Mahisasurmardini at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Mahiṣāsuramardinī sculpted in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of Durga's or Shakti's ferocious avatars where she vanquished the unconquerable demon Mahishasura. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?
As per Shilpashastra (iconography) she is usually represented with six pairs of hands. The right set of hands hold śūla (trident), khaḍga (sword), śakthāyuḍa (devi’s weapon), chakra (discus), a stringed bow, and gadā (mace) while the left hands hold pāśa, aṅkuśa, śaṅkh (shell), ghanṭ (bell), paraśu (axe) and shield. These pairs of hands are represented in kartarīmukha-hasta. If in a dancing posture than the hands are in kapittha-hasta and one pair of hands is in kartarīmukha-hasta.
Her expression usually is that of extreme rage with her tongue projecting outwards - There are many variations of her depiction when the sculptor focuses on particular sentiments or a story illustrating her characteristics in a different ways.