Mandhatra or Mandhatri (Sanskrit: मान्धातृ, Māndhātṛa) was a legendary prehistoric king of the Raghuvaṃśa branch of the Suryavamsha or Solar dynasty of India.[1] He was said to have conquered the entire world and composed Hymn 134 of Mandala 10 in the Rig Veda.[2] The Mahabharata calls him the son of Yuvanashva.[3][4] He marries Bindumati, the daughter of King Shashabindu of the Yadu dynasty.[5] According to the Puranas, he had three sons: Purukutsa, Ambarisha, and Muchukunda. He is remembered for his greatness, benevolence, and generosity.[6]

Krishna counsels Mandhatri in the guise of Indra.
Personal information
  • Yuvanashva (father)
ChildrenPurukutsa, Ambarisha, and Muchukunda





Mandhatra's legend is cited in the Vana Parva, Drona Parva, and the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata.

King Yuvanashva of Ayodhya once went on a hunting expedition, and in the afternoon, he became wracked with thirst. He came across the site of a yajna, and drank the sacred sacrificial butter that he observed, upon which he conceived. The Ashvin twins extracted the child from the king's womb. Even as the deities wondered how they would sustain the child, Indra produced some nectar from his fingers, which the child consumed. Drawing his strength from the hand of Indra, Mandhatra grew immensely powerful.[7]



By mere willpower, he conquered the entire earth in one day. He proceeded to vanquish the kings Marutta of Ushiraviga, Asita, the Druhyu king Angara, Nriga, Brihadratha of Anga, Suna, Jaya, Janamejaya, Sudhanvan, Gaya of Kanyakubja, Angara's son Gandhara, and several others in battle. Mandhatra conquered Patala, Bhuloka, and half of Svarga, and became the ruler of the three worlds.

The Mahabharata states that Mandhatra, the King of Ayodhya, gave away colossal statues of Rohita fish, entirely made up of pure gold and spanning several kilometres to the Brahmanas as a charity. He also gave away 10,000 padmas (10 quintillion) of cows of the best breed to the Brahmanas during his sacrifices. Mandhatra performed a hundred ashvamedha yajnas and a hundred rajasuya yajnas.[8]

Mandhatra was also known as Yauvanashvin (son of Yuvanashwa) and Trassadasyu (one who was feared by the wicked). He once fought Ravana, the King of Lanka in a duel, but it ended in a stalemate.

Mandhatra married the Chandravamsha princess, Bindumati, daughter of Shashabindu, King of the Yadavas. The couple had three sons and fifty daughters. His sons Purukutsa, Ambarisha, and Muchukunda were equally illustrious.[6] Mandhatra's daughters fell in love with the handsome ascetic Saubhari and married him. Mandhatra's eldest son, Susandhi, succeeded him.



As Mandhatra grew old, his hubris grew, and he desired to entirely conquer Svarga, the heavenly regions ruled by Indra. Indra was perturbed by this and told Mandhatra that he had not completely conquered the earth. Indra told Mandhatra that the asura Lavana, the son of Madhu and Kumbhinesi, the sister of Ravana, the king of Lanka were not a subject to his rule. A

Mandhatra invaded Madhupuri, the city of Lavanasura. Lavana possessed a divine trident given to his father King Madhu by Shiva. As long as he had the trident, nobody could vanquish Lavana in battle. Lavana wielded the trident and burnt Mandhatra and his forces, reducing them to ashes in an instant. Lavana was later slain by Shatrughna, a descendant of Mandhatra.


The ultra-high Gurla Mandhata in Tibet

Mandhatra is the supposed namesake of Gurla Mandhata, one of the major Himalayan peaks. He supposedly visited the area on his way to the sacred lake Manasarovar beside the axis mundi Mount Kailash.




  1. ^ (29 June 2012). "Mandhatri, Māndhātṛ, Mandhātṛ: 15 definitions". Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  2. ^ Pargiter 1972, pp. 102–4.
  3. ^ John Dowson (1870), A classical dictionary of Hindu Epic and religion, geography, history, and literature, Trübner & Co., pp. 197–8
  4. ^ Mahabharata, III.126
  5. ^ Pargiter 1972, p. 150.
  6. ^ a b Pargiter 1972, p. 93.
  7. ^ (12 December 2020). "Section LXII [Mahabharata, English]". Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  8. ^ (12 December 2020). "Section LXII [Mahabharata, English]". Retrieved 30 November 2022.