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Karttikeya (कार्तिकेय)

Sanskrit. Name of the Hindu god of war, leader of Shiva's troops and usually considered to be the son of Shiva and Parvati, and hence the brother of Ganesha. He is often represented riding or with his vahana or mount the mayura (fig.), i.e. a peacock. His attributes include a double thunderbolt, a sword, and a trident, and he is sometimes depicted with four arms or with six heads and six arms. In art from Champa, his mount may also be a rhinoceros. Located at the base of staircase leading to the Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, stands the world's tallest statue of Karttikeya, measuring 42.7 meters. In South India, he is known as Subramaniam or Subramanya (fig.). As the son of Shiva he is named Kumara (fig.), meaning ‘Prince’. Besides this, he is also known by a variety of other names, including Skanda (fig.), Guha (fig.), Vishakha, Mahasena, and Murugan (fig.), among others. Also transcribed Kartikeya and Karthikeya.