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Narakasura was the son of Bhumi (goddess of Earth) and Varaha (Avatar of Vishnu as a boar). He was killed by Krishna. Narakasura was the king of the ancient kingdom of Pragjyotisha. He was succeeded by Bhagadatta, a major character in the Mahabharata war. He was the progenitor of the Naraka dynasty.

Known Family

  • Father: Varaha
  • Mother: Bhumi
  • Sons: Bhagadatta, Mahasirsa, Madavan, Sumali
  • Grandsons: Vajradatta, Pushpadatta


Hiranyaksha was a very evil Daitya. Vishnu took the Avatar of Varaha to kill him. After killing him, Varaha went to rescue Bhumi devi, who had been imprisoned by Hiranyaksha. Bhumi deva conceived by Varaha gave birth to a boy.  The boy was deposited by Varaha on the sacrificial grounds of Janaka in Mithila.

Early Life and Ruling Pragjyotisha

King Janaka named the boy Naraka. Naraka was raised by King Janaka. When Naraka became older, he went to Pragjyotisha where the Kirata Danava King Ghataka ruled. He defeated Ghataka and conquered the region. Vishnu then made Naraka the ruler of Pragjyotisha. Vishnu also told Naraka to worship Kamakhya devi. Naraka established a capital there called Prakjyotishapura. For years, Naraka was a wise ruler and worshiped Kamakhya devi as Vishnu had said. He had 4 sons named Bhagadatta, Mahasirsa, Madavan, and Sumali.

Capturing Swargaloka

After some time, Naraka came in contact with Banasura, the king of Shonitapura. Banasura made Naraka evil-minded. Naraka then started to be called Narakasura. He started worshiping Lord Shiva instead of Kamakhya. He attacked Swarga and captured all the devas. Narakasura also stole Aditi’s earrings.


Krishna decided that Narakasura must be killed. He was performing really evil actions. Krishna went to Pragjyotisha and challenged Narakasura. Krishna easily defeated Narakasura’s army. Narakasura then sent Mura (a really powerful asura under Narakasura’s command) to attack Krishna. After a long battle, Krishna defeated Mura.

Narakasura then came himself to battle Krishna. Before dying, Narakasura requested Satyabhama that his death be celebrated with lights and candles every year. Satyabhama agreed. Thus, this day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi. Krishna then killed Narakasura with his Sudarshan Chakra.

Krishna then made Bhagadatta the king of Pragjyotisha.

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