John Huntington huntington.2 at OSU.EDU
Fri Feb 13 23:56:38 UTC 2004

There is a good picture if a gharail at:
The snout is far too long and slender to even suggest a makara to me.
further the makara snout is always curled, which a gharail simply
cannot do since it is an elongation of the skull see at: gaviale.htm  or
Gavialis_gangeticus/  One may also note that the makaras have a very
thick snout base much like the elephant's trunk and no extended lower
jaw such as the gharail has.


>While I certainly would not wish to contradict John Huntington when
>it comes to artistic representations, when I recently discussed the
>question with Gail Maxwell of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a
>propos a Bharhut image, she showed me her extensive files on the
>depiction of the makara, including her evidence--I am not able to
>judge whether it is convincing--that the earliest images are based
>upon the Gavialis gangeticus, most particularly with regard to the
>evolution of the snout, which in the actual crocodile inflates when
>excited. (Another issue which might be  relevant here is that at
>least at a later period there is a conflation of the makara with the
>timi, timingila and timitimingila [various spelt]).
>Cheers, JAS
>Jonathan Silk
>Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
>Center for Buddhist Studies
>290 Royce Hall
>Box 951540
>Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
>phone: (310)206-8235
>fax:  (310)825-8808
>silk at

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