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The following article/section is from the Pandava Quintet continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

I have an image to maintain, and I’m not going to put my feet on a floor that’s been stained by other people’s shadows.

–Aru Shah and the End of Time

Urvashi (pronounced: "OOR-vah-shee") is the Chief Apsara of the Hindu legend and a member of the Council of Guardians.


One day the revered brother sages, Nara and Narayana, were meditating in the holy shrine of Badrinath Temple situated in the Himalayas. Indra, the king of the deva, did not want the sages to acquire divine powers through meditation, so he sent Kamadeva to strike them with his arrows, Vasanta the Spring ritu to bloom flowers, and two apsaras to distract them. Nara and Narayana realized that Indra was trying to get them to break their penance, so they decided to show the gods true beauty. Narayana then struck his thigh with a flower and created a woman so beautiful that Indra's apsaras were left matchless. She was named Urvashi, from ur, the Sanskrit word for thigh. After their meditation was complete, the sages gifted Urvashi to Indra, and she occupied the pride of place in Indra’s court.

Urvashi once fell in love with Pururavas, a handsome king, and swooped in on him. Even though he was already married, they conspired to be together despite the huge difference in their worlds. She became his queen for the rest of his mortal life. But one time, when he checked out a maiden by the river, Urvashi ran away from him and consequently got turned into a creeper.[2]

In Mahabharata, Urvashi made romantic advances towards Arjuna when he visited his father, Indra. Arjuna rejected her advances because Urvashi was the wife to Pururavas, who was his own ancestor, so he respectively called her his mother. As a result, Urvashi grew angry with Arjuna and cursed him to lose his manhood for one year. So Arjuna posed as a eunuch, took the name Brihannala, and taught song and dance to the princess of the kingdom of Virata.

Rick Riordan Presents

Pandava Quartet

Aru Shah and the End of Time

When Urvashi first arrives in the Court of the Sky, she was not impressed by Aru Shah and Mini. She gets mad at Boo, who she hasn't forgotten for ruining her outfit which was made out of skipped heartbeats of every person who had ever laid eyes on her which took her centuries to make. After Hanuman arrives, she says she doesn't want to train kids, and she doesn't even believe that they have the souls of the Pandavas. But after hearing about the Sleeper, Urvashi comments that he is hunting rather than looking, then she asks Aru if she meant anything else that was bad was happening. She reveals that the Sleeper intends to slow down the heavens but understand why the girls are the "agents." She wants them to prove that they're the Pandavas by undergoing the Claiming ceremony, and she says the rules say it must be unanimously agreed, by the Guardians in residence, in believing they are semidivine. Since she doesn't, and they're only children, they don't bother. Aru was soon to be discovered as the daughter of Indra while Mini's spiritual father was Dharma Raja, thereby meaning that they were the reincarnations of Arjuna and Yudhistira. Urvashi is convinced that they are indeed the Pandavas, but she wasn't impressed with the weapons they received. She gives them their Quest: They must go to the Kingdom of Death and look in the Pool of the Past to find out how to vanquish the Sleeper and awaken the celestial weapons before he gets them first. She tells them about hidden keys to get to the kingdom without dying and gives them a mehndi to travel near their locations. If they succeed, not only will they receive Pandava training from the entire Council if they succeed, but Boo can rejoin the council as well, in which she then disappears.

Although the Sleeper got away due to Shukra cursing Aru, she managed to keep him out of the Kingdom of Death while the new moon passes. So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for three hours, Aru Shah and Mini learned dancing and etiquette from Urvashi. Aru wans't too sure about Dance, but Urvashi told her how it made Arjuna more graceful in combat. This was their first class on Fridays in the Night Bazaar dance studio, in which the sky of the Night Bazaar opened up three times a week to allow Urvashi to descend in a celestial blue lotus as big as the museum as she had refused to rent space anywhere. One Friday, she heard about how Aru failed talking to Aiden Acharya and laughed. She says that when she's done with her, she will fell men with a laugh. The petals of the lotus then closed over Urvashi and she floated back to the heavens. But soon after she left, an alarm went off, as something even the gods fear had been stolen.

Aru Shah and the Song of Death

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As Chief Apsara, she is known the world over for her unparalleled beauty and vicious temper.


Her anklets

According to Aru, Urvashi was the most beautiful woman in the world, and her voice was silvery. She wore black leggings and a salwar kameez top that "would have appeared as simple as white spun cotton if it didn't glimmer like woven moonlight." Around her ankles was a set of bright gunghroo bells, and her laughs sounded like them too. Urvashi was tall, dark-skinned and wore her black hair in a flowing and messy side braid. She has henna tattoos from the tips of her fingers all the way up to her elbows. On one wrist, she has a tattoo of a twig with tiny blossoms.[3]


  • The love story of Urvashi and King Pururavas is one of the most widely-repeated tales in India.
  • The Kuru clan, to which the Pandavas belong, are descended from Urvashi and Pururavas.
  • Urvashi's name means "she who can control the hearts of others".
  • Her Greek equivalent may be Aphrodite, as ReadRiordan says she is a goddess.


Pandava Quintet
Books: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold
Main Characters: Aru Shah | Mini | Brynne Rao | Nikita | Sheela | Aiden Acharya | Sleeper | Meenakshi | Takshaka | Rudy
Council of Guardians: Boo | Urvashi | Hanuman | Jambavan | Uloopi | Kubera | Surasa
Secondary Characters: K. P. Shah | Palace of Illusions | Durvasa | Navdeep | Hira | Opal
Minor Characters: Pandavas | Arielle Reddy | Poppy Lopez | Burton Prater | Brahmasura | Valmiki | Shukra | Gandhari | Shakuntula | Rambha | Ravana | Jaya and Vijaya | Rahuketu | Garuda | Kadru
Devas: Indra | Dharma Raja | Vayu | Ashvins | Vishnu (Mohini, Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna) | Shiva | Chitrigupta | Ganesh | Lakshmi | Ritus | Kamadeva | Varuni | Varuna | Ratri | Ushas | Agni | Brahma | Maruts | Aranyani | Vishwakarma | Surya | Yamuna | Chandra | Rohini | Shani
Creatures: Makara | Asura | Chakora | Naga | Rakshasa | Vahanas | Ek and Do | Timingala | Time | Wish | Zombie | Apsara | Yaksha | Yali
Related Content: Roshani Chokshi | Rick Riordan Presents
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