Friday January 19, 2018

Do Ichhadari Naagins exist for real? Here is what Hindu mythology has to say!

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Ichhadari Naag
snakestone in Vijayanagar. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • Indian mythology states that a snake can become Ichhadhari only after living 100 years
  • A ‘nagamani’ can be defined as ‘snake gem’ or ‘snake pearl’
  • Shesha naag and Vasuki are synonymous with each other as Anant

Ichhadhari naag and nagin are one of the most interesting subjects of mythology. Ichhadhari naag and nagin concept is gaining momentum these days owing to the various television serials and Bollywood movies, as most of them are based on this concept. This concept is used as it fascinates large number of people and is an efficient tool for gaining TRP.

King Cobra (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
King Cobra (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Ichhadhari naag and nagin are defined as serpent like creatures which can change their form and mask like any other creature. But, these Ichhadhari naag and nagin are more willing to take form of a human. Moreover, Indian mythology states that a snake can become Ichhadhari only after living 100 years.

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According to the Speakingtree.com Website, other most interesting subject that is related to Ichhadhari naag and nagin is ‘nagamani’. A ‘nagamani’ can be defined as ‘snake gem’ or ‘snake pearl’.  Although it is not actually a gem or any other stone, it is unused venom of a snake that turns out into a stone.

Some people also believe that nagamani is formed when rain droplets enters mouth of King Cobra during Swati nakshatra.  It is formed in the hood of king Cobra. Nagamani is said to have blessings of Lord Shiva. However, possessing nagamani is not  easy, as King Cobra never discloses nagamani.

Nagamani is a powerful and  most shining stone in the world. It is moon like pearl with a blue tint in it. It possesses lighting power of 100 bulbs. There are number of the myths regarding nagamani. Prevalent one is that whoever owns nagamani, will have great fortune regarding money, health and fame. It  fulfills all the desires of the person who possess it. According to Puranas, King Cobra will die once it gets detached from Nagamani, said the Speakingtree.com Website.

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Nagamani (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Nagamani Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is a mention of Ichhadhari naag and nagin in Agni Purana. According to it, there are seven worlds beneath Earth – Atal, Vital, Sutal, Talaatal, Mahaatal, Rasaatal and Paataal. Lord Vishnu is also said to live beneath the earth in the form of Shesha Naag. It is believed that Shesha Naag is supporting earth by carrying it on its hood. According to Vayu Purana, snakes and devils live beneath Earth. Vasuki, a great snake lives in Shreetal. Shesha naag and Vasuki are synonymous with each other as Anant.

Various scriptures suggest that nagamani is found in many colors ranging from yellow to white. The stories about Ichhadhari naag and nagin are still prevalent in Rural India. Some people also believe that Ichhadhari naag and nagin exists in today’s world.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Mythology never fails to surprise us!

  • AJ Krish

    Mythology is never meant to be taken literally. They are messages coded in the form metaphors. One needs to differentiate between what is a myth and what is history.

    • Aastha

      No. I have seen an naagin. I swear. In marleshwar. In a cave behind the waterfalls. ..

      • raj

        Can you share some more information?

      • Rayhan

        Did you see it change form though

      • sunaina sharma

        did u really see it? if so , how does she look? or she was pretty or ugly? at wat time did u see her , when did u go, which date?

  • Aakash Mandyal

    Ichadhari naag- naagin hav always been concept of facination and attraction to indians and is mysterious one

  • Diksha Arya

    Icchadhaari naagin has always been a fascinating part of the Indian mythology

  • Martin

    My question is ” can snakes actually live for 100 years ? ” i mean humans struggle so hard to make it to 80ts and 90ts .

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Mythology never fails to surprise us!

  • AJ Krish

    Mythology is never meant to be taken literally. They are messages coded in the form metaphors. One needs to differentiate between what is a myth and what is history.

    • Aastha

      No. I have seen an naagin. I swear. In marleshwar. In a cave behind the waterfalls. ..

      • raj

        Can you share some more information?

      • Rayhan

        Did you see it change form though

      • sunaina sharma

        did u really see it? if so , how does she look? or she was pretty or ugly? at wat time did u see her , when did u go, which date?

  • Aakash Mandyal

    Ichadhari naag- naagin hav always been concept of facination and attraction to indians and is mysterious one

  • Diksha Arya

    Icchadhaari naagin has always been a fascinating part of the Indian mythology

  • Martin

    My question is ” can snakes actually live for 100 years ? ” i mean humans struggle so hard to make it to 80ts and 90ts .

Next Story

12 Interesting Facts About Somnath Temple Probably You Didn’t Know

The Somnath Temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot.

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Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Somnath Temple is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode
  • The first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past
  • Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga

Somnath Temple is a specimen of fine architecture of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva. This place is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode, therefore it is dubbed as Eternal Shrine. This legendary temple has been vandalized numerous times in the history but with the help of some Hindu Kings, the temple was reshaped each time.

Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. The temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot. Lord Shiva has a strong connection here and also known as shrine eternal.

Somnath Temple History

According to popular tradition, the first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past. The second temple has been built at the same site by the “Yadava kings” of Vallabhi around 649 CE. In 725 CE, Al-Junayd, the Arab governor of Sindh destroyed the second temple as part of his invasions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 815 CE, the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple, a huge structure of red sandstone.

Also Read: Top 10 Famous Hindu Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Chaulukya (Solanki) king Mularaja possibly built the first temple at the site sometime before 997 CE, even though some historians believe that he may have renovated a smaller earlier temple.

Somnath Temple Attacks

Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga. Ghazni took away the wealth of almost 20 million dinars. As per historical records, the damage to the temple by was quite negligible because there are records of pilgrimages to the temple in 1038, which has no much mention of any damage to the temple.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

But claims are there that Mahmud had killed 50,000 devotees who tried to defend the temple. The temple at the time of Ghazni’s attack appears to have been a wooden structure, which is said to have decayed in time.

According to an inscription of 1169, Kumarapala rebuilt it in “excellent stone and studded it with jewels,”

Also Read: Angkor Wat: History behind Cambodian Hindu temple

Then in 1299, the Somnath Temple was invaded by Alauddin Khalji’s army, led by Ulugh Khan. They defeated the Vaghela king Karna and sacked the Somnath temple. Legends state that the Jalore ruler Kanhadadeva later recovered the Somnath idol and freed the Hindu prisoners, after an attack on the Delhi army near Jalore. However, some other sources state that the idol was taken to Delhi, where it was thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.

The Somnath Temple was rebuilt by Mahipala I, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 and the lingam was installed by his son Khengara sometime between 1331 and 1351.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage.

In 1395, the temple was again destroyed for the third time by Zafar Khan, the last governor of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate and later founder of Gujarat Sultanate.

In 1546, the Portuguese who were based in Goa attacked ports and towns in Gujarat including Somnath Temple and destroyed several of its structures.

Somnath temple to Dwarka

Dwarka is an ancient city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is very near to Somnath temple and due to its relevance to Hindu pilgrimage; people do tend to visit this place also.

Also Read: The Temple of Death: The Abode of Yamraj

The magnificent Temple of Dwarka has an elaborately tiered main shrine, a carved entrance and a black-marble idol of Lord Krishna.

Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons

The road distance between Dwarka and Somnath is 231 km and the aerial distance from Dwarka to Somnath is 210 km. One can also cover the distance through train which is almost 398km distant.

Here are some facts that are attached to this sacred and architecturally marvellous temple.

  1. The present-day Somnath Temple was built in five years, from 1947 to 1951 and was inaugurated by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
  2. Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga, the Philosopher’s stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna. The stone is said to be magical, which was capable of producing gold. It is also believed that stone had alchemic and radioactive properties and thus it remains floating above the ground.
  3. The temple finds its reference in the sacred texts of Hindus like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda. This signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India.
  4. According to records, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the junction of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati. The meeting point was called as Triveni Sangam and is believed to be the place where Soma, the Moon-god bathed and regained his lustre.
  5. According to Swami Gajanand Saraswati (a Hindu scholar), the first temple was built 7, 99, 25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skanda Puran.
  6. The temple is said to be located at such a place that there is no straight-line land between Somnath seashore till Antarctica continent. In a Sanskrit inscription, found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh is stated that the temple stands at a point on the Indian piece of land, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.

    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
  7. According to the text of Skanda Purana, the name of Somnath Temple will change every time the world is reconstructed. It is believed when Lord Brahma will create a new world after ending the one we are living, Somnath will acquire a new name of Pran Nath Temple.
  8. On the walls of Somnath Temple, the sculptures of Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu can be seen.
  9. According to another reference in the Skanda Purana, there are about 6 Brahmas. This is the era of 7thBrahma who is called Shatanand.
  10. The flag mast on the peak of Somnath Temple is 37 feet long and it changes 3 times a day.
  11. The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati.
  12. Non-Hindus doesn’t require any special permission to visit Somnath Temple. The decision was taken in view of security issues.Now, pack your bags and begin your journey to one of the most the sacred places of India.