The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic that tells the story of the conflict between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

It is a vast and complex narrative, with many characters and subplots. One of the most useful tools for understanding the relationships between these characters is the family tree.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the family tree of the Mahabharata’s Pandavas and Kauravas.

Mahabharata Family Tree

Mahabharata Family Tree (Image: Source)

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The Kuru Dynasty

The story of the Mahabharata begins with the Kuru dynasty. The Kuru dynasty was a powerful kingdom in ancient India, and it is from this dynasty that both the Pandavas and the Kauravas descended.[1]wordzz

The Kuru dynasty was founded by King Kuru, and his descendants ruled the kingdom for many generations. It was during the reign of King Santanu that the story of the Mahabharata really begins.

King Santanu

King Santanu was a Kuru king who fell in love with a beautiful woman named Ganga. He married her, but soon discovered that she was not an ordinary woman.

Ganga was a goddess, and she had come to earth to bear Santanu’s children. Ganga gave birth to eight children, but she drowned them all in the river.

When Santanu discovered this, he was heartbroken, but Ganga explained that it was the gods’ will. She then gave birth to their ninth child, a son named Devavrata.

Devavrata (Bhishma)

Devavrata, later known as Bhishma, was Santanu’s son from Ganga. He was a brave warrior and a wise scholar, and he was respected by all who knew him.

When Santanu died, Bhishma became the regent for his younger brother Vichitravirya.

However, Vichitravirya died without any heirs, and Bhishma was faced with a dilemma. He could either choose a wife for Vichitravirya or risk the end of the Kuru dynasty.

The Marriage of Vichitravirya

Bhishma decided to hold a swayamvara, a ceremony in which eligible princesses could choose their own husband. Three princesses attended the ceremony: Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika.[2]mahabharata.fandom

However, before any of them could choose Vichitravirya, Bhishma was challenged by Amba’s former lover, who demanded that Bhishma fight him to the death.

Bhishma won the duel, but Amba was no longer interested in marrying Vichitravirya. Bhishma then arranged for Amba to marry King Salva of Saubala, but Salva rejected her because she had been “tainted” by another man.


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Amba returned to Bhishma, but he could not marry her himself because of his vow of celibacy. He sent her away with his blessing, and she later took her own life.

Bhishma then married Ambika and Ambalika to Vichitravirya, but Vichitravirya died without any children.

Bhishma was faced with another dilemma: he had sworn an oath of celibacy, so he could not father any children himself. However, he had a solution.

He asked Ambika and Ambalika to spend a night with his young ward, Vyasa, and to conceive children with him.

Mahabharata Family Tree

Mahabharata Family (Kaurav) Tree (Image: Source)

Vyasa came to help Ambika and Ambalika have kids with his Yogic strength. Vyasa told they should appear alone near him. First did Ambika, but because of shyness and fear that she shut her eyes.

Vyasa told Satyavati that the child will be blind. Later this child was called Dhritarashtra. Thus Satyawati delivered Ambalika and warned her that she needs to stay calm.

However, Ambalika’s face became light because of fear. Vyasa told that child will suffer from anaemia, and he won’t be fit enough to rule out the kingdom. Later this child had been understood as Pandu.

Afterward Vyasa told Satyavati to send one of them so that a healthy child might be born.

This time around Ambika and Ambalika delivered her maid in rather than these. Vidura was rather calm and written throughout the Yogic procedure, and so she got a healthful child later named as Vidura.

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King Pandu With His Two Wives

King Pandu With His Two Wives (Image: Source)

King Pandu and His Wives

The story of the Pandavas begins with King Pandu, who was the son of vyasa and Ambalika.[3]familytreebio

King Pandu married Kunti, who had the power to summon gods by reciting mantras. Kunti had already borne a son, Karna, before her marriage with Pandu.

After marriage, Pandu and Kunti had three sons – Yudhisthira, Bhima, and Arjun. Pandu had a second marriage with Madri, who bore him two sons – Nakula and Sahadeva.

The Five Pandavas

The five sons of Pandu – Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjun, Nakula, and Sahadeva – came to be known as the Pandavas. They were known for their strength, bravery, and intelligence.

All of them were married to Draupadi, who was the daughter of King Drupada of Panchala. The marriage of one woman to five brothers was an unprecedented event in history and has captured the imagination of people for centuries.

King Pandu

King Pandu (Image: Source)

The Sons of the Pandavas

The Pandavas had five sons from Draupadi, who were known as Upapandavas – Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Shrutakarma, Satanika, and Shrutakirti. These five sons were born in the forest during their exile.

Later on, Arjun married Subhadra, who was the sister of Lord Krishna. They had a son named Abhimanyu, who was known for his bravery in the Kurukshetra war.

Abhimanyu got married to Uttara, who gave birth to Parikshit.

Kauravas Family Tree: Descendants of King Dhritrashtra

The Kauravas, descendants of King Dhritrashtra, were a powerful and influential family in ancient Indian history.

Their family tree is an essential part of Indian mythology and is still widely studied today.

Mahabharata Family Tree

Mahabharata Family Tree (Image: Source)

Origins of the Kauravas

Dhritrashtra, the king of Hastinapur, was blind and had a hundred children. His wife, Gandhari, gave birth to ninety-nine sons and one daughter, Dussala.

Dhritrashtra also had one son, Yuyutsu, with Vaishya. These hundred children are famously known as the Kauravas.

Leaders of the Kauravas

The Kauravas were led by Duryodhana and Dushasana. Duryodhana was the eldest of the Kauravas and was ambitious and cunning. He was not afraid to go to any lengths to achieve his goals.

Dushasana was his younger brother and was equally ruthless in his ways. They were responsible for the downfall of the Kauravas.

Dussala, the sister of the Kauravas, was married to Jayadrath, who was the king of Sindhu. Jayadrath was a powerful ally of the Kauravas and played a significant role in the Kurukshetra war.

The Kurukshetra War

The Kurukshetra war was a defining moment in Indian history. It was fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, who were the descendants of King Pandu.

The war was fought over the kingdom of Hastinapur and lasted for eighteen days.

The Kauravas were defeated in the battle of Kurukshetra and were killed by the Pandavas. Duryodhana was killed by Bhima, who was the second of the Pandava brothers. The rest of the Kauravas were killed by various other members of the Pandava army.

10 Interesting Facts About Mahabharata

Mahabharata is an epic Indian tale that narrates the story of a great war between two families – the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The intricate family tree of these two families is quite fascinating and has many twists and turns. In this article, we will explore 10 interesting facts about the Pandavas and Kauravas family tree.

  1. The Pandavas and Kauravas were cousins. Pandu, the father of the Pandavas, and Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas, were brothers.
  2. Pandu had two wives – Kunti and Madri. Kunti gave birth to Yudhishthira, Bhima, and Arjuna. Madri gave birth to Nakula and Sahadeva.
  3. Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons known as the Kauravas. Duryodhana, Dushasana, and Dussala were his most well-known children.
  4. Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, had a special power that allowed her to summon gods and have children by them. Thus, Yudhishthira was the son of Yama, the god of death, Bhima was the son of Vayu, the god of wind, and Arjuna was the son of Indra, the king of gods.
  5. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, was born from a fire ritual performed by King Drupada. She was married to all five Pandavas.
  6. Karna, the archrival of the Pandavas, was actually the son of Kunti and the sun god, Surya. She abandoned him at birth, and he was later adopted by a charioteer.
  7. The Pandavas had a half-brother named Karna, who fought on the Kaurava side in the great war. Karna and Arjuna had a fierce rivalry, and their battle is considered one of the highlights of the epic.
  8. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, was a warrior who had learned how to enter the formidable “Chakravyuha” battle formation in his mother’s womb. He was killed in battle when he was only 16 years old.
  9. Bhishma, the patriarch of the Kuru dynasty, was the son of King Shantanu and Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges. He had taken a vow of celibacy and never married.
  10. The great war between the Pandavas and Kauravas lasted for 18 days and resulted in the death of countless warriors, including all the Kaurava brothers and most of the Pandava sons. Ultimately, the Pandavas emerged victorious and established a just rule over the kingdom.


What is the Mahabharata?

The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic that tells the story of the conflict between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. It is a vast and complex narrative with many characters and subplots.

What is the significance of the family tree in the Mahabharata?

The family tree is a useful tool for understanding the relationships between the many characters in the Mahabharata. It shows how the Pandavas and Kauravas are related to each other and to the Kuru dynasty.

Who founded the Kuru dynasty?

The Kuru dynasty was founded by King Kuru. His descendants ruled the kingdom for many generations.

Who was Bhishma in the Mahabharata?

Bhishma, also known as Devavrata, was the son of King Santanu and Ganga. He became the regent for his younger brother Vichitravirya after Santanu’s death. Bhishma faced a dilemma when Vichitravirya died without any heirs, and he arranged for Ambika and Ambalika to conceive children with his young ward, Vyasa, so that the Kuru dynasty could continue.

Who were the Pandavas?

The Pandavas were the five sons of King Pandu – Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjun, Nakula, and Sahadeva. Their story is a central part of the Mahabharata, and they are known for their righteousness, loyalty, and bravery.

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