Like all Hindu gods, Indra also has many names. He is called Suresh, Surendra, Devendra, Devesh, Shachipati, Vaasava, Surpati, Shakra, Purandara, Devraaj and so on. The etimology of words like Indra-dhanusha (rainbow), Indra-jaal (an elusive trap), Indriya (senses) owe their advent to Indra. He is the god of rains, clouds, thunder-storms, lightenings and rainbows. His wife is called Indrani. the supreme leader of all gods and yet he is portrayed as someone who is full of vices. He is always upto some mischief, sending Apsaras to lure ascetics out of their reclusion or stealing horses from the Ashwamedha Yajnas.
Of 14 gems found in Samudra Manthan, one was Airavata, the magnificent white elephant with four large ivory teeth. Indra rides this Airavata, who is also called Indra-hasti or Indra-kunjar. Indra’s armament is called Vajra, a lethal weapon. Rig Veda’s third Mandala describes the supreme powers of Indra. His warfare craft is unmatchable and even the Aryans of earth had deemed him as their strategic leader for this. He has got more than 100 special powers. More than 40 names of Indra describe his powers. While Varuna is god of peace, Indra is god of war.
And yet, Hindus don’t worship him! But well, this had not been so always. There used to be a festival by his name in North India called “Indrotasava” once. But after the advent of Krishna as supreme God, all Indra adulations ceased to exist. Gopotsava, Holi and Ranga Panchami became more prominent festivals instead of “Indrotasava”. Sri Krishna had said that Govardhan Parvat gives us more life and vitality than a god (Indra) who threatens us. Hence instead of “Indrotasava” it would be more appropriate if we celebrate “Gopotasava”, a festival for Govardhan Parvat. The legend has it that this infuriated Indra so much that he unleashed a catastrophic rain strom over Braj. Which prompted Krishna to come to the fore and rescue the Brajvasis from Indra’s ire. That was it for the Indra adulations. He was never worshipped after that.