Chapter 105: The lotus of Gandhamadana

As the party reached the Gandhamadana area in the mountains, they were struck by a severe storm. When the storm subsided, Draupadi swooned due to exhaustion. Yudhisthira suggested to Bhima that he should carry Draupadi on his shoulders. But the strong man summoned his son Gatotkacha who organized a number of rakshasas to carry all the pilgrims including the brahmins, on their shoulders. The rakshasas, adopting the aerial route, showed them many holy spots including the place near Kailasa where in ancient times the rishis Nara and Narayana dwelled by the side of the river Bhagirathi.

As they descended the mountains of Gandhamadhana, they spent a few days and nights on the banks of Bhagirathi where the water was crystal clear. All around was rich vegetation. It came to pass one day that a lotus of divine beauty and unearthly fragrance came floating in the wind and landed near Draupadi. The princess was so enamored of the flower that she bade Bhima to find its source and fetch a few more of them.