The Pandavas In Hiding THE PANDAVAS IN HIDING
Outwitting a wily enemy
When the Kuru elders granted the arid territory of Khandavaprastha to the Pandavas, little did their hostile cousins, the Kauravas, suspect that the Pandavas would soon turn it into a flourishing kingdom. Indraprastha, as the kingdom was called, was the envy of the Kauravas. They were bent on making it theirs by fair means or foul. Since the Pandavas were too strong for them, they had to resort to cunning.
They invited the Pandavas to a game of dice. The Pandavas lost as the Kauravas resorted to cheating. They had to go into exile for thirteen years - twelve years to be spent in the forest and the thirteenth year incognito. The thirteenth year was the most crucial for, if they were able to remain in hiding that entire year, their kingdom would be restored to them; but if they were discovered, they would have to go into exile for another thirteen years. This Amar Chitra Katha, based on the Virata Parva of the Mahabharata, is the story of how in the thirteenth year, Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava, tried to make the Pandavas betray themselves and what followed as a result.