King Pandu was the Kuru King of Hastinapur. He was the son of Queen Ambalika, wife of King Vichitravira. He was fathered by Rishi Vyasa.
Queen Ambalika was the widow of King Vichitravira. After the death of King Vichitravira, the mother of Vichitravira asked Rishi Vyasa to grant a child to Ambalika through Niyoga. Hence, Pandu was born and became the adopted son of King Vichitravira.
The elder brother of Pandu was Dhritarashtra. As Dhritarashtra was blind so the younger brother Pandu succeeded to the throne.
But King Pandu soon died leaving behind his five sons. The five sons of King Pandu were known as Pandava. They were:
- Nakula and
King Pandu was a brave warrior and archer. He was the King of Hantinapur and annexed several kingdom within his empire.
King Pandu is famously known in the epic Mahabharata as the father of Pandavas. His wives were Kunti and Madri.
One day while hunting, King Pandu mistakenly shot an arrow on Rishi Kindama and his wife while they were engaged in intercourse. Before dying, Rishi Kindama cursed King Pandu that he would die the moment he would engage in intercourse with any women.
After the incident, King Pandu renounced everything and began to live the life of a hermit. But one day he could not resist himself and approached towards his wife, Madri, with the intent of making love. He died at that moment.
While on death bed, he expressed his grief of dying childless to his wives. Queen Kunti had a boon to bear child by Rishi Durvasa. She utilized that boon and gave birth to Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna. She also used the boon Queen Madri to gave birth to Nakula and Sahadeva. Hence, the five sons of Pandu were born.
Madri committed sati after the death of King Pandu.