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Introduction to Varma Kalai (An ancient indian art)

Hi readers,

Most of us might have seen fights in movies where average people knock down large opponents with a single blow to a vital point. The art which these people use is called Varma Kalai. Much martial art has evolved from Varma Kalai like Jiu-Jitsu, kung fu, muay Thai. Varma Kalai is an ancient Indian art which originated from southern India. It is believed that Lord Shiva was the master of this art, which was later thought to agastiyar who used this skill for the betterment of the society. Varma Kalai is an art of studying vital points across the body. Activating these critical points may harm or heal a person. Its importance can be seen in various Indian manuscripts like Ayurveda, yoga etc.

Varma Kalai was also used in animals. In ancient India, this art was used in war for controlling elephants, horses.

Varma Kalai is still used in some part of Tamilnadu and Kerala where it is called Kalari payitu. In modern-day, this art is used as a treatment rather than for combat. Infants are more vulnerable to accidental activation of these vital points as their skins and tissues are delicate. Still, in some part of southern India, people are using this skill to treat infants.

Out of many Varma points around 108 points have been listed down in Agastiyar Varma sutra. These 108 Varma or vital points has been segregated into different sections as per their types as follows.

  • Thodu Varmam – Varma activated by touch.
  • Thattu Varmam – Varma activated by tap or hit by hand.
  • Padu Varmam – Varma activated by injury or blow.
  • Thadavu varmam- Varma activated by message.
  • Nokku Varma- Varma activated by seeing or sight.

Varmam in various parts of the body

  • Hands and Legs – 44
  • Head – 23
  • Chest, Neck and Back -33
  • Others – 8

From the above list apart from nokku Varmam, all other Varma can be identified and activated with some practice.

Nukku Varmam is something which looks like it’s straight out of a fictional book. Its existence is a myth. It’s believed that modern hypnotism was part of this Varma. In hypnotism, you need some support from a person who is being hypnotised. But in the case of nokku Varma, you can control another person even without their will. It’s been said that a person who has mastered this art can control a person or a group of person just by thinking of them. There have been stories of an entire army being controlled by nokku Varmam.

Below is a documentary on Varma Kalai in the Tamil language


Below is a scene portraying nokku varmam from a Tamil film yeelaum arivu.


As Varma Kalai was so powerful and can be easily misused, Varma Kalai masters laid stringent rules while selecting their students. It’s believed that a student has to practice Varma Kalai for at least ten years. After which, based on his character and well being, he gets an opportunity to learn nokku Varmam from his master. Long waiting period and stringent guidelines led to the gradual disappearance of this art.

I will try to provide you

  • Details of each Varma points,
  • Types of Varma
  • The effect of Varma on the body
  • Ways to activate it
  • Remedy to bring back the body to reasonable condition.

The information provided is just for knowledge purpose an the readers are requested to find a master to learn this skill.

Do comment and let me know your suggestions.

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