In Hindu mythology, the planet Mars is known as Mangala.
Hindus believed in the existence of nine planets called
Navagraha. The planet of Mars
is identified with the war
god Karttikeya, known also as Skanda. Karttikeya was born
from six sparks that fell from the eyes of the god Siva
into a lake near Madras. From the sparks, six children
were created who were nursed by the Krttika
But once, Parvati , who was Siva's wife,
embraced them all together with such affection that she
squeezed them into one body , six heads, and twelve arms
The newborn became the war god Karttikeya who is often
depicted riding a peacock called Paravani and armed with
a bow and arrow.
There are numerous accounts of Karttikeya's birth. Some
hymns tell that he was the son of Siva and Parvati, whose
union was brought about by the gods for the purpose of
creating the god war who would defeat the rival of the
gods: the demon monster Taraka.
Karttikeya accomplished this task using a powerful lance,
that had been forged from some of the shining rays of the
Sun god Surya.
A variant of the legend tells that he was the son of the
fire god Agni and the goddess Ganga, associated with the
sacred River Ganges.
Karttikeya is particularly popular in southern India.
He is also associated with a particular month of the year
called Karttika, which was believed to be the most
appropriate for warfare.
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