Draupati was the daughter of Drupada, king of Panchāla and the wife of the five Pāndu princes. Draupati was a great beauty and the subject of many tales concerning men’s lust for her. Due to her husbands’ loss and consequent banishment from their kingdoms, Draupati was forced to work as a maid for king Virāta’s wife, and protected herself by saying she was guarded by five Gandharvas. Unfortunately the queen had a brother called Kichaka, who was overcome with her beauty and had bad intentions towards her which led to Draupati seek the help of Bhīma for protection. Bhīma promised revenge in which he mangled Kichaka, the murder cause was attributed to Draupati and she was condemned to be burnt on Kichaka’s funeral pile; Bhīma disguised himself as one of the Gandharvas and saved Draupati from her death.
Chromolithograph on paper