Durga as Mahishasuramardini
The narrative sculpture shown in the image depicts Goddess Durga slaying Mahishasura, an evil demon who took the form of a buffalo. Because of this feat, she is known as Mahishasuramardini. The word Mahishasuramardini is a concatenation of three Sanskrit words: mahisha (buffalo), asura (demon), and mardini (slayer).
The slaying of Mahishasura is all about the triumph of good over evil and is based on an episode narrated in the Devi Mahatmya, a part of Markandeya Purana.
As you can see from this narrative sculptural relief, Goddess Durga is standing triumphantly with her left leg over Mahishasura, i.e., the buffalo that appears to have fallen on the ground, and the real Mahishasura is seen emerging from the body of the buffalo. Goddess Durga has ten arms (some of which are missing or broken), each holding different weapons/objects given to her by various gods.
Created by Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma, and the other gods by combining their energies, Durga is a Hindu goddess of war who symbolizes Shakti (roughly translates as power and strength).
Other Mahishasuramardini Sculptures
– Durga as Mahishasuramardini (Slayer of Mahishasura) on the outer wall of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple
– Durga as Mahishasuramardini (Slayer of Mahishasura) installed in a devakoshta of the Durga Temple in Aihole, Karnataka, India
– Statue of Durga as Mahishasuramardini standing in the Shiva Temple at Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
– Belur Chennakeshava Temple
— Bracket Figures, Navaranga, Garbhagriha Outer Wall
– Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
– Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Badami Chalukya Temples
– Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
– Durga Temple at Aihole
– Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals
Khmer Temples in Cambodia
– Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Bayon
Monuments in Indonesia
– Prambanan Temples, Prambanan Bas-Reliefs
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