Story of Burning of Khandava Vana & Takshaka the serpent-king in Mahabharata

Khandavaprastha was where Arjuna and Krishna’s friendship is truly forged. Once when roaming in the Khandava Vana, Arjuna and Krishna met the god of fire, Agni. Agni was in great hunger and needed to burn down the entire Khandava Vana to quench his hunger. But Takshaka, the serpent-king lived in the same forest and was a friend of Indra’s. So the latter brought down heavy rains to thwart Agni’s plans to burn the woods. Agni requested Krishna and Arjuna to help him realise his goal. The three of them then invoked Varuna, the God of the oceans, who blessed Arjuna with the Gandiva – the agni-moon bow created by Brahma. In this way, Arjuna came into possession of his famous bow. Agni also gave Arjuna an incandescent chariot with four horses yoked, and bearing a flag that would one-day be occupied by Hanuman. Arjuna also obtained his famous conch. With Krishna using the Sudarshana Chakra Arjuna and Krishna waged a successful battle against Indra and helped Agni burn down the entire Khandava Vana including all its demons and evil spirits. Indra’s pride in Arjuna’s success overcame his anger, and he bestowed greater powers on him.

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