Indian Flying Fox
Scientific Name: Pteropus giganteus
Common Name: Indian Flying Fox / Giant Indian Fruit Bat, Gadal (Hindi), Vowval (Tamil)
Distribution: Throughout India
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
In Religion and Mythology
A colony of Indian flying foxes
The Indian flying fox is considered sacred in some villages in both southern as well as the northern parts of our country. A colony of Indian flying foxes (which roost on a banyan tree) in a small village called Puliangulam, about 40 miles east of Madurai, Tamil Nadu is considered sacred by the local villagers. They associate the bat with a village deity named Muni, whose shrine is located beneath the banyan tree.