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The Upanishads, philosophical commentaries marking the end of the Vedas, make little mention of the goddesses.

During the ages of the Mauryas (322–185 ), the cult of the feminine divine grew steadily in India, with later Vedic goddesses such as Ambika, Durga, Lakshmi/Sri, and Bhadrakali rising to prominence (Bhattacharyya 1974).

Thousands of stone statues found at sites in the Indus Valley such as Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, and Lothal, dating from 2500 to 1500 , are feminine in their shape, with pronounced hips and busts.

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Subsumed under the umbrella of Shakti are numerous myths dealing with specific goddesses.

Durga was also identified with other southern female conceptions of the divine such as the Bhagavati of Kerala, Saraswati/Vac, Srī/Lakshmi, and Cinta Devi, among others.

In this variety of female divinities synthesized under the character of Durga, devotees were now able to contemplate power, beneficence and wisdom all in one goddess (Bhattacharyya 1974).

From this time forward, religious movements of the South now began influence those of the North (Bhattacharyya 1974).

For instance, Korravai, the Tamil goddess of war and victory, came to be identified with Durga, who was thereafter venerated as the Divine Principle transcending all other manifestations of the goddess.

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