Kichaka and Draupadi

Kichaka and Draupadi
Kichaka and Draupadi

During the last year of their exile as per the terms of their wager with Duryodhana, when the Pandavas were living incognito in the kingdom of Matsya which was ruled by King Virata. Draupadi, under the assumed name of Malini was disguised as a sairandhari (female servant) in the king’s palace. The queen’s brother Kichaka was enamored with her beauty ever since he first set his eyes on her. In fact he went to the extent of approaching his sister the queen, Sudeshana and seeks her help in obtaining Malini.

The queen warns Kichaka of the rumors that Malini was protected by her gandharva husbands, who would go to any lengths to ensure that nobody would be able to own her against her free will. Drunk and intoxicated with lust, Kichaka dismisses the queen’s words and asked her to send Malini to him. Despite having her doubts about Kichaka’s intentions, Malini is overruled by the queen’s insistence that she take some wine and serve the same to her brother in his chambers.

Draupadi humiliated by Kichaka in the court
Draupadi humiliated by Kichaka in the court

When she reaches the chambers and proceeds to serve the wine, Kichaka misbehaves with her and tries to embrace her. Pushing him away when Malini starts running away, he runs behind her trying to grab her. She runs towards the King’s palace where King Virata was playing dice with Kanka (Yudhisthira in disguise). Even after she reaches the palace Kichaka once again humiliates her in front of the entire court using extremely sharp and vulgar language to the effect that although she supposedly had multiple gandharva husbands, none of them were around to protect her. Although the court was full of King Virata’s courtiers, none of them dared to question his actions or words for fear of his instant and severe retribution.

Enraged and depressed with this insult meted out to her, Draupadi approaches Bhima who was in disguise as a cook in the palace kitchens and narrates these incidents to him. Bhima asks Draupadi to invite Kichaka to the dance hall later that night.

Bhima killing Kichaka with his bare hands
Bhima killing Kichaka with his bare hands

Drunk on wine and happiness at this invitation, when Kichaka arrived at the dance hall, he was already fuzzy due to the effects of drinking too much. In the darkness, he saw the figure of Bhima, assumed it to be Malini and approached the same. Bhima then revealed himself and overcome with rage at Kichaka’s actions proceeded to kill him with his bare hands.

In the meantime, to muffle the sounds of the scuffle inside the dance hall, Arjuna disguised as Brihannala loudly played his drum. Thus between the brothers, they managed to successfully rid the kingdom of Matsya from the tyrant Kichaka.


This post has been written for the Three Word Wednesday prompt where the prompt had to include the words depressed, fuzzy, sharp which is the reason that these words have been highlighted separately in the post.

26 thoughts on “Kichaka and Draupadi

  1. Now you see why even the children’s favourite cartoon is named after Bheema. Not just because they both eat too much, but because they stand up against injustice. 🙂

  2. Reading all these mythology related posts of yours is like brushing up the epics….
    Have read all these when I was a kid. but remains subdued within me.. Reading your beautiful posts brings it forth !!!
    Great effort !!

  3. Hello! I stumbled on your blog by mistake yesterday, and I am glad I did. I ended up reading some 15 posts on Mahabharata, and following your blog. Trust me, I was never interested in mythology before, and this blog made me get that interest and keen-ness. Keep writing, and keep enlightening 🙂

    • @Galway Gal, welcome to the blog, am happy that you liked the posts related to the Mahabharata, keep watching this space for more posts on this great epic, good to have you here 🙂

  4. I knew about this story, except the part Arjun playing drums. That is new for me, interesting too.

    Yesterday I visited your blog and saw that free giveaway post and closed the window thinking you haven’t published anything. Now I see that it’s a sticky post. 😀 Silly me! Much water has already flown under the bridge. 😀

    • @Kalpana, Sairandhari was the term given for maidens in those days, Malini was the assumed name of Draupadi when she was in disguise

  5. So interesting. I had no idea this too happened in their story. And what is gandharva? I am a little slow on this 😀

    • @Richa, in Hindu mythology, a Gandharva Wedding was one which was based on mutual attraction between man and woman without any family or witnesses present. And given that Draupadi was in disguise when this incident occurred, she herself spread the rumor that she was married in this manner to avoid any unnecessary advances towards her.

      • @Richa, yes, this great epic is filled with incidents and stories like these which somehow get lost amidst all the other action sequences 😉

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