Himalayan Art Resources

Hindu Deity: Durga Main Page

Durga Masterworks

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Attendant Figures: HAR #10121, #73846
- Hindu Gods Index/Glossary
- Hindu Gods Outline
- Hindu Religion Main Page
- Confusions: Guhyakali, Siddha Lakshmi
- Others...

- Mahishasuramardini Durga
- Universal Deities

Study Topics:
- Description (General)
- Variations (Arms, Attributes)
- Source Literature & Narrative: Devi Mahatmya, Devi Bhagavata & Garuda Purana
- Regions & Styles

The Warrior Goddess, Durga (mahisha + asura + mardini), 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 all of the Nepalese sculpture of Durga. Other forms of Durga with ten and six arms are also commonly found.

The examples below represent the mediums of cast metal, repousse, carved stone and bone from a ceremonial apron.

Iconographic Forms:
- Four Arms
- Six Arms
- Eight Arms
- Ten Arms
- Twelve Arms
- Sixteen Arms
- Eighteen Arms
- Twenty-eight Arms

Database Search: All Images

Jeff Watt 3-2005 [updated 6-2017, 12-2023]

For additional information see Victorious Durga Javanese Images of the Hindu Goddess who Conquered the Buffalo Demon by Krista Knirck-Bumke.