Befriending the Forest Vyala
Alternate Names/Spellings {{{Alternate Names/Spellings}}}
Origins {{{Origins}}}
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Species Magical Beast (Chimera)
Appearance Half-Elephant, Half-Lion...


The Yali (Vyala, Vidala, Sarabham) is a creature with origins in Hindu mythology.

lion-headed (simha-vyala) horse-(ashva-vyala) human-(nir-vyala) dog-headed (shvana-vyala)

(hasti-vyala) the elephant headed lion, Yali is the vehicle of the Budh, the planet god of Mercury.


In its iconography and image the yali has a catlike graceful body, but the head of a lion with tusks of an elephant (gaja) and tail of a serpent. Sometimes they have been shown standing on the back of a makara, another mythical creature. Some images look like three-dimensional representation of yalis. Images or icons have been found on the entrance walls of the temples, and the graceful mythical lion is believed to protect and guard the temples and ways leading to the temple. They usually have the stylized body of a lion and the head of some other beast, most often an elephant (gaja-vyala). Other common examples are: the lion-headed (simha-vyala), horse-(ashva-vyala), human-(nir-vyala) and the dog-headed (shvana-vyala) ones.

Yali is found as stone carvings in numerous temples in Tamil Nadu and across South India, including the Kailasanathar Temple, Tharamangalam, Salem district, Tamil Nadu.



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