The present ruler of the Kuru dynasty is the care-taker king Dhritarashtra. Dhritarashtra‘s brother Pandu, the real king has died. Dhritarashtra is blind. He has numerous sons who are collectively called Kauravas. Pandu has five sons who are collectively called Pandavas. Duryodhana is the eldest Kaurava prince. Gandhari is Dhritarashtra‘s queen. The names of the Pandava princes are Yudhistira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Their mother’s name is Kunti.

The Pandavas and the Kauravas live in the palace at Hastinapura, the capital city. Bhishma the common grandfather of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, and Vidura the low-caste brother of Pandu and Dhritarashtra also stay in the palace. Both the Pandavas and the Kauravas get warfare training from Drona, the famous archery coach.

Bhima, the second Pandava, excels in physical strength, where as Arjuna the third Pandava excels in archery. The jealous Kauravas, under Duryodhana, institute several schemes to harm the Pandavas. Karna, an illegitimate son born to Kunti before her marriage allies with the Kauravas. Karna is also a skillful archer.

Pandavas on the run

While vacationing in a remote place, Pandavas and Kunti are enticed to live in a fire trapped house. After escaping from the fire-house, they live in the forest. Bhima be-freinds a tribal girl called Hidimbi and fathers a son named Ghatotkacha. Desirous of living in a human society they dress up as Brahmins and settle in Ekachakra, a Brahmin ghetto. At Ekachakra, Bhima kills Baka, the cannibalistic landlord who were pestering the Brahmins.

Draupadi’s wedding

Draupadi is the princess of the Panchala. Her siblings are Dhrishtadyumina and Shikhandi who is a hermaphrodite. Her dad is king Drupada. Having heard about the wedding of Draupadi, the Pandavas and mother Kunti travelled to Kampilya, to attend the wedding and try their luck. The wedding is conducted in the bridegroom-choice style. To win Draupadi, one must harness the specially constructed bow and hit the target at the moving fish in the ceiling.

Warriors from all around, including the Kaurava princes and Karna competes for the hand of Draupadi. But none can harness the bow. The contest is now open to Brahmins. Arjuna succeeded in harnessing the bow correctly and hitting the target. Other warrior kings revolts. Arjuna and Bhima quenches the revolt. Back at their staying place, mother Kunti wants Draupadi to be the common wife of all the five Pandava brothers.