Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Atiratha - Adoptive father of Karna


Atiratha was a charioteer by profession, and the chieftain of the city of Champa, on the banks of the river Ganga. He was also called Vikartana. He was a close friend of King Dhritharashtra of the Kurus. His wife Radha was a very beautiful woman, but the couple were childless for a long time. One day, while bathing at the river, she beheld a box floating in it and she got her servants to seize it. She took the box to her husband, who caused it to be opened. Inside, there was a beautiful male child, scarcely a day old, decked in golden armour and earrings.

The couple adopted this child as their son according to the rites prescribed in the scriptures and named him Vasusena. This child grew up to be a mighty bowman, celebrated for his generosity and his steadfast friendship with King Duryodhana. He came to be known as Karna.

After Karna had been adopted by Atiratha and Radha, many children were born to them, but Karna remained first with them, both by age and by affection.

Last Modified At: Sat Mar 26 22:57:52 2005