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Kaurava Army Layout

Unlike the Pandava army, the Kaurava army didn’t have graded ranks. Also, the Kaurava army was less mobile because each rank of a unit of army consisted of way more soldiers. The Kauravas had 18+ Akshaunis, which they divided into 11 huge Vahinis.

Kaurava Army Layout


  • 1 Akshauni from Kuru-Bahlika from Bhurishravas
    • Joined the Kauravas because Bhurishravas and his family were descended from Bahlika, the brother of Shantanu
  • 1 Akshauni from Gandhara from Shakuni
    • Joined the Kaurava side because Shakuni’s sister was Gandhari (the mother of the Kauravas) and because Bahlikas joined the Kauravas
  • 1 Akshauni from Madra from Shalya
    • Forced to join Kaurava side because Duryodhana tricked Shalya
  • 1 Akshauni from Kamboja and Yavanas/Sakas from Sudakshina
    • Joined the Kauravas because the Bahlika kingdom joined the Kauravas
  • 1 Akshauni from Mahishmati from Nila Duryodhana
    • Joined the Kaurava side because Nila Duryodhana had been defeated by Sahadeva in his military campaign, so he wanted revenge on Sahadeva due to his arrogance
  • 1 Akshauni from Pragjyotisha Empire/China from Bhagdatta
    • Joined the Kauravas because of relationships with the Kaurava clan
  • 1 Akshauni from Kalinga
    • Joined the Kauravas because over the years, Yudhsitira had defeated and punished them for their adharmika deeds, so they wanted revenge
  • 10,000 Elephants from Nishada
    • Joined the Kauravas because of their enmity with Kuntibhoja and the Karushas
  • Narayani Sena
    • Joined the Kaurava side because Duryodhana chose them over Krishna, who was chosen by Arjuna
  • 1 Akshauni from Bhojas/Kukuras under Kritavarma
    • Joined the Kaurava side because of relationships with the Kaurava clan
  • 100,000 Fire-Oath Sampshapatakas/Mercenaries
    • Joined the Kaurava side because they had take an oath to kill Arjuna or die
  • 1 Rakshasa Akshauni from Alambusha
    • Joined the Kauravas because Danavas prefered the Kauravas
  • 1 Rakshasa Akshauni from Alayudha
    • Joined the Kauravas because Danavas prefered the Kauravas
  • 1 Akshauni from Sindhu-Sauvira/Abhira/Sudra from Jayadratha
    • Joined the Kauravas because he was married to Dushala, the sister of the hundred Kauravas
  • 2 Akshaunis from Avanti from Vinda & Anuvinda
    • Joined the Kaurava side because of their enmity with Krishna
  • 3 Other Miscellaneous Akshaunis
  • 1 Akshauni from Kekaya from the Vind and Anuvind
  • 1 Akshauni from Anga from Karna
    • Joined Kaurava side because Karna was Duryodhana’s best friend and Karna was ruling as a vassal to Hastinapura
  • Elephant Forces from Vanga
    • Joined the Kauravas because over the years, Yudhistira had defeated and punished them for their adharmika deeds, so they wanted revenge
  • 10,000 Cavalry from Ayodhya

All these armies add up to around 18+ Akshaunis. The Kauravas divided these Akshaunis into 11 huge Vahinis, consisting of around 550,000 soldiers. Also, not all the Akshaunis were front-line. Some were kept as reserve Akshaunis armies.

Commanding all of them was the Commander-in-Chief. On the first through tenth days, the Commander-in-Chief was Bhishma. The Commander-in-Chief on the 11th-15th days was Dronacharya, but he was killed by Dhristadyumna on the 15th day. The Commander-in-Chief on the 16th-17th days was Karna, but he was killed on the 17th day by Arjuna. The Commander-in-Chief on the last day was Shalya.

 

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