JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 25/08/2023

Bengal monitor lizard









Scientific name


Varanus bengalensis Daudin


Common name


Indian monitor lizard
















Throughout India and Bangladesh


Religious association









The Monitor lizard (ghorpade) is widely mentioned in Maratha history, mythology and folklore.  Kama Singh, a famous Maratha warrior, breached the walls of the Kelna fort by tying a rope to a monitor lizard, allowing it to scale the wall and climbing the rope after the lizard had tightly secured itself.





After this rare feat, Karna Singh’s tribe was known as Ghorpade (pronounced ghorpaday), (the marathi name for Bengal Monitor Lizard) and every soldier in the army was trained in this strategy.  





It is unfortunate that criminals subsequently started misusing the lizards to climb the walls of houses they were burgling.









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