When Arjuna, the Pāṇḍava hero, was on a tour, as penance, he went to the kingdom of Citravāhana, ruling at Maṇalūr. The king offered his daughter Citrāṅgadā in marriage to him. Babhru-vāhana was the son born to them. He grew up into a great warrior worthy of his father.

After the Kurukṣetra war, when Yudhiṣṭhira decided to perform the Aśva-medha sacrifice, Arjuna escorted the sacri-ficial horse through various kingdoms. The horse was caught by Babhruvāhana; and in the ensuing fight Arjuna was killed by him, but was revived by Ulūpī, another wife of Arjuna, by placing the Sañjīvaka-maṇi, a precious stone capable of reviving dead persons, on his chest.

Babhruvāhana attended the Aśva-medha sacrifice at Hastināpura.