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Kaurava Pandava Yuddh

Kaurava (Sanskrit: कौरव) is a Sanskrit term for the descendants of Kuru, 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.


The term 'Kaurava' is used in the Mahābhārata with two 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 Mahābhārata.
  • The narrower but more common meaning, is used to represent the elder line of the descendants of King Kuru. This restricts it to the children of King Dhritarashtra, as his line is the older line of descent from Kuru. It excludes the children of the younger brother Pandu, who founds his own line, the Pandava.

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 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. 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. 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 Vyas. She was about to throw away the piece of flesh when Rishi Vyas 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 Vyas then that she also wanted to have a daughter. Vyas 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.[1]

When the first jar was opened the first baby was born and was named Suyodhana who was later called Duryodhana (for his bad deeds) which means "the unconquerable one" or "difficult to fight with". As soon as the baby started crying all the beasts of the jungle started howling and many signs of ill omen were seen. Vidura warned that the child would have to be abandoned as the omens at his birth augured doom for the Kuru clan. He said, "The scriptures clearly state that for the good of the clan an individual can be sacrificed, for the good of the village a clan can be sacrificed, for the good of the country a village can be sacrificed; and for the development of the soul, even the earth can be sacrificed. So for the good of the clan and of the country and of humanity, please sacrifice this son of yours." But both Gandhari and Dhritrashtra were adamant that a baby could not cause any harm, and much against Vidura's wishes kept the baby. At the same time Bhima was born to Kunti in the forest. Another son of Dhritarashtra was from a Vaishya servant Sukhada named Yuyutsu was born on the same day as Bhima and Duryodhana. The other children of Gandhari were taken out of the jars; now Gandhari had one hundred sons and a daughter named Duhsala. All the children grew up to be strong and powerful.[citation needed]

This story should be read in view of the dispute over the succession to the throne of the kingdom. It attributes a late birth to Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage. This legitimises Yudhishthira's claim to the throne, since he was the eldest of his generation.[citation needed]

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.[2]

The birth of these children is relevant to the dispute over 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 Vaysya woman, thus a half-brother of Duryodhana) were killed in the great battle at Kurukshetra.

Quote from Mahabharata, Sambava jayesh, Section CXV:[3]

"And during the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maid servant of the Vaishya class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year, 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 Vaisy 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."

List of Dhritarashtra's children[edit]

  1. Duryodhan
  2. Dushasana
  3. Vikarna
  4. Yuyutsu
  5. Jalsandha
  6. Sam
  7. Sudushil
  8. Bheembal
  9. Subahu
  10. Sahishnu
  11. Yekkundi
  12. Durdhar
  13. Durmukh
  14. Bindoo
  15. Krup
  16. Chitra
  17. Durmad
  18. Dushchar
  19. Sattva
  20. Chitraksha
  21. Urnanabhi
  22. Chitrabahoo
  23. Sulochan
  24. Sushabh
  25. Chitravarma
  26. Asasen
  27. Mahabahu
  28. Samdukkha
  29. Mochan
  30. Sumami
  31. Vibasu
  32. Vikar
  33. Chitrasharasan
  34. Pramah
  35. Somvar
  36. Man
  37. Satyasandh
  38. Vivas
  39. Upchitra
  40. Chitrakuntal
  41. Bheembahu
  42. Sund
  43. Valaki
  44. Upyoddha
  45. Balavardha
  46. Durvighna
  47. Bheemkarmi
  48. Upanand
  49. Anasindhu
  50. Somkirti
  51. Kudpad
  52. Ashtabahu
  53. Ghor
  54. Roudrakarma
  55. Veerbahoo
  56. Kananaa
  57. Kudasi
  58. Deerghbahu
  59. Adityaketoo
  60. Pratham
  61. Prayaami
  62. Veeryanad
  63. Deerghtaal
  64. Vikatbahoo
  65. Drudhrath
  66. Durmashan
  67. Ugrashrava
  68. Ugra
  69. Amay
  70. Kudbheree
  71. Bheemrathee
  72. Avataap
  73. Nandak
  74. Upanandak
  75. Chalsandhi
  76. Broohak
  77. Suvaat
  78. Nagdit
  79. Vind
  80. Anuvind
  81. Arajeev
  82. Budhkshetra
  83. Droodhhasta
  84. Ugraheet
  85. Kavachee
  86. Kathkoond
  87. Aniket
  88. Kundi
  89. Durodhar
  90. Shathasta
  91. Shubhkarma
  92. Saprapta
  93. Dupranit
  94. Bahudhami
  95. Yuyutsoo
  96. Dhanurdhar
  97. Senanee
  98. Veer
  99. Pramathee
  100. Droodhsandhee
  101. Dushala (the only daughter)

In literature[edit]

Harivamsa Purana (8th century CE) narrates the Jain version of their story.[4]

See also[edit]



  • Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6

External links[edit]