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The Warrior Goddess is the fearsome - demon destroying - form of the Daughter of the Himalayas, Parvati. Although she has many different origin myths associating her with different gods such as Brahma, Vishnu and Krishna, her relationship with Shiva and Parvati is popular in the Himalayan regions. According to chapter 38 of the Garuda Purana (10th-12th c.) Durga can have twenty-eight, eighteen, twelve, eight or four arms. Two lists of eighteen hand attributes are named in chapter 38 but neither of these lists accurately describe the eighteen armed Nepalese sculptures of Durga. Other forms of Durga with ten and six arms are also commonly found.
Jeff Watt 3-2005 [updated 6-2017]
For additional information see Victorious Durga Javanese Images of the Hindu Goddess who Conquered the Buffalo Demon by Krista Knirck-Bumke.