A sculpture of an eight-armed dancing Mohini at the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu.
Mohini (Sanskrit: , Mohinī), is the only female avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. She is portrayed as a femme fatale, an enchantress, who maddens lovers, sometimes leading them to their doom. Mohini is introduced into the Hindu mythology in the narrative epic of the Mahabharata. Here, she appears as a form of Vishnu, acquires the pot of Amrita (an elixir of immortality) from thieving asuras (demons), and gives it back to the devas (gods), helping them retain their immortality. Many different legends tell of her various exploits and marriages, including union with Shiva. These tales relate, among other things, the birth of the god Shasta and the destruction of Bhasmasura, the ash-demon. Mohini’s main modus operandi is to trick or beguile those she encounters. She is worshipped throughout Indian culture, but mainly in Western India, where temples are devoted to her depicted as Mahalasa, the consort of Khandoba, a regional avatar of Shiva.