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Ahilāvati (also known as Mauravi, her maiden name) was a female figure in the Mahābhārata epic. She was a Nāga Kanyā[1] (meaning snake-girl) and was married to Ghatotkacha. Her father was Bashak (the snake staying around the neck of Lord Shiva). She had been cursed by Goddess Parvati for offering stale flowers to Lord Shiva, the curse was that she would get a mortified man as her husband.[2]

It is said that Bhima was poisoned by Shakuni and Duryodhana and thrown in a river,after which he wafted and reached Ahilyavati's kingdom. Owing to the curse, Ahilyavati soon recognised him as Vaayu's son and asked her father to provide jeevan-daan (life) to him, failing which she would burn herself alive in Bhima's pyre. After Bashakji gave the elixir given as boon to him by Shivji, he came back to life.[3]

As an aftermath and after a series of incidents, Ghatotkacha finally married Ahilawati and they had a son named Barbarika or the present-day Khatushyamji, who is also known as 'Sheesh ka daani' or 'Haare ka sahara'.


  1. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Indrajit (2013). Mahabharata Folk Variations. ISBN 9781105320767. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Get Over Draupadi. This Female Character In Mahabharat Was The Reason That Bheem Did Not Die. She Was Also His Daughter-In-Law". dailybhaskar. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  3. ^ Keith, Arthur Berriedale (1992). The Sanskrit Drama in Its Origin, Development, Theory & Practice. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 9788120809772. Retrieved 8 September 2018.