Is Nala and Damayanti story mentioned in Puranas like Skanda Purana and others?

  • 3
    Other than the mahabharata, the story has been written by the great advaitic scholar SriHarsha and it is called naishadha charita. But I do not think it is mentioned in the puranas.
    May 21, 2021 at 5:26
  • Nala has been mentioned in all Puranas and itihasas. So there are more chances that the story has been mentioned in several Puranas...
    – hanugm
    May 21, 2021 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


The story of Nala and Damayanti is given in Shiva Purana: Śatarudra-saṃhitā: Chapter 28 - Śiva’s incarnation as Yatinātha haṃsa (swan). In previous birth Nala was a hunter named Āhuka of Bhilla tribe. Lord Shiva visited his house in ascetic form. As there was not enough space in the house, Āhuka stayed outside of the house so that the ascetic could stay inside. But in the night, Āhuka was devoured by some wild animal. Then, Lord Shiva gave this boon to his wife:

Śiva said:—

  1. This ascetic who is in my own form will assume the form of a swan in the next birth. He will lovingly unite both of you.

  2. This Bhilla will be born as Nala, the son of Vīrasena, in the excellent city of Niṣadha.[2] There is no doubt in this.

  3. You will be born in the illustrious city of Vidarbha[3] as the daughter of king Bhīma. You will be famous as Damayantī endowed with all good qualities.

Then, the bhilla Āhuka was born as Nala and his wife as Damayantī and the ascetic form of Shiva as swan:

Nandīśvara said:—

  1. O dear, the Bhilla Āhuka was born as the son of Vīrasena in the city of Niṣadha. He was the great king Nala.

  2. That great Bhillī, Āhukā was born as the daughter of king Bhīma in the city of Vidarbha. She became famous as Damayantī.

  3. Śiva in the form of Yatinātha was born as a swan. He managed the marriage of Damayantī with Nala.

  4. It was due to the merit accruing from hospitality that lord Śiva gave them pleasure after assuming the form of a swan.

  5. The incarnation of Śiva as the swan adept in the art of intelligence, was the bestower of great bliss to Damayantī as well as to Nala.


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