Hanuman - Gray Langur, Sacred Monkey


hanuman head

 

Most renowned of all the langurs is the Hanuman or gray langur. This large monkey has a pale gray or yellowish body and thick eyebrows with black hands, feet and face. It carries its long tail arched over its back and may proceed waving it disdainfully wherever it will in its native land of India.

 

 

mother young hanuman

 

There are seven sub-species and they occupy all of India and north into the Himalayas, Nepal and Tibet. They may go up and down the Himalayas in time with the seasons. They generally walk on all fours on the ground (casually) and sometimes hop and skip on two feet in they are in a rush and can also jump well. Like most monkeys they eat mostly plant matter but they can eat a wide variety of things including pine needles and cones, moss and lichen.

 

gray langurs

 

The Hanuman is sacred to the gods and the people. One of its ancestors was a god (his name was of course Hanuman and he was/is a monkey god) who helped the all-powerful Rama in one of his mythological adventures. Since then, the Hindus have fed and protected this langur. The monkey travels around India often in the company of the pilgrim holy men or saddhus. They have adapted well to many environments which include the cities where they can raid peoples houses or stores. With its status as the sacred offspring of a god, the monkey has nothing to fear from the local people.

 

tufted gray langur

 

 

 

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