What does Shri Hanuman ride as a vehicle

The moment we think of Shri Hanuman, varied images of Shri Hanuman bowing to Shri Ram and Mata Sita, Hanuman carrying Shri Ram on his shoulders, Hanuman carrying the Sanjeevini, Hanuman meditating on Shri Ram and many more come into our mind. In the temples of Shri Hanuman, we see him smeared in sindhoor (orange) colour, adorned with beetel leaves and carrying the image of Shri Ram and Mata Sita in his heart. But what is rarely seen is that he too just as the other deities is accompanied by a vehicle, which is a camel.



In the Hindu Pantheon, all the deities are seen carrying their favourite things which symbolise their power and riding a vehicle which symbolises the importance of animals in our Sanatana Dharma. The Parashara Samhita mentions Shri Hanuman as the rider of the camel. Rishi Parashar who has authored the text looks upon Shri Hanuman as the representation of strength and the one who drives away the fears and failures. He also mentions that such a great deity mounts on a camel which is decorated with a gold seat cover and he enjoys the rides on the banks of the holy Pampa Sarovar.

When we look at the geographical location of the Pampa Sarovar (present day Hampi area) it is as a place spread with sand at all areas, and quite a hot place. The hills and rocky terrain, along with sand makes it a difficult place to walk. The camel is a desert animal and has the ability to walk for long distances without food and water, especially in the sand. It’s only a camel which can walk without hindrance, as its feet are specially equipped to walk on the rough and sandy areas. Hence, it would be the right choice of Shri Hanuman as he resided in Kishkinda. The Parashara Samhita also mentions that Shri Hanuman enjoyed the camel ride accompanied along with his accomplices, Jambavant, Nal, Neel, Gandhamadhan, Sushen and Maagadha enjoying long discussions about Philosophy and Dharma.

The vehicle always doubles the abilities of its rider. Shri Hanuman is known for his patience, intelligence and the knack to adapt and overcome difficult situations. The camel signifies patience too. When one walks in sand, the feet get dogged in, because of the weight of the sand. But, the camel feet are equipped to deal with these conditions and hence can travel for long miles in the sand and rocks with patience. Another special feature is the camel can run with good speed even in the sand which is actually difficult for any other animal to do so. It is a balance between the both conditions which it maintains.

The tasks Shri Hanuman faces also to resolve his swami Shri Ram’s problems require patience and on the other hand, swiftness to plunge into action when required. He needed to act with patience during the search of Mata Sita in Lanka and once he found her whereabouts, he immediately gets into action by destroying Lanka and sends a clear message to the enemy that it’s doom is nearing. Shri Hanuman displays both his patience and power as needed in the situation, and as his vehicle the camel too adapts itself to a slow and a swift pace in the rough terrains of sand. Hence, Shri Hanuman is hailed as the Ushtramarudhya (Ushtra – camel , Aarudhya – mounted) Hanuman, the rider of the swift camel.