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Ichchadhari Naag or Naagin is a mythical shape-shifting cobra in Indian folklore. In Hindi a Naag is the Male cobra and Naagin is the Female Cobra. This creature was originally a venomous cobra and after completing 100 years of their lives could take the form of any living being. Cobras that lived (continuously) for 100 years, are said to get the spiritual powers for changing its forms and preserving its poison by not biting any living being. It prefers to be in the form of a human being most of the time.
Ichchadhari Naag, in snake form, possess a gem called " Naag Mani", considered much more valuable than a diamond. Legends tell of many people losing their lives through snake bite, when the snakes took revenge for stolen Mani, or if either of a pair of snakes was killed. According to legend, the snakes can be controlled using Been, the musical instrument used by snake charmers. It is believed that it is the idol of snakes, but there is no proof of this. This type of snakes will take revenge on someone who disturbs them.
The legends of Ichchhadhari Nag have been used as a plot basis for many comic plot and stories. The comic book superhero character "Nagraj" ("Cobra-King") is also based on these legends. There is another famous Hindi comic character Tausi who was the male shape shifting snake. Apart from these the concept had been used for many children short stories.
Bollywood and Indian TV shows
In 2007,Naaginn Tv series began on Zee TV in which Sayantani Ghosh played role of Ichchadhari nagin. In 2015, Naagin TV Series began, in which Mouni Roy and Adaa Khan play lead role of serpents. In 2016, Ichhapyaari Naagin soap opera started, starring Priyal Gor as lead role of serpent.
- Mark Berninger (30 May 2010). Comics As a Nexus of Cultures: Essays on the Interplay of Media, Disciplines and International Perspectives. McFarland. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7864-3987-4. Retrieved 6 December 2012.