Kurukshetra wars – Survivors and the aftermath

Posted on March 31, 2010

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The 10 warriors who survived the war include 7 from the Pandavas (Krishna, 5 Pandavas and Sathyaki) and 3 from the Kauravas (Aswattama, Kripa and Kritavarma) (Source: Mbh 9.1)

Sathyaki and Kritavarma were from the Vrishni race. Many years after the war, these two warriors got into a brawl against each other that inadvertently led to the destruction of the entire race.

Aswattama slaughtered the army of Pandavas in their sleep on the last night of the war.  He also killed Parikshit, the unborn child of Abhimanyu in Uttara‘s womb. The baby was then revived to life by Krishna. For this act, Aswattama was cursed by Krishna to lead a condemned life for 3000 years, and he wilfully retreated into the forest with the sages.

Kripa later became the Guru for Parikshit

Kurukshetra Battle depicted in Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

Kurukshetra Battle depicted in Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

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By other accounts the following principal warriors also survived the war:

Yuyutsu was Dhritarashtra‘s son born of a vaisya woman (and hence not counted among the 100 Kauravas). He fought alongside the Pandavas. When Pandavas designated Parikshit as the King of Hastinapura, Yutsu was designated caretaker of the Kingdom

Vrishaketu, son of Karna, fought on the side of Kauravas, but became very close to the Pandavas after the war. Later during the time of Pandava’s Aswamedha Yaga, he fought alongside Arjuna against Babhruvahana.

Vrishaketu shoots Babhruvahana into the air through a circle of  arrows (Circa 1850)

Vrishaketu shoots Babhruvahana into the air through a circle of arrows (Circa 1850)

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In Stri Parva, Yudhishtira provides the following report on casualties and survivors to Dhritarashtra:  “1 billion, 660 million, and 20 thousand men perished in the war. Only 240,165 heroes survived”. (Mbh 11.26)

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