Lac or wax house story in the Mahabharata

Lac house is an important incident in the Mahabharata. Duryodhana attempted to kill Pandavas by setting fire to the wax house. Lac house is known as Laksha Graha or Jatu Graha. Highly inflammable materials were added during the construction of the house. This story is an important turning point in the Mahabharat.

Yudhishtira was declared the crown prince of Hastinapura and the popularity of the Pandavas was on the rise. Duryodhana and his brothers could not tolerate the rise of the Pandavas. They along with their uncle, Shakuni, hatched a plot to kill the Pandavas.

They got a house built with highly inflammable materials in the city of Varanavrata. An important festival is held here annually.

Shakuni and Duryodhana persuaded Dhritarashtra to advise Pandavas to participate in the festival in Varanavrata.

Pandavas along with their mother Kunti visited Varanavrata and stayed in the house of lac.

Purochana, a faithful servant of Duryodhana, accompanied them. The duty of Purochana was to set fire to the house at the opportune time.

However, Vidura, paternal uncle of Pandavas and Kauravas, came to know about the treacherous plot and sent a messenger to Pandavas warning about the impending danger.

On getting the message, Bhima, the second of Pandavas, dug a tunnel from the house into a nearby forest.

Pandavas silently set fire to the house and escaped into the forest.

The news soon spread that the Pandavas had perished in the fire.

To confirm this people found six charred bodies – these were of a women and five sons who had sought shelter that night in the house of lac.

The relationship between Pandavas and Kauravas strained forever after this incident. The fight between them came into the open.