The Puranas are a collection of ancient Hindu texts that hold immense religious and cultural significance in Indian society. These scriptures are considered sacred and are an essential part of Hindu religious literature. The word “Purana” in Sanskrit means “old” or “ancient,” indicating their age and historical importance.

There are a total of 18 major Puranas, each dedicated to different deities and mythological stories. These Puranas are believed to have been composed by the sage Vyasa, who is considered the compiler of the Mahabharata and one of the greatest sages in Hindu mythology.


The 18 Puranas are:

  1. Brahma Purana
  2. Padma Purana
  3. Vishnu Purana
  4. Shiva Purana
  5. Bhagavata Purana
  6. Narada Purana
  7. Markandeya Purana
  8. Agni Purana
  9. Bhavishya Purana
  10. Brahma Vaivarta Purana
  11. Linga Purana
  12. Varaha Purana
  13. Skanda Purana
  14. Vamana Purana
  15. Kurma Purana
  16. Matsya Purana
  17. Garuda Purana
  18. Brahmanda Purana


Each Purana consists of various sections that contain detailed descriptions of cosmology, genealogy of gods and sages, legends, myths, rituals, genealogies, legends of kings, and moral teachings. These texts serve as repositories of knowledge and illustrate the principles of dharma (moral and ethical duties) and the significance of devotion to deities.

The Puranas are written in the form of dialogues and narratives, making them accessible and engaging to readers. They play a crucial role in preserving and transmitting ancient Indian traditions, legends, and religious beliefs from one generation to another.

While the primary focus of the Puranas is on religious teachings, they also provide valuable insights into historical events and cultural practices prevalent during their time of composition. The narratives and stories within the Puranas have had a profound impact on Indian art, literature, philosophy, and spirituality.

Today, the Puranas continue to be revered and studied by scholars, spiritual seekers, and devotees of Hinduism worldwide. They serve as a rich source of knowledge, offering guidance and inspiration to those seeking a deeper understanding of Hindu mythology, customs, and traditions.