Hathi Bhata at Tonk, Rajasthan

While travelling we come across some places, which we call as अद्भुत, अकल्पनीय.

World has entered 21st century, but for this Elephant in Tonk, Rajasthan, time has been standing still since ages. Google maps was showing the directions, but we were unsure of correctness as the approach road and nearby highway was almost without any traffic. In such a situation, approaching locales is the best option. There was a visible happiness on face and a shine in the eyes of the locales, when we were asking about the directions for this spot, known as Hathi Bhata.


From a distance, the Elephant looks like a LIVE WALKING Elephant. But on coming near you realize the magic of the chisels created by our ancestors at this site.
This huge monolith Elephant is believed to have created by Ramnath Salat during Samvat 1200 during the reign of King Sawai Ram Singh. However, study by Archaeological Survey of India has not been confirmed the time of creation of this monument. That makes the history of this spot more mysterious. 

Monolith Elephant is approx. 8.6 m. in length and legs base averages 1.80 m. Right Ear of the Elephant when standing with your back towards the structure bears an inscription in Devanagari script which suggests probably the timelines of Elephant construction goes back to much earlier periods.

Also, nearby stone base has an inscription narrating story of Nala and Damayanti, which makes some people believe that it was built much earlier, probably by Pandavas during their exile. On the nearby stones in front of Elephant, there are many small depressions resembling plates or very small pits. Probably must have been used to grind grains or have food on these stones. People still use these for having lunch during festival celebrations. No one knows why these impressions or small pits were created by the ancestors.


Within first 10-15 minutes, we have clicked all the pictures but somehow were glued to this place and were craving to know more about the history and timelines of this monument. So again, we approached nearby locales to quench our thirst about this place.


As long history comes with due legends which are passed on to next generated as folk tales by the elderlies to keep the history alive. Here are some associated beliefs and legends with this Elephant, as told by locales: 

1. Queen Draupadi used to take food only after worshipping Lord Ganesha. During exile Pandavas had carved this Elephant in one night to let Queen Draupadi continue her worship. The visible water body behind the Elephant, the Bawdi was created by Bhim for drinking water. Water in this Bawdi has never dried. From a distance it appeared like a Submarine floating in the waters.

While going away from this spot Pandavas got worried about the safety of the structure and hence injected life into the Elephant. People in the region believe and tell tales of this Elephant roaming around at night and guarding the nearby places in the past. Finally, one fine day, this Elephant decided to take rest and voluntarily gave away his life to stand still at the place, where the sculpture is located now.

2.      Hearing so many legends about the Elephant, Mughals had tried to break the feet to take the Elephant with them. But it is believed that blood came out from the back foot of the Elephant and terrified soldiers ran away. That crack on the foot is visible till date. Check out –

We had anticipated to spend around 15-20 minutes at this spot but ended up spending close to one hour here and then talked to locales. Such is the greatness of country called India. Hathi Bhata is approx. 25 km. from Tonk City and 1 km. from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur Highway. Came to know about this while scanning the route from Bundi to Sawai Madhopur and were glad to be here. 

Keep exploring Folks…

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.

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