For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Lesser-known Facts About Shakuni


Shakuni was one of the most important characters in the Mahabharata. He was the main supporter of the Kauravas. He is often depicted as a clever, sharp and selfish man. Shakuni was the maternal uncle of the Kauravas. We have brought to you some facts about Shakuni which you might not be knowing. Take a look.

1. Shakuni was the son Subala. We all know that he had a hundred nephews. But not many know that he himself was the hundredth son of Gandhar King Subala. All his brothers had died, leaving him and Gandhari as the only siblings alive.

2. Shakuni's sister was Gandhari, who was married to the king of Hastinapur. This king, whom we know as Dhritarashtra was visually impaired since birth. It is believed that Shakuni was not happy when his sister was married to a person visually impaired, though the marriage was done by his father's consent. His anger reached heights when his sister decided to cover her eyes for life, following her husband.

3. It is also believed that he hated Bhisma Pitamah, who had brought the proposal for the marriage of Dhritarashtra to his father.

4. According to one story, Shakuni's sister Gandhari was once married to a goat. This was done because of some unfavourable conditions that prevailed in her birth chart, as was told by the astrologers then. This was concealed from Dhritarashtra at the time of the marriage. Therefore, when he came to know about it, he tortured her father Subala, as well as her brothers, including Shakuni.

He starved them until death and when Subala was about to die, he asked him the last wish. Subala requested that his youngest son, Shakuni, be freed. This is how Shakuni regained his life.

5. However, since all others of his kin had died of starvation, Shakuni's hatred for Dhritarashtra and Bhishma Pitamah intensified and hence, his decision to destroy the kin of Dhritarashtra intensified too. He took up the role of an evil character in the story.

In order to avenge the marriage as well as the death of his kin at the hands of Dhritarashtra, he decided that one day he will destroy the whole of the kingdom of Dhritarashtra, whom he did not like. For this, he took the Kauravas into his trust, and lead them to the battle of Mahabharata.

6. It is also believed that when his father was about to die, he requested Shakuni that his bones should be used to make the dices used in the game of gambling. As per his wishes, Shakuni not just made dices out of his bones, but also controlled them through black magic.

Black magic has been described as a major sin in Hinduism. He gave these dices to the Pandavas, hence, they lost the game.

7. Shakuni had two sons named Uluka and Vrikasura. They had requested him to come back and live happily and with comfort in their kingdom. But Shakuni did not accept the request due to the vow he had taken to destroy the kin of Bhisma Pitamah and Dhritarashtra.

8. Ambhi Kumar, whose name has also been mentioned in Greek mythology, is believed to be his direct descendant.

9. Sahadev, one of the Pandavas, thought that Shakuni was the man actually responsible for the humiliation of Draupadi in the court of Dhritarashtra. Hence, on the eighteenth day of the Mahabharata War, Sahadeva killed Shakuni.

10. In the Kollam district of Kerala, there is a temple dedicated to Shakuni. People of the Kuravar community there are accepting of his good qualities.

Story first published: Thursday, July 5, 2018, 17:24 [IST]
Desktop Bottom Promotion