Chatra (umbrella)

The chatra (from Sanskrit: छत्र, meaning "umbrella")[lower-alpha 1] is an auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

The Buddha, standing under a Chatra umbrella, inscribed: "Gift of Abhayamira in 154 GE" (474 CE) in the reign of Kumaragupta II. Gupta art. Sarnath Museum.[1]
Translations of
(IPA: [Hti])
Chinese伞/傘, 伞盖/傘蓋
(Pinyin: sǎn, sǎn gài)
Japanese傘, 傘蓋
(rōmaji: san/kasa, sangai)
Korean산(傘), 산개(傘蓋)
(RR: san, sangae)
Tibetanརིནཆེན་གདུགས, གདུགས་ནི།[2]
(rin chen gdugs, gdugs ni)
(RTGS: chat)
Glossary of Buddhism

The chatra in various traditions

According to Hindu mythology, it is the emblem of Varuna, also considered an embodiment of kingship. Chatra is also a deity, yidam and ishta-devata. In various Dharmic traditions it is an accoutrement of chakravartin. A number of deities are depicted with chatra, and they include Revanta, Surya, and Vishnu (in his Vamana avatar). The chatra is cordoned amongst the symbols that approach universality within the numerous octavalent suites or sets of Ashtamangala, e.g., in the Digambar Jain tradition, and the Vajrayana tradition.

In Dharmic tradition iconography, traditional Tibetan medicine thangkas and Ayurvedic diagrams, the chatra is uniformly represented as the Sahasrara.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, the umbrella or parasol is included in the 'Eight Auspicious Signs' or Ashtamangala.

The chhatra shares a similar symbolic value to the baldachin, refer image of Vishvakarman.

The Royal Nine-Tiered Umbrella is one part of the royal regalia of Thailand, and appears in connection with this role in the logo of Royal Umbrella rice.[3]

See also


  1. Also chatraratna (Sanskrit: छत्ररत्न "jewelled/precious parasol"



  1. "Collections-Virtual Museum of Images and Sounds". American Institute of Indian Studies.
  2. Sarat Chandra Das (1902). Tibetan-English Dictionary with Sanskrit Synonyms. Calcutta, India: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, p.69
  3. NTUC Fairprice, Royal Umbrella Fragrant Rice 5KG, 2017.
  4. Osmund Bopearachchi, Emergence of Viṣṇu and Śiva Images in India: Numismatic and Sculptural Evidence, 2016.


  • Media related to Chatra at Wikimedia Commons
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