Mahabharata‎ > ‎The Plot‎ > ‎


This section gives the events of MB in chronological order, along with the approximate (and realistic) ages of the main characters.

Event Ages
Bheeshm's Vow: Shantanu marries Satyavati. Bheeshm swears to remain a Brahmachari, and gives up his right to the throne. Vyas: @2; Bheeshm: @8; Balhik: @16;
Bheeshm's rise to power: After Shantanu's death, Bheeshm assumes the position of care taker and remains so till his death. He kidnaps Kashi princesses, to be married to a young @15 year old Vichitravirya. Vichitravirya dies within a year of his marriage. In the next 3 years Dhrutarashtra, Pandu & Vidur are born, from Vyas. Vyas: 21; Bheeshm: 27; Balhik: 35; Dhruturashtra: 2;
Pandu's Digvijay: 18 year old Pandu marries Kunti. About 3 years earlier, 15 year old Kunti had given birth to Karna. In the following 2 years, Pandu completes digvijay mission and then retires to the Himalayas with his 2 wives. Vyas: 41; Bheeshm: 47; Balhik: 55; Dhruturashtra: 22;
Birth of Kaurav, Pandav and Krishna: Bheem is born a year after Yudhishthir. Duryodhan is born a day after Bheem. Arjun and Krushn are born in the same year. The twins Nakul and Sahadev are born a year after Arjun. Probably the same year Draupadi and Dhrushtadyumna were born. After the death of Pandu and Madri, Kunti returns to Hastinapur with the kids. Vyas: 45; Bheeshm: 51; Balhik: 59; Dhruturashtra: 26; Yudhishthir: 4
Education: When Yudhishthir is 8, the education of Kaurav and Pandav commences. 10 years later, Arjun and Bheem defeat King Drupad and present him as a prisoner to Drona as Guru-dakshina. Vyas: 59; Bheeshma: 65; Balhik: 73; Dhruturashtra: 40; Yudhishthir: 18;
Draupadi Swayamvar: Stay at Varnavat @1 yr. Duryodhan plans to kill the Pandav in Varnavat. Bheem slays Hidimb. Stay with Hidimba @1 yr. Bheem's son Ghatotakach is born. Stay in Ekchakra @1 yr. Bheem slays Bakasur. Draupadi Swayamvar. Arjun and Bheem defeat all the kings assembled at the Swayamwar. With Panchal and Yadav support, Pandav get Indraprashta as their share of the kingdom. Vyas: 62; Bheeshma: 68; Balhik: 76; Dhruturashtra: 43; Yudhishthir: 21; Draupadi: 16
The game of dice Krushn and Arjun clear the area by burning Khandav forest. Pandav build the city of Indraprastha. Birth of 5 sons to Draupadi. Arjun's one year exile. Arjun marries Subhadra, Ulupi and Chitrangada. Birth of 2 Arjun sons: Abhimanyu and Babruvahan. Weddings of Yudhishthir, Bheem, Nakul & Sahadev. Bheem kills Jarasandha. Digvijay and Rajsuya yadnya. Duryodhan invites the Pandav for a game of Dice. Vyas: 70; Bheeshma: 76; Balhik: 84; Dhruturashtra: 51; Yudhishthir: 29; Draupadi: 24
14 years later the War: 12 years in exile. 1 year in hiding. 1 year preparation for war. The Great War Vyas: 84; Bheeshma: 90; Balhik: 98; Dhruturashtra: 65; Yudhishthir: 43; Draupadi: 38
18 day war details:
  • On Revati nakshtra, Krushn leaves Upaplavya for peace talks. Has 3 rounds of talks with Dhruturashtra and Duryodhan. Returns about 10 days later, after the failure of the talks.
  • Balaram arrives in Upaplavya, meets Krushn. On learning that the war is inevitable, he decides to go on a piligrim. He asks his men to get required material for the yatra from Dwaraka to Prabhas. Next 15-20 days, Balaram travels from Upaplavya to Prabhas.
  • On Karthik Krushn 1, Pushya Nakshtra: ie. 27 days after Krushn's arrival in Upapalvya: Pandav leave for Kurukshetra. On the same day Balaram starts his Saraswati pilgrimage from Prabhas.
  • Next 23 days: Kaurav and Pandav setup their camps, and prepare the battle field.
  • Margshirsha Shudha 10: Sharad Navaratra. Viajaya Dashmi. Yudhishthir worships goddess. Now a days, Sharad Rutu coincides with the month of Ashwin. Hence Vijaya Dashmi is on Ashwin S 10. Exactly one year ago on Marg S 10, Arjun had retrieved his Gandiv bow from the Shami tree and defeated Kaurav with Prince Uttar of Matsya Desh.
  • Margshirsh Shuddha 11. Geeta Jayanti. War starts.
  • Marg Krushna 14 Shravan nakshtra. Day 19: 42 days after starting the piligrim, Balaram reaches Kurukshetra to watch the dual. Bheem kills Duryodhan in the dual. Pandav win the war. The same night Ashwathama kills many of the sleeping Pandav army, including Pandav sons and Drupad brothers.
  • For 30 days, Pandav stay out of Hastinapur to mourn the dead. They enter the city after a month. Yudhishthir is coronated. Bheem is declared as the crown prince.
  • Magh Shuddha 8: Exactly 58 days after the beginning of the war: Bheeshm dies. This was the day when the Uttarayana began. The Sun's journey back to North. Today this day is Dec 21/22.
Epilogue: Parikshit is born few months after the war. 18 months after the war Dhrutarashtra, Gandhari, Vidur and Kunti retire to forests. 2 years later they die. Vyas writes MB. Vyas: 88; Dhruturashtra: 69; Yudhishthir: 47; Draupadi: 42
Yadav Civil War: 36 years after the war. Yadav civil war. Death of Krushn, Pandav and Draupadi. Yudhishthir: 79; Draupadi: 74
First recitation of MB: Death of Parikshit at the age of 60. Within few years, Janmejay performs the Sarpa-satra. Vaishampayan recites MB. A little over 60 years after the war. Vaishampayan: @90; Janmejaya: 40; Shatanik: 20; Sauti: @20
Second recitation of MB: During the regime of AdhiseemaKrushn, Sauti retold MB to Sage Shaunak and other sages who had gathered in the Naimisharanya for a 12 year sacrifice. AdhiseemaKrushn: @30; Sauti: @70