Least Known Characters Of Mahabharata – Uloopi
Most of the people know Draupadi and Subhadra as wives of Arjuna. But in fact, Arjuna had four wives. Uloopi was amongst them. Uloopi played an important role in Arjuna’s life so did Iravan (son of Uloopi and Arjuna)
When Arjuna breaks into the chamber of Draupadi when she is in company with his elder brother Yudhishthira, as a penance Arjuna goes outside of Hastinapur for one year on pilgrimage. While in exile, Arjuna travels from one pilgrimage to other with Brahmins, once goes to northeastern part of India. That’s where Uloopi a Naga princess of a Naga king Kouravya who ruled the underwater kingdom of Ganga, sees Arjuna while he was traveling along banks of Ganga. Uloopi was half human and half serpent.
One day when Arjuna was bathing in Ganga, Uloopi pulls him into the water and before Arjuna could realize what happened, Uloopi takes him to marriage place. Arjuna refuses to marry her, in the beginning, saying that he was on the pilgrimage as penance. she persuades Arjuna fiercely. She tells her lineage and her dynasty. Still, Arjuna persists that he is following celibacy because he is on penance. but, Uloopi convinces him that, his celibacy is only towards Draupadi. Finally, after arguments, Arjuna accepts her proposal and marries her. Arjuna stays with Uloopi for one night and leaves. She gives birth to a son Iravan. Happy getting married to Arjuna, she gives him a boon that Arjuna will be invincible underwater and all water lives will obey him.
Next reference of Uloopi comes in Mahabharata when, Vasus curse Arjuna for killing their brother Bhishma that, he will be killed by his own son. After hearing this Kauravya and Uloopi went to Ganga to find a way of relieving Arjuna form this curse. Ganga said, whenever Arjuna gets killed if Uloopi places a gem on Arjuna’s chest he will come back to life. Later on Babruvahana (another son of Arjuna from Chitrangadā) in a battle with Arjuna kills him and Uloopi brings gem and places it on Arjuna’s chest. Arjuna comes to life. In fact, Uloopi provokes Babruvahana to fight with Arjuna while Arjuna goes to the northeastern region for Ashwamedh. Babruvahana – Chitrangadā gets very angry with Uloopi, but they are pacified when Uloopi explains that she did everything to relief Arjuna from the curse. In the end when Pandava’s leave Hastinapur for Parikshit Uloopi goes back to her kingdom in Ganga.
Uloopi’s story is indeed an interesting story.