Varanavata palace | Mahabharata paintings

The feud between Pandava-s and Kaurava-s reached a stage where both will not gel any longer. Duryodhana did his best to justify his right over the throne. Vidura justified the right of Yudhishthira on the same. To stop any further escalation, Dhritarashtra suggested building a dedicated palace for Kunti and her sons.

He discussed this with Vidura. He agreed as well. The palace is built at Varanavata, which is far away from Hastinapur. It was near to forest and river Ganga. But the palace was made of lacquer, which is an inflammable material. Vidura understood the conspiracy behind the kind gestures of Kaurava-s.

O scorcher of enemies! From the smell of fat and ghee mixed with lac, it is clear that this house is made of inflammable materials. The evil Purochana has used trusted and well-skilled artisans to build a house with straw, bark and cane, sprinkled all over with ghee. After winning my confidence, he wishes to burn me to death. O Partha! This is the danger that the immensely intelligent Vidura foresaw and warned me about earlier.

எதிரிகளை எரிப்பவர்களே! கொழுப்பும், நெய்யும் கலந்த அரக்கு வாசனையிலிருந்து, இந்த வீடு தீப்பற்றக்கூடிய பொருட்களால் ஆனது என்பது தெளிவாகிறது. பொல்லாத புரோச்சனன், நம்பகமான மற்றும் திறமையான கைவினைஞர்களைப் பயன்படுத்தி வைக்கோல், பட்டை மற்றும் கரும்பு ஆகியவற்றைக் கொண்டு, நெய்யைத் தெளித்து ஒரு வீட்டைக் கட்டியிருக்கிறான். என் நம்பிக்கையைப் பெற்ற பிறகு, அவன் என்னை எரித்து கொல்ல விரும்புகிறான். ஓ பார்த்தனே! வெகு அறிவாளியான விதுரர் முன்னரே முன்னறிவித்து எச்சரித்த ஆபத்து இது.

Yudhishthira to Bhima, The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes

Vidura warned Kunti about this. He asked them to escape through a tunnel, which connects the house of Lac to the nearby forest. It was built by Vidura to save Pandava-s. Kunti accepted the gift from Dhritarashtra as planned. As expected, the palace was burst into fire as soon as Kunti moved in with Pandava-s.


The tunnel – built by Vidura – saved Pandava-s. As per Vidura’s plan, five men and one woman were thrown inside the fire (Does dharma accept it?!).

Escape of Pandavas from Fire accident
Escape of Pandava-s from Fire accident
(c) The Illustrated Mahabharata –

Hastinapur mourned the death of Kunti and Pandava-s. Kaurava-s relieved from their worries, unaware of the survival of their cousins.

References / Gratitude:

  • The illustrated Mahabharata, Dorling Kindersley India, Penguin Random House, 1st Ed. 2017
  • The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes, Bibek Debroy

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