According to Mahabharata, Adhiratha and Radha were the foster parents of Karna, and Adhiratha was the royal charioteer of Bhishma. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, but during the Kurukshetra war, he fought along with the Kauravas. His wife Radha was a chaste and pious lady, who brought up Karna in a proper manner. Apart from Karna, they also had their own son, whose name was Shon, and he was killed by the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war.

Adhiratha though he was a charioteer, he was a learned scholar, and a master in all kinds of arts. He is considered to be an AMSHA of Mathali, the divine charioteer of Lord Indra. Karna loved his foster parents very much, and after becoming a king, he made his foster parents to stay along with him in his palace.

After Karna married princess Uruvi, both of them showed much affection and love on Adhiratha and Radha. Adhiratha has got rich experience in taming the horses and in riding the chariot, and he got good name from the Kauravas, on account of great efficiency in his profession.

Though Adhiratha was dissatisfied with the acts of Karna, who joined with the Kauravas, he couldn’t stop it on account of his great affection on his son Karna. He was also present in the palace, during the dice game, and when the Pandavas were banned from the kingdom and went to the forest, Adhiratha was very much worried, and shed tears for that.

After his death, being an AMSHA of the divine charioteer Mathali, he went to the abode of Lord Indra, the Swarka Loka, and merged with Mathali.