AS told in the epic Mahabharata, the Kauravas turned out the Pandavas from their kingdom and left them to wander through the forest. So Kunti and the five Pandavas walked along in the forest, looking for a suitable place to build their shelter. After a long and arduous trek, Kunti and four Pandavas fell asleep while Bhima kept awake to keep vigil so that no one attacked his family members.
In this forest lived a demon named Hidimb and his sister Hidimba. The demon said to his sister, “I can sense the smell of human beings. Go and see if there is anyone around and I shall come and kill him.”
Hidimba set out in the direction of the smell and came across a handsome youth who was none other than the brave Pandava called Bhima. Hidimba was attracted to the youth’s looks and physique and immediately converted herself into a beautiful maiden. She went and stood in front of Bhima, who too could not resist the beauty of Hidimba. Both of them began talking to each other as though they were long lost friends. She told Bhima that she would be only too happy to marry him but if her brother got to know of her closeness to a mortal, he would kill both of them. She warned him, “Please take care of yourself because if my bother sees you with me, he would not leave you alive.”
Bhima convinced her, “Do not worry. I can take care of myself. Your brother cannot do any harm to me.”
Meanwhile Hidimb became worried that his sister had been gone for long and had not returned. So he also left home in search of her. On the way he reached the place where he saw his sister sitting and chatting with a handsome youth. This made his blood boil and he barked at his sister, “Are you out of you mind to talk to a human? I sent you to locate the place from where the smell of a human body was coming and here I find you talking to a mortal.”
The next moment, without giving his sister a chance to explain, he lunged at Bhima, who was no weak person to take a beating sitting down. He hit back ferociously and both continued wrestling and punching each other. The loud grunting noises that they made, awakened Kunti and Bhima’s four brothers who came rushing towards them. But seeing them fight violently, they stopped in their tracks. After a long tussle, Bhima killed Hidimb.
Hidimba ran towards Bhima and embraced him. Bhima turned towards his mother Kunti and sought her permission to marry Hidimba. Kunti agreed and the two got married in the forest.
By and by, they had a son whom they named Ghatotkacha, who became as strong and powerful as his father on reaching his youth.