The Ananga Ranga

The book The Ananga Ranga was written by Kalyana Malla in 1885 in the Sanskrit language; this book was translated by Richard Francis Burton into English and includes nine chapters and two appendixes. The Ananga Ranga is heavily condensed with specific categorizations. As a result, I will provide a brief summary of the translated version for each chapter or appendix; this paper will also discuss additional information that is pertinent to the inquiry.

Chapter one contains two sections that explain the four orders of women. They are known as Padmini, Chatrini, Shankhini, and Hastini. A Padmini is also known as the Lotus-woman, and is described as having a yoni [a yoni is a woman’s vagina] that resembles the open-lotus bud; she only sleeps a small amount, is respectable, and religious. She possesses the walk of a swan. A Chitrini is also known as the Art-woman, and is described as having a medium sized body, her yoni has hair that is thin, and her walk is described as being like that of an elephant. A Chitrini also loves to sing and loves pets. A Shankhini is also known as the Conch-woman, and is described as having a bilious temperament that sometimes makes her hot headed and confused; a Shankhini is also described as having a body that is large with small breasts and a yoni that is moist. A Hastini is short, has dead white skin, large hips and a harsh voice. A Hastini can only be truly satisfied by prolonged sex.

In chapter one, and also in section three, there is a table which classifies the greatest days of enjoyment for the four classes of women. In section four there are the hours prescribed which gives one the highest enjoyment.

In chapter two, Malla describes “The Various Seats of Passion in Women”. This means the four classes of women have different ways to enjoy their sexual desires and achieve satisfaction. Malla advises the husband to continue his action until he sees the body-hair bristle and hears the Sitkara, and then he will know that his wife is truly satisfied.

There are four different tables of manipulation [a manipulation is a way of pleasuring one’s wife] in chapter two, each one relating to one of the four different classes of women. Manipulation is directed towards a woman’s body and certain body part. A Padmini can be manipulated by her throat, cheek, hair, waist, breast, back, bosom, side, thigh, belly, arm, lip, nipple, space between her eyes, and her foot. A Chitrini can be manipulated through her yoni, lower lip, throat, waist, navel, lip, breast, ear, thigh, back, butt, forehead, chest, hair, eye, and the middle of her body. A Shankhini can be manipulated by her body in general, lower lip, arm, breasts, belly, chest, throat, ear, foot, mouth/face, yoni, lip, inch below her head, and the lower edge of her yoni. A Hastini can be manipulated through her yoni, navel, lip, side, breast, chest, nipple, body generally, eye, and armpit.

In chapter three, section one, Malla describes three types of men. A Shastra (Hare-man) is described as having a linga [a linga is a man’s penis] that does not exceed three inches while erect. He has features that are clear, well proportioned, and large eyes. He is humble, moderate in carnal desires, and nothing is offensive about his semen. A Vrishabha (Bull-man) is portrayed as having a linga that is four and a half inches, and a body that is robust and tough. He is cruel, violent, restless, and his semen is ever ready. An Ashwa (Horse-man) has a linga that is six inches long; he is tall, muscular, and has coarse and thick hair. An Ashwa is passionate, reckless and lazy, full of sleep, and his semen is copious, salty and goat-like.

In chapter three, section two, the women are further subdivided into three categories; this is dependent upon the depth and extent of their yoni. They can be categorized into: Mrigi (Harini) (Deer-woman) who has a yoni that is six fingers deep, Vadava (Ashvini) (Mare-woman) who has a yoni that is nine fingers deep, and Karini (Elephant-woman) who has a yoni that is twelve fingers in depth.

In Chapter two, section three, there are prescriptions to how men from section one, and how the women from section two, should be placed together in a relationship. This is done by tables which go on to describe a person’s best, middle, and worst match.

In Chapter two, section four, Malla describes four minor distinctions in sex. He describes the various degrees in sexual lust among the women. Malla reports that there are twenty-seven different kinds of congress [congress meaning sex], and when multiplied by nine species and three periods, the total is two hundred and forty-three.

In Chapter four, Malla explains the “Description of the General Qualities,” characteristics, and temperaments among women. There are four periods of life for women. The first, Bala (11-16 years old), is in darkness towards congress. Second, Taruni (16-30 years old), is in light towards congress. The third, Praudha (30-55 years old), is both in light and darkness towards congress. Lastly, the fourth, Viddha (beyond 55 years old), becomes sick and infirm towards congress. Malla describes the principle causes that cause women to deviate from engaging in proper behavior; those being the twelve periods when women have the greatest desire for congress, four kinds of love-tie connections, and the four different kinds of yonis.

In chapter five, Malla explains the characteristics of the women from different lands. I will explain only a selected few, with brief examples. A woman from the middle region has red nails and is an excellent housekeeper. Mathra from Krishna’s Country (Cow-herds’ Land) is satisfied by various forms of kissing. A woman from Lata-desha exhibits pleasure that is frequent and violent, with pleasure being gained by gentle insertion, striking with the hand, and soft biting of her lips. Andhra-desha (Telangana) does not feel shame and is considered wicked when compared to others of her sex.

In chapter six, “Treating of Vashikarana,” Malla describes Vashikmuna who uses specific drugs and charms to have various effects; there are three prescriptions, four magical prescriptions for winning love and friendship, three prescriptions that reduce people to submission, a philter-pill (Vatika), four charms, and two different incenses.

In chapter seven, Malla illustrates different signs in men and women; for example, a woman should marry of equal rank, be free from vices, and have brothers. She should have hair that is as black as Bhramara’s, teeth that are clean, ears that are small and well-rounded, a stomach that is flat, and a walk like that of an elephant. She should not come from a bad family and have inappropriate features (e.g. eyes that are yellow) and characteristics (e.g. violent temper).

In chapter seven, Malla explains the following: four ways a man should be tried, different considerations that need to be taken into account when picking a man (learning, disposition, qualities, and action), twenty-one qualities of a excellent man, seven kinds of troubles that result as a consequence when a man has intercourse with a married woman, ten changes in the natural state of men, a list of women who should never be enjoyed, a list of women who serve as go-betweens, a list of women who cannot be easily subdued, signs and symptoms that women become charmed by, places where a woman should not be enjoyed, times when a woman should not be enjoyed, and a description for the best woman fitted for sexual intercourse.

Chapter eight references the “Treating of External Enjoyments” [this precedes sexual intercourse]. Malla explains eight Alinganas, which are ways in which a woman can be embraced such as Vrikshadhirudha, Tila- Tandula, Lalatika, Jaghan-alingana, Viddhaka, Urupagudha, Dughdanir-alingana (Kshiranira), and Valleri-vreshtita.

Malla describes seven places to kiss a woman, which are the lower lip, both the eyes, both the cheeks, the head, the mouth, both breasts, and the shoulders. There are ten types of kisses which are Mlita-kissing (mixing or reconciling), Sphurita-kissing [ this kiss is associated with twitching], Ghatika (neck-nape kissing), Tiyak (oblique kissing), Uttaroshtha (upper-lip kissing), Pindita (lump-kissing), Samputa (casket-kissing), Hanuvatra-kissing [this kiss is done in an irritating way such as a prank], Pratibodha (awakening kiss), and Samaushtha-kissing [this kiss is accomplished by the initiation of the wife].

Malla explains Nakhadana, which is titillating [titillating means sexually exciting another] and scratching with the nails. Nakhadana can be exerted to the neck, hands, thighs, breasts, back, sides, axillaes, the whole chest or bosom, hips, the mons veneris and all parts of the yoni, and the cheeks. There are certain times and seasons when a style of manipulation is suitable and Malla discusses seven ways of applying the nails.

Malla describes seven Dashanas, which are ways of applying the teeth to the human body. He explains the four Keshagrahana’s, which are the manipulations of the woman’s hair. He describes four Karatadana’s, which are known as soft tappings and pattings with the hand by the husband or wife. Sitriti is a sound that is produced through inhaling the breath between closed teeth; this sound is produced from women and can be divided into five categories. Also, Malla describes men inhabiting characteristics of the Ashtamahanayika (eight great forms of Nayika).

In chapter nine, Malla discusses the “Treating of Internal Enjoyment in its Various Forms,” this means different sex positions. The Uttana-bandha is a position where the woman lies on her back, and this can be divided into eleven different subdivision positions. Tiryak-bandha is a sex position where the woman lies on her side, and this can be further divided into three positions. Upavishta is known as a sitting sex position, and this can be further subdivided into ten different positions. Utthita is the standing posture, and can be divided into three different sex positions. Vyanta-banda is a sex position where there woman has her breast and stomach to the bed or carpet, and this is divided into two different subdivisions. Purushayitabandha is where the man lies on his back with the woman on top, and this can be divided into three different positions. Malla does note that there are women that need to be excluded from the Purushayita; an example would be a woman who is pregnant.

Appendix one explains how astrology can be connected with marriage. Malla shows where consonance or dissonance emerges due to the stars of a bride and groom to be. A table was made by Malla to predict this; there is the zodiacal sign, presiding planet, genus, and the caste of a person. Malla discusses eight Gunas that are dispersed under eight heads and these are the caste, vashya, the nakshatras, class, planets, groups, kuta, and the nadi or point of time.

Appendix two is brief and comprised of six recipes, which are related to Rasayana, which is the preparation of metals for medicinal reasons.

The Ananga Ranga has been slow to become appreciated and learned because of its controversial discussions on sex. Malla wrote this book primarily to have the husband and wife live happily together as one, and to prevent the separation of a married couple.


Burton, R (1885) The Ananga Ranga (Translation). Internet Sacred Text Archive. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from

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Article written by: Lindsay Kleiner (March 2009) who is solely responsible for its content.