Displayed at the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, Varanasi, this 18th-century Pahari painting from Guler (Himachal Pradesh) shows Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati, slaying Tarakasura demon in a battle.
A powerful demon, Tarakasura was blessed with a boon of invincibility. As per the terms of the boon, he could only be vanquished by a child of Shiva. However, Shiva, after the loss of his partner Sati, had dedicated himself to meditation, renouncing the desire for love. The gods then employed the services of Kama, to unite Shiva and Parvati. Their union resulted in the birth of Kartikeya, commonly known as the war god.
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This quiz has been created by the Heritage Lab and the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, BHU.