Ancient India’s Visha Kanyas Were True Femme Fatales

Samuel Reason | July 16th, 2019

In a modern age of technology where so many people prefer to bang their keyboards as an act of online war, there once was an ancient time where rulers used much more subtle ways to defeat their enemies. In ancient India for example, Kings would have at their disposal a whole army of seductive visha kanyas or poison maidens as they were known. These assassins were able to take down any adversary with just a kiss, according to legend.

From early birth and throughout their childhood, these girls were fed increasing amounts of snake venom. And by the time they reached adolescence their blood and any of their bodily fluids was filled with so much toxic snake poison that anyone who came into contact with them would be in for trouble.

Following the legend, visha kanyas were selected according to the stars, following their astrology. The prediction was that these women were going to be widows, so why not turn them into assassins. Poison maidens had their own caste in India’s ancient social system, and over time, you could say they became the story of what we now refer to as a femme fatale. Throughout ancient writings, you can find a reference to these sensual assassins and it continues well into contemporary literature.

Even Aristotle wrote about warning Alexander the Great to be very careful when accepting gifts from Indian kings. A story that has surfaced in French literature, describes how Socrates and Aristotle asked two slaves to kills the girl first, and the slaves instantly fell to their death. Of course, some historians believe these stories are grossly exaggerated and these traits did not exist. An opinion reinforced by the annals that describe them being able to kill men by just a menacing look.

However, it is true that drinking snake venom slowly would cause your body to go through changes. Much like how locals can drink their tap water, but when you visit the country on holiday you may be told not to do so.

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