How many days Mahabharata war lasted? – 18 days Synopsis of the War

Mahabharata war lasted for 18 days. And within these 18 days many kings were killed, many soldiers lost their lives, fates of many families and kingdoms were overturned.

Table of Contents

The Mahabharata War lasted for 18 days. This post deals will answer how many days Mahabharata war lasted, and a short synopsis of each day of the Mahabharata war. Within these 18 days, many kings were killed, many soldiers lost their lives, fates of many families and kingdoms were overturned.

The exact start date in conflicting although tithis according to the Hindu calendar given on this website: Moon – Phases & Positions: 18 days of the Mahabharata War, although the credibility can be questioned.

The dreadful war began with blowing of Panchajanya ( Conch of Lord Shri Krishna ), and the entire war was being dictated to Dhritarashtra by Sanjay

How many Days Mahabharata War lasted?

Mahabharata was lasted for 18 days. Out of which 10 days were led by the mighty Pitamaha Bhishma these 10 days are described in Bhishma Parva in Vyasa Mahabharata. The next 5 days were led by Acharya Drona, the incidents happened in these 5 days were mentioned in Drona parva. Surya putra Karna took the power for 2 more days, Karna Parva talks about these 2 days. Shalya ( the king of Madra ) also led for half a day which is written in Shalya Parva and the remaining half day was chaos when Duryodhana was killed by Bheema, Ashwatthama severed the sleeping warriors of Pandava army shoots the Bramhastra. All this is mentioned in Sauptika Parva.

Read more to know How long Mahabharata War lasted under each senapati, And what happened under their captaincy.

Do you know the story of Ghatotkacha’s Wife? Read here to Know the challenge which Ghatotkacha had to go through to marry his wife

How many days Mahabharata war lasted
Mahabharata war begins

Day 1

Bheeshma was unstoppable and peirced through the Pandava army defeating the warriors and tearing down the arrows from the 5 sons of Draupadi. This was the day when the young Prince Uttar of Matsya desha lost his life to a spear thrown by King Shalya ( Brother of Madri, and Ruler of Madra pradesha ). This day was an utter loss to Pandava army.

Day 2

Pandavas realising the might of Bheeshma, Pandavas decided to engage Bheeshma and stop him from killing more Pandava forces. Arjuna and Bheema along with some other warriors.

Day 3 – Day 9

The battle continued, with Bheeshma and Drona destroying Pandava army, and Bhima attacking the Kaurava brothers. Rest of the Pandavas fought with The armies of Gandhara, Madra, Sindh and other supporting states.

Mahahbarata War
Mahabharata War

The Significant Incident that happened was on the 9th day when a frustrated Lord Shri Krishna steps down from the chariot and goes ahead to kill Bheeshma, this is when Lord Krishna says that he doesn’t need a weapon to defeat Bheeshma, A mere chariot wheel will be sufficient.
Altought Pitamaha Bheeshma surrenders to Krishna, Arjuna requests Krishna not to break is vow of not participating in the war.

Krishna kills Bheeshma
Krishna attempts to kills Bheeshma

Did you know Vyasa and Lord Ganesha had challenged each other while composing the Mahabharata?

Day 10

Shikhandi, the reincarnation of Devi Amba enters into the battle ground and Arjuna positioning himself behind Shikhandi shots arrows towards Bheeshma which peirces his body finally defeating Bheeshma

Shikhandi comes to stop Bheeshma
Shikhandi comes to stop Bheeshma

Day 11 – Day 12

Drona is marked as the new Senapati of kaurava Army, and Mighty Karna enters the battle field. These two days go on with Karna defeating the pandavas but not killing them, and Drona trying to capture Yudhishtira to put an end to war, but fails due the presence of Arjuna.

Day 13

This is when Arjuna was tricked to leave the battle field by the army of Trigartha led by Susharman, And Drona setting up Chakravyuha, which was broken by Abhimanyu. The rest of the Pandavas were stopped by the King of Sindhu Jayadratha which eventually led to the death of Abhimanyu who was killed by a bunch of Kaurava Warriors.

Abhimanyu fights Kauravas
Abhimanyu fights Kauravas

Day 14

Arjuna vows to kill Jayadratha before subset and promises walk into fire if he fails to do so. Eventually krishna eclipses the sun making people believe that the sun haas set, which drives Jayadratha out of his hut to witness the death of Arjuna, only to realise that the sun had not set. Finaly Arjuna shoots the Divine pashupatha which acts as a guiding misile to behead Jayadratha.

Arjuna kills Jayadratha
Arjuna kills Jayadratha

Day 15

On the night of the 14th day, Ghatotkacha was summoned by Bhima who creates havoc in the Battlefield destroying the Kaurava Army. Afraid that Ghatotkacha would the fight on that day itself, Karna is forced to use the vasavi astra which he saved it to Kill Arjuna.
The morning of the 15th day noted the death of Drona, where he was mislead that his son was killed by Bhima. And was eventually killed by Drishtadyumna.

Ghatotkacha in Mahabharata War
Ghatotkacha in Mahabharata War

Day 16

This day marked the death of dushyasana and some scriptures say that draupadi washed her hair with the blood his chest.

Day 17

Arjuna and Karna engage in a fierce battle, Where Karna was brave enough to fight against the Person having Krishna as his charioteer and Lord Hanuman himself on the flag. The day ended with Karna forgetting his powers and his chariot wheel getting stuck in the earth both as a result of curses in the past. Eventually Arjuna Kills Karna.

Arjuna Kills Karna
Arjuna Kills Karna

Day 18

The last and final day of the war, where Shalya was killed by Yudhistira, And then Bhima kills Duryodhana by hitting on the thigh which enrages Balrama. That night Ashwathama kills the sleeping upapandavas (Draupadi’s children) along with Drishtadyuma and Drupada. Also releases Bramhastra into the womb of Uttara. Krishna then revives the dead womb who then becomes the successor of Yudhishtira.

Duryodhana dies
Duryodhana dies
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How many days Mahabharata War lasted
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How many days Mahabharata War lasted
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Mahabharata war lasted for 18 days. And within these 18 days many kings were killed, many soldiers lost their lives, fates of many families and kingdoms were overturned. The dreadful war began with blowing of Panchajanya ( Conch of Lord Shri Krishna ), and the entire war was being dictated to Dhritarashtra by Sanjay
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