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Kaurava is a Sanskrit term for the descendants of King Kuru (or simply Kurava in Tamil), a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata. The well-known Kauravas are Duryodhana, Dushasana, Vikarna, Yuyutsu and Dussala. Yuyutsu is not the son of Gandhari, but he is the same age as Duryodhana and Bhima.

Kaurava Pandava Yuddh


The term Kauravas is used in the Mahabharata with three meanings:

  • The wider meaning is used to represent all the descendants of Kuru. This meaning, which includes the Pandava brothers, is often used in the earlier parts of popular renditions of the Mahabharata.
  • The narrower but more common meaning is used to represent the elder line of the descendants of Kuru. This restricts it to the children of King Dhritarashtra, excluding the children of his younger brother, Pandu, whose children form the Pandava line.

The rest of this article deals with the Kaurava in the narrower sense, that is, the children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari. When referring to these children, a more specific term is also used – Dhārtarāṣṭra (Sanskrit: धार्तराष्ट्र), a derivative of Dhritarashtra.

Birth of Kauravas[edit]

After Gandhari was married to Dhritarashtra, she wrapped a bandage over her eyes and vowed to share the darkness that her husband lived in. Gandhari's brother Shakuni came to live with them to look after the interests of Gandhari. Once Sage Dwaipayan Vyasa came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur. She took great care of the comforts of the great saint and saw that he had a pleasant stay in Hastinapur. The saint was pleased with Gandhari and granted her a boon. Gandhari wished for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband. Dwaipayan Vyasa granted her the boon and in due course of time, Gandhari found herself to be pregnant. But two years passed and still, the baby was not born.[1] Meanwhile, Kunti received a son from god Yama whom she called Yudhishthira. After two years of pregnancy, Gandhari gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh that was not a baby at all. Gandhari was devastated as she had expected a hundred sons according to the blessing of Rishi Vyasa. She was about to throw away the piece of flesh while Rishi Vyasa appeared and told her that his blessings could not have been in vain and asked Gandhari to arrange for one hundred jars to be filled with ghee. He told Gandhari that he would cut the piece of flesh into a hundred pieces and place them in the jars, which would then develop into the one hundred sons that she so desired. Gandhari told Vyasa then that she also wanted to have a daughter. Vyasa agreed, cut the piece of flesh into one hundred and one-pieces, and placed them each into a jar. After two more years of patient waiting the jars were ready to be opened. Bhima was born a day after Duryodhana was born thus making him younger than him. Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva were born after Duryodhana was born.[2]

Children of Dhritarashtra[edit]

The children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari are also referred by a more specific and frequently encountered term - Dhārtarāṣṭra, a derivative of Dhṛtarāṣṭra (Dhritarashtra).

According to the epic, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. Another version says that she was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a hundred and one-pieces and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.[3]

The birth of these children is relevant to the dispute over the succession of the kingdom's throne. It attributes the late birth of Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage and legitimizes the case for his cousin Yudhishthira to claim the throne, since he could claim to be the eldest of his generation. All the sons of Dhritarashtra excluding Yuyutsu (born of Dhritarashtra's marriage with a Vaishya woman, thus a half-brother of Duryodhana) were killed in the great battle at Kurukshetra.

Quote from Mahabharata, Sambava Jayesh, Section 115(CXV in Roman Numerals):[4]

"And during the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maidservant of the Vaishya class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year, the O king was begotten upon her by the illustrious Dhritarashtra a son endued with great intelligence who was afterwards named Yuyutsu. And because he was begotten by a Kshatriya upon a Vaishya woman, he was subject to the constant taunts of the Kaurava.

Thus were born unto the wise Dhritarashtra, a hundred sons who were all heroes and mighty chariot-fighters, and a daughter over and above the hundred and another son Yuyutsu of great energy and prowess begotten upon a Vaishya woman."

Names of the Kauravas[edit]

Names of the Kauravas are recorded in the Mahabharata.[5]

  1. Duryodhana
  2. Dushyasana
  3. Vikarna
  4. Jalagandha
  5. Sama
  6. Saha
  7. Vindha
  8. Anuvindha
  9. Durmukha
  10. Chitrasena
  11. Durdarsha
  12. Durmarsha
  13. Dussaha
  14. Durmadha
  15. Chitrasena
  16. Dushkarna
  17. Durdhara
  18. Vivinsati
  19. Durmarshana
  20. Durvishaha
  21. Durvimochana
  22. Dushpradharsha
  23. Durjaya
  24. Jaitra
  25. Bhurivala
  26. Ravi
  27. Jayatsena
  28. Sujata
  29. Srutavan
  30. Srutanta
  31. Jaya
  32. Chitra
  33. Upachitra
  34. Charuchitra
  35. Chitraksha
  36. Sarasana
  37. Chitrayudha
  38. Chitravarman
  39. Suvarma
  40. Sudarsana
  41. Dhanurgraha
  42. Vivitsu
  43. Subaahu
  44. Nanda
  45. Upananda
  46. Kratha
  47. Vatavega
  48. Nishagin
  49. Kavashin
  50. Paasi
  51. Vikata
  52. Soma
  53. Suvarchasas
  54. Dhanurdhara
  55. Ayobaahu
  56. Mahabaahu
  57. Chithraamga
  58. Chithrakundala
  59. Swarva
  60. Bheemavega
  61. Bheemabela
  62. Ugraayudha
  63. Kundhaadhara
  64. Vrindaaraka
  65. Dridhavarma
  66. Dridhakshathra
  67. Dridhasandha
  68. Dussalan
  69. Sathyasandha
  70. Sadaasuvaak
  71. Ugrasravas
  72. Bheemadrath
  73. Senaany
  74. Aparaajitha
  75. Kundhasaai
  76. Dridhahastha
  77. Suhastha
  78. Suvarcha
  79. Aadithyakethu
  80. Ugrasaai
  81. Kavachy
  82. Kradhana
  83. Kundhy
  84. Bheemavikra
  85. Alolupa
  86. Abhaya
  87. Dhridhakarmaavu
  88. Dhridharathaasraya
  89. Anaadhrushya
  90. Kundhabhedy
  91. Viraavy
  92. Chithrakundala
  93. Pradhama
  94. Amapramaadhy
  95. Deerkharoma
  96. Suveeryavaan
  97. Dheerkhabaahu
  98. Kaanchanadhwaja
  99. Kundhaasy
  100. Virajas
  101. Duhsala(Daughter)[6]
  102. Yuyutsu(Half-Brother)

In literature[edit]

Harivamsa Purana (8th century CE) narrates the Jain version of their story.[7]

Marriages and children of Kauravas[edit]

All the 100 Kauravas were mentioned to have wives in the Adi Parva.[8] Some of them had children - Duryodhana was mentioned to have a Kalinga princess as his wife, named in folklores as Bhanumati. They had 2 children - a son Laxman Kumara and a daughter Lakshmana. Lakshman Kumar participated in the Kurukshetra War and killed Shikhandi's son Kshatradeva. He is killed by Abhimanyu on the 13th day of the War.
Lakshmana was said to have married Krishna's son Samba, and they had a son Ushneek. Dushasana was also said to have a son, who killed Abhimanyu in the war. Dushasana's son was ultimately killed by Shrutasena in the War. Chitrasena's son was said to have been killed by Shrutakarma in the Kurukshetra War. However, it was mentioned that all these sons of the Kauravas were killed by the sons of the Pandavas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kauravas". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Mahabharat Chapter 6 - Birth of Pandavas and Kauravas". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  3. ^ The Birth of the Pandavas and Kauravas
  4. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01116.htm>
  5. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=gzN2_fu0mIYC&pg=PA221&dq=Bhanumati+and+Karna&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiU0pqetPfsAhWDoOkKHQ0rDtwQ6AEwB3oECAkQAg#v=onepage&q=Duryodhana%20Dusshasana%20Dussahas%20Jalagandha&f=false
  6. ^ "Unveiling the secret of Duhsala, the only sister of 100 Kaurava Brothers". Detechter. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  7. ^ Upinder Singh 2016, p. 26.
  8. ^ https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01118.htm


External links[edit]