Various Avatars of Lord Shiva: Lord Shiva has taken these avatars for his devotees

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Various Avatars of Lord Shiva – We have always talked about the Dashavatar or the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu but do you know that Lord Shiva also has taken many avatars? In fact, Lord Shiva has 19 different avatars. Usually, the motive of an avatar is to destroy evil and make life easy and happy. Shiv Mahapuran has mentioned various avatars of Lord Shiva, here’s a look… various avatars of lord shiva

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva: Different Avatars of Lord Shiva with Name –

Piplaad Avatar

As per the legends, Lord Shiva took birth in the house of sage Dadhichi as Piplaad, but the sage left his son even before he was born. As Piplaad grew up he came to know that his father left the house because of the bad planetary position of Shani. After knowing the reason of his father abandoning him, he cursed Shani and Shani started falling down its celestial abode. Later, Piplaad forgave Shani on a condition that the Shani would never trouble anyone before 16 years of age. And from that day, people worship the Piplaad (a form of Lord Shiva) to get rid of Shani dosha.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Bhairava Avatar

When Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu had a fight over superiority, Lord Brahma took the help of a lie to prove his superiority. Lord Shiva took the avatar of Bhairava and cut off Lord Brahma’s fifth head. Shiva soon felt guilty of killing a Brahmin and hence carried the fifth head of Brahma for twelve years and roamed as a Bhikshatana.

Nandi Avatar

Nandi or bull is another form of Lord Shiva. At many places, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nandi, which is seen as the protector of the herds. He is portrayed as bull faced with four hands. A statue of Nandi is installed in almost every shiva temple.

Do read: Various avatars of Lord Ganesha as per Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana

Veerbhadra Avatar

After Lord Shiva’s wife, Goddess Sati immolated herself, Lord Shiva became extremely angry. It is believed that Lord Shiva plucked a hair strand from his head and threw it on the ground and from that hair strand Veerbhadra and Rudrakali were born. Veerbhadra is the most fierce avatar of Shiva. In this avatar he is portrayed as a dark God with three fiery eyes, wearing a garland of skulls.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva


The son of Dronacharya, Ashwatthama, is an ansh of Lord Shiva’s Kaal roop (anger and death). During Samudra Manthan, Lord Shiva consumed the poison (Halahaal) and it started burning his throat. At that time, the ‘vish purush’, incarnation sprang out of Lord Shiva. Shiva blessed him with a boon that the vish purush would be born on earth as the son of Drona and would kill all the Kshatriyas. Thus, in his next birth vish purush was born as Ashwatthama who killed many Kshatriyas in the Mahabharat.


Hanuman is also one of the avatars of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva took the avatar of Hanuman to serve Lord Ram.

Must read: Stories behind some famous Indian mythological creatures

Sharabha Avatar

The Sharabha form of Lord Shiva is half bird and half lion. Lord Shiva took this avatar to tame the half-lion avatar of Lord Vishnu, Narasimha.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Grihapati Avatar

In Grihapati Avatar, Lord Shiva took birth in the house of Vishwanar as his son. Vishwanar named him Grihapati. When Grihapati was 9, Narada told his parents that Grihapati was going to die soon. So, Grihapati went to Kashi to defeat death. Lord Shiva blessed him and he conquered death.


Lord Shiva took this avatar to maintain discipline in the world. Durvasa was a learned sage who was also famous for being very short-tempered.

Avatars of Lord Shiva

Rishabh Avatar

After the Samudra Manthan, Lord Vishnu went to the Patal Lok as there he was obsessed by the beautiful women. And during his stay there, Lord Vishnu had many sons. But all his sons turned out to be monsters and started torturing all Gods. It was then Lord Shiva took the avatar of an Ox named Rishabha and killed all the cruel sons of Lord Vishnu.

Do read:108 names of Lord Rama with mantras

Keerat Avatar

Once Duryodhan sent a demon named Mooka to kill Arjuna. Mooka turned himself into a boar. When Arjuna was engrossed in his meditation, he heard a loud noise. On opening his eyes he saw Mooka. Lord Shiva took the avatar of a hunter or Keerat to protect Arjun. Arrows of both Arjun and Keerat hit the boar at the same time. Later, they both argued as to whose arrow hit the boar first. Still undecided, Arjun challenged Keerat for a duel. Lord Shiva was pleased by Arjun’s braveness and gifted him his Pashupata.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Suntantarka Avatar

Lord Shiva took this avatar to ask the hand of Parvati in marriage from her father Himalaya.

Different avatars of Lord Shiva

Yatinath Avatar

Once, there was a tribal man, Aahuk. He and his wife were devotees of Lord Shiva. One day Lord Shiva visited his house in the form of Yatinath. Aahuk had a very small hut, so Aahuk decided to sleep outside and let the Yatinath sleep in. During the night, Aahuk got killed by a wild animal. Seeing her husband dead, his wife tried to kill herself. Soon, Lord Shiva appeared in his real form and blessed her with a boon that she and her husband will be reborn as Nala and Damayanti.

Must read:108 Names of Lord Krishna with meaning

Brahmachari Avatar

After sacrificing herself in the fire, Sati reborn as Parvati and wanted to marry Lord Shiva. To test her love Shiva took the avatar of a Brahmachari.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Krishna Darshan Avatar

There was a prince named Nabhag, who left his home for education in a Gurukul. In his absence, his brothers distributed the wealth among themselves. When Nabhag returned and asked about his property, his brothers asked him to leave. Nabhag was then told by his father to educate sage Angiras to get rid of all his attachments who was trying to conduct a yajna but was not being successful. When the task got completed the Sage Angiras was very pleased with him and wanted to give him all the wealth, which was stopped by Krishan Darshan Avataar. Later Nabhag’s father told him the reality of Shiva’s avatar. Lord Shiva later told Nabhag the significance of spiritual attainment and helped him in getting salvation.

Avadhut Avatar

This avatar was taken by Lord Shiva to defeat the arrogance of Lord Indra.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Sureshwar Avatar

Once a child Upamanyu meditated to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, to test his devotion, appeared there along with Goddess Parvati, both disguised as Indra and Indrani. They both tried to provoke Upamanyu against Lord Shiva and promised to bless him and fulfill all his blessings. But, Upamanyu resisted them. Pleased by his dedication, both revealed their original identity and blessed the child. This form of Lord Shiva is known as Sureshwar.

Yaksheshwar Avatar

After defeating the demons during Samudra Manthan, the gods became arrogant. Lord Shiva did not like it and planned to destroy their false pride. Lord Shiva presented some grass to gods and asked them to cut it. It was Lord Shiva’s attempt to destroy their false pride and hence, nobody could cut the grass and the pride vanished. This form of Lord Shiva is known as Yaksheshwar.

Various Avatars of Lord Shiva

Bhikshuvarya Avatar

Once there was a beggar who saw a newborn child crying near a pond whose mother had died. As the newborn baby was crying continuously, the beggar woman hesitated to take the baby in her lap. Then, Lord Shiva appeared as another beggar and convinced the beggar woman to pick up the child and bring him up. This avatar of Lord Shiva protects human beings from all kinds of dangers. 

Do read: ‘Dashavataram’ Ten avatars of Lord Vishnu

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