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Alternate spellings: Tadaka or Thadaka

Tatakā (pronounced as Taataka) was a Yaksha woman and could change her form. Her father Suketu, a Yaksha King performed tapas (Principle and practice of physical and spiritual austerity and discipline to achieve a particular aim) for an offspring. Suketu had desired a son, but Lord Brahma blessed him with a strong and beautiful daughter.

She was married to Sunda. She had two sons Maricha and Subahu. When Sunda was killed due to a curse from the sage Agastya, Tataka attacked the sage along with her sons. The sage cursed them to become demons (Rakshasas). The curse particularly transformed Tataka into a man-eater with an ugly and fierce figure.

After being cursed by Agastya, Tataka started living in a place near the habitations of Malaja and Karusha in a forest near the River Ganga opposite the confluence of the River Sarayu. The area was came to be known as the Forest of Tataka. She terrorized the people, devouring anyone who dared to set foot in that forest.

When Rama and Lakshmana accompanied the sage Vishwamitra to protect his sacrificial rituals, they had to pass through her forest. The sage asked Rama to slay the monster Tataka, but Rama demurred, because he did not want to slay a woman. However, when it was explained to him that evil has no gender, his mind was eased and he slew the demoness with his arrows.

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She was also Ravana's grandmother.

See also

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