In Indian mythology, trans people are found in various Hindu texts, such as the Mahabharata -Arjuna cross dressing as the teacher Brihannala, the change in Shikhandi’s gender, Ardhanarishvara as the androgynous composite form of Shiva and Parvati. In some versions of the Ramayana, there are references to King Ila who spent half of his life as a man and the other as a woman. There are mentions of trans people in the Kamasutra, an ancient Indian Hindu text about human sexual behaviour, and they can also be identified in ancient Hindu temple carvings.
Today, in certain parts of India, trans people hold the position of blessing newborn children and newlyweds- this is called badhai. However, in Kerala and in the North-East this is not a common practice among trans women. Their semi-divine status today is owed to a popular tale from the Ramayana, where Lord Rama, a major Hindu deity, blessed trans people since they waited for him for the entire period of his exile. Many trans people refer to this tale to emphasize their value and status in society.