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Armies in Mahaabhaarat War
See also  Questions About Armies    Questions About War

In olden days, in India, a good king used to have Chaturanginee army. Chaturanginee means an army with four wings -
Chariot riders - who used to fight riding on chariots
Elephant riders - who used to fight riding on elephants
Horse riders - who used to fight riding on horses
Foot soldiers - who used to fight on foot

There were many small kings also who did not have all these four wings of army with them. Normally people had these four wings in a certain proportion -

According to Mahaabhaarat, G-5-Prewar/21
One chariot was attached with 50 elephants,
each elephant was attached with 100 horses, and
each horse was attached to 7 foot soldiers.

500 chariots, as many elephants, 1,500 horses, 2,500 foot soldiers constituted a Senaa (army).
10 such Senaa constituted a Preetan, and
10 such Preetan constituted a Vaahinee.
But commonly Senaa, Vaahinee, Preetan, Dhwajinee, Chamu, Akshauhinee and Varuthinee all are used in the same sense.

250 men constitute a Pattee, and
3 Pattee make a Senaamukh or Gulm, and
3 Gulm make a Gan.
Duryodhan had 1,100 such Gun.

How Many People Were Killed in MBH War

It is well known that in MBH war, Kaurav had 11 Akshauhine army and Paandav had 7 Akshauhinee army. Now how much is 1 Akshauhinee? In olden times, four types of soldiers constituted a full army and it was called Chaturanginee Army. One Akshauhinee army was constituted of 218,690 heads. Among them --
 21,870 were Rath riders (chariots),
 21,870 were elephant riders,
 65,600 cavalry (horse riders), and
109,350 infantry (soldiers on foot).
218,690 Total 1 Akshauhinee army

As Kaurav and Paandav had 11 and 7 Akshauhinee army respectively
Kaurav had    218, 690 X 11 = 2,405,590 people
Paandav had   218,690 X  7 = 1,530,830 people
  Total                                   3,936,420 heads

So almost 4 million people were killed in this war except 10 people. These 10 people were
5 Paandav, 1 Yuyutsu and 1 Saatyaki  =  7
Kripaachaarya, Kritvarma and Ashwatthaamaa  = 3

Details From MBH Itself

In fact details of the actual fatalities (and survivors) in the war may be found in the 11th Parv, Stree Parv of the Mahaabhaarat. When the Paandav, along with Krishn, come to meet Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree. At one point, Dhritaraashtra asks Yudhishthir if he knows the number of people dead and number of survivors. The numbers that Dharm-Putra reveals are --

Fatalities : 1 billion, 660 million and 20,000
Survivors : 240,165
Today’s world population is 6 billion, 700 odd million. Even in today’s terms, about 25% of the population got wiped out in the war.
The original Shlok and therir translation from Ganguly is presented below --

dashayutanam ayutam sahasraani cha vinshatihi |
kotyah shashtishcha shat chaiva ye asmin rajamrudhe hataha ||
alakshyaanam tu veeraanam sahasraani chaturdasha |
dasha chaanyani rajendra shataam shashtis cha pancha cha ||

“One billion 660 million and 20,000 men have fallen in this battle. Of the heroes that have escaped, the number is 240,165″

Names of Main People on Both Sides

MBH, G-5-Prewar/20 says that
Paandav had --
Dhrishtdyumn (Drupad's son)
Shikhandee  (Drupad's son)
Saatyaki (Yuyudhaan)
Chekitaan, and
Bheem   -------- these seven people as their Commander-in-Chief

Other people included
Abhimanyu (Arjun and Subhadraa's son)
Ghatotkach (Bheem's son)
Draupadee's 5 sons
Sahadev (Jaraasandh's son)
Kuntibhoj (Kuntee's father)
Kaikaya Brothers

Kaurav had ----
Ashwatthaamaa (Drone's son)
Shakuni (Duryodhan's Maamaa)
Ulook (Shakuni's son)
Shalya (Nakul and Sahadev's Maamaa)
Jayadrath (Dushalaa's husband)
Kritvarmaa -  (Krishn's Army Chief)

Rukmee and --- were refused for their help.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 01/30/13