In Wikipedia it is mentioned that Arjuna killed most warriors, followed by Karna, followed by Ashwatthama. Below is the relevant quote.

After Arjuna and Karna, Ashwatthama killed most number of warriors in the Kurukshetra war.

However, there was no scripture reference is given in that Wikipedia page for this claim.

Is this true? Is this information really mentioned in Mahabharata about who killed most number of warriors?

  • 1
    I'm not sure if the Mahabharata ever mentions who killed the most people, but it's certainly plausible that Ashwatthama would be ranked high in the list; shortly after Bhima killed Duryodhana, Ashwatthama single-handedly killed off almost the entire Pandava camp in his night attack, which famously included the Upapandavas. – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 25 '16 at 15:24
  • I see. But this info raises few more points : 1. If Ashwatthama killed almost the entire Pandava camp then how come Karna is mentioned even ahead of Ashwatthama in that Wikipedia article. Of course, it does not mention any reference in scripture, but I guess not many will have doubt of Karna's ability as warrior to kill opponents. 2. This en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drona also says Drone single-handedly slayed hundreds of thousands of Pandava soldiers. :)Not sure who killed how many? – AADHinduism Feb 25 '16 at 15:32
  • Ashwatthama killed whatever warriors were still alive at the time, but by then most of the warriors may already have perished over the course of the war. And yeah, the Mahabharata describes various people single-handedly killing off multiple Akshauhinis. An Akshauhini is a military formation consisting of about 200,000 people. So yeah, the Mahabharata had some extremely powerful warriors! – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 25 '16 at 15:41
  • On a side not, when PAndavas asked such similar question to chopped but alive head of Bhima's grandson Barbarika, he answered in more poetic note. He saw Krishna's Sudarshana all over the battlefield, killing warriors at both sides (except AshwatthAmA's attack). IMO, Bheema should have killed more in numbers while Arjuna might have killed more in higher ranks (importance). Here I am discounting AshwatthAmA or Ghatotkacha's massacres, which killed almost 1 Akshahouni as @KeshavSrinivasan said. – iammilind Feb 26 '16 at 3:50
  • @iammilind I don't know if Barbarika seeing the Sudarshana Chakra is from folklore, but least in the Skanda Purana, Barbarika says that he saw all the warriors killed by a "man" who looked like Vishnu on one side and Shiva on the other side: indianscriptures.com/Content/Articles/PDFs/25537/… Perhaps the Sudarshana Chakra version is mentioned in some other scripture. By the way, it's not just Ghatotkacha and Ashwatthama who killed entire Akshauhinis single-handedly; various warriors like Arjuna and Bhishma also did so. – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 26 '16 at 14:32

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