Who was Ghatotkacha – Strong and friendly demon son of Bhima

Ghatotkacha is the mighty Rakshasa born to Hidimba and Bheema. Bhima is a Pandava, the Brother of Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. This father son duo of Bhima and Ghatotkacha created havoc in the Kurukshetra war. Follow along to know all the details from the birth to death of Ghatotkacha

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Ghatotkacha is the mighty Rakshasa born to Hidimba and Bheema. Bhima is a Pandava, the Brother of Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. This father son duo of Bhima and Ghatotkacha created havoc in the Kurukshetra war. Follow along to know all the details from the birth to death of Ghatotkacha


After the Lakshagruha Incident, The Pandava brothers along with mother Kunti, decided not to return to Hastinapur and stay as normal people. They Started their journey and reached Kamyaka forest(also known as Hidimbavana) in the banks of river Saraswati not knowing that it was home to the Rakshasa siblings Hidimba and Hidimbi. Smelling the human flesh, Hidimba ordered his sister to go and kill the humans and get it ready for food. On seeing the mighty and powerful Bheema, instead of killing the Pandava brothers she fell in love with Bheema. Hidimba turned herself into a beautiful lady to meet him. Some Versions do say that she revealed her brother’s desire and her true identity to Bheema.
Hidimba who was waiting for his sister, Couldn’t resist anymore and reached the Pandava’s camp site and attacked Bheema who was guarding his family at that instant. Soon Hidimba and Bheema got involved in a huge fight, Eventually Bheema killed Hidimba.

Bhima kills Hidimba
Bhima kills Hidimba in the forest

Read the synopsis of each day of Mahabharata War


According to some stories, After the death of Hidimba, his sister who was already in love with Bheema claims that, whoever kills the Rakshasa King becomes the King of that Rakshasa clan however it’s credibility can be questioned. Initially Bheema resists the marraige proposal, But eventually upon the agreement of their mother Kunti and elder brother Yudhishthira, he agrees to get married. And the rest of the brothers and Kunti stay in Kamyaka forest until Hidimba conceives a child whom they name Ghatotkacha.
In his childhood Ghatotkacha inherited features from both of his parents. He was extremely strong and had great physique just like his father. He got the Mayavi Shakti (Magical Powers) from his mother. He was considered to be the best of both worlds. He could expand or shrink his body to any size. It is said that although he was mischievous and naughty he was also good at heart.

Ghatotkacha and the pandavas
Ghatotkacha and the pandavas


This is from a folk story. Ghatotkacha and Abhimanyu were really close to each other. It is said that Abhimanyu fell in love with Vatsala (or sasirekha in some places), who is the daughter of Shree Balarama in the days when Pandavas were in exile he was stayed in Dwaraka. However, Shakuni and Duryodhana ask Balarama to give Vatsala’s hand to Duryodhana’s son Lakshmana Kumara, to which Balaram agrees.
Unable to convey their love to Balarama, Abhimanyu takes help from Ghatotkacha. The Mighty Ghatotkacha then takes a giant rakshasa form and used to scare Lakshmana Kumara to stay away from Vatsala. It was said that Ghatotkacha scared Lakshmana Kumara to such an extent that finally Lakshama didn’t just refuse to marry vatsala, but he decided not to marry any women in future. And eventually Abhimanyu and Vatsala got married to each other. Some other texts also mention Abhimanyu killing Lakshmana kumara.
A very famous telugu movie Mayabazaar is based on this folk story.

You might also Like: The Cause for Abhimanyu’s Death

Giant ghatotkacha
Famous scene from the telugu movie mayabazar


Once Ghatotkacha visited Indraprastha to meet the Pandavas. Who were delighted to see Ghatotkacha. Eventually Yudhishthira wondered where could he find a proper wife for the giant Ghatotkacha. Lord Krishna then advised that there is a girl called Kamakantaka (also known as Ahilawati) in Pragjyotisha who was the daughter of an asura named Mura whom Lord Krishna had killed along with Naraka. Upon her father being killed an angry kamakantaka attacked lord Krishna. When Lord krishna was about to unleash Sudarshana Chakra, Devi Kamakhya stopped him and said Kamakantaka was being protected by her on which Krishna stopped. Eventually Kamakantaka realised that her father was wrong.
Kamakantaka stayed in Prajyotisha and kept a condition that she would only marry the person who would defeat her. Many grooms were killed in this process. Eventually Ghatotkacha went to marry her on Krishna’s advice and defeated her. Their Son was named as Barabareeka.
More about this story and how Ghatotkacha confused Kamakantaka is written in this article Altough it’s credibility can be questioned.

Barbareeka - son of Ghatotkacha
Barbareeka – son of Ghatotkacha


Once Lord Indra turns himself into a bramhan, And asks Karna to sacrifice his unbreakable divine golden armor and stunning and bright earrings (Kavach and Kundal) that Karna had on him by birth. That armor was a protection from Surya dev. Lord Indra did this on an attempt to make his son Arjuna’s life easier in the war. As it would have been extremely very difficult for Arjuna to break the mighty armor in the upcoming war. It is believed that Karna never stepped behind when it came to donations and donated his armor without a second thought. Impressed by this Lord Indra gave Karna a Vasavi astra in return which was unbeatable and would kill anyone on whom Karna used it but it could be used only once. To which Karna decided he would use it on Arjuna.


On the night of 14th day of War, upon the advice of Lord Krishna, Bheema summons Ghatotkacha to the battlefield. Rakshasas are stronger during the night. That night Ghatotkacha creates havoc amongst the Kaurava army. This giant demon alone kills thousands of soldiers just by stepping on them. Divine weapons, great warriors had no effect on him. Scared soldiers start running for their lives. Duryodhana then pressurises Karna to use the vasavi astra given by lord Indra on Ghatotkacha as they found no other option to stop him. And if he was not stopped, then Ghataotkacha would have finished the war on the 14th night. Eventually Karna uses the Vasavi astra and Ghatotkacha gets killed indirectly saving Arjuna from Vasavi astra.

Know more about what happened after the Mahabharata war

Ghatotkacha in Kurukshetra war
Ghatotkacha in Kurukshetra war

Ghatotkacha also had an extremely very powerful son named Barbareeka. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.


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