Hindu God Kartikeya Folklore and History

God Kartikeya is a Hindu deity, the son of Shiva and Parvati, and is a much revered God in South India. He is worshipped as the lord of war and victory.

Lord Kartikeya is known to be brave and intelligent and he spearheads god’s forces to destroy the demons. He is known by various names like Murugan, Shanmukha, Kumaraswamy, etc.

Legend says that since Lord Shiva and Parvati would shower more love to Ganesha, the deity decided to leave Kailash and moved to the South.

This is the reason for him being more worshipped in South India than North.

Birth Story and Childhood

As indicated by the legends, there was an evil demon named Tarakasura who requested for the boon that he should just be defeated by Lord Shiva’s child.

Birth Story of Lord Kartikeya
Birth Story of Lord Kartikeya

He realized very well that Lord Shiva was an ascetic and he would not wed or have children. Henceforth, Tarakasura would be invulnerable.

However, after much ado, Lord Shiva finally wedded Goddess Parvati.

Since Parvati couldn’t consider it because of the curse, lord Shiva took her to a cavern and asked her to meditate.

As the two of them meditated, a chunk of fire rose out of their cosmic energies.

Meanwhile, different Gods being insecure from Tarakasura, sent Agni or the God of fire to get hold of the chunk of fire.

But, even Agni couldn’t bear the warmth of the vitality of Shiva and Parvati. In this way, He gave over the ball to Goddess Ganga.

When even Ganga couldn’t bear the warmth, she stored the fireball into a lake in a forest of reeds.

At that point, Goddess Parvati appeared as this water body as only she could bear the vitality of Shiva and Shakti.

At last, the fireball appeared as an infant with six faces.

Subsequently, the deity is otherwise called Shanmukha or the ‘God with Six Faces’.

He was first spotted and dealt with by six water fairies who spoke to the Pleiades or the Krittikas.

Thus, the divine kid was known as Kartikeya or the child of the Krittikas. Later he murders Tarakasura and turns into the commander of God’s forces.

Video: Kartikeya, The Hindu God of War Mythology


Once Kartikey asked Lord Brahma to explain the meaning of Om. Brahma explained to him but he was not satisfied.

Later on, when asked by Lord Shiva, he explained the whole episode to him.

Lord Shiva told that he must learn from Lord Brahma, as he is the supreme creator.

To this the deity replied, ‘Then you tell me, what is the meaning of Om?’ Hearing this, Lord Shiva smiled and said, ‘Even I don’t know.’

The Deity then said, ‘Then I will tell you because I know the meaning of Om. Lord Shiva asked Kartikeya to tell him the meaning since he knew.

The Hindu deity said to his father that he has to give him the place of the Guru. Only if he put him on the pedestal of the Guru he will narrate the meaning.

Lord Shiva thought as Guru Means he has to be in a higher position or platform.

The teacher has to sit at a higher place and the student has to sit down & listen to him. But how can he find a seat higher than him, for he is the highest and greatest of Gods?

So then Lord Shiva lifted the young boy on to His shoulders. And then in the ear of Lord Shiva, the deity explained the meaning of the Pranava Mantra (Om).

The deity narrated that the entire Creation is contained in Om. The Trinity – Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are contained in Om.

This is the essence and also the secret of Om that Kartikey narrated to Lord Shiva.

Upon hearing this, Goddess Parvati, mother of The Hindu Deity, and an incarnation of the Mother Divine was elated and overcome with joy.

The Portrayal of God Kartikeya

The Hindu ancient texts and books portray God Kartikey as one of the most beautiful looking and handsome. He is also known for his valor and as the protector of dharma.

The portrayal of God
The portrayal of God

He is always youthful and that is why he is also known as the Kumara that had six heads.

This helps him in keeping vigil from all directions so he can combat problems, coming from any direction

These 6 faces also signify teaching their devotees to battle through life-fighting off bad people who could lead you to the wrong path of lobha, kaama, krodh, moha, mada, and matsarya.

Symbolism and Life

If you take a look at the symbol of Kartikeya, on one hand, he carries a spear which is also called Vel.

It’s nothing but a trident with an emblematic of the Kundalini Shakti.

In his other hand, he carries a little flag on which there is a chicken. In another variant, Tarakasur was crushed by Lord.

Thus, Tarakasur’s self-image turned into a chicken or chicken in the wake of being vanquished by Kartikeya.

After having crushed Taraka in the fight, Kartikey saved his life and asked him what help he would want.

Taraka petitioned consistently be at the feet of the Lord, thus the deity made him the emblem on his flag

This likewise implies the self-image ought to consistently be kept subdued. Inner self is vital forever yet it ought to be kept subdued.

The Deity of War and Peace

He is likewise called ‘Deva Senapati‘ and ‘Yuddharanga‘.

Kartike, the lord of war & general of the military of the divine beings, is known for his exceptional quality and abilities.

The Deity of War and Peace
The Deity of War and Peace

It is said that he has extraordinary strength, and is incredibly courageous, wise, and profoundly handy in the specialty of war.

He is considered as the president of Devas as he was fundamentally made to obliterate evil presences that symbolize negative human propensities.

Lord Kartikey was destined to execute Tarakasura, in this way, he is a conceived warrior.

Kartikey implies the guideline which is both peaceful but extremely dynamic.

Generally, exceptionally dynamic individuals are not calm and settled. Furthermore, individuals who hush up are not dynamic.

So Kartike is that principle which is both quiet but dynamic. He has both these aspects of being spiritually complete and worldly-wise.

Dynamism and deep silence together in the form of Kartikey.

The Vehicle of Kartikeya

The Vehicle he rides is a peacock called Paravani. Kartikeya, also called Lord Murugan in Southern India, is usually mounted on a peacock.

The Vehicle of Kartikeya
The Vehicle of Kartikeya

This peacock was initially an Asura called Surapadma, while the chicken which was known as the angel, Krichi.

In the wake of inciting Lord Murugan in battle, Surapadma apologized as the lord’s spear slid upon him. He took the form of a tree and prayed.

The tree was cut in two. From one half, Murugan pulled a chicken, which he made his emblem, and from the other, a peacock, which he made his vehicle.

Murugan: Lord Ganesha’s Brother

Lord Kartikey is the sibling of Lord Ganesha, the other child of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

As per a fanciful story, Kartikey once had a duel with regards to who was the eldest of the two.

The issue alluded to Lord Shiva for an ultimate conclusion.

Shiva concluded that whoever would make a voyage through the entire world and return first to the beginning stage reserved the option to be the eldest.

Kartikey took off without a moment’s delay on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world.

Then again, Ganesha circumvented his divine parents and requested the prize of his triumph. Along these lines, Ganesha was recognized as the eldest of the two brothers.​

Marriage of Shanmukha

Amritavalli and Saundaravalli were two little girls of Lord Vishnu, conceived from his eyes.

Wives of Lord Kartikeya
Wives of Lord Kartikeya

They built up an undying affection for the deity and performed extreme severities to get him as a spouse.

At Kartikey guidelines, Amritavalli manifested as Devasena, a little girl under the guardianship of Indra in Swarga.

Saundaravalli appeared as Valli, a young lady under the protection of Nambiraja, a hunter close to Kanchipuram.

After the war with Surapadma was finished, the devas were delighted. Kartikeya consented to Indra’s request to acknowledge Devasena as his consort.

The holy wedding was commended with excitement at Tirupparankundram close to Madurai in the presence of Parvati and Siva.

Indra’s re-crowning in Amaravati in Swarga followed.

Devas recaptured their capacity and positions. Shanmukha took his home in Skandagiri.

He at that point continued to Tiruttani close to Chennai, where Valli was taking care of grain fields.

After a progression of sportive love-tricks, in which his sibling Vighneswara likewise gave some assistance, he wedded her.

God Kartikey Festivals Celebrated in India

Sharad Purnima, also called Kumara Purnima, which is commended on the full moon day after Vijayadashami, is one of the well known celebration committed to Kartikeya in Odisha.

It is accepted that unmarried young ladies worship Kartikeya on this day to get grooms attractive as the Hindu God. Another significant occasion committed to the love is Thaipusam.

It is accepted that on this day, Goddess Parvati introduced a spear to Lord Murugan to vanquish the devil armed force of Tarakasura and battle their deceptive deeds.

Subsequently, Thaipusam is a festival of the triumph of good over hatred.

What’s more, Skanda Sashti is one more regional celebration commended for the most part by Shaivite Hindus, which is seen out of appreciation for Lord Kartikeya on the 6th day of the brilliant fortnight of the Tamil month of Aippasi.

It is accepted that Kartikey, on this day, demolished the legendary evil spirit Taraka.

Celebrated in all Shaivite and Subramanya temples in South India, Skanda Sashti recognizes the elimination of evil by the Supreme Being.

Conjunction with Buddhism and Jainism

Skanda has been an important deity in the Theravada Buddhism pantheon, in countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Jain God Naigamesa depiction of Lord Kartikeya
Jain God Naigamesa depiction of Lord Kartikeya

The Nikaya Samgraha describes Skanda Kumara as a guardian deity of the land, along with Upulvan (Vishnu), Saman, and Vibhisana.

Essentially, the sixteenth-century Siamese content Jinakalamali refers to him as a guardian god.

There are Buddhist Sinhala places of worship, for example, at Kataragama committed to Skanda which have truly been administered by Hindu priests.

The Kataragama altar of Skanda has pulled in over a large portion of a million respectful travelers consistently, most being Buddhists.

Ancient Chinese Buddhism depiction of Lord Kartikeya
Ancient Chinese Buddhism depiction of Lord Kartikeya

In Chinese Buddhism, Skanda has been depicted as Weituo, a youthful grand general, the guardian god of neighborhood religious communities, and the defender of the Buddhist dharma.

This portrayal got basic after the Tang time frame and turned out to be engrained in the late Song time frame.

Skanda was likewise received by Korean Buddhism, and he shows up in its woodblock prints and works of art.

The Jain god Naigamesa, who is additionally referred to as Hari-Naigamesin, is portrayed in early Jain messages as riding the peacock.

As the pioneer of the celestial armed force, which are the 2 images of Kartikey.

10 Famous Kartikeya Temples in India

In this comprehensive guide, we have provided the exclusive list of Ten (10) Kartikeya Temples in India that would help you gain more insights and deeper wisdom from God Murugan on your spiritual tour.

Sr. No.Temple NameLocation in India
1Palani Murugan TempleDindigul
2Swamimalai Murugan TempleKumbakonam
3Thiruchendur Murugan TempleTuticorin
4Thirupparamkunram Murugan TempleThirupparamkunram
5Thiruthani Murugan TempleThiruttani
6Pazhamudircholai TempleMadurai
7Kilimarathukavu Subramanya TempleKollam
8Subramanya Swamy templePayyanur
9Atiyambur Sri Subramanya TempleKasaragod
10Kukke Shree Subramanya TempleDakshin Karnataka
10 Kartikey Temples in India


Kartikeya is in charge of maintaining peace and harmony in the physical world and also known as the true deity of the war and victory.

However, it is believed that Lord Murugan manifested for the sole purpose of killing Tarakasura.

Thus, he is believed to be highly intelligent and having extreme valor, who wards off evil and prevail peace.

What do you think about Kartikey, let us know in the comments below!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is Kartikeya the God of?

Kartikeya also is known as Murugan and Shanmukha, is believed to be the God of War. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He killed the demon Tarkasur and is also the commander of God’s forces.

Why Kartikeya is not worshiped?

While it is true that Kartikeya is not worshiped in North as much as he is worshiped in Tamil Nadu (or wherever Tamils are located). He is an ancient Vedic-era deity and there is archaeological evidence of old idols and temples belonging to Kartikeya all over India.

Who are the wives of Lord Kartikeya?

Sanskrit scriptures generally regard only Devasena as the consort of Kartikeya, while in South India, he has two consorts, Devasena and Valli. Devasena is described as the daughter of the king of the gods, Valli is the daughter of a hunter called Nambiraja.

Is Murugan elder than Ganesha?

According to Shiva Purana, Subramanya or Kartikeya is the elder son of Shiva. He is the Senapati of the army of Gods. Some people believe that Ganesha is the elder son. This could be because of the practice of worshiping him first, as he is Prathampoojy.

Why do Tamils worship Murugan?

The folk of Tamil Nadu worships Murugan nor the others because Murugan showed the Tamilians a way of life. Murugan introduced the language of Tamil to the folks and watched over them like a guardian angel.