What is the meanings of Varma

Varmam or Marmam are locations in the body where vital life force is seen in high concentration. These locations are called Varma points or varmam clusters and function as vital force (Prana) generators. The action that causes loss or blockage of vital energy (Ki, Chi, Prana etc) at certain locations of pressure points, nerve junctions or bone joints is called Varma Adi or Varmam strike. The actual points, or nerve junctions etc themselves may be called Varmam.The systematic study, art or method of performing the actions in the application of martial arts/self defence is called Varmam or Varma Kalai.

History of Varma

It is said that varmakalai, originated from Lord Siva, a great Yogi.


“Thaeravey Sivan Umaikku sonna bodham, Aaaramal naan arindhu in nool sonnaen”

According to the above verse, Lord Siva taught varmam to his wife Parvathi; later Parvathi taught varmam to their son Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan then taught Siddha Agasthiyar.

Agasthiyar later gave a written form that reached the masses. But the original texts (and their copies), directly written by siddhas, are not available now. Saints who have grasped the meaning of the siddhas sayings have given a poetic form, which is used in modern day learning. So far, around fifty thousand songs are available.

The narrated history has been mentioned in the 41st prose of “Kai Mathirai Thiravukol ” as describes the first worldly originator of the Guru Sishya Parampara or Lineage as the Sage Agastya who in turn taught it to others like Ramadeva, Bhoga Muni, Goraksa (or Gorakhnath, the patron guru of the Gurkhas, interesting parallel!!), Theraya, Pulippaani etc, who in turn taught their disciples and gradually knowledge of this art reached commoners in the same, strict Guru-Shishya tradition.

The ancient Sangam age kingdoms of Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas had a long tradition of Martial Chivalry just like the Kshatriyas of the northern regions. Warriors refused to attack an unarmed opponent, instead meeting him on equal terms without weapons. Tanjore “Kuthu Varisai” was the domain of the Cholas. This was the ancient unarmed, kickboxing like art using rapid percussive strikes to bring town an opponent. The Chera kingdom was closer to the borders of Middle and southern Kerala and had their own tradition of unarmed combat and affinity towards Pressure point systems.

In fact, the stronghold of Tamilian Varmam art is the area around Kanyakumari and Nagercoil districts, which share borders with Southern Kerala, where the Thekkan Kalari (Southern Style Kalari) system which devotes lesser time to weaponry and lays more emphasis on unarmed combat and Marma Adi techniques that the other two styles of Madhya Keralam(Central Style of Kalari – Palakkad-Cannanore- Malappuram areas) and Vadakkan Kalari ( Northern Style– Malabar etc).

Even in the art of Silambam, (bamboo staff fencing) there are many instances in history, where opponents were defeated by blows or prodding attacks with the stick, to vital spots on the body in historical descriptions and in quite a number of manuals on this art.

The warring states in South India refined the fighting skills and techniques prevalent in the area into a martial art form. The art flourished between the 13 and 16 centuries, becoming a part of the education of youngsters of that age.


What are the Classifications of Varma Points


Human body is divided into five areas in which varmam (varma points) are discussed. They are:



Number of Points

I From Top of the Head till Neck 25
II From Neck till Naval Point 45
III From Naval Point till Anus 9
IV Both Hands 14
V Both Legs 15
Total 108

The same 108 varmams are classified under different categories. One such classification is based on 12 nerves (or a meridian channel) in the nervous system. Each meridian channel consists of one Padu varmam and eight Thodu varmam.

Varmam Type

Number of Points

Thodu Varmam 96
Padu Varmam 12
Total 108

The number of varmams (108) various between various schools of varmam. Based on Indian Astrology, there are 92 varmams:

Varmam Based On

Number of Points

(Hindu Astrological) Stars 27
Lunar 30
Padu Varmam 35
Total 92

Based on the text Naramparai, written by Kumbamuni Siddha, there are 253 varmams:


Number of Points

Padu Varman 18
Thodu Varmam 96
Pakka Varmam 8
Narambu Elumbu Varmam 86
Maru Varmam 45
Total 253

Based on yet another classification, there are 107 points:


Number of Points

Vata Varmam (Air) 65
Pitta Varmam (Heat) 24
Kapha Varmam (Cool) 6
Concealed Varmam 12
Total 107

The actual function of the Varmam Points

The rationale of Varmam is that Varmams are energy points in the body mainly located on the skin and adjacent tissue. Injury to these points is one of the causes of illness in the body according to Siddha sages. The Prana force or vital current of electrical energy flowing through the individual Nadi is of very low voltage. Given the normal resistance of the skin, it would be impossible for the current to travel very far without the loss of signal strength. Here the Varmams come into play by acting as signal-boosting routing stations or step up transformers!

108 Varma points Name

Kondaikolli varmam Thilartha kaalam Patchi varmam Kannadi kaalam
Paala varmam Naasi varmam Minvitti varmam Manthira kaalam
Annan kaalam Kombothrei Kaalam Sunnambu Kaalam Poigai kaalam
Uthira varmam Kutri varmam Vettu varmam Poottellu varmam
Chuzhiyadi varmam Pidari Varmam Cheerum Kolli varmam Saruthi Varmam
Pinshwaasi Varmam Vialngu Varmam Thivala Varmam Arukutti Varmam
Malar Varmam Karreral Varmam Koonbu Varmam Neru Varmam
Urumi Kaalam Kazhalai varmam Hanuman varmam Thudi varmam
Valai varmam Thooshika varmam Villam varmam Pidi varmam
Mulai varmam Nura poottu varmam Chora theenda varmam Pushti varmam
Irippu varmam Mudichi varmam Adhistana varmam Rekthaadhi varmam
Moothira varmam Mothira varmam Anda varmam Thandu varmam
Adakka varmam Kaal kavuli varmam Puriva kaalam Kannu varmam
Valamurthi kaalam Sumai varmam Theetha Varmam Sudothiri Varmam
Chothi varmam Nachitra kaalam Perichal varmam Chenni varmam
Alavaadi varmam Aayama varmam Chevi kuthi varmam Kona sanni varmam
Urakka kaalam Kakkattai Kaalam Sakthi varmam Majjah Varmam
Palla varmam Uppu kutri kaalam Kokki varmam Kulir varmam
Maattaan varmam Arangu varmam Thevela kaalama Villu varmam
Panni varmam Gupthaka varmam Kallida varmam Kazhala varmam
Villu varmam Mundellu varmam Cheriya atthichurukki varmam Valiya atthichurukki varmam
Vithu varmam Buja varmam Kochu varmam Chulukku varmam
Muttu kann varmam Muttu varmam Moli varmam Muzham kai varmam
Kai kannu varmam Mani kettu varmam Kai kavuli varmam Sthuthi kai varmam
Dkashinai kaalam Swarna dakshinai kaalam Kai vellai varmam Kona sanni varmam
Kal mudichi varmam Kaal kuzhachi Nadai varmam Kuthi kaal varmam
Visha varmam Aamai varmam Kaal kochu varmam Sthuthi kai varmam


The Persatuan Siddha Varma Kalai Malaysia aim was to bring this time tested and full with healing abilities to be given to mankind so it will be usable. Please joint us to learn this art for wellness and healthy living.