Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Nivatakavaca included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Nivātakavaca

A sect of Daityas.


Daityas were the off-springs of Kaśyapaprajāpati by Diti. Two sons called Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu and a daughter called Siṃhikā were born to the Prajāpati of Diti. Siṃhikā was married by Vipracitti and to them were born Rāhu and others who became famous as the Saiṃhikeyas. Hiraṇyakaśipu had four famous sons called Anuhlāda, Hlāda, Prahlāda (the great devotee of Viṣṇu) and Saṃhlāda. (Some texts refer to them as Anuhrāda, Hrāda, Prahrāda and Saṃhrāda). Hlāda’s son was called Hrāda, Saṃhlāda’s sons were called Āyuṣmān, Śibi and Bāṣkala, and Prahlāda’s son was called Virocana. Mahābali was Virocana’s son and Bāṇa was the eldest of the hundred sons of Mahābali.

Four crores of asuras called Nivātakavacas were born in the family of Prahlāda. The army of the Asuras, which routed the Devas many a time, was formed by the Nivātakavacas and Kālakeyas. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 19).

Fight against Rāvaṇa.

After securing boons from Brahmā Nivātakavacas lived in the city of Maṇimatī and they were a terror to the world. Rāvaṇa longed once to defeat them and so besieged their city with his army. The two sides fought fiercely for hundreds of years. At last Brahmā intervened and conciliated them. From that day onwards the Nivātakavacas became friends of Rāvaṇa. (Uttara Rāmāyaṇa).


The Nivātakavacas in company with the Kālakeyas attacked Devaloka. Indra, who could not withstand the attack, sent his charioteer Mātali to Arjuna and brought him down. Most of the Nivātakavacas and Kālakeyas were killed in the fight by Arjuna. (See under Kālakeya).

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