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| Last Updated:: 01/03/2018













Scientific name


Teleostei (sub-class): genera not  Known


Common name














Salt and fresh water


Religious association





Matsya Narayana










Matsya is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish, preceding Kurma(Tortoise). There are only two temples to Matsya, one of which is the Shankhodara temple at Bet Dwarka in Gujarat.















One of the eight auspicious signs (ashtamangala) of Mahayana Buddhism is a pair of golden fish called suvarna matsya. The Mahayana goddess Varahi holds a Rohita fish in her right hand. This is probably influenced by Tantricism where the fish is one of the five essentials.






Tirthankara Aranatha









The emblem of the eighteenth Jain Tirthankara Aranatha is the fish.











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