Story of intense friendship of Duryodhana and Karna in Mahabharata

At the martial exhibition where the Kaurava and Pandava princes demonstrate their skills before their elders, their guru Drona and the people of the kingdom, the great effulgent warrior Karna appears and challenges Arjuna, who is considered by Drona to be the best of the warrior princes. But Karna is humiliated when Kripa asks him to ascertain his caste, as it would be inappropriate for unequals to compete. Duryodhana immediately defends Karna, and makes him king of Anga so that he is regarded as Arjuna’s equal. Karna pledges his allegiance and friendship to Duryodhana, as Duryodhana had rescued him from a source of continuing humiliation and hardship. Neither of them knew that Karna is in fact Kunti’s oldest son, born to (sun god) Surya, before her marriage to Pandu. A very intense bond of friendship develops between the two, and Duryodhana becomes very close to Karna. It is held that if there was one good quality in Duryodhana, it was his deep affection for his friend Karna. In the Kurukshetra War, Karna is Duryodhana’s greatest hope for victory. He truly believes that Karna is superior to Arjuna, and will inevitably destroy him and his four brothers. When Karna is killed, Duryodhana mourns his death intensely, even more than the death of his brothers.

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