Roaming in a Tibetan monastery recently, the dragons I saw there kind of revived my childhood fascination for them. I could see them everywhere there, in the beams, in the pillars, in the paintings on walls, even in the roofs as if leaping out of the pages of the books I read as a child.

I had always thought them to be real creatures who could breathe rain or fire. I was terribly disappointed when I was explained to that they are legendary creatures. How I wished this creature with a Camel’s head, Bull’s ears, horns of a Deer, eyes of a Rabbit, body of a Snake with scales of a Carp, and claws of an Eagle on paws of a Tiger was real! So many animals, all in one! How I wished then in my next visit to the zoo I would find one of them there, caged. No, not free, that would be dangerous.

The story of the life cycle of dragons fascinates me even today. Old Chinese believed that Chinese dragons have several different life stages and can live at least 6000 years.

The dragons are not dragons when they hatch from eggs at least they don’t look like one. For the first 500 years of life they live like ‘water-snakes’. Then from their 500th year to 1000th birthday they survive like fish slowly transforming to scaled dragons living in the seas and oceans. The naughtier ones among them overturned the ships and terrorized the people, the friendly ones helping out the lowly humans.

From 1000th year to 1500th year the growth is fastest, probably learning all the essential skills and magic of life. In the next 500 years they gain horns of wisdom. After their 2000th year they were believed to develop wings and the scales on their body reduced.

Stunned, are you? Try sharing this story with your little children, nieces, nephews and some of you with your grand children. Do let me know how they have taken it.

Thursday Challenge: Animal

Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur
Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

57 Responses to “Dragons

  • Very colorful snaps. Enjoy your vacation.

  • A very interesting tale. I used to be afraid of dragons when I was a kid. Now as an adult I am still fascinated by them. My son’s reaction is different. While I was reading your post he was excitedly pointing at the pictures, “Mommy look!”

    Have a nice weekend.

  • that was very interesting, Indrani… i told samhith the story, and now he wants to see a dragon… i am sure he is going to remember this when he sees a snake….
    loved it


  • you are on the move – to different & fascinating places, covering all kinds of forts and the such..how do you do that?

  • What do you mean, dragons aren’t real? Say it ain’t so.

    Have a great vacation.

  • What a fun and interesting post! I never realized that dragons had such a long and complicated growth cycle! I don’t have any small children in my life as none of my children have any of their own, but I will try telling this to the children in the classes where I volunteer! Thanks for sharing this and your photos are lovely as always.

    Hope you have a lovely small vacation, Indrani!

  • Fascinating stuff about dragon years!
    Enjoy your vacation. Shalom

  • enjoy your vacation…hope to see you back soon

  • wonderful post as usual!
    happy holidays!!

  • lovely pics..

    on a vacation.. again ?? lucky you !!


    but that spells more lovely pictures !! doesnt it ??

  • Wow!! That was some information.I will surely talk about the life cycle of the dragons to my kids today. They will lap it up like me. Have a great vacation. See you soon.

  • I too always wanted to see actual dragons as a kid…. These are really lovely pictures!

  • Great Blog… Vivid traveller I guess… Fantastic shots… Awaiting to visit Tibet some day…
    Keep up the work… And when time permits do drop into my blogs as well…

  • My! How many years? But I like the concept of the story… I am sure kids will love it. Equally amazing is the frequency in which you take vacations 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  • What a coincidence! I’m eating a dragonfruit as I read this post:)

  • Fascinating and amazing!

  • Nice twist on the critter this week 🙂

    I played too 🙂

  • Dragons are fascinating creatures and you made gorgeous photos. I think many of us have that secret qish that they were real or they wouldn’t pop up in so many stories and legends. A while ago I visited a (very tongue in cheek) scientific talk about dragons and how to find them, there were a lot of people of all ages and I guess they all would love to see a dragon in a zoo.

  • I do love dragons. Not real?!!! NO! My imaginary friend (when I was growing up) was a dragon. I’m a believer!

  • I have a fascination with dragons as well..

    I have a number, that include both Chinese dragons and ones from English mythology..

    Your story is fascinating and the photos are wonderful. Such beautiful colours !!

    Enjoy your trip !!!

  • Wait!! Are you telling me that Puff The Magic Dragon wasn’t real?!?!?!

    Oh Pooh! Well they are magical animals just the same.

  • I really enjoyed all this lore of dragons. Legends – yes, I’ve heard that, but I think I’m going to keep believeing in them anyway! Have a wonderful trip!!

  • What a lovely story and you never know, it might be true. If they were born like 500 years ago!
    Have a lovely vacation.

  • Great post once again…Have a great and safe vacation

  • wow What an interesting post and your pictures are outstanding!
    purrs and love

  • LIke the dragon in the 2nd pic. It looks like it is flying in the sky…

  • This post is sooooo beautiful 🙂
    I have no other words hihi…
    Soooo colorful and friendly
    like your country 😉
    The last shot is my favorite,
    when I double click on it,
    its FANTASTIC !!!!

  • This post is sooooo beautiful 🙂
    I have no other words hihi…
    Soooo colorful and friendly
    like your country 😉
    The last shot is my favorite,
    when I double click on it,
    its FANTASTIC !!!!

  • Nice post about dragons, Indrani.
    It reminds me of the end of the famous Disney’s film La bella addormentata nel bosco: the witch changes into a dragon that blows fire and there is a fantastic breathtaking battle between the dragon and the Prince!

  • again a beautifull story, with so nice photo’s. i wish you a very nice tripp. Best wishes from jeany

  • Was this at Bylkuppe? very colourful display. Have a safe & nice vacation.

  • I tell the story ‘ The 4 Dragons’ to the kids. They represent the 4 great rivers of China . The dragons saved the people from drought and poverty when the Emperor did nothing.
    The kids love the story when I play around with a paper concertina dragon.
    Thanks for all the great info.

  • I never heard of good dragons in the West. Love the Eastern thought on them!

  • Fascinating and so well written! Love the colors in the photos!

  • I want to go to Tibet..one day. Beautiful dragon images and have a fantastic holiday 😛

  • I too believed for a time that Dragons were real and lived in the time of Dinosaurs.
    In Chinese astrology it is believed to be lucky to be born in the year of the Dragon.

    There is a wonderful animation for children "Jane & the Dragon" that I enjoy very much… more so than my son 🙂

    best wishes and happy holidays

  • Ooo, vacation??? Where? You always take me to a magical place…and tonight I will share this post with my daughters. Thank you and hope you have a fun time:)

  • Very fascinating account of dragons and lovely pictures.

  • What beautiful colours and detail. Great shots.
    Have a great holiday and don’t forget your camera!

  • Dragons ki kahani bachchon ko kya humein bhi behad fascinating lagti rahin hain

  • Beautiful post! Enjoy your vacation!! Look forward to reading you back at Blogtrotter!!!

  • That's an informative post! I did not know all this either, just knew baby dragons are cuter than full grown dragons!

    And loved the description of all the animals in parts that go in to make one dragon! Very interesting! That is something any kid will love.

  • Very nice legendary creatures…



  • Have a nice trip and bring back lots of photos.

  • such a gift— it is to share through your lens and stories- the colors,the gold, the tactile nature of the images captured are magnificent – dragons, an archetype from a rich historical landscape—merci
    salut du midi

  • Love the beautiful designs on the temple. The answer to my movie is …………..Night at the Museum 2.

  • Have a happy vacation!

  • Lovely colours!

  • There was a moment some years back when I was looking up and realized that dragons came originally from certain clouds, winding their way through the sky.

  • interestg..have been fascinated by dragons myself..

  • great designs 🙂

  • This shows how well u has observed the dragons, and there life growth was interesting story.

  • Hi Indrani,

    Your posts are really superb. Whenever I read your posts on the places which I too have visited, I am just wondering how come I missed out to take photographs like you. Your perspective on a particular subject and the way how you capture that subject are really great.

    -A unique travel blog

  • Fascinating tales about the dragon!

  • colorful n interesting shots. 🙂

  • fascinating. i always love dragons.

  • What a fascinating story. I do wonder if dragons were real once upon a time.

    Dropping by from the Thursday Challenge.
    Suzy at Suzy at Photos are fun

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