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| Last Updated:: 25/08/2023














Scientific name


Lepus nigricollis


Common name


Black-naped hare












Throughout India


Religious association




















It is believed that the hare occupies a permanent place in the moon, which gives it the name Shashodhara. The hare is sacred to Buddhists in many ways. In a Jataka story about the Buddha’s lives, the Buddha was a hare who jumped into the fire to satisfy the hunger of a Brahmin. The animal is a cultural hero who teaches medicine, dance and the arts of life. 










Source: “Sacred Animals Of India” by  Nanditha Krishna, (Penguin Book India, 2010 )