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I was wondering whether the scriptures mention any special classification for female warriors. The general classification of rathi, maharathi, etc... are applied generally to warriors as seen in this wiki article. But the absence of any women in the list and the presence of women warriors in the two epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) raises the question whether they were given a special classification or the same applied to them?

Also, are there any special titles which had been awarded to any of the female warriors?

  • There were some female Rākṣasī-s like Tātaka and Śūrpaṇakhā in Rāmāyaṇa who attacked Rāma, but not sure if they qualify as 'warriors' :D The human women in those times mostly stayed at home and let their husbands (Kings, Ṛṣi-s etc.) do their job. They did not attempt to go out and display any kṣatriya-like qualities :) Now if your question is an Indian history related one like Rani of Jhansi, that maybe off-topic for this site. – sv. Dec 16 '16 at 19:51
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    Well, there was kaikeyi...Satyabhama...Uloopi, the snake warrior princess You could even include...Shikhandhi even... I'm sure there are many obscure ones too, if we look closely... – user96551 Dec 17 '16 at 6:31
  • True. But very unconventional for women to fight wars in epics is what I was trying to say. "any special classification for female warriors" -- why will armies have special classification for women if they are not expected to fight in first place? Re: Kaikeyi, I think she only carried an injured Dasaratha back to palace from battlefield. So don't think she counts as warrior. But you could be right though because Bhishma says he won't fight a woman. The reason he had that condition for battle means there could be few female warriors at that time. Not sure. – sv. Dec 17 '16 at 6:39
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    BTW, you could make your question more useful by re-framing it as: 1) Were there any female warriors in Hindu epics 2) If yes, did they have any special titles or just same as men? – sv. Dec 17 '16 at 6:41
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    @user96551 1) There were forms of mother Durga. They fought with Bhandasura and his army. They didn't fight with magical powers like they show in the movies. You could check the details on the internet. 2) "Satyabhama killed Narakasura." This is a myth. She only asked Krishna to kill Narakasura. 3)Shikhandi was a woman but changed to man in the kurukshetra war. She hid her identity during wars (not sure though). – Sarvabhouma Dec 19 '16 at 3:31

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