The 30 Best Hindu Tattoos (Ideas and Meanings)

Currently, the Hindu religion is one of the most widespread in the world, being also one of the oldest. This religion is very complex because of its many beliefs, symbology and traditions. Each of its beliefs is divided into different categories, which means that when it comes to represent something related to this religion, we find many meanings. Normally, Hindu tattoo designs are based on ancient stories about gods and goddesses with admirable virtues and powers, as they have aspects of humans, animals and nature. That makes Hindu mythology tattoos very attractive.

Most Popular Hindu Mythology Tattoos

Among the Hindu mythology tattoos, we can find an infinite number of varieties, since within each Hindu belief, we find different gods and mantras. Even so, there are certain gods and mantras that share all Hindu beliefs, which makes them the most represented in the form of tattoos. The most popular Hindu mythology tattoos are:

  • Ganesh: he is recognized by his elephant head, which symbolizes overcoming obstacles, he is the god of wisdom and learning. He also symbolizes good fortune.
  • Shiva: is the third god in the Hindu Trimurti, while the other two, Brahma and Vishnu, are responsible for the creation and destruction of the universe, Shiva is in charge of guarding it. He is considered a supreme god.
  • Yantra: is a visual mantra, a symbol intended to represent a particular god or goddess in geometric form.
  • OM: is a mantra that calls the Supreme Being, it is a sacred Hindu sound for being the biggest one that represents a triad.
  • Krishna: known for the feather he carries and the flute he plays, Krishna is a Hindu god who represents the embodiment of wisdom and truth.
  • Cows: a symbol of wealth, they were revered as time went on because Hindus relied heavily on dairy products.

The Origin of Hindu Tattoos

One of the oldest styles that we can find in the market are the Hindu tattoos, coming from a millenary culture full of meaning and color, the original name of this art is Mehndi, although nowadays we know it as Henna painting. Currently, who uses this technique are women at weddings, but its origin has both Egyptian and Arab roots. It wasn't until the 12th century that Henna arrived in India and the barbers' wives were in charge of applying this art to women representing jewels, as if they were bracelets and rings that adorned their bodies.

The Most Common Hindu Gods Tattoos

With the infinite number of gods that Hindus have, each one makes the decision of which god they are going to worship, as they consider the gods to be different in their aspects, with the same supreme reality. As we have said before, the most common or popular Hindu gods are Ganesh, Shiva and Krishna. Although of course, with the amount of gods they have, we find a large list. Let's take a look at a few of them:

  • Kali: this Hindu goddess is also known as the Terrible Mother, she symbolizes creation, destruction and power. She is one of the best known Hindu goddesses. Goddess of death, time and doomsday. She is also often associated with sexuality and violence but, on the other hand, as a strong mother figure. Kali is easily distinguished with her skull necklace and blue skin.
  • God Vishnu: Lord Vishnu is a Hindu symbol of protection and security. He is distinguished by his blue skin and four arms.
  • Rama: often depicted with a bow and arrow and has become a symbol of virtue and good governance, known for his compassion, bravery and devotion to religious duties. Like Lord Vishnu, he has a blue body.
  • Saraswati: a four-armed goddess who plays the saraswati vina; she usually appears seated on a swan or lotus flower, and symbolizes passion for the arts, learning and music.

Meanings and Symbolism of Hindu Tattoos

Hinduism is the religion that contains the most symbols and uses them to talk about its philosophy, teachings and, of course, its gods. The symbols of the Hindu religion are almost always associated with human values and qualities such as beauty, purity, strength, courage and balance. The symbols of Hindu mythology most tattooed for their meanings are:

  • Symbol OM: is one of the Dharma mantras, and means unity with the supreme, a combination between the spiritual and the physical that translates into a single symbol.
  • Mandala: of Indian origin, it is used both in Buddhism and Hinduism. They are diagrams or round symbolic representations that use an endless number of geometric figures. They are used for meditation and each shape and color has a personal meaning.
  • Lotus flower: symbolizes purity of body and soul.
  • Unalome: represents the path to attain wisdom and reach heaven (or nirvana). It begins to draw from the circle or spiral that represents the beginning, the folds are the errors, and at the end, a straight line that is the wisdom achieved.
  • Hamsa: this symbol or amulet, also known as the Hand of Fatima, has been used by different cultures, and within Hinduism, has a meaning of protective character. It is also associated with peace and the dissipation of fear.

Hindu tattoos for men

In this case, there are no Hindu tattoos that are directly associated with men or women, as it depends on the beliefs of each one, but normally, Hindu tattoos for men are usually large and with less color, ie, with black ink. Here are some examples of Hindu tattoos for men:

  • Arm
  • Chest
  • Hand

Hindu tattoos for women

The designs that women usually choose are more discreet, at least because of the location. Although this is not always the case, as there is a wide variety of designs that women usually put on their body. In addition, they have the designs of Henna tattoos that are done to brides on their wedding day. Some examples of Hinna tattoos for women are:

  • On the foot
  • Wrist
  • Inner arm

Small Hindu tattoos

Some of the most represented and important symbols of Hindu culture are simple and easy to draw, so they can be placed anywhere on the body. The most represented small Hindu tattoos are:

  • OM symbol
  • Lotus flower
  • Hand of Fatima

Big Hindu tattoos

They are more common than the small ones, since most of the Hindu culture drawings have a lot of details and in order to be clearly seen, it is necessary that they have a considerable size. These tattoos are usually found on the back, shoulders and legs. The most common designs for large Hindu tattoos are:

  • Ganesh
  • Mandala
  • Henna

Hindu Tattoos on Body Parts

As well as the variety of sizes of Hindu tattoos, is very large parts of the body where they can also be done. The only ones that usually have more specific areas where they can be done are the Henna tattoos, which are usually drawn on the hands and arms or on the feet. Below, we show the parts of the body where more Hindu tattoos are made:

Hindu tattoos on hands.

For Hindus, marriage is more than a simple contract between a man and a woman, therefore the ceremony is carried out following a series of rites described in the sacred book of India, the Veda. Among one of the rites followed, there is one in which the bride and her friends cover their hands with Henna tattoos. Over the years, these tattoos have become more popular making many women around the world choose to get their hands tattooed with ink but pretending that it is Henna.

  • Henna Tattoos
  • Finger tattoos
  • Tattoos on the palms of the hands

Hindu Tattoos on the Back

Here, we find a wide variety of Hindu tattoos, as it is a very large surface and can be captured all kinds of designs.

  • Mandala Tattoo
  • Shiva Tattoo
  • Kali Tattoo

Hindu Tattoos on the leg

Hindu tattoos on the legs are usually very large and eye-catching. Designs with a lot of details, like Henna or mandalas, predominate.

  • Tattoo on the ankle
  • Tattoo on the calf
  • Lateral tattoo all over the leg

Bibliography consulted

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