Muchukunda, son of King Mandhata, and brother of equally illustrious Ambarisha, was an Ikshvaku (Suryavanshi) king.[1] The important and well known kings of this dynasty are Prithu, Harishchandra, Trishanku, Bhagiratha, Dileepa, Raghu and Lord Rama.

God Vishnu Appears to Muchukunda in a Cave

Battle with the AsurasEdit

Once, in a battle, the Devas were defeated by the Asuras. Tormented by arrows, they sought help from king Muchukunda. King Muchukunda agreed to help them and fought against the asuras for a long time.[2] Since the Devas did not have an able commander, king Muchukunda protected them against the onslaught by asuras, until the Devas got an able commander like Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. Then Indra said to the king Muchukunda, "O king, we, the Devas are indebted to you for the help and protection which you have given us, by sacrificing your own family life. Here in heaven, one day equals one thousand years of the earth and you had fought with asuras for one year of heaven. Since it has been a long time, there is no sign of your kingdom and family because it has been destroyed with the passage of time. We are happy and pleased with you, so ask for any boon except Moksha (liberation) because Moksha (liberation) is beyond our capacities".

Long SleepEdit

Muchukunda was struck with grief upon learning that his family was no longer alive and Moksha was the only thing he would have asked for other than returning to his family. Muchukunda asks Indra for a boon to sleep as sleep would allow him to separate from the sadness and also while fighting on the side of the devas he didn't got to sleep for even a single moment, King Muchukunda did not get an opportunity to sleep even for a moment. Now, since his responsibilities were over, overcome by tiredness, he was feeling very sleepy. So, he said, "O King of the Devas, I want to sleep. Anyone who dares to disturb my sleep should get burnt to ashes immediately".

Indra said, "So be it, go to the earth and enjoy your sleep, one who awakens you would be reduced to ashes".

After this, King Muchukunda descended to earth and selected a cave on a hill, where he could sleep undisturbed. The hills and the cave where Muchukunda rested is located Muchukund caves , near deogarh , district Lalitpur , Uttar Pradesh (

Kalayavan's deathEdit

Kalayavana Surrounds Mathura Page from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana Series - Brooklyn Museum

Kalayavan, the great Yavana warrior king, was killed by Muchukunda's gaze in the Indian epic Mahābhārata.

Kalayavan was undefeated and unmatched in battle due to a boon, but he was also merciless and cruel. He learns that Krishna is alive and sets out to invade Krishna's kingdom, Mathura. When the two armies faced each other in battle, Krishna dismounts from his chariot and starts walking away, followed by Kalayavan. After a long time Krishna, followed by Kalayavan, enters a dark cave. In this cave, Muchukunda was sleeping since the time he was blessed by the king of deities.

The person on whom Muchukunda's gaze falls is doomed to instantaneous death. Kalayavan in a fit of anger and unable to see in the dark attacks Muchukunda mistaking him to be Krishna. When Muchukunda opens his eyes, his gaze falls on Kalayavan who is immediately burnt to death.

According to Hindu epics, Muchukunda was an ancestor of Sri Rama, who belonged to Treta Yuga. Sri Krishna appears towards the end of Dvapara Yuga. So, Muchukunda is asleep for a long time. When he finally woke up, he was delighted to see Lord Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna advised him to perform Tapas to cleanse the accumulated sins, to attain Moksha (liberation). After meeting with Lord, Muchukunda set out of the cave. And the story narrates that he was astonished to see all creatures had shrunken in size over time while he rested in the cave, indicating long ages gone by. Muchukunda then went to Gandamadana Mountain and from there to Badrika Ashrama for doing penance.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Muchukunda".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2013-10-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)