there were three elephants by the name Supratika. The foremost among them is listed as one of the Diggajas, each representing the eight quarters.
Vinayaki is an elephant-headed Hindu goddess. The goddess is generally associated with the elephant-headed god of wisdom, Ganesha.
The Amarakosha, a thesaurus of Sanskrit, mentions the names of eight male elephants, that bear the world together.
Airavata is a mythological white elephant who carries the Hindu God Indra. He also represents the eastern direction, the quarter of Indra.
Sarva-bhauma represents the north, the quarter of Kubera.
Supratika represents the north-east direction, the quarter of Soma. Anjanavati is believed to be the wife of Supratika.
Four names are given in the Ramayana 1.41:
Kimpurushas were described to be Monkey-headed beings with tails like monkeys
The Vanaras are the monkey race in the Ramayana. The following are notable vanaras.
Angada, son of Vali, helped Rama find his wife Sita
Anjana, Hanuman's mother.
Hanuman is a monkey God and an ardent devotee of the God Rama.
Kesari, Hanuman's foster father.
Makardhwaja is the son of Hanuman as per the Valmiki Ramayana.
Nala, son of Vishwakarma.
Nila, son of Agni.
Rumā was the wife of Sugrīva.
Sugriva, king of Kishkindha, son of Surya.
Tara, wife of Vali
Vali, Sugriva's brother, and a son of Indra
Varaha is the third avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a boar.
Varahi is one of the Matrikas. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the consort of Varaha.
Rishyasringa was a boy born with the horns of a deer in Hindu-Buddhist mythology, who became a seer.
Bir Kuar or Birkuar, also known as Birnath, is a Hindu cattle-god worshipped by the herder-class of Ahirs of western Bihar in India. He is considered to be a form of the god, Krishna.
According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a combination of both an Asura and a Mahisha (Water buffalo).
Mhasoba, is a horned buffalo deity of pastoral tribes in Western and Southern India.
Nandi, or Nandikeshvara is the name for the bull which serves as the mount of the god Shiva and as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati.
Ushas are associated with the reddish cows, and are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.
Kamadhenu also known as Surabhi, is a bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle as well as the eleven Rudras. The following are thr offspring of Kamadhenu.
Kapila cows (the golden cows), are the children of Kamadhenu, who were also called the mothers of the world (according to the Anushasana Parva, the thirteenth book of the Mahabharata).
Manoratha, a calf, created by Krishna (along with its mother, Kamadhenu) from the left side of his body (according to the Devi Bhagavata Purana)
Nandini (sometimes referred to as Sabala), the cow of Vashistha, the daughter of Indra's cow Kamadhenu.
Rohini, daughter of Surabhi, who is said to be the mother of cows (according to the Ramayana)
Sushila, a daughter of Kamadhenu in the Brahmanda Purana
Yogishvari, a cow, daughter of Kamadhenu (accoding to the Matsya Purana)
DikpalisDikpalis – the guardian cow goddesses of the heavenly quarters (they are the 4 daughters of Kamadhenu according to the Udyoga Parva, fifth book of the Mahabharata):
Dhenu in the north
Harhsika in the south
Saurabhi in the east
Subhadra in the west
Daksha - His head was replaced by a goat's after a beheading.
Naigamesha also known as Harinegameshi, is a goat-headed or deer-headed deity.
Dadhi-krā is the name of a divine horse or bird, personification of the morning Sun.
Gandharvi, daughter of Kamadhenu, and is the mother of horses (according to the Ramayana).
Hayagriva, also spelt Hayagreeva, is a horse-headed avatar of the Lord Vishnu in Hinduism.
Keshi is the horse-demon, healed by Krishna.
Kinnara In Hindu mythology, a kinnara is a paradigmatic lover, a celestial musician, half-human and half-horse.
Tārkṣya is the name of a mythical being in the Rigveda, described as a horse with the epithet áriṣṭa-nemi "with intact wheel-rims".
Tumburu is a horse faced Ghandarva, a celestial musician.
Uchchaihshravas is a seven-headed flying horse, that was obtained during the churning of the milk ocean. Uchchaihshravas is often described as a vahana ("vehicle") of Indra - the god-king of heaven, but is also recorded to be the horse of Bali, the king of demons.
White horse (mythology) White horses appear many times in Hindu mythology.
The Karkadann (from kargadan, Persian: كرگدن "Lord of the Desert") was a mythical creature said to live on the grassy plains of India and Persia. The word kargadan also means rhinoceros in Persian and Arabic.
Odontotyrannos (Greek: odontotyrannus or dentityrannus ("tooth-tyrant") is a three horned beast said to have attacked Alexander the Great and his men at their camp in India. It had a black, horse-like head, with three horns protruding from its forehead, and exceeded the size of an elephant.
The Unicorn is a legendary creature that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. The unicorn was depicted in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilization and was mentioned by the ancient Greeks in accounts of natural history by various writers, including Ctesias, Strabo, Pliny the Younger, and Aelian. The Bible also describes an animal, the re'em, which some versions translate as unicorn.
In Hindu mythology, Sarama is a mythological being referred to as the dog of the gods, or Deva-shuni.
Sharvara (Dog of Yama) is an ancient Hindu mythical dog belonging to Yama.
Dawon a sacred tiger (sometimes drawn as a lion), it was offered by gods to serve goddess Durga or Parvati as mount for rewarding her victory.
Narasiṃha is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, and is often visualised as having a human torso and lower body, with a lion face and claws.
Narasimhi (Sanskrit: नारसिंहीं, Nārasiṃhī), power of Narasimha (lion-man form of Vishnu), is a woman-lion and throws the stars into disarray by shaking her lion mane.
Manasthala is the lion vahana of Durga.
Pratyangira or sometimes called Prathyangira, Narasimhi or Narashimhika, is a Hindu Goddess described with a lioness's face and a human body.
Simhamukha is a lion faced demon, brother of Surapadman.
The Rikshas are described as something like Vanaras but in later versions of Ramayana, Rikshas are described as bears. Notable Rikshas are as follows:
Jambavan/Jamvanta is a character originating in Indian epic poetry. The King of the Bears, he is an Asiatic or sloth bear in Indian epic tradition.
Jambavati is the daughter of Jambavan, King of the Bears, and the third wife of Krishna.
The Crocotta (or corocotta, crocuta, or leucrocotta), is a mythical dog-wolf of India or Ethiopia, linked to the hyena and said to be a deadly enemy of men and dogs.
Ichchhadhari Nag or Naagin is a mythical shape-shifting cobra in Indian folklore.
Weretiger - In India, the weretiger is often a dangerous sorcerer, portrayed as a menace to livestock, who might at any time turn to man-eating. These tales travelled through the rest of India and into Persia through travellers who encountered the royal Bengal tigers of India and then further west.
Makara is a sea-creature in Hindu mythology. Makara is the vahana (vehicle) of Ganga - the goddess of the river Ganges and the sea god Varuna. It is also the insignia of the love god Kamadeva.
Navagunjara is a creature composed of nine different animals. The beast is considered a form of the Hindu god Vishnu, or of Krishna, who is considered an Avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu.
Panchamukhi Hanuman Hanuman assumed the Panchamukhi or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana. He assumes a vanara's head, a lion's head, an eagle's head, a boar's head and a horse's head.
Reachisey is a mythical animal, with the head of a lion, a short elephantine trunk, and the scaly body of a dragon. It occurs at Angkor Wat in the epic bas reliefs of the outer gallery.
Rompo is a mythological beast with the head of a hare, human ears, a skeleton-like body, the front arms of a badger, and the rear legs of a bear. It feeds only on human corpses and it is said to croon softly as it eats.
Vaikuntha Chaturmurti or Vaikuntha Vishnu is a four-headed aspect of the Hindu god Vishnu, mostly found in Kashmir (northern part of the Indian subcontinent). He has a human head, a lion head, a boar head and a demonic head.
Yali also known as Vyala or Vidala in Sanskrit) is a mythical creature seen in many Hindu temples, often sculpted onto the pillars. It may be portrayed as part lion, part elephant and part horse, and in similar shapes
An Apsara (also spelled as Apsarasa) is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. They are often wives of the Gandharvas. Notable apsarases:
Nairrata are demon soldiers of Kubera's army, described to have defeated king Mucukunda.
The Asuras are mythological lord beings in Indian texts who compete for power with the more benevolent devas.
Daityas - In Hinduism, they are a clan or race of Asura as are the Danavas. Daityas were the children of Diti and the sage Kashyapa. The following are notable Daityas.
Hiranyaksha - eldest son of Kashyapa and Diti
Hiranyakashipu - second son of Kashyapa and Diti
Holika or Sinhika - daughter of Kashyapa and Diti
Prahlada - son of Hiranyakashipu
Virochana - son of Prahlada, father of Bali
Devamba - mother of Bali
Bali - son of Virochana
Banasura - son of Bali
Danavas - In Vedic mythology the Danavas were a race of Asura descending from Daksha.
The Kalakeyas or Kalakanjas were a powerful, ferocious and cruel clan of Danavas.
The Nivatakavachas are a supernatural race of Asura demons, living deep under the oceans.
The dakini (and the daka) appeared in medieval legends in India (such as in the Bhagavata Purana, Brahma Purana, Markandeya Purana and Kathasaritsagara) as a demon in the train of Kali who feeds on human flesh.
The Panis are a class of demons in the Rigveda. The Panis appear in RV 10.108 as watchers over stolen cows.
The Pishachas are flesh-eating demons according to Indian mythology.
The rakshasas are demonic beings from Hindu mythology. Rakshasas are also called maneaters (Nri-chakshas, Kravyads). A female rakshasa is known as a Rakshasi.
Brahmarakshasa are fierce demon spirits in Hindu mythology.
Krodhavasas are a race of rakshasas in the Mahabharata.
The following are notable rakshasas:
Akshayakumara was the youngest son of Ravana.
Atikaya was the son of Ravana and his wife Danyamalini in the Ramayana epic.
Hidimba is the brother of Hidimbi and a forest dweller.
Hidimbi is the wife of the Bhima and mother of Ghatotkacha in the Mahābhārata.
Indrajit or Meghanada was a prince of Lanka and a conqueror of Indra Loka . He is the son of king Ravana.
Kumbhakarna is the third brother of Ravana.
Mandodari was the queen consort of Ravana.
Maricha is the uncle of Ravana, who aided in the abduction of Sita.
Nikumbha is the Lord of the Pisachas, son of Kumbhakarna.
Prahasta is the chief commander of Ravana's army of Lanka and son of Ravana.
Ravana, king of Lanka, brother of Kubera.
Shurpanakha is the youngest sister of Ravana, King of Lanka.
Subahu, brother of Tataka.
Tataka, sister of Subahu
Vibhishana is the second brother of Ravana.
The Vinayakas were a group of four troublesome demons who created obstacles and difficulties in Hindu mythology, but who were easily propitiated.
Yakshini (Yakshi) is the female counterpart of the male Yaksha, and they are attendees of Kubera. Although Yakshinis are usually benevolent, there are also yakshinis with malevolent characteristics in Indian folklore.
Kalliyankattu Neeli, a powerful demoness who was finally stopped by the legendary Christian priest Kadamattathu Kathanar.
Kanjirottu Yakshi (Chiruthevi) is a folkloric vampire. She was born into an affluent Padamangalam Nair tharavad by name Mangalathu at Kanjiracode in Southern Travancore (now in Tamil Nadu). She was a ravishingly beautiful courtesan who had an intimate relationship with Raman Thampi, son of King Rama Varma.
Tatakā or Taraka (ताड़का) was a Yaksha princess-turned-demoness in the epic Ramayana.
Aleya (or marsh ghost-light) is the name given to an unexplained strange light phenomena occurring over the marshes as observed in Bengal.
Chir Batti, Chhir Batti or Cheer batti is a ghost light reported in the Banni grasslands, a seasonal marshy wetlands and adjoining desert of the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch.
Preta is the Sanskrit name for a type of supernatural being described in some Indian religions as undergoing suffering greater than that of humans, particularly an extreme level of hunger and thirst.
The Ganas are attendants of Shiva and live on Mount Kailash. They reside in chthonic and liminal locations such as cemeteries and charnel grounds. Ganesha was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha's title gaṇeśa or gaṇapati, "lord or leader of the ganas"
The Gandharvas are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras. Some are part animal, usually a bird or horse.
Chitrasena, a character in the Indian epic Mahabharata, was a Gandharva king who taught song and dance to Arjuna.
Kabandha was a gandharva named Vishvavasu or Danu, who was cursed and made into an ugly, carnivorous demon by Indra,
Tumburu, a well-known Gandharva.
Guhyaka(s) (गुह्यक, literally "hidden ones") is a class of supernatural beings in Hindu mythology. Like Yakshas (nature-spirits), they are often described as attendants of Kubera.
Chedipe is a witch-vampire in the folklore of the region around the Godavari River in India. They are associated with the devadasis, girls who were dedicated to a Hindu temple god and were often treated as temple prostitutes.
Churel is a female ghost of South Asian folklore. The word "churel" is also used colloquially for a witch. Women who die in childbirth or pregnancy due to the negligence of her in laws or relatives are often described turning into churels, who return to seek their vendetta and suck the blood of their male relatives.
Pichal Peri (Persian: پیچھل پری) or churail (Urdu: چڑیل) (meaning back footed in Urdu language) is an unexplained entity that is a popular topic for ghost stories in Central and South Asia.
Vidyadhara are a group of supernatural beings in Indian religions who possess magical powers. They are considered as Upadevas, semi- gods, and essentially spirits of the air.
Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī.
Kubera, king of the Yakshas.
The Calingae or Calingi, according to ancient accounts, were a race of extremely short-lived people in India. According to Pliny the Elder they had a lifespan of only eight years.
The Deva are a mythical people of Sri Lanka according to the Sanskrit epics. According to the Mahavamsa and Ramayana they lived among the Naga, Yakkha and Raskha. They ousted their arch enemies the Raskha from Sri Lanka, with the help of Lord Vishnu. They were then subsequently conquered by King Ravana of the Raskha.
Kindeva are a race of human-like beings mentioned in the Hindu Puranas. They are said to have a human-like appearance, but also deva-like qualities, hence the term kindeva.
The Macrocephali in Medieval bestiaries were a race of humanoids with large heads. Some sources indicate that they may have come from India.
Mandi, The Mandi, according to Pliny the Elder, are a short-lived people from India.
Monopods are mythological human creatures with a single, large foot extending from a leg centered in the middle of their bodies. They are described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, where he reports travelers' stories from encounters or sightings of Monopods in India. Pliny remarks that they are first mentioned by Ctesias in his book Indika (India).
Dvarapala is a door or gate guardian often portrayed as a warrior or fearsome giant, usually armed with a weapon - the most common being the gadha mace.
Ihamrga is the representation of fabulous creatures in Hindu mythology.
Kala is a ferocious monster symbolic of time in its all-devouring aspect and associated with the destructive side of the god Siva.
Kirtimukha is the name of a swallowing fierce monster face with huge fangs, and gaping mouth, quite common in the iconography of Indian and Southeast Asian temple architecture.
List of legendary creatures in Hindu mythology Wikipedia