Anjana (Sanskrit: अञ्जना, romanizedAñjanā),[1] also known as Anjani and Anjali, is the mother of Hanuman, one of the protagonists of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. She is said to have been a resident of Kishkindha in the text.[2]

Anjani with an infant Hanuman (Bronze - Pallava Period).
AffiliationApsara, Vanara
TextsRamayana and its other versions
Personal information



According to a version of the legend, Anjana was an apsara named Punjikastala, who was born on earth as a vanara princess due to the curse of a sage.[3] Anjana was married to Kesari, a vanara chief, and the son of Bṛhaspati.[4][citation needed]

Anjana was the mother of Hanuman. Being Anjana's son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya or Anjanayar. There are several legends about the birth of Hanuman. Eknath's Bhavartha Ramayana (16th century CE) states that when Anjana was worshipping Vayu, King Dasharatha of Ayodhya was performing the ritual of Putrakameshti yagna in order to bear children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding (payasam) to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in her worship. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who ate it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.[5] Anjana and Kesari performed an intense prayer to Vayu to beget him as their child. Pleased with their devotion, Vayu granted the boon they sought.[6][7]


An idol of Anjani having son Hanuman in her lap in Anjani Hanuman Dham Temple, Chomu, Rajasthan

In Himachal Pradesh, the goddess Anjana is worshiped as a family deity. There is a temple dedicated to her at 'Masrer' near Dharamshala. It is believed that Sri Anjana once came and remained there for some time. One of the locals upon learning, revealed her real identity to the other villagers, going against her wishes. She soon left, but not before turning that villager into stone which remains outside her temple even to this day. Her vahana (vehicle) is a scorpion, hence believers worship Anjana after being bitten by a scorpion.[8]

Outside Indian subcontinent



Anjana wayang (puppetry) in Indonesian culture

In Indonesia, Anjana (Indonesian: Anjani ) is a well-known figure in the world of wayang (Indonesian Puppetry) in Javanese culture. According to Javanese wayang, Dewi Anjani is the eldest child of Resi Gotama in Grastina with the goddess Indradi, an angel descended from Bahara Asmara. He has Cupu Manik Astagina which is a divine heirloom that was given by Batara Surya to Dewi Indradi, when opened in it can be seen all the events that occur in the sky and on earth until the seventh act. The cupu was a gift from his mother and was a gift from Batara Surya at the time of Dewi Indradi's marriage to Resi Gotama.

One day, when Dewi Anjani was playing with her cupu, her two sisters came. They were very happy with the cupu, then went to their father to ask for it. Dewi Anjani said that the cupu was a gift from her mother. Dewi Indradi could not answer where it came from; he stays silent. This angered Resi Gotama, so that his wife was said to be a "tugu" and thrown down on the border of the Alengka state.

Due to being a bone of contention for the three brothers, finally Cupu Manik Astagina was dumped by Resi Gotama. The cap fell in the Sumala lake, while the mother sank in the Nirmala lake. The three brothers chased after him followed by their respective caregivers, namely, Jambawan (Subali's caregiver), Menda (Sugriwa's caregiver), and Endang Suwarsih (Dewi Anjani's caregiver). Subali, Sugriwa, with his two caregivers then arrived at the Sumala lake and immediately plunged into it. Dewi Anjani and her nanny who came later just sat on the edge of the lake. Due to the hot sun, Subali and Sugriwa washed their faces, feet and hands, causing the body parts that were exposed to the water to turn into wanara. While diving in search of the cupu, they met each other but did not know each other, so there were accusations that eventually became a fight. Then they came to their senses and came out of the lake, and went to their father to beg to be restored to their original form. But his father had no power to help.

Rishi Gotama ordered them all to meditate and begged the gods to be returned like humans. Dewi Anjani imprisoned nyantoka (living as a cantoka/frog), Subali imprisoned ngalong (living as a big bat), and Sugriwa imprisoned ngidang (living as a deer) in the Sunyapringga forest; all accompanied by their respective caregivers. Dewi Anjani, who was imprisoned in Madirda Lake, arrived at Hyang Pawana (Batara Bayu), then a love affair ensued, so that Dewi Anjani had a son Maruti in the form of a white-haired Wanara. Dewi Anjani finally got God's forgiveness, returned to her beautiful face and was buried in the palace of the nymphs.[9]


A number of Indian films have been made on Anjana. These include: Sati Anjani (1922) by Shree Nath Patankar, Sati Anjani (1932), Sati Anjani (1934) by Kanjibhai Rathod.[10]

Anjana is also portrayed in several TV serials. They are:


  1. ^ (11 April 2009). "Anjana, Añjana, Anjanā, Añjanā, Āñjana, Amjana: 48 definitions". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  2. ^ (28 January 2019). "Story of Añjanā". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  3. ^ Saran, Renu (29 October 2014). Veer Hanuman: Gods & Goddesses in India. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 9798128819628.
  4. ^ Bahadur, K.P. (1976). Selections from Ramacandrika of Kesavadasa. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 22.
  5. ^ Malagi, Shivakumar G. (20 December 2018). "At Hampi, fervour peaks at Hanuman's birthplace". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  6. ^ Pollet, Gilbert (January 1995). Indian Epic Values: Ramayana and Its Impact: Proceedings of the 8th International Ramayana Conference, Leuven, 6–8 July 1991 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta). Peeters. ISBN 978-90-6831-701-5.
  7. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 68.
  8. ^ "Anjana Devi | Devi". Hindu Scriptures | Vedic lifestyle, Scriptures, Vedas, Upanishads, Itihaas, Smrutis, Sanskrit. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  9. ^ Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Direktorat Jendral Kebudayaan, Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional, Proyek Pengkajian dan Pembinaan Nilai-Nilai Budaya, 1994 - 86 halaman (1994), Arti dan makna tokoh pewayangan Ramayana dalam pembentukan dan pembinaan watak, Volume 2{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. ISBN 9780851706696. Retrieved 12 August 2012.