A howdah, or houdah (Hindi: हौदा haudā), derived from the Arabic هودج (hawdaj), that means "bed carried by a camel", also known as hathi howdah (हाथी हौदा), is a carriage which is positioned on the back of an elephant, or occasionally some other animal such as a camel, used most often in the past to carry wealthy people or for use in hunting or warfare. It was also a symbol of wealth for the owner and as a result was decorated with expensive gemstones.

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  • A howdah, or houdah (Hindi: हौदा haudā), derived from the Arabic هودج (hawdaj), that means "bed carried by a camel", also known as hathi howdah (हाथी हौदा), is a carriage which is positioned on the back of an elephant, or occasionally some other animal such as a camel, used most often in the past to carry wealthy people or for use in hunting or warfare. It was also a symbol of wealth for the owner and as a result was decorated with expensive gemstones. Most notable are the Golden Howdah, the one used in display at the Napier Museum at Thiruvananthapuram which was used by the Maharaja of Travancore and the one used traditionally during the Elephant Procession of the famous Mysore Dasara. The Mehrangarh Fort Museum in Jodhpur, Rajasthan has a gallery of royal howdahs. In the present time, howdahs are used mainly for tourist or commercial purposes in South East Asia and are the subject of controversy as animal rights groups and organizations, such as Millennium Elephant Foundation, openly criticize the use of the howdah, citing information that howdahs can cause permanent damage to an elephant's spine, lungs, and other organs and can significantly shorten the animal's life. (en)
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  • A howdah, or houdah (Hindi: हौदा haudā), derived from the Arabic هودج (hawdaj), that means "bed carried by a camel", also known as hathi howdah (हाथी हौदा), is a carriage which is positioned on the back of an elephant, or occasionally some other animal such as a camel, used most often in the past to carry wealthy people or for use in hunting or warfare. It was also a symbol of wealth for the owner and as a result was decorated with expensive gemstones. (en)
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  • Howdah (en)
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