The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos

If you’ve been looking for tattoo inspiration, then you will have already seen mandala designs before.

These designs are often symmetrical, geometrical and instantly recognizable for their detail and intricacy. But, what are mandalas and what do these tattoos mean?

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos

What Is A Mandala Tattoo?

A mandala tattoo is an intricate pattern of lines, shapes and images such as flowers, beads and dot work.

The word mandala is Sanskrit for ‘circle’ and in its most basic sense, a mandala is a circle with lots of patterns and unique design work to incorporate other shapes, lines and images.

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos

One of the most recognizable things about the mandala is how symmetrical it is. From all angles, the shape is equal and the same all around the mandala. 

Although the mandala is a simple concept, the design does not always have to be simple. There can be rows upon rows of lines, shapes and flowers to create a detailed image, or one that has a great meaning to you for a very personalized tattoo.

This is why mandalas make such excellent tattoos, for their aesthetically pleasing look, but also their deeper, spiritual meaning. 

What Is The History Of A Mandala Tattoo?

There are many ancient symbols that have resurfaced and been brought to light due to the art of tattooing, and the Mandala is one of them.

The Mandala is derived from Hinduism and Buddhism, but it has since become a staple of popular culture, as so many people choose to have this image inked on them forever. 

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos
Credit: lakarina_atx

What Does The Mandala Tattoo Mean?

In the most basic sense, the mandala tattoo is a very intricate circle design. In the mandala, there are other shapes and patterns that can have meaning for the tattoo wearer, but they are all encompassed and contained within the large mandala circle.

The meaning behind this circle design is all about the universe as a whole. The circle itself represents balance, wholeness, eternity, harmony and peace.

As this circle encompasses and encapsulates the rest of the shapes and designs in the mandala, it signifies a sense of wholeness, symmetry and peace.

Due to how symmetrical these images are, you also get a sense of perfection and satisfaction when looking at a mandala.

If you draw a line from the center point of the circle to the outer edge at any point in the mandala, then the pattern and distance is the same. You could also split up the mandala into equal parts and the pattern would still fit together perfectly. 

As the image of the mandala is so aesthetically pleasing, many people choose to have this image inked on them forever, and carry the mandala with them wherever they go. 

What Does The Mandala Tattoo Mean For Different People?

For the most part, the mandala is a part of Buddhism and Hinduism. For many Buddhists, the mandala is part of religious rituals and is a symbolic picture of the universe.

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos
Credit: thaysatattoo

The mandala can also be a representation of an imaginary place that  is contemplated during meditation, so it has a much deeper meaning than just a pretty tattoo.

Alternatively, in Hinduism, the mandala has a slightly different meaning than Buddhism. In Hinduism, it is still representative of balance, peace, perfection and harmony, but it is also used as an aid for meditation.

This is why you may see it in Hindu artworks, temples or on the walls of Hindu meditation centers.  

For others, the mandala is symbolic of our need for perfection and balance in our lives.

In this sense, the mandala symbolizes the relationship between humans and the infinite, searching for peace and happiness. 

Should I Get A Mandala Tattoo?

Having a tattoo is an incredibly personal and important journey. Tattoos are a way to see into our souls, to express ourselves and to narrate our journeys through life.

You may get multiple tattoos as the years go by and each one tells a different story about you as a person, or you in that stage during your life. 

As a result, you should think long and hard about which tattoos you choose. They will be with you forever.

If you think that a mandala tattoo is a good choice for you and represents everything you want it to, then why not choose a mandala as your next tattoo inspiration?

You can have a mandala permanently etched into your skin to represent your religion if you are Hindu or Buddhist, or you could choose this tattoo symbol to signify your desire for wholeness, peace, unity, and harmony. 

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos
Credit: dallashennaartist

As the mandala is also representative of the universe as a whole, and can be used to create a sense of connection to all things universal and unites the planet.

For those who are very spiritual people, the mandala can be a very profound image with a circular design that is significant and relates to the universe being infinite. 

On the other hand, you should also get a mandala tattoo to help you be mindful and meditate. As the mandala is a symbol that aids meditation, you can have this tattoo to help you meditate and reach inner peace. 

Finally, the mandala is an incredibly aesthetically pleasing tattoo, filled with other designs, patterns, flowers and images that can be modified and customized to your needs and desires.

Due to its beautiful imagery, you may just want to get a mandala tattoo because you love the way it looks and feels on your skin. 

Where To Place A Mandala Tattoo?

With any tattoo, the placement is crucial. If you want a mandala tattoo, then you should have it rather big as smaller ones cannot get all of the detail and linework in there clearly enough.

So, you will want to choose a place where the mandala can really stand out and be seen well.

We would recommend that you place a mandala on a larger part of the body such as the arms, legs, shoulders or back as this will allow enough space to see the intricate and delicate design of a mandala.

Many people also choose to incorporate mandala tattoos into leg or sleeve tattoos as the geometric design is a great space filler and draws the eye in. 

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos
Credit: _crackf0xx_tattoos


To conclude, mandala tattoos are really popular, and are only growing more in popularity as the years go by and it’s no wonder why.

This extremely symmetrical and pleasing design brings us a feeling of peace, wholeness, balance and harmony, whilst the circular shape and design of the mandala relates to the universe as a whole and our spiritual connection to the world. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have more queries and questions about the mandala tattoo, then check out our frequently asked questions section here.

Do Different Mandalas Have Different Meanings?

Everyone’s tattoos mean something different to them. You may look at a tattoo and not realize its deeper meaning or significance.

In addition, the meaning of a mandala tattoo depends on the color, elements, and geometric design of the tattoo, but also the culture of the person wearing it on their skin.

Mandalas are a part of multiple cultures, and can serve as reminders or our spiritual journeys towards peace and order. 

The Meaning And Symbolism Of Mandala Tattoos
Credit: pedroferreiratattoo

Who Are Mandala Tattoos For?

The great thing about mandala tattoos is that they are really versatile and can be personalized to your specific needs and wants. In this sense, the mandala tattoo is perfect for both guys and girls, and can bring balance and peace to anyone’s lifestyle. 

A mandala is an incredibly popular choice of tattoo, and can have a spiritual meaning but also an aesthetically pleasing look.

You can customize your mandala tattoo with jewels, flowers or pretty designs for those who are more feminine, or you can have a simple, geometric design for a more masculine look. 

Where Should I Get A Mandala Tattoo?

You can get a mandala tattoo anywhere. They can be incorporated into previous designs or sleeve tattoos, or they can be placed on the chest and back for men and shoulder, forearms, thighs or legs for women.

The great thing about mandalas is that you can have them big or small and they still look good, so you can place them anywhere you like, really to take this symbol of peace and wholeness wherever you go!

Max Peters