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Chapter 51: Arjuna meets Ulupi and then Chitrangada

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During his pilgrimages, Arjuna visited many sacred places located on riverbanks and also in the top of the Himalayas. On one occasion, when Arjuna was bathing in a sacred river, he was dragged to the bottom by Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga king. On reaching the snakeworld, she expressed her wish for union with Arjuna. Arjuna refused, but she convinced him by saying that it is against dharma to reject a woman who comes to him willingly. Arjuna had then no choice but to spend a night with her. Ulupi later took Arjuna to their king, Kauravya. The king was delighted with Arjuna and he treated him lovingly. The Nagas then taught him the art of residing inside water for a lengthy period. They also taught him, the art of attacking an amphibian. Arjuna then moved from the snakeworld to the real world. A few nagas escorted him to the riverbank. Ulupi later gave birth to Arjuna’s son Iravan.

Arjuna then travelled northwards ascended the peak of Vasishta in the Himalayas. Then he crossed the green forests of Naimisha, the Kingdom of Kalinga in the East and the Mahendra Mountains. Along the Himalayas he traversed to Manipura in Northeast India. The king of Manipura, Chitravahana welcomed Arjuna and treated him as his guest. Arjuna then came to saw beautiful princess of Manipura, Chitrangada who was also a great warrior. Both of them attracted to each other instantly. Arjuna then approached the king and asked his desire to marry Chitrangada. Chitravahana was pleased with Arjuna. But the king sought a promise from Arjuna to leave his wife and progeny in Manipura before Arjuna returns. Since their progeny wants to rule the kingdom after the king’s renounce. Arjuna agreed. Both of them married and in due course, Chitrangada gave birth to Arjuna’s son who was named Babruvahana. Arjuna left Manipura three years later by leaving his son and wife to Chitravahana.

Travelling South, Arjuna reached the shores of the ocean. He then arrived at a lake of crocodiles. Without knowing the presence of crocodile, he dipped in the lake. Suddenly he was attacked by five crocodiles, but he was managed to fight and destroy them all. To his surprise, the destroyed crocodiles suddenly turned into five apsaras. They bowed to the Arjuna and told him that they were grateful to him for liberating them from a horrible curse. The apsaras were early cursed to become crocodiles by a sage for disturbing him from meditation. The sage told them that a warrior would liberate them and Arjuna became that warrior. Arjuna then moved to other pilgrimages, including the southern regions of Bharatavarsha.

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