Ancient Hindu literature is unimaginably vast. From the original manual of horse riding to the manual of love making, there is literally nothing that has not been written about in the ancient times. There’s even a popular saying among scholars of hinduism, that if you look hard enough, you can find a manual for anything.

Ratirahasya (also known as the Koka Shastra) is one of such fascinating texts that goes deep into exploring subtle characteristics of a woman’s personality and groups them into several categories.

Although it was written in the medieval period in Indian history, it still holds its significance in describing women as four types. In fact, it’s the first book to study the details of feminine beauty. According to Kokkoka, the author of the Ratirahasya, all women can be classified into four different types.

Padmini (lotus woman)

Padmini women are represented by lotus flowers. Lotus flowers, which often grow in dirty ponds but are unaffected by the water, represent the free spirit of these women. Because of their characteristics, padmini women are also referred to as lotus women in the kamasutra. They are said to be the most attractive women in all four categories.

Padmini women are exceptionally beautiful, but that does not make them egoistic. Their faces glow like a full moon, and their auras shine brightly in the dark. Their skin is soft and fair, similar to that of a yellow lotus. They have the body of an apsara.

Padmini women’s eyes are bright, as beautiful as fawn orbs, and have a slight reddish corner. Their teeth are bright like pearls lying on coral in the depths of the ocean. Their noses, like sesame seeds, are beautifully straight.

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The full-grown breasts of a Padmini woman resemble the shape of a cherry plum. They walk like flamingos, and their voices sound like white geese. They are natural singers and enjoy conversing with Brahmins which shows their interest in righteous activities.

Despite all of the wonderful qualities of a Padmini woman, they are extremely rare and difficult to come by in the modern era. The author of Ratirahasya also stated that while other types of women may share some characteristics with it, they cannot be classified as Padmini entirely.

Chitrini (art woman)

The Chitrini types of women are represented as the women of art, not because they are often drawn to creative professions, but because they manage to maintain their strong reputation despite lacking the beauty standards of the other three types of women on the list.

Because of their distinct personalities, they are said to be extremely intelligent and well-liked in society. They aren’t as sharp as Shankini, but they’re also not as messy as Hastini.

Women of the Chitrini type can easily persuade men to feel a sensual attraction to them. However, they usually prefer not to show it. Elegance, class, and overall personality are more important to them than beauty and lust principles.They are endowed with a plethora of creative abilities that can help them stand out in a crowd.

Chitrini women are often darker-skinned, which is one of their most distinguishing characteristics. Their bodies are strong and medium-sized, but also very delicate. They have slim waists and large breasts and buttocks.

According to the author, the sexual secretion fluid of Chitrini types of women is often sweet, and their yoni smells like honey. They are the second most righteous type of woman after Padminis in terms of righteousness. They enjoy the company of religious people and typically devote time to religious activities.

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Shankhini (conch woman)

In comparison to the other three types of women on the list, Shankhini is the most common in society. Their strong and sharp personalities make them easily identifiable. They have the lowest level of righteousness and qualitative attributes of all other types of women.

Because of that, they usually don’t enjoy doing religious activities and prefer a luxurious lifestyle. Even though Shankinis are not as attractive as Padminis, they have unique personalities that can easily entice a man. Their skin is typically whitish, but not smooth.

Their bodies are well-built, with breasts that are either noticeably larger or smaller in proportion to their body size. The bone cage is often clearly visible in their neck, while their bosom has a lower amount of flesh. Their hands and feet are noticeably larger, and their voices are husky.

While copulating, they are said to leave nail marks on the bodies of their partners. Shankini women are very clever and intelligent, as well as athletic and enjoy physical activity.

Hastini (elephant woman)

Hastini types of women share the most dynamic characteristics. Because of their naturally rounded body structure, they are represented by elephant attributes. They typically enjoy eating a lot. Their feet are clumsy and small. Their breasts are much bigger and swollen.

These women never get enough sensual satisfaction from copulation, and their height is usually much shorter than that of other types. They enjoy making love vigorously and that for an extended period of time. 

They walk slowly, their voices are hushed, and their hips protrude outwards like a vessel. In contrast to the Shankinis, Hastini women are independent, minding their own business without regard for onlookers.