Updated December 2019
Hindu tattoos are one of the most traditional styles we can find and have a long history behind them. Henna is a central element within this style that can be observed in many social events such as a wedding. Hindu tattoos refer to a millenarian culture so it can be seen that there are numerous designs perfected throughout history and not only that but that they have deep and colourful meanings that can be a good option for tattooing.
For this, we will focus on different Hindu tattoos that refer to this culture and what each of them means:
Ohm is another of the classic symbols of the Hindu religion.
It is the symbol that relates to generation, nutrition and destruction. It is the first sound that is used in different relaxation techniques, and that has to do with the vital energies that we have in the body.
Symbol of Sri Yantra
Sri Yantra is a symbol that represents the spiritual journey that refers to the passage of time and the life experiences that appear to us throughout life and which help us to grow. It is a symbol with an exciting and sophisticated result, although it is not very difficult to tattoo and the final result can be beautiful.
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As mentioned earlier, tattoos with henna on the bodies of women who marry in India are prevalent. They are usually tattooed on hands and feet because it is said to bring good luck and help create a healthy marriage.
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People who feel admiration for Hindu culture often find a problem, since most symbols have many meanings and it can be challenging to decide on one of them. What many people choose is to tattoo numerous designs, which can be quickly joined, although you can not fall into the error of tattooing a very stylish design, since each of these symbols has many details, tracings and colours.
Mention that most of these tattoos have small dimensions, so they tend to fit naturally in almost all areas of the body, the areas that I recommend for these types of designs are the ankle, wrist and neck mainly, although you can always innovate.
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If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, you may want to choose one that has a deep meaning, in this way, the feeling prevails, and you will hardly get bored or regret it. Think very well what you would like to say with your design, and if you can not decide, you could lean on the symbolism of different cultures around the world.
There are beautiful designs that contain a whole history and language in their forms, and the Hindu culture uses them a lot to represent ideologies, traditions and religion.
Some even say that Hinduism, more than any other religion, is imbued with symbols and use them with high effectiveness to talk about their philosophy, teachings and of course, their gods.
The Hindu symbolism is divided into many categories, but two of the most general are based on the position of the hands and body (mudras) as well as the icons and drawings (mutri). It is almost always associated with human values and qualities such as beauty, purity, strength, courage, balance and more. For that reason, we show you some designs inspired by the Hindu culture, and we explain its meaning to you, so maybe you encourage yourself at the end to leave a mark on your body; but do not worry, we also have some temporary suggestions, in case you still do not feel very safe.
The world of tattooing has become a cultural phenomenon, in which each person wears a drawing for aesthetic or traditional reasons. Many people turn to tattoos fascinated by the unique and attractive look they offer
There is a lot of ignorance about Hinduism, many Westerners are attracted by the fascination of their figures and sizes, colours and exotic names, but you have to take special care before tattooing something you do not know. Study carefully and investigate what you want to tattoo, since you may discover over time that what you thought you meant or honoured a thing, is just the opposite. Hindu tattoos for women and men have a richness both visual and aesthetic in terms of meaning and symbolism.
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It is essential to carefully study the meanings of Hindu tattoos, their traditions and the stories behind each symbol. Hinduism is a very ancient and complicated religion with many logos that you can add to your tattoo, but that you should try to know and understand, so as not to tattoo your nonsense.
Shiva tattoos represent one of the most important gods we can find in Hindu symbols. Shiva is the god that destroys and purifies, it is essential in the Hindu religion, and its representation is full of symbolism and tradition.
It should be noted that in many of the representations that we see of Shiva in statuettes, engravings or reliefs in stone, we find patterns that should be considered when designing Shiva’s tattoo more similar and faithful to reality.
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For example, the third eye is very characteristic, represents the wisdom of Shiva and his ability to see beyond the obvious, these Hindu tattoos have a meaning related to knowing how to detect evil and bad intentions to avoid them.
The cobra necklace, which is often depicted with snake tattoos that surround Shiva’s torso, represents the power of this god beyond death. Tells the story that Shiva took poison to avoid evil in the Universe when he took it, his wife Parvati tied a poisonous cobra to her neck to avoid being hurt by the poison, and for this reason, Shiva is blue.
The serpent that surrounds Shiva is a clear representation of danger and death; Shiva is known as the lord of the snakes as he drives and carries the dangerous cobra with all tranquillity.
We see many moons tattoos combined with Shiva tattoos; this is because traditionally he has a half moon on his forehead, near the third eye, which represents the power to create and destroy, as well as controlling time, since the Moon It is a measure of time. For this reason, we also know Shiva as the god of the Moon.
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The tattoos of elephants delights the most daring because of its size and the number of nuances and richness in texture that we can recreate in the skin, we see this animal very often, both in geometric tattoos, where it is usually represented front because it is very characteristic for the size of its ears and the big trunk, as in the symbols new school where bright colours and thick lines let us see large pieces tattooed.
If there is one recognised and tattooed elephant in the whole world it is Ganesha, a Hindu deity with a human body and elephant head that has four arms. The tattoos of Ganesha are reverence to this goddess of Arts and Sciences to which the Hindu revere as it also helps them overcome obstacles and difficulties.
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Ganesha tattoos have an evident influence of Hindu art since we can see a lot of tapestries, engravings and reliefs with different figures of Ganesha, as well as a wide variety of statues.
The tradition of Hindu tattoos inspires the position and the symbolism that usually surrounds Ganesha’s symbols, but many tattoo artists have been incorporating and adding elements that we already consider good and valid even if they do not make any sense.
For example, we see tattoos in Arabic surrounding with phrases the goddess Ganesha, when usually the sacred writings are in Sanskrit (the classical language of India). Another custom in the Hindu tattoos of the goddess Ganesha is to surround her with symbols of the lotus flower, something that we do see in some modern representations of the goddess
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Ganesha is not only the patron of arts and sciences, but he is also the god of intelligence, wisdom and letters. It is revered as a deterrent to obstacles, and there is a legend that tells its story; However, the shape of its head refers to the qualities of the elephant, wise and robust animals, that do not walk around obstacles or stop them, but remove them from the middle and continue walking.
Inspired by the Lotus Flower
The lotus flower emerges from the swampy waters and symbolises the purity of the body and soul. The muddy water is associated with the attachment and sexual desires, and the bright flower that blooms in the water represents purity and spiritual elevation.
Inspired by the Hamsa
Also known as the hand of Fatima, this symbol and amulet has been used in different regions of the world and has been attributed to different meanings according to culture. In Hinduism, it is associated with protection and also with one of the main mudras, the Abhaya, which symbolises protection, peace, and the dissipation of fear.
Inspired by mandalas
The mandala originates in India and is used in both Buddhism and Hinduism. They are diagrams or symbolic representations that are used for meditation and each of the elements that confirm them have a meaning, both shapes and colours
Inspired by the Unalome
It is a symbol that represents wisdom and the path to enlightenment. It has its origin in Hinduism, is very similar in form and meaning to the third eye of the god Shiva (also called Urn). The spiral is the beginning of the path, while each fold or knot represents the errors; the straight line means the direct route to nirvana.
Indian elephant tattoos – The best choice for Hindu tattoos.
Most of the tattoos that you will see in this collection have in common the elephants, since in India they are ubiquitous and they are an animal very dear to the Indians, so in tattoos, they are very used.In addition to the elephant, the symbol of OM is the most repeated in Hindu tattoos. It is a sacred symbol in Hinduism and also Buddhism. It symbolises Brahman
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We recommend you to get a tattoo to finish on the Hanuman, the monkey god since he is the most outstanding representative of the vanaras, a race of monkey men that lived in the forest in the south of India. That is to say, the vanaras have a monkey face and a monkey body, but they have intellect, speaking ability and other typically human ones. According to some versions, it is said that the vanaras were children of gods that took an animal form. The truth is that they were undoubtedly brave, great warriors, faithful, honest and gentle.
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Taking into account the stories of each tattoo that we show you, do you feel identified with any?
Did anyone call you the individual attention for having things in common with you or your story? Now I say Can you imagine the meaning behind each of these tattoos? Perhaps these designs can serve as an inspiration to create yours from your own beliefs and ideologies, or you could take some of these with which you identify as in the case of history.