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Indraprastha

Indraprastha was originally called Khandavaprastha which was a forest full of thorn shrubs and bushes on the western banks of Yamuna. Takshak, a serpent king ruled over Khandavaprastha and Indra was the protecting deity. When Duryodhana offered Khandavaprastha to Pandavas, Krishna along with Arjuna went to see the barren land offered to his lovable Pandavas.

On visiting Khandavaprastha, Krishna advised Arjuna to burn down the forest as it cannot be cleared by human efforts. Arjuna invoked Agni and asked him to burn down the Khandavaprastha and satiate Agni’s hunger. Agni feared that he would have to face the wrath of Indra as he is the protecting deity and conveyed the same to Arjuna and Krishna.

Arjuna and Krishna assured Agni that they would help him if Indra shows his wrath. Being pleased by that Agni offered a chariot with four white horses to Arjuna in return for satiating his hunger. The chariot was so powerful that the horses would turn by just the thought of Arjuna. And the horses are so divine that they wont be affected by fire. Chariot was also filled with different weapons and the mightier Gandiva from Varuna.

Agni ignited and started to burn down Khandavaprastha, knowing this Indra got enraged. Indra ordered Varuna to rain and bring down the fire. On seeing the approaching thunder clouds, Arjuna and Krishna fired arrows and made an umbrella over entire Khandavaprastha helping Agni in performing his deeds. Indra was astonished to notice that the rains could not bring down the fire.

Meanwhile Takshak was away from Khandavaprastha but his son Ashwasena brought his army and engaged in battle with Arjuna. Enraged Indra blew a heavy wind to bring down the arrow umbrella and in turn the gust of wind knocked down Arjuna and he fell unconscious. Ashwasena realizing that he cannot win against Arjuna he fled away. Demons, asuras, nagas of Khandavaprastha were either burnt down in the forest fire or by the weapons of Arjuna and Krishna.

Indra refusing to accept his defeat started showering astras over Arjuna and Krishna. Arjuna neutralised every weapon and Indra got furious over it. Indra thrown mountain tops over Arjuna only to be broken by the arrows of Arjuna and Krishna. A heavenly voice asked Indra, Arjuna and Krishna to stop the war.

Accepting the valor of Arjuna and Krishna, Indra offered Khandavaprastha to Pandavas. Arjuna acknowledged his father Indra and named Khandavaprastha as Indraprastha. Indra requested the deva architect Maya to build the city of Indraprastha. Later the same Indraprastha became the reason of Kurukshetra war as Duryodhana was humiliated by Draupadi in her palace in Indraprastha.

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