Mahabharata War – Timeline Summary

A reader who posted this on some forum, also wrote to me. I thought it would be good baseline for comparison with other attempts.
I just did the first reading of Nilesh Nilkanth Oak’s book “When Did The Mahabharata War Happen? : The Mystery of Arundhati”!

All the analysis and conclusions are extremely scientifically put!

His proposed timeline is as follows:

1. Krishna left Upaplavya on Maitri (Anuradha) Muhurta, Revati nakshatra and in the month of Lotuses: 31 August 5561 B.C.

2. Duryodhana ordered his royal friends to leave for Kurukshetra on the day of Pushya: 6-7 September 5561 B.C.

3. Krishna-Karna meeting, 7 days before Jyeshtha Amawasya & before Krishna left for Upaplavya: 9-10 September 5561 B.C.

4. Shakra (Jyeshtha or possibly Vishakha) Amawasya: 16-17 September 5561 B.C.

5. Balarama left the Pandava camp, to proceed on Saraswati Tirthayatra, on Anuradha (Maitri) nakshatra: 17 September 5561 B.C.

6. Balarama began Tirthayatra of Saraswati around 22 September 5561 B.C.

7. Kartika Purnima (Full moon): 30 September – 1 October 5561 B.C.

8. Krishna left along with the Pandavas for Kurukshetra on Pushya: 4-5 October 5561 B.C.

9. Both armies arrived at Kurukshetra on Magha: 6-7 October 5561 B.C.

10. Vyasa met Dhritarashtra: 15 October 5561 B.C.

11. The First day of Mahabharata War: 16 October 5561 B.C.

12. Bhishma fell in the battlefield on the 10th day of War: 25 October 5561 B.C.

13. Abhimanyu was killed on the 13th day of War: 28 October 5561 B.C.

14. Arjuna killed Jayadratha and the fight continued into the night at the end of the 14th day of War: 29 October 5561 B.C.

15. Drona was killed on the 15th day of War: 30th October 5561 B.C.

16. Arjuna killed Karna on the 17th day of War: 1 November 5561 B.C.

17. Shalya was killed by noon and Bhima killed Duryodhana at the end of the day on the 18th day of War: 2 November 5561 B.C.

18. The Pandavas spent a month on the bank of River Ganga: 2-3 November – 30 November 5561 B.C.

19. The Pandavas entered Hastinapur after spending a lunar month on the bank of Ganga: 30 November 5561 B.C.

20. Coronation of Yudhishthir, assignment of offices & palaces, and honoring of Krishna: 30 November-5 December 5561 B.C.

21. Yudhishthir and his brothers, Krishna, Satyaki, Yuyutsu, Kripacharya and Sanjay go to Kurukshetra to visit Bhishma, 56 days before passing away of Bhishma: 5-6 December 5561 B.C.

22. Yudhishthir along with his brothers, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and ministers visits Bhishma for last but one time, 51 days before passing away of Bhishma: 10-11 December 5561 B.C.

23. Yudhishthir leaves for Kurukshetra, after spending 50 nights at Hastinapur, to meet Bhishma when the Sun turned north: 30-31 January 5560 B.C.

24. Bhishma Nirvana: 30-31 January 5560 B.C.


Nilesh has in fact established a few new insights into reading old Indian scriptures. He established the theory about
• Fall of Abhijit
• The Epoch of Arundhati
• Meaning of Vakri
• Meaning of Visakha as an asterism.
• Claims that Bhishma Pitamah died not 58 days but rather 98 days after he fell in the battlefield.
• and many other contributions.

Great insights, indeed!


12 thoughts on “Mahabharata War – Timeline Summary

  1. According to Vayu , Brahmanda, and some others, Puranas, the war happened 1050 or 1015 years before the coronation of the first Purana. That gives you ~1400BE. How do you reconcile with that?

  2. I was recently watching the interesting video by Nilesh Oak ji on dating of the Ramayana/Mahabharata on youtube:

    Was wanting to check the astrological charts for the dates with the PVR’s astrology software Jhora-v8 for the dates in the above timeline in the article above.

    I somehow do not see amavasya/poornima reproducibility with Jhora. Neither “Greogorian” nor “Julian” choice for the calendar show amavasya / poornima. Any clues ?

      • Thank you Sir for getting back. In the above write-up point 7 reads: Kartika Purnima on 30th Sep -5561. Assuming it is a Julian date I cast the astrological chart for the day using Jhora v8. I do NOT get purnima. I do see Surya in scorpio sign (Kartika month). The software reports the tithi as sukla dwitiya and Moon is in moola.

      • Julian date is alright, however, in my estimation, you chose a wrong event to verify using whatever astronomy software you have.

        30 Sept as Kartika Purnima is an interpretation of a reader, not the author of the book. There are many issues related to this which you can only comprehend if you read the book + if you are familiar with multiple interpretations and confusion related to Shakra Amavasya and evidence of Balarama Tirthayatra.

        There is more to it than simply reproducing it via astronomy software.

        Having said that, your software seems to have an issue with adjustment to Delta T.

        (1) There is also an issue of 5561 BCE taken as 5560 BCE in some software (whether someone counts 0 CE/BCE or not)

        (2) So do try years 5561 BCE, 5560 BCE and 5562 BCE to see if you can align your software reading with 5561 BCE of Voyager.

        Try the above and let me know if full moon position (for 5560 BCE or 5562 BCE) appears near Krittika.
        Even if it does not, specify the position you see and the date and the year per your software.


  3. Thank you Sir, I do get Kritika Purnima for 30th Sep -5560 in Jhora v8. I also verify the matching of Amavasya 16-17 Sep -5560. All other nakshatras also match with the dates mentioned. I am awed. Kudos Sir. I will surely buy your book and enlighten myself.

    • Could you see Arundhati walking ahead of Vasistha during 5561 BCE using Jhora v8? It is a site to see. Arundhati crossing the meridian before Vasishtha does. Mahabharata reference of Bhishma 2:31

    • Cheers! Sadhu Sandhu.

      This is what I wrote about our encounter on my FB wall

      Action speaks!
      (Do not trust 100% of what folks say. Trust only 50% of what they do)

      A dharmic (let’s call him GS) spent time reproducing events of Mahabharata war, for the year 5561 BCE, with tremendous dedication, persistence, and tenacity. He was so elated when he could finally figure it out, albeit with little help from others.

      In his words,
      “Thank you, Sir, I do get Kritika Purnima for 30th Sep -5560 in Jhora v8. I also verify the matching of Amavasya 16-17 Sep -5560. All other nakshatras also match with the dates mentioned. I am awed. Kudos Sir. I will surely buy your book and enlighten myself.

    • Also be aware that matching of nakshatras is not as difficult as it may seem. This is because they are driven by near earth phenomenon. It can almost be done for any year.

      That is when matching of Mahabharata observations driven by the long-term phenomenon of ‘precession of earth’s axis’ comes into the picture.

      AV observation or duration of Bhishma Nirvana or Margashirsha Shukla Paksha and sharad season as the timing of Mahabharata war are most amazing observations that you should check using Jhora v8.

      • Sir, thanks a lot. JHora is an astrology software only. I do not know if I can check AV in it. When I copied my checks on the purnima/amavasya dates with -5560 Sep dates to thr JHORA yahoo group someone wrote back the following :

        “Just ask any author of any research to give the planetary position for the day that they claim that the Mahabharata war started. Few things are very clear from the original text as given by Maharishi Vyasa.
        1. Sun and Moon were in Jyeshta and a solar eclipse took place on the day war preparation started.
        2. Rahu was approaching the Sun. So Rahu was ahead of Sun.
        3. Jupiter in Vishaka.
        4. Mars was approaching Jupiter.
        5. Uranus( Mahapata) in Chitra.

        Also ask then what co-ordinate system they are using. Equatorial or Ecliptic.
        Ask them what is the reference point from where they are measuring planetary positions.
        Ask them what astronomy software they are using.

        If anyone answers these question then take it further or else you are wasting your time. “

      • Ultimately it is you who have to convince yourself of any claim.

        However, based on my 20+ years of experience dealing with individuals of all shades, I can assert that whoever has written the stuff you quoted has not bothered to read Mahabharata and definitely has not done any ORIGINAL research on Mahabharata and/or completely lacks scientific attitude and logical/inferential acumen.

        These same tamasic skeptics can be seen generating much nonsense yet contributing nothing, all over.. on all forums and in social media.

        Best is to ignore them and explore this subject on your own, objectively and with a calm demeanor.

        Warm regards,

        Nilesh Oak

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