Ganesha in the tattoo world: meaning, History, and tattoo designs

Ganesha (also known as Ganesh, Vinayaka, Riyanak, or Ganapeti) is a Hindu deity throughout Thailand, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and worshipped in hinduism. A very iconic deity, let’s look at who Ganesh is and tattoo designs.

Ganesha visually has a pretty distinct look. Usually depicted with pinkish skin, a large elephant head, four arms, and a big round belly, Ganesh is a universally well liked deity in Indian art with many portrayals. He is depicted holding various items in his 4 hands. These items most commonly are his own broken tusk, a rope, and axe. Ganesha is also in a number of poses and situations which can applied to tattoo designs. He is dancing, fighting demons, sitting ascended, or playing with family.


Ganesha is the god of removing obstacles, and a patron of sciences and arts. He is also the benevolent being of wisdom and intelligence. Many aspects of Ganesha are shrouded in history. One telling of how he got his elephant head explains goddess Parvarti, who wanted to bathe. She created a boy to guard the entrance of the bathouse while she bathed.

Her husband, Shiva, wanted to enter but the boy refused his entry. In a rage, Shiva decapitated the boy. Parvati, seething with anger, ordered her husband to send his army out to look for the first animal head they find. They find an elephant head and attach it to the boys body, bringing him back to life. The elephant head symbolizes wisdom and intellect upon reflection and listening.

Another renditon from Hinduism tells how he broke his tusk. The most common story tells how Ganesha was transcribing the Mahabharata, but his pen stopped working. In order to not stop writing, he snaps off his own tusk and continues to write with it. The broken tusk usually symbolizes sacrifice.

In Tattooing and tattoo designs

In conclusion, From letting go of attachment, to intellect and art, the meanings and imageries through tattooing are endless. There are many ways to create a unique and powerful piece of art. We hope this article educated you and helped you decide on future tattoo ideas. For more information, visit this article or visit our blog for more tattoo information.

Ganesha tattoo design
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