Age of Pandavas during Kurukshetra war

Calculated considering reference of Bhishma's Age

To find the age of Pandavas, some reference must have to be chosen. Who can be a better reference than Bhishma. Bhishma is the person who lived almost to the end. After his death, according to curse of GandhariKrishna died next to 36 years. Next to that, Yudhisthira left Kingdom and went away. Kali Yuga has been proved to be started from the death of Krishna and in the year 3102 BC. Hence, if we can calculate age of Bhishma during his death, age of Pandavas can be calculated easily. Lets start and divide the long life of Bhishma into different phases.

Age of Bhishma till birth of Dhritarashtra - Finding age of Pandavas

Niyog pratha gives birth to Kuru Princes
Dhritarashtra Pandu and Vidura- Image edited by S.Param

Bhishma was handed over to king Shantanu at the age of 16 by Ganga, well trained in arms and other Kshatriya rules through Parshurama, as stated in the pages of Mahabharata Adi parva. After 4 years from then (tentatively) Chitrangad and Vichitravirya were born. When Vichitravirya was 18, he was crowned and he expired. One year after that Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura were born out of Niyog process. So his age at that time becomes 16+4+18+1= 39, let it be 40, considering some misses from our calculation.

Age of Bhishma till Pandava Training

Training of Pandavas - Image edited by S.Param


It took another 18 years for Pandu to become King and 4 years for Pandu to beget Yudhisthira. So another 22 years with 40 means 62 was the age of him during the birth of Pandavas. Pandavas were brought to Hastinapur when Yudhisthira was 13. Then they went for 12 years as training from Dronacharya. So another 25 years to 62 means 87.

Age of Bhishma when Pandavas returned with Draupadi

Draupadi Marriage - Image edited by S.Param


After that, Pandavas were sent to Laksha Griha after 1 year and they lived there for 1 year and then after the building was burnt down. They left Varnabrat and resided in forest for 1 year and then married Draupadi and lived in the palace of Drupad for 1 year. So another 4 years to 87 and that takes Bhishma to 91.

Bhishma during his death

Iccha mrityu
Iccha mrityut - Image edited by S.Param

After that Indraprastha was built and Pandavas resided there for 13 years, including Arjuna’s forest life for 12 years and 1 year for killing Jarasandha and conquering kingdoms for Rajsua Yagna. After that the Dice game started. So at the time of dice game Bhishma was 104. Then there remains the forest life of 12 years and 1 year of exile that makes age of Bhishma 117. He took another 6 months to die, while waiting for Dakshinayan. Hence if we add 1 year to that, he was 118. Considering, the differential factors, which we might have omitted, 1 year can be added to it, making his age 119, during death.

Making out age of Pandavas and Krishna during Mahabharata war

Pandavas in panchal
Age of Pandavas - Image edited by S.Param

He was 62 years older than Yudhisthira, as calculated above (See colored portion in orange). Hence age of Yudhisthira during war was (119-62)= 57. He was 1 year older than Bhima. So age of Bhima was 56, two years older to Arjuna, so Arjuna was 55 and Nakul Sahadeva were 53. Krishna was also of 55 during Mahabharata war as he had the same age as of Arjuna (6 months older). Those were the age of Pandavas during Kurukshetra war.

Finding the years now from age of pandavas

Krishna died 36 years from the time of Kurukshetra. Hence, his age during death was (55+36) = 91. Now, the year is known to us and it is 3102 BC. Hence in 3102 BC, Krishna was 91. Just deduct that year and that comes as 3193 BC, which is the most tentative year of Birth of Krishna.

Footnote for age of Pandavas

There are many calculations on internet about age of Pandavas which says Arjuna was 89 during Mahabharata war. However It is the most awkward thing since, Arjuna married Subhadra, during the 12 years of Exile, which he gained while breaking the five brother’s rule to remain with Draupadi, in order to support a Brahmana. Look here now, Bhagbat Purana clearly states that Subhadra was 17 years younger than Krishna and she was married at the age of 22. Thus, age of Krishna during Subhadra’s marriage comes out as 39, which is also the age of Arjuna.

Now, after Subhadra’s marriage, Arjuna goes to conquer kingdoms for Rajsuya Yagna and that took around two years. So, Abhimanyu was only 2 years in age, when Pandavas were defeated in the game of Dice and sent to forest and concealment. That is 12+1= 13 years. Now add that to 2 years and it comes 15 years, during the time of Abhimanyu’s marriage with Uttara. Then it was the Udyoga parva and finally Abhimanyu came to field of Mahabharata war, when he was 16. Now, add that 16 to Arjuna’s age, when Abhimanyu died. It comes to the same – 55 (39+16), which was the age of Arjuna, during Mahabharata war. Hence our calculation of age of Pandavas is perfectly satisfied. 

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