Makara Mythology

All the Legends, Myths and Mysteries

Mystical Creature of Thailand

Monster Hybrid Creature

The Makara according to some ancient Hindu Mythology, is seen as a marvelous sea creature depicted as half-fish and half-animal. It is represented by the mount of Varuna, the Hindu god of wind and sky and Ganga, the deity associated with the Ganges River. The word means monster being in the capacity of that of a hybrid creature, neither one thing or another. In astrology, it is attributed to the sign of Capricorn, one of twelve Zodiac symbols.

In Thailand these bizarre beasts are seen as aquatic monsters made up as part serpent, part crocodile and part elephant. You can identify them by their crocodile heads with open toothy jaws, elephant trunks and serpent-like scales. Here they symbolize rainfall and the source of all existence and fertility.

They are said to be water guardians living beneath rivers, lakes and seas as well as being linked to the earth via the cosmos.

Makara Images carved in stone

Intricate stone images can be seen rising along temple balustrades, as the reliefs on temple lintels, adorning Prangs or on rooftops. Not only do these beasts provide protection against evil spirits, I'm told these magnificent monsters are highly regarded as powerful symbols in support of Thailand's rice cultivating regions.

Wat Sri Sawai

Unique specimens can be viewed enclosed within the stone late-rite walls of the fifteenth century Khmer temple of Wat Sri Sawai in the Sukhothai province of Thailand. The three-tower style structure with its central twenty metre prang seen here was believed to have been originally built as a Hindu shrine.

Stone Carvings of the Hindu god Vishnu, the preserver of the universe and other Hindu divinities have been found on the site. Wat Mahathat, which is three hundred metres away, is another magical place where these mystical creatures can be viewed.

Makara Images at Wat Sri Sawai

Further afield, there are some extraordinary examples of these mysterious figures. According to the Mon Hariphunchai period, specimens often appear by themselves for decorative purposes. A rare Lan Na example with head and body is seen lining the roof of the sala at Wat Ton Kwen in the town of Hang Dong.

Another with head only can be seen at Wat Kukut in Lamphun. Also known as Wat Chama Devi, it was named after the princess who first ruled Hariphunchai. The temple was built by her son, King Mahandayok in the early 8th century. The Chedis are amazing examples of Mon architecture. Hang Dong and Lamphun lie just a short distance south of Chiang Mai and well worth a visit.

Makara on the roof at Wat Ton Kwen

During the Lan Na period, the Makara is almost always merged with the body of the serpent-like creature known as the Naga. Features here would include small crocodile-like legs that sprout in front and behind the body while the tail section coil up much like that of a snake. Some even end as a type of rising flame.

Examples of these seemingly immortal beings can be found flanking the stairwells of Buddhist temple monasteries. The balustrades are usually where these monster critters prefer to reside all the while acting as protective guardians.

They appear in all periods of classical northern style Thai art. You will see them on both sides of the stairwells, all of which have five heads with the largest one in the center. They are justly imposing and impressive and could even be considered handsome.

Makara Images at Wat Chedi Luang

Some of the most exquisite examples of Burmese and Thai Lan Na periods can be seen at Wat Chedi Luang, a Buddhist temple in the historic part of Chiang Mai. You'll find the heads of these rather ferocious snarling creatures sporting glorious crowns, all of which are attached to serpent-like torsos with intricately patterned scales. They appear to glide downward from the balustrades.

Similar examples of the Makara can be found at Wat Umong Maha Thera Chan one of many Buddhist temples located within the old city moat of the same city. 

Another fine example of these monstrous and magnificent creatures can be seen at Wat Suan Dok, located just west of the old city walls on Suthep Road in Chiang Mai. One of the serpent-like creature found here has a head with a rather menacingly looking open mouth that sports a beautifully carved ornamented floral tendril complete with serpent-like floral torso as seen below.

It would be appreciated if anyone kind enough to read this article and who may have any other additional information regarding the details described here, to contact me so that I may improve the subject for myself and others to enjoy.

Makara Images at Wat Suan Dok

You may also like these Thai Mythologies

Naga is a serpent-like protector of Buddha 

Garuda is a mythical birdlike creature in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Read More...

Hongsa is often seen as a glittering five metre tall swan-like figure gracing the prow of a royal barge or perched high on the apex of temple roofs. Read More...

Apsonsi appears in the form of a half-woman and half-lion Read More...

Kinnari appears in the form of a half-woman and half-bird. Read More...

Erawan is a three-headed mythical elephant of Hindu origin. The elephant statue seen in the photo is located in the province of Samut Prakan just outside Bangkok. Read More...

Yaksha appears in the form of a grimacing giant statue. Read More...

Singha has a lion-like figure whose primary function is to guard temples. Read More...

Return from Makara Mythology to Mythical Creatures of Thailand 

Return from these Bizarre Hybrid Creatures to the Home Page 

Contact Me

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.

Recent Articles

  1. Bangkok Escort Chanel

    Sep 24, 16 07:36 AM

    Bangkok Escort Chanel is offering hot blooded males a once in a lifetime opportunity to make their erotic fantasies a reality, but you'll need to strike the iron while it's sizzling hot.

    Read More

  2. Bangkok Escort Chrystal

    Sep 24, 16 04:32 AM

    Asian girls don't come more fresh faced than Bangkok Escort Chrystal. Not only does this bubbly babe sport a smooth and flawless skin tone, she has an exceptional hourglass figure to match.

    Read More

  3. Bangkok Escort Ivy

    Sep 23, 16 07:26 AM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Ivy as your perfect dinner date, dance companion and bedroom babe as this bubbly lass has more than enough energy to make all your erotic pleasures come true.

    Read More

  4. Bangkok Escort Venus

    Sep 22, 16 08:41 AM

    While the planet Venus may be the second brightest object in the night sky, Bangkok Escort Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is the brightest star in the city of angels.

    Read More

  5. Bangkok Escort Pam

    Sep 19, 16 12:25 PM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Pam for a truly unforgettable girlfriend experience. She cordially invites you to join her for a wild ride that's sure to bring the whole house down.

    Read More

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.

Rooms :

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.

Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog

Thai Dating

Hotel Booking – Worldwide Leader in Hotel Bookings with Guaranteed Lowest Rates and Discounts of up to 75% Off!

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels



National Parks



Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts




Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures


Go Go Bars

Blog Traffic