The mutilated Abhimanyu | Mahabharata Paintings


After the fall of Bhishma, Drona became the commander-in-chief of Kaurava army. Though he was a skilled Archer, teacher and master of war tactics, he could not get an opportunity to slay any of the Pandava-s to take revenge for Bhishma’s fall. Karna – who had vowed not to come to the battlefield under the leadership of Bhishma – had joined the army already. Krishna kept Arjuna at a distance from him, as Karna had the weapon to kill him.

Abhimanyu bids farewell to Uttara
Abhimanyu bids farewell to Uttara

As Kaurava-s did not get notable victory for Bhishma’s fall to Pandava’s foul play, Drona was under pressure when he came to battlefield on thirteenth day.

He formed a chakra-vyuga, a circular maze to trap Pandava-s. Yudhishthira fell as a prey. He got stuck inside the chakra-vyuga. Krishna, who was at far-away distance, blew his conch to seek help to save Yudhishthira from other Pandava-s. No one was able to help him. This is when the young upapandava Abhimanyu got into action.

Abhimanyu battling alone in the Chakravyuha
Abhimanyu battling alone in the Chakravyuha

The chakra-vyuga intrigued him. His maternal uncle – Krishna – taught to him on how to save others from this round maze. But he did not teach him about how to eject oneself safely.

So he successfully broke the chakra-vyuga, scattered the warriors in the maze wall, and saved Yudhishthira. Before he accomplished his notable victory, he was surrounded and attacked by the brave warriors of Kaurava army, who were his own relatives.


Karna, Duryodhana, Drona were in front of Abhimanyu. His chariot, bows, sword and spheres were broken. Jeyamohan had portrayed this scene painfully in his novel kaar-kadal of Venmurasu novel series.

An unarmed teenage boy, fought bravely with a wheel of a chariot in his hand. He killed Laxmana Kumara – son of Duryodhana. Angered by this, Duryodhana asked Drona to move the target of Chakra-vyuga from Yudhishthira to Abhimanyu.

The Death of Abhimanyu
The Death of Abhimanyu

Arrows from Drona, Shakuni, Karna, Duryodhana stitched Abhimanyu and cut him into pieces. A brave boy – who fathered the next generation of Kuru clan – was killed tragically. Yudhishthira must have suffered the same fate instead of Abhimanyu. Dharma raja Yudhishthira got a life at the cost of his nephew!

  • The illustrated Mahabharata, Dorling Kindersley India, Penguin Random House, 1st Ed. 2017
  • The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes, Bibek Debroy
  • Kaar kadal / Venmurasu by Jeyamohan

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