Stories Of India Retold

Stories Of India Retold

Indian Mythology Simplified One Story at a Time. A retelling of stories—and the stories behind the stories—from Indian epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, puranas, and folklore through the eyes of a book-loving, history buff. Find stories about fantastical creatures; mortals and immortals; or just ordinary men and women achieving extraordinary feats.


December 6, 2023 30 mins

The heroes Arjuna and Krishna are involved in the burning of the Khandava forest–a dark episode in the Mahabharata known as the Khandava Daha(burning). Thousands died-particularly the people belonging to the Naga tribe; their leader Takshaka and his son survive and they would never forget or forgive this injustice. This story from the Khandava Daha Parva or episode, tells us the story of:

-Arjuna and Krishna's deal with Agni.

-The ...

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Arjuna’s actions lead to his exile from Khandavaprastha for 12 years. Arjuna spends the 12-years traveling, building allies and falling in love a few times. Come, follow Arjuna’s adventures!

In order to avoid any chance of breeding resentment amongst themselves, the Pandava brothers decide to set rules regarding their marriage–the rule was simple–if, when a brother was in a ...

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Pandavas are finally returning home! Their very advantageous marriage to Draupadi proves to be a brilliant strategy as the Kauravas are taking notice and are calling them back home. This absolutely does not mean that all the Kauravas are glad to see them. Still, the pressure on the Kauravas to do the right thing is intense. The Pandavas are coming home, and there is nothing they can do about it.

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How acceptable was a marriage like that of Draupadi and Pandavas in their time? How did society evolve with respect to attitudes about different types of relationships and marriages? Dig deeper into the stories of why Draupadi was destined to have five husbands and look into the concept of polyandry and its practice in ancient India.

Polygamy: marriage in which a spouse of eit...

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Draupadi was a catch. She was the princess of Panchala, a kingdom which was both wealthy and influential. The young Pandavas needed a powerful ally and Panchala fit the bill perfectly. When they heard that Drupada had arranged for a swayamvara for his daughter Draupadi, the Pandavas joined numerous other kings and princes to try and win her hand. Things get a little complicated because they attended the swayamvara disguised as brah...

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The #Kauravas and #Pandavas come from line of rulers belonging to illustrious Chandravamsha (Chandra-Moon)or the #Lunar Dynasty. The #Bharata, #Puru, #Kuru and #Yadu #clans came from this #legendary #Kshatriya (warrior class) house. They ruled the northern Indian #subcontinent in the #Vedic age (late Bronze-early Iron Age) and left an indelible mark on the religious, social and cultural identity of prese...

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On their way to #Panchala, the #Pandavas met with the #Gandharva King, #Angaaraparna. Things were tense between them initially; they did not start out as friends. After a #fight, in which #Arjuna easily defeated Angaaraparna, the #demigod Gandharva was immensely impressed with Arjuna’s talents and character, and they struck up a mutually beneficial #friendship.


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Drupada and Drona’s rivalry is legendary. #Drupada wanted revenge for the humiliating defeat handed down to him by his former friend, #Drona. Because he had no suitable heir, Drupada arranged for a #sacrifice which would provide him with an heir who would have the power to defeat Drona. The sacrifice produced not one, but two children–a son named #Dhrishtadyumna, and a daughter named #Krishnaa. They were...

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Rakshasa Baka was a bully who terrorized the people of Ekachakra. The people of #Ekachakra were ruled by an incompetent King who did nothing to keep them safe. #Baka volunteered to provide the people with protection from invaders and enemies; however, in exchange he demanded that the people of Ekachakra take turns to provide him with payment, which, unfortunately included eating the person who delivered ...

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The Rakshasa (female:Rakshasi) is a race of beings who were big and fierce looking. They were powerful warriors and were mostly portrayed as the bad guys in ancient Indian scriptures. #Hidimba was one of the better-known Rakshasas in #Indian #mythology–an entire parva is named after the story of his death in the #Mahabharata. After killing Hidimba, the #Pandavas forged an alliance with the #Rakshasas through Bhima’s marriage with ...

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A shorter version of Shakuntala’s story from the #Mahabharata, retold from a slightly different lens.

Shakuntala was the wife of Duhshanta–the founder of the Pourava dynasty, and the mother of the great Emperor #Bharata, who was the founder of the Kuru lineage and ancestor of the #Kauravas and #Pandavas. #Shakuntala was a smart, intelligent and a feisty young woman, and she fe...

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Ekalavya, a Nishada prince, was one of the best archers who lived in the time of the Pandavas. He wanted to be the best archer and he wanted to be trained by the best teacher–Drona. Drona, however, refused to teach him because Ekalavya was a Nishada. But a determined Ekalaya wasn’t ready to give up. Ekalavya’s actions put to test Drona’s relationship with his most favored student Arjuna. Arjuna did not a...

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The rivalry between the Pandavas and Kauravas is legendary. The #Kauravas, especially #Duryodhana, were not only motivated by greed, but they also believed that they were being discriminated against because of Dhritarastra's blindness. They believed the kingdom rightfully belonged to them and were ready to do whatever it took–even murder their relatives, the Pandavas. The burning of the lac house–a well-known story from the #Mahabh...

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A self made man in a world where one's parentage and lineage decided one's future and worth! 

Karna was the secret son of Kunti. Unaware of his real parents and raised as the son of a charioteer, Karna went on to make a name for himself based entirely on his talents and skills in the art of warfare. 

Listen to the story of Karna's:

- Birth

- Adoptive parents

- Friendship with Duryodhana

- Enmity with Pandavas

- Coronation as the Ki...

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It's not a good idea to get on Drona’s bad side!


One of the most powerful and influential characters in the story of the Mahabharata, Drona, an expert in the art and science of weapons, was the preceptor of the Kuru princes. His deep-seated hatred for his former friend King Drupada was just as legendary as the way he exacted his revenge from his n...

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It is ridiculous how many times I say the word "sons" on this episode! (Insert- sheepish smile emoji)

Niyoga is an ancient Indian practice that was followed to make sure the continuation of a lineage through male progeny. 

Listen to the episode to know more about:

- What it is and how it worked. 

- The reasons for the practice

- Importance of sons in the society

- Different ways to obtain sons

- Rights of sons born through niyoga



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Pandu was cursed by rishi Kimdama because of a hunting accident. This story is about Pandu and his wife, Madri's death as a result of the curse and the events that followed.

Listen to the story to know more about:

- The cause and manner of Pandu's death 

- Why Madri chose to accompany Pandu to his afterlife rather than Kunti

- The final rites of Pandu and Madri–where, what and how.

- What happened to the five sons of Pandu–the Pand...

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Part 2 of the story of the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas–the lead characters of the Mahabharata. (Part 1 - Episode 13)

Both Dhritarashtra and Pandu are married, and the responsibility of continuing the royal line is theirs. Dhritarashtra is denied the throne because of his blindness and Pandu was made king.

Listen to the story of:

- Pandu's curse–a King who could not procreate 

- How Gandhari had 100 sons, the Kauravas. (With some...

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Part 1 of the story of birth of the Pandavas and Kauravas. After the birth of the Kuru princes Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidhura, Bhishma took up the responsibility of both the thriving kingdom and also the growing princes. The members of the family were keen to see the princes marry well, have sons and continue the dynasty. 

Listen to the story of:

- Who the princes married

- How and why the girls were selected

- How Gandhari and K...

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Daughter of the great King Uparichara; mother to the author of the Mahabharata and the divider of the vedas; mother to 2 princes who became king; and the wife of King Shantanu, Satyavati was an intelligent and beautiful woman. Born to a Puru King and a fisherwoman mother, Satyavati was destined for great things and her adoptive father made sure to give her the best he could. 

Listen to:

-the origin and stories of her ancestors


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