The Puraanas are the books of ancient Indian History, culture and civilisation along with mythology of Hindu Religion and its several sects. Along with some description of creation of Universe, moral education, and history of Kings, they emphasise on incarnation of God in different gods and goddesses as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and their incarnations. Each Purana is devoted to the main deity of a particular sect, i.e Vaishnav, Shaiva or Shakti showing supremacy of one over other - reflecting the sectarian approach. On account of gradual additions, alterartions, and distortions for hundred of years continuosly in the Puranas, particularly under the influence of upheaval of Buddhism and Jainism and then under the Islamic and Chritian rulers in India, aome irrational, illogical, unethical, unsceintific, inhumanatarian and ANTIVEDIC concepts have crept in the Puranas.
Such concepts are multiplicity of Gods and their incarnations; their feuds for supremacy, idol worship, social discrimination, casteism, and several other superstitions are totaly UnVEDIC. Therefore their illogical teachings, unbelievable narations, and unscentific concepts contrary to the Vedas are quite discardable. However, there historic accounts are of great use as ancient culture. Strictly speaking Puraanas need a drastic "purification" through cross examination before they can be acceptable for common public consumption.
Even the Pauranics (the believers of the Puraanas) are not unanimous about the number and source of the Puranas. Given below is one of the counts available:-
Eighteen (18) Maha Puranas:
Shiva (or Vayu)
In addition, there are eighteen (18) Upa-Puranas, and eighteen (18) Aup-Puranas which are also called Ati-Puranas as follows:
Eighteen (18) Upa- Puranas:
Eighteen (18) Aup-Puranas or Ati-Puranas: