Mahabharta: Tale of the Tragic Uruvi, the wife of Karna

M G Singh By M G Singh, 13th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Folklore

Karna was one of th great warriors in the Mahabharta. He was however disowned by his mother and he grew up as a outcast. The princess Uruvi married him, this despite knowing that she would become a widow.


Karna is one of the great characters of the Mahabharata war. He was born an illegitimate son of the Queen Kunti and was abandoned by her. He was set adrift in a small boat and rescued by a charioteer, who brought him up. Karna thus, though born a Kshatriya had to endure being a lower caste. He was however possessed of great strength and skill in weaponry and though classified as a lower caste could beat the best of the Kshatriya warrior. He came to know his origin, when his mother met him before the Mahabharata war and asked him to join his brothers. He had 5 brothers known as the Pandavas.

Karna was on the horns of a dilemma, yet his loyalty to Duryodhana the Kaurava prince prevailed and he refused to side with the Pandavas, but he promised not to kill any Pandva except Arjuna, who he felt has usurped his right.

Karna's wife

Karna however remained an outcaste, yet the princess Uruvi fell in love with him. She was the second wife of Karna, but she was a strong-willed princess and in due course became the primary anchor in Karna’s highly turbulent life.

Uruvi was the only daughter of the King of Pukeya. She defied all social norms and traditions to garland the person she loved – Karna, a near social outcast and a charioteer’s son. Being the wife of Karna was not easy and Uruvi faced resentment from all the people who’ve ever loved her. That Karna has pledged his loyalties to the Kaurava prince Duryodhana did not ameliorate the situation.

Raised in absolute royalty and pampered throughout her life by a doting father, Uruvi found herself facing many challenging situations, some that even tended to shatter her faith in the man she loved the most. But having gone against family and society, she now had to live her choice for the sake of her unborn child.

The Forlorn Hero

As horrific events leading up to the famous war of Kurukshetra begin to unravel, Uruvi braced herself for what is going to be her final destiny. Resigning to the fact that breaking her husband’s resolve is not an option, she busied herself in her homely duties, tending to wounded soldiers and being Karna’s strength for the few years she knows they will be together. She was aware as forecast by astrologers that Karna would be killed by a ruse.

Karna the Man

Karna is in fact the central character of the Mahabharta.. A righteous man, a valiant warrior, a loyal friend, a dedicated and loving husband, an ideal son and the unsung hero. Karna was a man of his word and though on many occasions he defeated the Pandva brothers like Bhīma he spared their life as he had promised his mother Kunte that he will kill only one Pandva and that too only Arjuna. He had prophetically said that come what may either I or Arjuna will die and you will still have 5 sons.


The princess was aware that Karna would die, not in a straight battle but by a ruse. She had tried to dissuade Karna from joining Duryodhana, but Karna remained loyal to him and though knowing that he was under a curse went into battle despite the entreaty of his wife.

Urvi is one of the unsung heroines of the Mahabharata and her role is not glorified. But she was a great part of Karna and she loved him. When she came to know he was a Kshatriya, she wanted to announce to the world, but Karna forbade her and as a loyal wife she acquiesced. Urvi’s is a tragic tale, but a poignant reminder that women have great inherent strength.


Killing of Karna

The Mahabharata tells us that Karna in battle with Arjuna in single combat defeated him again and again and in all probability would have won and killed him. But during battle his chariot sank in the mud and at that time Arjuna killed him by a ruse.

Karna was killed but poor Urvi was left forlorn and alone. She chose karna despite his being an outcaste , yet paid a terrible price for her selection

all photos from wiki free


Death And Karna, Hero Karna, Karna, Mahabharta, Uruvi

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Souvik
14th Nov 2015 (#)

Very well written Madanji, very few people know about Uruvi.

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author avatar M G Singh
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Thank you Souvik

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks Madan for taking me to another world. Great woman this Uruvi was.

Women have tremendous inner strength to face any eventuality - in fact, the weaker sex label is a misnomer - siva

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author avatar M G Singh
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Yes Siva, you have hit the nail on the head

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author avatar Kingwell
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Very interesting my friend. Blessings.

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author avatar M G Singh
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Thank you brother for a nice comment

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author avatar Vijay
4th Jul 2017 (#)

Really nice, the feelings what urvi had about Karna you showed well. Thank you sir

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author avatar Jk
30th Oct 2018 (#)

Uruvi as shown in the image with blue eyes and blonde hair was not Indian, but white Aryan from Europe and hence did not not believe in the indoafrican caste system.

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author avatar Usha
25th Jul 2019 (#)

very well explained. I am surprised we never studied this and was not shown in Mahabharata as well.

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