Hindu Mythology

The colorful deities and demons of India...

KÂRTTIKEYA

Hindu War God

Also known as Kartikeya, Kumaran, Skanda

Picture of the Hindu War God Kârttikeya from our Hindu mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Six-headed warrior son of Shiva

If two heads are better than one, this god is a real god-head because he has half a dozen. He is also a God of War. Are these two facts connected? Does he suffers from terrible multiple headaches that put him in a warlike mood?

His parents are Shiva and Parvati. However, Kârttikeya did not have a normal conception. He was born from Ganga the River Ganges after she swallowed some of Shiva’s effulgence which had been burnt in Agni’s fiery hand. Our only question is: What on earth were they thinking?

It doesn’t end there. After five thousand years sitting on a lotus, the seed of Shiva grew into a bouncing baby six-faced boy. He was so adorable that six of the Pleiades, seeing him alone among the reeds, rushed down to Earth to coo over him. (“Awww, look at his cute noses! Look at his twelve little ears!”)

Suddenly everyone wanted to mother him and smother him. Facing the world’s most bizarre custody battle, original parents Shiva and Parvati told the child to choose which mother he wanted. Unable to decide between the rival moms, he split into several manifestations and chose them all.

Since those early days, Kârttikeya has grown even more popular, although not so many people feel the urge to tickle him under the chin anymore. Nowadays he clutches a spear and rides into battle on a peacock at the head of whichever army he is currently supporting.

Yes, we did say peacock. The Peacock of War. How utterly terrifying. We blame the parents for everything.

Kârttikeya Facts and Figures

Name: Kârttikeya
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Kartikeya, Kumaran, Skanda

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: War
Area of expertise: War

Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad
Popularity index: 827

Cite this article

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Article last revised on September 18, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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