Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Goddess Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon (Durga Mahishasura Mardini)

12th century
India (Himachal Pradesh, probably Chamba Valley)
H. 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm); W. 13 in. (33 cm); D. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Funds from various donors, 2008
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 238
Functioning as an altar shrine, complete with a lustration basin, this icon depicts the goddess Durga in the act of conquering the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Durga crushes the beast with her foot and impales him with her trident, whereupon the demon reveals himself in anthropomorphic form and pleads for mercy. In each of her eight arms, Durga holds a weapon lent to her by the male gods expressly for this task. This shrine, with its distinctive temple towers, evokes the architecture of Himachal Pradesh, as does the lotus-petal nimbus framing the goddess’s head, a motif specific to imagery of the Chamba Valley region.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother India: The Goddess in Indian Painting," June 29, 2011–November 27, 2011.

Related Objects

Standing Shiva

Date: ca. 13th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1979.508 On view in:Gallery 240

Child Saint Sambandar

Date: late 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 2010.230 On view in:Gallery 240

Shiva as Lord of Dance (Nataraja)

Date: ca. 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1987.80.1 On view in:Gallery 240

Hanuman Conversing

Date: 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1982.220.9 On view in:Gallery 240

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom

Date: 10th century Medium: Brass Accession: 1983.555.5 On view in:Gallery 237