500,000 years ago, an advanced spacefaring Sanoora civilization flourished on Nraka. The planet suffered an extinction-level event when a rogue star passed through the star system, igniting the surface and bringing about a nuclear winter. A fleet of Sanoora world ships fled before the calamity, and those left behind were theorized to have hidden in deep caverns. With heightened radiation increasing the pace of genetic mutation, survivors evolved over centuries into the Nrakan race.
In 2266, the planet was visited by the Federation starship USS Enterprise. James T. Kirk, Spock and Montgomery Scott attended a planet-wide fireworks pageant. During the celebration, one of the world ships returned, its commander demanding that Nraka be ceded immediately. Because he resembled Nrakan religious leader Zotar, people panicked and rioted. Believing the threat to be a pirate hoax, the Nrakan government launched a retaliatory strike. To force a surrender, the world ship began firing on the Enterprise. Eventually the world ship was driven out of orbit. (TOS comics: "The Evictors", "Planet of No Life")