In mahAbharata the fiercest fighting takes place on the 14th day and vyAsa excels himself in the description of this awe-inspiring conflict of the kuru field. After the killing of jayadratha by arjuna during the evening solar eclipse the rage spilled over and rather than stopping at sundown the battle raged through the night. One of the great battles of the night was that between karNa and ghaTotkacha after the latter had beheaded alaMbuSha. Finally, karNa slew ghaTotkacha with the shakti given to him by indra in return for his kavacha and kuNDala-s.
saMjaya described ghaTotkacha thus to dhR^itarAShTra:
lohitAkSho mahAkAyas tAmrAsyo nimnitodaraH |
UrdhvaromA harishmashruH sha~Nku-karNo mahAhanuH ||
He was with: red eyes, and a massive body a coppery hued face and and a sunken belly; with hair pointing upwards, a tawny mustache, pointed ears and a massive jaw.
AkarNAd dAritAsyash cha tIkShNadaMShTraH karAlavAn |
su-dIrgha-tAmra-jihvoShTho lambabhrUH sthUlanAsikaH ||
With a mouth extending from ear to ear and terrible, sharp teeth; with coppery hued long tongue and lips, long eye brows and a large nose.
nIlA~Ngo lohita-grIvo giri-varShmA bhayaMkaraH |
mahAkAyo mahAbAhur mahAshIrSho mahAbalaH ||
He was blue in color with with a red neck tall as a mountain peak and terrifying; of gigantic body, great arms, a big head and of great strength.
vikachaH paruShasparsho vikaTodbaddha-piNDikaH |
sthUlasphig gUDhanAbhish cha shithilopachayo mahAn ||
With hairless, rugged skin, and hair on head tied into a terrifying knot. With great hips, a deep navel and a great mass of flexible muscle.
tathaiva hastAbharaNI mahAmAyo .a~NgadI tathA |
urasA dhArayan niShkam agnimAlAM yathAchalaH ||
With arm-guards, possessed of great magical powers, he also bore shoulder guards. On this chest was an ornament like a blazing volcanic ring.
tasya hema-mayaM chitraM bahu-rUpA~Nga-shobhitam |
toraNa-pratimaM shubhraM kirITaM mUrdhny ashobhata ||
His head was decorated by a golden, beautiful diadem endowed with many beautiful links, shining like an arch.
kuNDale bAla-sUryAbhe mAlAM hema-mayIM shubhAm |
dhArayan vipulaM kAMsyaM kavachaM cha mahAprabham ||
With ear-rings like the rising sun, and beautiful chains made of gold. He wore on his body gigantic armor of bell-metal that shone greatly.
ki~NkiNI-shata-nirghoShaM rakta-dhvaja-patAkinam |
R^ikSha-charmAvanaddhA~NgaM nalva-mAtraM mahAratham ||
With a hundred tinkling bells and blood-red flags;with seats covered with bear-skins was his giant battle car the size of a nalva.
sarvAyudhavaropetam Asthito dhvajamAlinam |
aShTa-chakra-samAyuktaM megha-gambhIra-nisvanam ||
Equipped with all kinds of weapons, it had a tall standard with garlands; equipped with eight wheels it made the deep noise of thunder-clouds.
tatra mAta~Nga-saMkAshA lohitAkShA vibhIShaNAH |
kAma-varNa-javA yuktA balavanto .avahan hayAH ||
It was borne by horses that were like elephants, red-eyed and terrifying, assuming any color they wished, endowed with great speed and might.
vahanto rAkShasaM raudraM balavanto jita-shramAH |
vipulAbhiH saTAbhis te heShamANA muhur muhuH ||
They bore that terrible rAkShasa imbued with great might and without fatigue with long manes and neighing repeatedly.
rAkShaso .asya virUpAkShaH sUto dIptAsyakuNDalaH |
rashmibhiH sUrya-rashmyAbhaiH saMjagrAha hayAn raNe ||
A rAkShasa of terrible eyes, was his charioteer, with a blazing mouth and ear-rings; with reins shining as rays of the sun he lead the horses into battle.
sa tena sahitas tasthAv aruNena yathA raviH |
saMsakta iva chAbhreNa yathAdrir mahatA mahAn ||
With that [charioteer] he came to battle like the sun borne by aruNa. [ghaTotkacha] appeared like mighty mountain peak shrouded by clouds.
diva-spR^ik sumahAn ketuH syandane .asya samuchChritaH |
raktottamA~NgaH kravyAdo gR^idhraH parama-bhIShaNaH ||
The tall standard erected in his [car] was like a comet across the sky; A most terrifying flesh-eating vulture with blood-red body [was pictured on it].