Durga is a malignant form of Devi, the Mother Goddess. (Devi's other common forms are Kali and Parvati.) The goddess Durga was created from necessity. According to Hindu stories, the gods could not defeat the demon Mahisha, who had taken on the form of a great buffalo. They begged Shiva for his assistance, and Shiva advised all the gods to release their shaktis (spiritual prowess) locked within their bodies. The shaktis of the gods emerged in female form. These goddesses fused together in blinding light from which arose a magnificent goddess with many arms. She was as beautiful as she was deadly.

Durga Is Often Seen Riding a Tiger

The gods called this goddess Durga, the invincible one, and they armed her with their weapons. Thus armed, Durga rode to the top of a mountain on a lion. In a bloody battle, she destroyed Mahisha and his army of demons. You can read more information about Durga on our Durga Statues Page. In India, the most celebrated festival dedicated to the Goddess Durga is known as the Durga Puja, which in its entirety takes ten days to complete. In temples dedicated to her, at the end of the festival, a statue of her is taken out of the temple and then paraded around the neighborhood. Durga is usually depicted with either 6 or 8 arms, and they hold weapons that have been given to her by the other gods, such as a Trident from Shiva, a Discus (chakra) and club from Lord Vishnu.