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Stories from Bengal
Durga kills Mahisa
Mahisa, the demon king, was terrorising both heaven and earth. All the Gods combined their power to create the goddess Durga to fight the demon king. She was given ten arms to carry the different weapons that the gods gave her and she chased Mahisa on her lion. Trying to escape, Mahisa kept changing shape into different animals and finally turned into a buffalo. When Durga cut off the buffalo's head, Mahisa's true demon form appeared and she killed him with her spear.
Some Bengalis believe that Durga's family home is in Bengal and every year in Autumn they welcome her and her four children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Karthik back for five days of celebration. This is called the Durga Puja, or Durga worship. A sculpture of Durga is made for this celebration every year and then plunged into the river. This one was made in the British Museum.