The Puranas are a strange combination of mythology and history freely inter mixed. They form the smriti tradition, that is those, which are remembered. They are essentially narrative accounts of various gods, sages and ancient kings of immense repute. They also describe the process of creation and the struggle between the good and evil forces of the universe. Though for a student of history they may not present an accurate picture of the true events of the ancient past, for a student of religion they offer profound information and insight into the background of Hindu religion.
The total number of puranas are many, but prominent among them are eighteen puranas. Matsya Purana, Padma Purana, Naradiya Purana, Vishnu Purana, Varaha Purana, Vamana Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Brahma Purana, Shiva Purana, Devi Purana, Skanda Purana, Markandeya Purana etc., come under this particular category.