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Pandu in the Mahabharata – Story of the Father of Pandavas

Pandu was the father of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata.  Story of the birth of Pandu is narrated in Adi Parva of the Mahabharata. Ambalika was the youngest of the three daughters of Kashi. She was married to Vichitravirya, the king of Hastinapura and son of Shantanu. Vichitravirya died before he had a child with Ambalika. To continue the Kuru lineage, Sage Vyasa was asked by Queen Satyavati to beget son. Thus Pandu was born to Ambalika. 

The word Pandu means ‘pale.’  It is said that Amabalika on seeing Sage Vyasa had turned pale and thus had given birth to a pale child.

Pandu had got the right to rule Hastinapura as his elder brother Dhritarashtra was blind.

Pandu married Kunti and Madri.

Pandu during a hunting expedition had killed a deer which was mating. The deer was actually Sage Kindama who was mating with his wife in deer form. Before dying, the sage cursed Pandu that he will fall dead if he ever mated with his wives.

After this incident, Pandu gave the throne of Hastinapura to his elder blind brother Dhritarashtra and went to the Himalayas. Here Kunti told him about the possession of mantra through which they could have children. Thus the Pandavas were born.

During his stay in the Himalayas, one day Pandu got carried away and tried to make love to Madri and died.