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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Dikpalakas, DikpAlakas, Dikpaalakas

Dikpālakas literally means ‘protectors of the quarters’.

Dikpālakas Definition

In the cycle of creation, as depicted in the purāṇas, the eight quarters or directions have been put under the protection of eight deities. They are known as ‘dikpālakas’ or ‘aṣṭadikpālakas’.

Dikpālakas of Major Directions

Four major directions protected by deities are:

  1. Indra for purva or East
  2. Yama for dakṣiṇa or South
  3. Varuṇa for paścima or West
  4. Kubera for uttara or North.

Dikpālakas of Intermediate Directions

The intermediate directions are taken care of by:

  1. Agni for south-east
  2. Surya for south-west
  3. Vāyu for north-west
  4. Īśāna for north-east

These deities are rarely worshiped. They are mostly represented on the central panel of the ceiling in the chief pavilion (mahāmaṇḍapa) of a temple.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore