195 Best Elephant Tattoos & Meanings That Will Inspire You

Last update: September 19, 2023

Reading time: minutes

  • Home
  • /
  • Tattoo Ideas
  • /
  • 195 Best Elephant Tattoos & Meanings That Will Inspire You

Welcome to the world of majestic elephant tattoos, where each design is brimming with profound symbolism and captivating artistry. As emblems of strength, wisdom, family ties, and even spirituality, these designs are too enticing to resist. Right now, you're just a scroll away from unveiling a treasure trove of elephant tattoo ideas that could soon become a part of your personal story. Whether you're considering your first tattoo or looking to add a unique piece to your collection, these irresistible designs have the potential to echo your identity in the most visually striking way.

Are you only interested in tattoo designs and want to skip the educational part?

No problem, we got you covered! Click HERE to get inspired.

What does the elephant symbolize?

In various cultures and disciplines, the elephant symbolizes numerous values and ideas. Elephants are often associated with strength and power, not just due to their massive size, but also because of their demonstrated leadership and dominance within their herds.

Elephants are also seen as a symbol of wisdom and intelligence, mainly attributed to their long lifespan, excellent memory, and complex social structures. Moreover, in many Asian cultures, elephants hold a religious significance.

For instance, in Hinduism, the elephant-headed deity, Ganesha, symbolizes luck, fortune, protection, and is a blessing upon new endeavors. Finally, the elephant can also symbolize patience, honor, and stability due to its calm and steady nature.

Therefore, the symbolism of the elephant can range greatly depending on the cultural, religious, or personal perspective.

What is the meaning behind elephant tattoos?

Elephant tattoos often embody various meanings derived from the cultural symbolism associated with these majestic creatures. Generally, an elephant tattoo can represent strength and power, as elephants are one of the largest and most potent animals on earth. Their perceived wisdom and intelligence, due to their long lifespan and intricate social structures, are also elements commonly conveyed through elephant tattoos.

The elephant's attributes of patience, honor, and stability, reflecting their tranquil nature, are additional meanings that might be expressed. In terms of spiritual significance, especially in Asian cultures, an elephant tattoo may symbolize good luck, prosperity, and protection, drawing from the depiction of the elephant-headed Hindu deity, Ganesha.

Moreover, given the elephant's well-known trait for strong familial bonds, an elephant tattoo can also be a tribute to family and loyalty. The specific interpretation of an elephant tattoo, however, ultimately depends on the personal perspective and intention of the individual bearing the tattoo.

best elephant tattoo ideas and their meanings

Elephant tattoos have captivated people's imaginations for their profound symbolism and intricate designs. From representing strength and wisdom to symbolizing family ties and spiritual enlightenment, elephant tattoos are rich with layers of meaning. If you're considering getting an elephant tattoo and need some inspiration, we've curated a list of the top 5 rated elephant tattoo ideas and their meanings:

Realistic Elephant Tattoo

A realistic, detailed depiction of an elephant can signify strength, wisdom, and durability. Such a tattoo can reflect the individual's resilience and steadfast nature. The lifelike portrayal of the elephant pays homage to the majesty and grandeur of the creature in its natural habitat.

Realistic Elephant Tattoo

Ganesha Elephant Tattoo 

Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, is the god of beginnings, good fortune, and obstacle removal. A tattoo of Ganesha might symbolize the person's spiritual devotion, or their desire for good luck and success in new ventures.

Ganesha Elephant Tattoo

Elephant Family Tattoo 

Tattoos portraying a family of elephants, often with a baby elephant, symbolize strong family ties, protection, and love. This tattoo can be a tribute to the bond the person shares with their family, or it can symbolize the protective nature they possess for their loved ones.

Elephant Family Tattoo

Geometric Elephant Tattoo

Incorporating geometric patterns or shapes in an elephant tattoo can give it a modern and artistic twist. The geometric elements add another layer of meaning ā€“ the stability, balance, and harmony inherent in geometric designs blend with the symbolic strength and wisdom of the elephant.

Geometric Elephant Tattoo

Mandala Elephant Tattoo 

A mandala elephant tattoo combines the elephant symbol with the spiritual and meditative symbol of the mandala, often found in Hinduism and Buddhism. It represents the universe's balance and the journey towards self-realization and enlightenment. The elephant in this context further emphasizes wisdom, patience, and inner strength.

Mandala Elephant Tattoo

Who should get an elephant tattoo?

Elephant tattoos can be a perfect choice for individuals who resonate with the rich symbolism that these magnificent creatures carry. If you admire the strength, wisdom, and durability represented by elephants, or if these are traits you see in yourself or aspire to, an elephant tattoo could be an excellent choice for you.

People who have a deep connection with their families or who prize loyalty and protection may also be drawn to an elephant tattoo, considering the strong familial bonds and protective nature associated with elephants.

Elephant tattoos might also appeal to those with a spiritual inclination, especially individuals influenced by Asian cultures. For instance, a tattoo of Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, may be fitting for someone seeking success, prosperity, or spiritual enlightenment.

However, the choice of getting an elephant tattoo, like any tattoo, is deeply personal and should align with your values, beliefs, and aesthetics. If you're attracted to the visual appeal and meaningful symbolism of elephants, an elephant tattoo could be a fitting addition to your body art.

General Breakdown Of Tattoo Pain Levels On Different Body Parts

Here is a breakdown of the different tattoo pain levels:

  • Low: This level of pain is generally described as a mild discomfort or tickling sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a light scratch or scrape.
  • Moderate: This level of pain is generally described as a moderate discomfort or aching sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a deep scratch or scrape or being pinched.
  • High: This level of pain is generally described as a strong discomfort or throbbing sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a burn or being stung by a bee.

It's important to note that pain tolerance is highly individual and can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may find certain body parts more or less painful than others, and the same body part can be more or less painful for different people. Additionally, the level of pain can be affected by factors such as the size and location of the tattoo, the skill of the tattoo artist, and the individual's own pain threshold.

Tattoo placement pain level chart

Body Part

Pain Level




The forehead has few nerve endings, so it is not a particularly painful area.



The eyebrows have few nerve endings, so the pain level is relatively low.



The ear is a relatively thin and fleshy area, so the pain level is low.



The nostril is a small area with thin skin, so the pain level is low.


Low to Moderate

The lip has more nerve endings than some other areas, so it may be slightly more painful.


Low to Moderate

The cheek has a moderate amount of nerve endings, so it may be slightly more painful.



The neck has a moderate amount of nerve endings, so it may be slightly more painful.


Moderate to High

The chest has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.



The abdomen has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.



The back has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.



The shoulders have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Upper Arms

Moderate to High

The upper arms have a moderate to high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be somewhat painful.



The elbows have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.



The forearms have a moderate concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.



The hands have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Lower Arms

Low to Moderate

The lower arms have a lower concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.



The wrists have a low concentration of nerve endings, so they are not very painful.

Lower Back


The lower back has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.



The buttocks have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.



The thighs have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.



The knees have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.


Low to Moderate

The calves have a low to moderate concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.



The ankles have a low concentration of nerve endings, so they are not very painful.

Tattoo aftercare tips

Before getting a tattoo:

  1. Choose a reputable tattoo artist and parlor. Research the artist's portfolio and read reviews from previous clients.

  2. Consult with the artist about the design and placement of the tattoo.

  3. Make sure you are in good health. If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications that may affect your ability to heal, be sure to let your tattoo artist know.

  4. Consider using a numbing cream to reduce pain during the tattooing process. These creams contain a numbing agent (such as lidocaine) that can be applied to the skin before the tattoo is done. It's important to follow the instructions on the numbing cream and to only use it as directed.

  5. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can thin your blood for at least 24 hours before getting a tattoo.

  6. Eat a healthy meal before your tattoo session to ensure that your blood sugar is stable.

  7. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the area being tattooed.

After getting a tattoo:

  1. Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. These may include:

  • Keeping the tattoo clean and covered with a bandage for the first few hours after getting tattooed.

  • Washing the tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild soap (such as unscented, antimicrobial soap) and patting it dry with a clean towel.

  • Applying a thin layer of tattoo ointment or lotion (such as A&D or Aquaphor) to the tattoo and covering it with a clean bandage or wrap.

  • Repeating this process for the first few days, or until the tattoo has fully scabbed over.

  1. Avoid soaking the tattoo in water for the first week, such as in a bath or pool.

  2. Avoid picking or scratching at the scabs, as this can cause the tattoo to fade or become infected.

  3. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or tanning beds for at least 2-4 weeks.

  4. If you experience any redness, swelling, or unusual discharge, contact your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.

Overall, it's important to keep your tattoo clean and moisturized during the healing process to ensure that it heals properly and looks its best. Using a numbing cream can help reduce pain during the tattooing process, but it's important to use it as directed and to follow all aftercare instructions to ensure that your tattoo heals properly.

People Also Ask:

What does an elephant tattoo symbolize?

Elephant tattoos often carry a range of meanings including strength, wisdom, resilience, and longevity, reflecting the attributes of the real-world animal. They can also represent familial bonds and protection, given elephants' well-known trait for close family ties and caring for their young. In some cultures, an elephant tattoo could symbolize luck, prosperity, and spirituality.

Are elephant tattoos gender-specific?

No, elephant tattoos are not gender-specific. People of all genders can get an elephant tattoo if the symbolism associated with it resonates with them.

Where is the best place to get an elephant tattoo?

The placement of an elephant tattoo depends on the size and design of the tattoo, as well as your personal preference. Common areas include the back, shoulder, forearm, wrist, and thigh. However, small elephant tattoos can also be placed on more discrete areas such as behind the ear or on the ankle.

Can I get an elephant tattoo in color?

Absolutely! While black and grey elephant tattoos are common, adding color can bring a unique vibrancy to your tattoo. The choice of color or no color ultimately depends on the tattoo design and your personal aesthetic preference.

What does a baby elephant tattoo mean?

A baby elephant tattoo often symbolizes innocence, joy, and growth. It could also symbolize a strong bond between a parent and their child.

Are elephant tattoos painful?

The pain of getting a tattoo varies depending on individual pain thresholds and the location of the tattoo. Areas with less fat or muscle padding, like the ankle or wrist, may be more sensitive. However, a professional tattoo artist will work to ensure your comfort throughout the process.

What care should I take after getting an elephant tattoo?

After getting a tattoo, it's crucial to follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions. These usually include keeping the area clean, avoiding exposure to direct sunlight, refraining from swimming, and using a moisturizer to prevent dryness and flaking.

Can I customize my elephant tattoo design?

Yes, you can certainly customize your elephant tattoo design. A professional tattoo artist can help you design a unique elephant tattoo that incorporates different elements or styles to make it personally meaningful for you.

How much does an elephant tattoo cost?

The cost of an elephant tattoo can vary depending on several factors including the complexity of the design, the size, color, the artist's experience, and the studio location. It's recommended to consult with a few tattoo artists to get an understanding of potential costs.

Does the direction of the elephant in the tattoo matter?

In some cultures, the direction of the elephant in a tattoo or artwork can have different meanings. For example, an elephant facing forward is sometimes seen as a symbol of facing obstacles head-on. However, such interpretations aren't universally recognized and largely depend on personal or cultural beliefs. Your tattoo's direction should ultimately be based on your personal preference and aesthetic choice.

Watch A video of a elephant tattoo done by a pro

195+ elephant tattoo Ideas to get inspired from

Final thoughts

Elephant tattoos are a popular choice for those looking for a meaningful and powerful symbol to adorn their skin. The elephant is a symbol of strength, wisdom, and good luck in many cultures worldwide, making it an excellent choice for people who want a tattoo with a deeper meaning. With different designs and styles, an elephant tattoo can have different meanings, and it's an excellent choice for anyone looking for a unique and creative tattoo design.


Share it with your friends:

This content is created for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not responsible for any personal or other liabilities, losses, or risks directly or indirectly caused by any information or suggestions contained in the text above. We may get compensation from affiliate links found in the content. If you are the owner of an image, text, or any other content that you feel we inappropriately used and you would like it removed from this website, please contact us.