Who was the only Kaurava who fought on the side of the Pandavas?

The Xennial
·2 min read
Relief carvings at Kailasa or Kailash Temple at the Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, India

There were a hundred Kauravas but just one chose the winning side.

Popular belief has it that Dhritarashtra fathered a hundred sons and one daughter. However, this doesn’t account for the sole son he fathered outside of his marriage to Gandhari. That son’s name was Yuyutsu.

Yuyutsu was born of Sughada, one of Gandhari’s maid-in-waiting while the latter was pregnant with Dushasana. According to the epic, Yuyutsu was born around the same time as Duryodhana and Bhima, thus making him older than all the other Kauravas as well as Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.

Yuyutsu is celebrated as the only righteous Kaurava for having sided the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War. However, growing up, Yuyutsu was not the only Kaurava who didn’t approve of Duryodhana’s cunning ways. Vikrana, one of the 100 sons of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra, was Yuyutsu’s partner in crime and is said to have warned Pandavas of his brother’s antics.

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But when the time came to pick a side in the war, Vikrana decided to fight on the side of the Kauravas. On the other hand, Yuyutsu felt it was against his conscience to fight alongside his half-brothers and therefore went over and fought alongside Pandavas.

To be clear, Yuyutsu was no small fry. He was one of the dozen or so maharathis, a title that was reserved for only the best of the warriors so his siding the Pandavas was also a big deal.

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At the end of the war, Yuyutsu was the only son of Dhritarashtra who survived. As a token of gratitude, the Pandavas made him the king of Indraprastha, the city that the Pandavas had built following the burning down of the Khandava forest.

The Pandavas themselves ruled from Hastinapur and did so for 36 years before retiring into the forest as was the custom. However, before they left, they made Yuyutsu the regent till Arjuna’s grandson Parikshit came of age and was suited to rule the empire.

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Dhritarashtra’s dream was to see Duryodhana on the throne. While that never happened, of all his sons, the one who got closest to the throne was the one he’d fathered with his wife’s maid.

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