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Story Of Arjuna Giving Crocodile – Apsara Varga – Liberation From Curse

Story of Arjuna giving liberation from curse to Apsara Varga and her friends is part of the story associated with Panchatheertham in the seas in South India. Five tirthas were located near the seas of South India.

Once Apsara Varga and her four friends named Sourabhayi, Sameechi, Budbuda and Lata were travelling through the Panchatirthas - Agasthya Theertham, Soubhadram, Poulomam, Karandamam and Suprasanam.

Near the tirthas they found an extremely handsome rishi who was performing penance. The five aparasas attempted to entice him with amorous methods. The sage got irritated and angry. He then cursed them to live in the five tirthas as crocodiles. He told them that they will get liberation when a powerful warrior will pull them out of the tirthas.

The tirthas were then abandoned by sages and people. Years later Arjuna visited the tirthas but was warned by the sages not to enter them. Arjuna ignored the warning and entered the tirtha named Soubhadram. A huge crocodile caught hold of the leg of Arjuna and attempted to drown him. But Arjuna pulled the crocodile out of the water and dragged it on to the land. Suddenly the crocodile changed its form and in the place appeared a beautiful damsel. She introduced herself as Apsara Varga. She then narrated her story to Arjuna.

Arjuna then pulled out four of her friends from the other tirthas.

As five women were pulled out from the five tirthas they came to be known as Nari Tirthas.