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Kinnara in Hinduism – Divine Beings with Horse Head and Human Body

Kinnara are divine beings mentioned in major scriptures in Hinduism. They are diving being with horse head and human body. The earliest reference of Kinnaras are found in the Satapatha Brahmana. There are several versions of the origin of Kinnara in Hindu scriptures.

Manu Smriti and Bhagavad Purana states that they were created by Prajapati along with Yakshas, apsaras and gandharvas.

Some Puranas are of the view that they were born out of thumb of Brahma.

Certain Puranas also mention that they are children of Sage Kashyapa.

Kinnaras are male for one month and female for another month. They are romantic in character and love flowers.

They render various services to Devas by assuming various forms. They sing, dance and play musical instruments in heaven.

Kinnaras mainly serve Kubera, who is also known as Kinnaresha.

On earth they are believed to have guarded fields. People used to place kinnara figures on the corner of fields.

It must be noted that Kinnaras are also shown in Hindu sculptures as having human head and a bird’s body.

Manasara, a Shilpa Text, states that Kinnara’s should be shown with legs like those of animals, upper body like that of man, the face like that of Garuda, arms with wings, crown should be decorated with lotus and they hold lutes.

In majority of the sculptures Kinnara are shown in pair.

Kinnara Sculptures are also widely associated with Buddhism.