Virata Parva is about the 1 year life of the Pandavas in anonymity, to fulfill the promise made by Pandava king Yudhishthira, that he made when he was defeated in the game of dice by king Duryodhana. The Pandavas stayed in the forest of Kamyaka and Dwaita for 12 years and then chose the Matsya kingdom of king Virata for their incognito life. During this period the eldest Pandava viz. Yudhishthira lived as a scholar by the name Kanka. Bhima lived as a cook by the name Vallava. Arjuna lived as a dance-teacher by the name Vrihannala. Nakula lived as a horse keeper by the name Grandhika and Sahadeva lived as a cow shed keeper by the name Tantripala. Pandavas wife Panchali lived as a maid of the Sarindhri class. During this period Bhima killed king Virata's commander Kichaka, who tried to have an affair with Panchali. During this period the Kurus under king Duryodhana and the Trigartas under king Susharma attacked the kingdom of Matsya. The Pandavas assisted king Virata to defeat the armies of the Kurus and the Trigartas.
After leaving the forest, the Pandavas travel through the plains and at last see the city of Matsya, where they plan to spent their one year of incognito life. From the left are Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and the king Yudhishthira. Queen Panchali is following them behind (not shown in the image).