33 Iconic Hindu Tattoos That Will Inspire You

The Hindu religion is a powerful one. With origins in Nepal and India, there are many people that subscribe to the Hindu religion from all corners of the Earth. One beautiful aspect of Hindu is the amazing imagery that is present in the religion. With multiple gods and various symbols in the texts, these make for a powerful tattoo in those who believe in the Hindu way of life.

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo to reaffirm your dedication to Hindu – and perhaps one god in particular, then look no further. This collection of amazing tattoos will have you racing down to the parlor to get your next ink.

Once you’ve found a design you like, or perhaps some inspiration, then just sit. Dwell a little on the design, meditate if you like. We shouldn’t rush into these sorts of decisions lightly. A tattoo is for life. And so is a religion.

And now let us introduce you to the tattoos. These people have taken their dedication one step further, with some stunning results. Let’s see what they are then, shall we?


The Intelligent Ganesh

Ganesh is a popular figure when it comes to both tattooing and Hindu imagery as a whole. This tattoo is beautiful in its intricacy, both with very fine lines for the outlining and very intricate shading. It has obviously been done by a very talented tattoo artist.


The Henna Thigh

Not all tattoos need to be done in permanent ink. This intricate thigh design has been done in henna – the ink dye that wears off in a number of weeks. Henna is used extensively by Hindu women for the purposes of beautification, and is often done on the hands and feet of the wearer.


The Vishnu Arm Tattoo

This gorgeous tattoo is done of Vishnu in traditional pose. You can see here distinctly the snake back. This design is also very intricate and would’ve taken the tattoo artist many hours to complete. We really like the placement of Vishnu here – the size and colors work well on the upper arm.


Large Vishnu Upper Arm

This man’s Vishnu tattoo covers the entirety of his upper arm, with great detailing and completely colored in – you will note that there is no flesh showing through from below here. The blues in this particular design look simply amazing, and it’s fantastic use of coloring overall. If you’re looking to get a Vishnu tattoo you might like to consider the same sort of coloring as this design.


Olden Styling Ganesh Tattoo

This Ganesh tattoo is done in the very olden styling, making it feel like a lot of history has gone into the piece. We really like the red, black and white shading on this one, and you will notice the Sanskrit down the front of Ganesh’s trunk. A beautiful piece overall.


Sun and Moon Rama Tattoo

This tatt is a little bit more abstract than most Hindu tattoos. This one shows Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, but with more modern tattoo styling thrown in for good measure. We like how the wearer has combined the traditional figure with a more modern flair.


Kali Full Torso

Kali is one of the darker Hindu gods, and is usually depicted as a violent figure. Considering this guys tatts, it seems that maybe he has some demons that he harbors, or maybe is trying to get out. This tatt is so detailed and beautiful though, that it is more mesmerising than scary. Even though it’s only done in black and white, we think it is just perfect as it is – no shading required.


Kali Full Back

Another Kali tattoo, this one taking up the entire back. Kali her looks very alluring but also evil. She has been inked as a modern woman, complete with fiery red hair swirling around her. This piece is incredibly detailed and shaded and would have taken many, many hours to complete.


The Shiva Mashup

This Shiva has not been drawn or depicted in the traditional style. Although we have the ever present third eye, there is the feminine form here which is not so traditional. This Hindu tattoo makes good use of various Hindu symbolism throughout, making it a well thought out piece.


The Fiery Kali Tattoo

Here is Kali is all her fiery best – a terrifying tattoo for young onlookers! From the band of skulls thrown around her body to the decapitated head clutched in her fist, this is Kali in full swing. The tattoo is a great blend of the scary tattoos of days gone by with traditional Hindu symbolism.


Upper Leg Nandi

This tatt is not of a God, it is of Nandi the bull – Shiva’s bull, in fact. The ink work here is fantastic – you can really see how detailed the design actually is when you look close at the ink work around the neck and in the bells that hang down. It’s great use of flat color as well as shading.


Upper Leg Shiva

This grayscale tattoo has been completed in excellent detail. Depicting Shiva, we have the serpent imagery, alongside the trident also. The tattoo looks like Shiva is surveying everything before them, and perhaps as such looking out for the wearer, everywhere they go.


Grayscale Saraswati Tattoo

Here we have an older tattoo of Saraswati, one of the goddesses. You can tell that it’s her as she sits atop her lotus. Unfortunately, this design doesn’t look great, due to it’s age and bleeding effect. Bleeding of the ink may occur due to aging naturally, or due to inferior ink or a lousy tattoo artist.


The Arm of Krishna

On this guys arm is Krishna, playing the flute. Krishna is the 8th incarnation of Vishnu. What’s interesting in this tattoo is the way they’ve used the deep blues and purples exclusively for shading. It’s a grandiose tattoo and we think that it is just beautiful.


Upper Back Detailed Om

This is a stylized Om symbol that curls down the back. We think it’s the perfect size and detail for someone who’s after a smaller tattoo that still shows their Hindu roots. It’s plain and simple enough because there is no coloring, and yet bold enough, due to the extra detail, that it stands out.


Colorful Ganesh Leg

Funnily enough, what sets this design apart from the rest is not the ink of Ganesh in the center, but the colorful design around the outside. We suspect that what started out as a simple elephant design a few years ago, has been added to recently here, with the beautiful blue, pink, and orange exterior.


The Alluring Krishna

This Krishna design looks like it is staring you right in the eyes, doesn’t it? With the rich opulence of gold and red to frame Krishna, the design really pops out. With script down the bottom and the beautiful peacock feather atop, there has been a lot of though put into this eye catching tattoo.


Om and Lotus

While lotus and om symbology are around in many, many tattoos these days, what really makes this design stand out is that the artist has drawn extra line around the design to look like it is all in 3D and actually popping off the skin. There has been a lot of effort put in to what might have just been a bland design.


The Beaded Ganesh

What really makes this grayscale Ganesh tattoo one to covet is the use of the rounded beading throughout the outside of the design. Think about how something as simple as beading could be incorporated into your next Hindu tattoo to really make it stand out from the pack.


Veiled Shiva Tattoo

This Shiva tattoo is watching out for the wearer. The trident is a beautiful feature of this design, as is the veiling up the top. The use of shading throughout makes it a very powerful tattoo and one that viewers are not likely to forget in a hurry. We give this design two thumbs up!


Outlined Ganesh Tattoo

You don’t always need shading to make for an amazing tattoo. This small Ganesh tatt is done entirely in outline form and it’s still just as eye catching as many bigger and bolder designs. If you are after something quite simple, you might want to look at just getting an outline tattoo.


The Unfinished Ganesh

While we spoke in the last pic about outline designs being standalone, this one may appear that way, however it is not. This tattoo is half finished. We have the outline so far, with shading to be completed later. If you are on a strict budget, why not stagger your tattoo by getting the outline done first and the shading done at a later date?


The Seated Lakshmi

While we can’t be positive, we think this tattoo is of the seated Lakshmi. What’s wonderful about this pic is that the wearer is able to recreate Lakshmi’s pose. Why not stage your own photo shoot when you get your tattoo done? Your ink is there to be shown off, after all!


The Hanuman Tattoo

The Hindu monkey god Hanuman is here in all his glory. Not so well known, Hanuman has a rich history. If you are thinking about getting a Hindu tattoo, then why not think about some lesser known symbols? While there are plenty of Oms and Kalis around, choosing something unique is a great talking point.


The Watercolor Ganesh

This has got to be one of the best watercolor tattoos we have ever seen! Notice how there is no black outlining around any of the design, and yet the image is still perfectly complete. This tattoo looks like a real painting, rather than just a tattoo design. Look for a very talented tattoo artist to replicate this look.


The Tiny Finger Om

Don’t want to commit to a full tattoo? Finger tattoos are all the rage these days, and a well placed, small Hindu design, like this Om here, is a great way to show your faith. Finger tattoos will fade quickly because you use your hands a lot, so they may need to be retraced every couple of years.


More Grayscale Ganesh

Another Ganesh design, this one uses the “stippling” technique favored by some artists that uses tiny dots to do shading, rather than blocks of color. The result here makes it look like a very traditional tattoo with an edge that you just can’t put your finger on.

Close up portrait of attractive tattooed Caucasian woman in Maui, Hawaii, USA.

The Colorful Vishnu Arm

This Vishnu design is very alluring. What makes this tattoo great is the use of color. The color has been picked out to perfectly compliment this girl’s skin tone, which makes it a great tattoo. Think about what colors suit you best in the clothing that you wear when deciding on the color scheme for your tattoo.


The Bad Ass Kali

Is that a bum we spy? This guy is inked all over! From the huge Kali tattoo with the extra long stuck out tongue on his back, through to the skull on the left but cheek over there, each tattoo blends into each other making it a story across the entirety of his body. Great coloring, too!


The Ganesh Down The Finger

This is a clever hand tattoo that has Ganesh’s trunk extending down the middle digit from the back of the hand. Can you imagine how much fun flipping someone the bird with this design would be? We give this young man 10/10 for originally and dual purpose tattooing!


A Full Back Piece

While we aren’t sure who this is supposed to be (any suggestions, readers?), what we do see here is the god sipping on Soma, with a huge serpent to left and a dedicated trident. We really love the detail that’s been put into this full back grayscale piece, and the tail of it ending at the bum.


The Colorful Kali

Kali doesn’t look quite so vicious here, does she? A lighter take on the goddess, this Kali piece is colorful and bright, and is sure not to scare small children too much! If you are after a less intense version of a Kali tattoo, then this piece might just be your inspiration for your ink.


The Truly 3D Ganesh

This 3D side piece of Ganesh is truly a wonder to marvel at. The tattoo actually looks like a stone statue that has been standing there for many years. Only a very well practiced and talented tattoo artist would be able to create a tattoo such as this one. To find such an artist you’ll need to research, research, research.


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