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Story - How Mahishi Got the Buffalo Head?

Mahishi was the sister of Mahishasura, the demon killed by Goddess Durga. To avenge the death of Mahishasura, Mahishi did intense tapas and pleased Brahma. But how did Mahishi become a buffalo-headed demoness. The story of Mahishi is very popular in South India and the reference is found in the Puranas.


Sage Galvan lived on the Vindhyas in his ashram. He had a daughter named Leela. The sage also had a student named Dattan. Leela was in love with Dattan. But he did not reciprocate the love as he did not want to lead a family life. Leela continued to disturb Dattan. As she was beautiful, she tried numerous methods to entice the young man.

Once, Dattan was performing intense meditation. Leela approached him and told him in his ears that she will be his Pattamahishi or queen.

Dattan was angry at Leela for disturbing his mediation and in a fit of rage cursed her to be born as Mahishi – a buffalo headed woman.

Leela was thus born in the house of Demon Karamban as his daughter. As per the curse, she was born with a buffalo head.

Mahishi who had become powerful with the boon of Brahma was annihilated by Ayyappa.