Duhsala was the only daughter of king Dhritrashtra and Queen Gandhari and sister to Kauravas in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. She was married to Jayadratha the king of Sindhu and Sauvira.When Queen Gandhari was given boon by Vyasa, the opportunity to have one hundred sons, Gandhari was thrilled, but disappointed that she wouldn’t have at least one daughter. Sensing her thoughts, Vyasa had another vessel prepared for a future daughter:Dushala.
Hence, Dushala was the only daughter of King Dhritrashtra and Gandhari, the sister to her 100 brothers. All the Pandavas considered Duhsala as their own sister; Dushala also always considered Pandavas as her own brothers. Dussala grew up in Hastinapura under the wise tutelage of Bhishma. Dushala was married to Jayadratha (also called Saindhava), the powerful king of Sindh; the king happened to be a man of split personality, often becoming uncivil.
However, Jayadratha was a good friend of Duryodhana, Dushala’s oldest brother. Dussala and Jayadratha had a son named Suratha. Jayadratha is first introduced during the Pandavas’ 13-year-exile when he attempts to abduct Draupadi. Pandavas save Draupadi and brings him back to Yudhishthira as a prisoner. Draupadi requests them not to kill Jayadratha as their only sister Dushala would become a widow. They leave him after shaving his head. Humiliated and vengeful, Jayadratha immediately withdraws to the forest, performing penance which gives him boons he can use against the Pandavas.
When Dussala finds him, she feels ashamed and angry at his irresponsible behavior. However she becomes quiet after knowing about his penance; husband and wife make up. Jayadratha calls his banners for Duryodhana during the Kurukshetra War. He is slain by Arjuna. The young Suratha takes up the Sindh crown with Dushala as his regent After the war, Yudhishthira, the new king of Hastinapura, takes out an Ashwamedha Yagna, wherein Arjuna follows a sacrificial horse with his army, daring others to challenge him.
The horse enters the Sindhu territory. Suratha dies of fright on being informed about the approaching army. Arjuna lays siege upon their city. Suratha had a small boy, Duhsala’s grandson. Duhsala takes the boy to Arjuna and requests mercy, fearing Arjuna will mow them down due to the traditional enmity between the Pandavas and Kauravas . When Arjuna learns that he is responsible for the death of his nephew, he feels totally shattered, telling Duhsala that he had come for peace.
Duhsala becomes shattered in turn; she famously tells Arjuna “We need peace. Let us end this strife forever. No more, never, this war.” Arjuna appoints the boy as the next king of the Sindhu kingdom. Collecting his tribute, he leaves. The Kathakali play Arjuna Vishada Vruththam focuses on Dussala and she is the main character of the play.
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