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Vyuhas used in the war of Mahabharata

1. Chakra vyuha – formation of concentric circles in layers.

2. Shakata vyuha – formation of a cart wheel

3. Mandala vyuha – circular formation ( dont know how this is different from the above)

4. Urmi vuyha – formation resembling ocean’s waves

5. Sarvatobhadra vyuha – meaning “safe on all sides” – seems to have been a kind of square array in which the troops faced all the points of the compass (as per KMG interpretation)

6. Garuda vyuha (Garuda – The Mighty Bird).

7. Krauncha vyuha ( Krauncha is bird with a sharp pointed beak)

8. Vajra vyuha ( in the shape of the thunderbolt)

9. Suchimukha vyuha ( formation in the shape of a needle)

10.Padma vyuha (formation of a blooming lotus)

11. Sura & Asura vyuha hv been mentioned as well (cant interpret how they were)

12. ArdhaChandraakara vyuha (crescent shpe)

13. Makara vyuha ( crocodile-shaped)

Each formation was met by a counter formation by the other side. For instance, the Sarpa Vyuha was met with Garuda Vyuha(Serpent formation against Eagle. The Heron Formation was usually met with Garuda or eagle Formation’Eagle is a Natural Enemy of Heron.

There were also courses to get into and out of each formation. These were fought while being taught the Dhanur Vidya.

Krauncha vyuha (Krauncha – a Bird)

Pandava army was arranged in this vyuha on the second day. Drupada was at the head and Kuntibhoja was placed at the eye. The army of the satyaki formed neck of the Kauncha bird. Bhima and Dhristadhymna formed both the wings of the Vyuha. The sons of Draupadi and Satyaki were to guard the wings. The formation of the army phalanxes in this manner was very formidable.

Bhishma also decided to arrange his army in Krauncha Vyuha. Bhurishrava and Salya were to guard the wings. Somdatta, Ashwatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma were positioned at different important place in the formation.

Garuda Vyuha (Garuda – The Mighty Bird)

On the second day Bhishma arranged his army in Garuda vyuha. Bhishma was its beak. Drona and Kritavarna were the eyes. Kripa and Ashvatthama were at the head. The Trigartas the Jayadratha with their armies made the neck. Duryodhana, his brothers, Vinda and Anuvinda made the body. King of Kashala, Brihadbala formed the tail.

Ardha Chakra Vyuha (Ardha Chandra – Half Cresent)

Arjuna observed this arrangement. He arranged the Pandavas army in consultation with Dhristadhymna, made the Ardha-chandra vyuha. cresent form. At the right end was Bhima, Along the ups were placed the army of Drupada and Virata. Neel, Dhristaketu, Dhristadhymna and Shikandi were placed next to them. Yudhisthira was at the centre. Satyaki, and five sons of Draupadi. Abimanyu were at left end, Ghatatkacha and Kokaya brother was there too. At the tip was Arjuna at his Chariot with Krishna.

Makara Vyuha (Makara – Crocodile)

On the fifth day of the war, Bhishma chose to arrange his army in Makarvyuha. Arjuna, Yudhisthira and Dhristadhyumna decided for the Hawk formation of their Army. All the warriors of both sides were assigned to specific places in the formations with special responsibilities.

On the sixth day it was the Pandavas who preferred the Makara Vyuha. The Kauravas chose Krauncha Vyuha. It is said that on this day Bhima was coming in and out of the Vyuha of the kauravas, killing soldier at will, swinging his terrible mace.

Mandala Vyuha (Mandala – Circle)

On the seventh day of the war Bhishma made Mandala Vyuha. It was circular formation very difficult to penetrate. The Pandavas countered it by Vajra Vyuha. On the dawn of the eighth day of the war, it was Oormi Vyuha for Kauravas, meaning ocean. It was the formation in which their army was arranged. It spread on the either side like waves of the sea. Arjuna chose

Sringataka Vyuha.

Sarvatobhadra Vyuha (Sarvatobhadra – Safe from all sides)

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