King Ali Mardan and The Snake Woman

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This is a tale about a King, a Fakir, and a 200 year old snake who can turn herself into a beautiful woman! Will King Ali Mardan be able to save himself from the spell of the snake woman? Listen to this story to find out.

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Excerpt from the story

Once upon a time a King called King Ali Mardan went hunting, and. He hunted in the forest above the beautiful Dal lake, which stretches clear and placid between the mountains and the royal town of Srinagar. He came suddenly to a clearing and saw a maiden, lovely as a flower. She was seated beneath a tree, and was weeping bitterly. Asking his followers remain at a distance, the king went up to the damsel. He asked her who she was, and how she came to be alone in the wild forest.

‘O great King,’ she answered, looking up in his face, ‘I am the handmaiden of the Emperor of China. I was wandering about in the pleasure-grounds of his palace when I lost my way. I know not how far I have come since, but now I must surely die, for I am weary and hungry!’

‘So fair a maiden must not die while Ali Mardan is there to help her,’ thought the monarch to himself. He gazed at the beautiful girl. So he asked his servant to bring her with the greatest care to his summer palace in the Shalimar gardens. the garden had beautiful fountains which scattered dewdrops over the beds of flowers, and laden fruit-trees were bending over the marble colonnades. And there, amid the flowers and sunshine, and the chirping birds and the fruit trees, the maiden lived with the King, who speedily became so enamoured of her that he forgot everything else in the world.

What happens next? read along on our podcast website Mlftpodcast.in/ali-mardan

This story has been adapted from Flora Annie Steel’s compilation of Tales from India. Parts of this story have been edited and re-written by Amar Vyas for brevity, language and context. Music by Incompetech. Background image from Pixabay by Silvia_P_Design. Feature image also from Pixabay, under Creative Commons CC0 License.

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