Shakuni, Maternal Uncle of Kauravas, was the prince of Gandhara Kingdom and mastermind who manipulated Duryodhana according to the Epic Mahabharata.
Based on Shakuni’s master plans, the Kauravas instrumented against Pandavas. He was behind cajoling Yudhishtir to play dice and then lose all of his kingdom and royalty, right to his family to Duryodhana. He also suggested a 12-year exile for Pandavas and a 1-year anonymity exile after their loss in a dice game.
Interesting facts about Shakuni
1. Shakuni never had any hatred against Pandavas
Shakuni never had any hatred against Pandavas, Shakuni’s main enmity was against Bhishma Pitamah. Bhishma invites Shakuni’s family to a meal and locks them up by giving them minimal food. He does this upon knowing King Subala gave a false horoscope when Gandhari was married to Dhritarashtra as treachery. Astrologers predicted Gandhari’s first husband would die, so he was married to a goat, and that goat was sacrificed. Therefore Dhritarashtra was her second husband and was hid from the Kuru family.
2. Shakuni’s dice were made of his father’s bone.
When all the family was locked up in a cellar with a minimal amount of food, King Subala decides that his one family member should live at any cost to take revenge against Bhishma and the Kuru family for this behavior of Bhishma. So Shakuni, the youngest and the cleverest son, was chosen by giving all others meals to survive. Subala stabs Shakuni’s leg on the last breath and asks him to remember the pain and remember the vengeance against the Kuru family. He also asks Shakuni to make dice out of his thigh’s bone.
3. Shakuni was an illusionist
Shakuni was a very clever and mastermind and an illusionist, a talent he could bring to his advantage any time when playing a dice game. Yudhishthira was a big gambler who lost everything to Duryodhana in the dice game with the help of Shakuni. This became the main reason for the Kurukshetra war.
4. Shakuni was the 100th son of King Subala
Shakuni not only had 100 nephews, but he was the 100th son of King Subala, so he was also given the name Saubala. He was the cleverest of all his brothers and therefore was chosen to survive when all the family was starved to death.
5. Shakuni had 2 sons – Uluka and Vrikasura
Shakuni’s son Uluka requested Shakuni to return to Gandhara and live in peace and harmony. Still, Shakuni refuses to remember the promise to his father to destroy Bhishma and Kuru family at any cost.
6. Shakuni was killed by Sahadeva
Sahadeva killed Shakuni on the 18th day of the Mahabharata war. Sahadeva, who thought Shakuni of all the reasons behind Draupadi’s misbehavior, promises to kill Shakuni.
7. There is a temple dedicated to Shakuni.
There still exists a temple in Pavithreswaram in the Kollam district of Kerala, dedicated to Shakuni. The Karavan community acknowledged the good qualities of Shakuni and preserved his shrine to date.
8. Ambhi Kumar, King of Takshila, was the direct descendant of Shakuni
Ambhi Kumar, who was the King of Takshila before being deposed by Chandragupta Maurya, is believed to be the direct descendant of Shakuni. Ambhi Kumar’s name is also found in the Greek mythology of Alexander the Great, who was given a huge amount of wealth as a submission and not to attack Takshila.