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Menaka seduces Vishvamitra (Painting by Raja Ravi Varma)
Personal information
ChildrenShakuntala from Vishwamitra

In Hindu mythology, Menaka (Sanskrit: मेनका) is considered one of the most beautiful of the heavenly Apsaras.[1]


Menaka was born during the churning of the ocean by the devas and asuras and was one of the most beautiful apsaras (celestial fairy) in the world with quick intelligence and innate talent but desired a family.

Menaka seduces Vishwamitra

Vishwamitra, one of the most respected and revered sages in ancient India, frightened the gods and even tried to create another heaven - Indra, frightened by his powers, sent Menaka from heaven to earth to lure him and break his meditation. Menaka successfully incited Vishwamitra's lust and passion when he saw her beauty. She succeeded in breaking the meditation of Vishwamitra. However, she fell in genuine love with him and a baby was born to them who later grew in Sage Kanva's ashram and came to be called Shakuntala. Later Shakuntala falls in love with King Dushyanta and gives birth to a child called Bharata after whom India was first named.[2]

When Vishwamitra realized that he had been tricked by Indra, he was enraged. But he merely cursed Menaka to be separated from him forever, for he loved her as well and knew that she had lost all devious intentions towards him long ago.[3]


  1. ^ Devdutt Pattanaik (2000). The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. p. 67.
  2. ^ Sattar, Arshia (22 June 2017). "The ultimate male fantasy". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  3. ^ "अप्सरा मेनका ने क्यों छोड़ दिया था विश्वामित्र को? | apsara menaka story". Retrieved 5 September 2020.

External links[edit]

  • Quotations related to Menaka at Wikiquote