The Pandavas are the five renowned brothers who are central characters in the epic Mahabharata. They are the sons of Pandu, named Yudhishtira, Bhima and Arjuna – born to Pandu's first wife Kunti, and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva – born to his second wife Madri. The fatherhood of the Pandavas is attributed to different Gods because sex was mortally dangerous for Pandu due to a curse. Accordingly, Yudhishtira is the son of Yama, Bhima of Vayu, Arjuna of Indra, and Nakula and Sahadeva of the Ashwini deities. Arjuna wins Draupadi in a 'swayamvaram' (marriage) and later, on his mother’s advice, shares her with the other four brothers. The Pandavas engaged in the Mahabharata war with their cousins, Kauravas, and relatives, and won the war with the help of Lord Krishna. The Pandavas are symbolic of goodness wheras the Kauravas embody evil.

The Pandavas are associated with some holy places in India such as Pandava Tala at Ekachakra, West Bengal; Pandava Teerth at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh; and Pandava Waterfall at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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