Naga Sadhu with a two-headed snake wrapped around his head in Varanasi

Naga Sadhu with a red sand boa (two-headed snake) | Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

The snake that is resting on this Naga Sadhu’s head is called a red sand boa and is commonly referred to as the two-headed snake. It is not the same as a bicephalous snake but has a tail which appears head-like. There are several superstitions attached to it, one of which is that it brings good luck to its owner and cures several diseases. This superstition has endangered the species and resulted in illegal trading for it. In these illegal markets, these snakes are purchased at exorbitant rates. Officially, it is a protected species.

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