Chapter 104: The pilgrims’ progress

With Arjuna away seeking weapons from Indra, Yudhisthira, his three brothers, their wife Draupadi, priest Dhaumya and sage Lomasa, along with some brahmins, set off on the pilgrimage. Starting with Naimisha, they proceeded to Prayag and Gaya in the foothills of the Himalayas. They observed the holy rites at each place under the guidance of the preceptors accompanying them.

When they reached Durjaya in Central India, they visited the sage Agastya’s hermitage. Here Lomasa related to them the story of how Agastya swallowed and digested Ilvala’s brother, Vatapi, and put an end to the persecution of brahmins by the two demon brothers.

When they took a bath in the sacred river of Vadhusara, Lomasa described how with a dip here, the warrior Parasurama recovered his strength after being chastised by Sri Rama whom he offended by his arrogance.

His rage against Kshatriyas subsided; Parasurama had taken up residence at Mahendra Mountain. When the Pandavas reached there, the great warrior made an appearance and blessed the visitors.
Traveling South, the group of pilgrims went to where the Godavari River joins the sea. They crossed the Dravida land and reached Prabhasa, much as Arjuna did on an earlier occasion. They were now in the proximity of Dwaraka, in Yadava land. Many Vrishni heroes like Satyaki, with Balarama and Krishna at the head, welcomed them.

Taking leave of the Yadavas, the Pandavas journeyed north until they reached Kasmira. At the gate to Manasarover Lake on the Himalayas, they saw with awe the peaks covered with snow.