According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Jarasandha (Sanskrit: जरासन्ध) was a very powerful king of Magadha. He was a descendant of King Brihadratha, the founder of the Barhadratha dynasty of Magadha.He was a great senapati. he was also known as Magadha samrat Jarasandh. He is worshipped as mool-purusha (lineal descent) of Rawani Kshatriya clan, Chandravanshi Kshatriya. According to Vayu Purana, the descendants of Brihadratha ( Jarasandha's Father) ruled magadha for 2600 years followed by Haryanka dynasty.

Painting showing Bhima slaying Jarasandha
Brihadratha King
Prapti (wives of Kamsa)



The word Jarasandha is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Jara (जरा) and sandha (सन्ध), "joining". Jara, a Van-durga put the two halves of Jarasandha together after finding them by a tree. In return for saving Brihadratha's son, he was named Jarasandha after her. The meaning of Jarasandha is 'the one who is joined by Jara'.[1]

Legend about his birth

Jarasandha's father king Brihadratha was married to the twin daughters of the King of Kashi. Brihadratha loved both his wives equally, but had no sons. Once sage Chandakaushika visited his kingdom and gave a mango to the king as a boon. The king divided the mango equally and gave to both of his wives. Soon, both wives became pregnant and gave birth to two halves of a human body. These two lifeless halves were very horrifying to view. So, Brihadratha ordered these to be thrown in the forest. A van-durga named Jara (or Barmata or Bandi devi) found the two pieces and held each of them in her two palms. Incidentally, when she brought both of her palms together, the two pieces joined giving rise to a living child. The child cried loudly which created panic for Jara. Not having the heart to eat a living child, the demoness gave it to the king and explained to him all that had happened. The father was overjoyed to see him.[2]

Chandakaushika arrived at the court and saved the child. He prophesied to Brihadratha that his son would be specially gifted and would be a great devotee of the god Shiva.[3]

Later life and death

Kamsa, the tyrannical ruler of Mathura acquired Jarasandha's attention. Impressed with his bravery, Jarasandha made Kamsa his son-in-law by marrying off his two daughters. Lord Krishna killed Kamsa that infuriated Jarasandh. Thus, Jarasandh vowed to kill Krishna. Jarasandha was a major hurdle before emperor Yudhishthira when the latter decided to perform the Rajasuya yagna. As Jarasandha was an invincible warrior it was extremely necessary for Pandavas to eliminate him. Lord Krishna, Bhima and Arjuna disguised as brahmins travelled to Magahad and met Jarasandha. After a formal meeting, Jarasandha enquired about their intentions. Krishna, Bhima and Arjuna revealed their actual identification. Lord Krishna then challenged Jarasandha for duel and gave him freedom to choose any one belligerent. Jarasandha was a true warrior. Hence, he selected Bhima for the duel. Both Bhima and Jarasandha were accomplished wrestlers. The duel continued for several days and neither of them was willing to give up. Bhima realized that Jarasandha was an equal match and turned towards Krishna for some guidance. Krishna picked a twig and dissected it into two halves and threw the parts in opposite directions. Bhima complied with his instructions and dissected the body of Jarasandha. He threw the dissected parts in opposite directions. Jarasandha was killed as two halves of the body could not conjoin.

Jarasandha's son, Sahadeva (not to be confused with youngest Pandava) was placed on throne of Magadha and he agreed to be a vassal to the Pandavas. He was killed in the Kurukshetra war.



  1. "Jarasandha was a very powerful king of Magadha, and the history of his birth and activities is also very interesting - Vaniquotes". vaniquotes.org. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  2. Chandrakant, Kamala (1977). Krishna and Jarasandha. India Book House Ltd. pp. 3–5. ISBN 81-7508-080-9.
  3. "Slaying of Jarasandha - Indian Mythology". www.apamnapat.com. Retrieved 10 January 2016.

4. Chandravanshi Kshatriya, Rajput Vansha ( Rajput Vanshawali by Thakur Ishwar Singh Madadh)


  • Gibbs,Laura. Ph.D. Jarasandha Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics.
  • Dowson, John (1820–1881). A classical dictionary of Hindu mythology and religion, geography, history, and literature. London: Trübner, 1879 [Reprint, London: Routledge, 1979]. ISBN 0-415-24521-4
  • Original Mahabharata by Shri Ved Vyasa
  • Gita press,Gorakhpur edition of Mahābhārata
  • Ramanand Sagar's "SHRI KRISHNA" serial
  • MRITYUNJAY-the story of Karna.
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