Bhavani is a ferocious aspect of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Bhavani means "giver of life", the power of nature or the source of creative energy. In addition to her ferocious aspect, she is also known as Karunaswaroopini, "filled with mercy".
Bhavani was the tutelary deity of the Maratha leader Shivaji, to whom she presented a sword, Bhavani Talwar. A temple to Bhavani at Tuljapur in Maharashtra, dates back to the 12th century. The temple contains a meter-high granite icon of the goddess, with eight arms holding weapons. She also holds the head of the demon Mahishasura, whom she slew in the region which is the present day Mysore.