They are late descriptions of ancient legends and consist of history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography. They are colored with superstitions and also represent a corrupt form of Hindu Philosophy. 18 major Puranas are as follows:
- Agni Purana which has 15,400 verses
- Srimad Bhagavata Purana which has 18,000 verses. The most celebrated and popular of the Puranas, telling of Vishnu’s ten Avatars. Its tenth and longest chapter narrates the deeds of Krishna, introducing his childhood exploits, a theme later elaborated by many Bhakti movements.
- Bhavishya Purana which has 14,500 verses
- Brahma Purana which has 24,000 verses
- Brahmanda Purana which has 12,000 verses; includes Lalita Sahasranamam, a text some Hindus recite as prayer
- Brahmavaivarta Purana which has 18,000 verses
- Garuda Purana which has 19,000 verses
- Harivamsa Purana which has 16,000 verses; more often considered itihāsa
- Linga Purana which has 11,000 verses
- Markandeya Purana which has 9,000 verses; includes Devi Mahatmyam, an important text for Shaktas, Shortest Purana.
- Matsya Purana which has 14,000 verses
- Narada Purana which has 25,000 verses
- Padma Purana which has 55,000 verses
- Skanda Purana which has 81,100 verses, the longest Purana
- Surya Puarana
- Vamana Purana which has 10,000 verses
- Vayu Purana which has 24,000 verses
- Vishnu Purana which has 23,000 verses
Apart from the above there are Kurmi Purana, Shiv Purana also.