(Last Updated on : 04/02/2011)
Menaka is considered one of the most beautiful of the ten heavenly Apsarasas, as per the Hindu mythology.
There is a mythical story in which it is said that Menaka was sent by lord Indra
, the king of the Devas, to break the severe penance undertaken by Vishwamitra
Menaka was successful in provoking Vishwamitra's desire and passion when he saw her swimming naked in a lake near a waterfall. Vishwamitra's meditation was broken and the two made love for many years. But Menaka fell in love with him.
When Vishwamitra realized that he had been tricked by Indra then he was furious. He said Menaka to be separated from him forever as he loved her as well and knew that she had lost all devious intentions towards him long ago.
Later, Menaka is also said to have been the mother of Shakuntala, who was left at the hermitage of a wise sage when she was a baby. Later it is said that Shakuntala fell in love with King Dushyanta and gave birth to his son Bharata
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