Matali - the Charioteer of Devraj Indra

Matali - the Charioteer of Devraj Indra

Matali - the Charioteer of Devraj Indra

Matali is the charioteer of Indra. He plays important roles in our epics, some of which we will explore in this post.

In Ramayana

When Shriram came face to face against Ravana for the final time Indra decided to balance the odds by sending his chariot to Shriram, who was facing a chariot warrior on foot. Matali played the role of an expert charioteer offering valuable advice to Shriram during the course of the battle. When Ravana was refusing to die despite Shriram cutting off his head, it was Matali who suggested Shriram to use Brahmastra to end the Rakshasaraj.


In Mahabharata

During Pandava's exile Arjuna went on a quest to acquire various divine weapons from the gods themselves. After pleasing Mahadev disguised as a hunter and receiving Pashupat weapon from him Arjuna went to Indra's abode and acquired various weapons from the gods. In return Indra asked Arjuna to eliminate the Nivatkavacha and Kalakeya Rakshasas who were impossible to be killed by the gods due to a boon. Indra offered his chariot to Arjuna to assist in this impossible task. Matali drove Arjuna into the battle where he fought thousands of Rakshasa singlehandedly with the help of able guidance from Matali.

Mahabharata also has an upakhyana dedicated to Matali looking for a son-in-law for his daughter. In this quest Narada muni helps him.


Matali has the unique distinction of driving the chariot for both Shriram and Arjuna.