Please somebody tell that what was the surname or title of the Pandavas? Was it Chakraborty because they were also called "Chakraborty Samrat"?

  • 1
    "Chakravartin" refers to an ideal ruler(an emperor) who rules a huge amount of land & people,much greater than those ruled by ordinary kings.So the "Chakravarty" in "Chakravarty samrat" does not refer to a surname.It denotes a title.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 8:20
  • 2
    "Kuru" seems closest ("YAdava" for Krishna).
    – iammilind
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 9:36
  • They were all Kurus. They are called as Pandavas in order to differentiate them from the kuru sons of Dhritarashtra. They were known as the sons of Pandu that's why called Pandavas but actually "Pandavas" and "Kauravas" all were "Kuru".
    – Eesha
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 13:27

4 Answers 4


The Surname is modern concept , in ancient times all the Dwijas (dwija jaatis) used to have similar surnames according to their varnas. When a dwija greeted somebody he used to recite adhivadan to the other respected one like a Bramhin would say

abhivadaye name (sharma) ahamasmibho (ManuSmriti 2.122)

The Sharma is to be replaced by Verma for Kshatriyas and Guptas for Vaishyas. So In case of pandavas they would've acknowledged themselves as

abhivadye Yudhishtir Verma Ahamasmibho

In other words they would take verma as their last name, since it is vedic convention.

About their family lineage they were descendants of Puru Dynasty which was a chandravanshi Dynasty. So basically Pandavas have a Generic identity as Chandravanshi Kshatriya Kaurava /Puru vanshi which ended up with nanda dynasty

Important the abhivadan is not limited to the lines manusmriti mentions it includes recitation of your gotra pravaras/Raja Rishi lienage etc.(Raj Rishi is used for Kshatriyas instead of Normal Rishis). That is why I have posted another question on abhivadan/abhivadyae.

Chakraborty or Chakravartin is not a surname rather it is a word to depict a great/righteous ruler.

More Information on Kuru Kingdom

  • Aren't Sharma and Verma modern conceptions? Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:28
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    @AmitSaxena No Sharma verma and Gupta are ancient surnames/terms which are mentioned in manusmriti, and other texts(like Bramhanas). When the abhivadan rule is given Sharma is added for bramhana... and so on for other varnas. Since abhivadan is very ancient concept so the Sharma Verma and Gupta concept is also ancient. I think it may be mentioned in some Bramhanas or Ghriyas sutras like Sankyayan Ghriya sutra of Rig veda as well, as in manusmriti and other dharma shastras. More on abhivadan hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/10497/….
    – Yogi
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:39

I am not sure if folks in that time had more of surname as such.. Like before last 100 years, families would be known by some "family/caste/denomination" names.. I remember my family had one of that family name.. For many families, those names still carry forward as a proper last name/surname and for many others, they chose another good surname ..

To attempt an answer for you - I think those times Kings had more of "dynasty" name as family name rather than first name and last name to fill the forms.

Yayati was the King who had 2 sons - Puru and Yadu and Yadu was elder and Puru was younger... legends follow that the "Puru" was the winner of the throne and his sons and grandsons rules the Dynasty of "Hastinapur" whereas "Yadavs" never took over.

So years and years after, in times of Pandavas and Kauravas - all descendents of Yayati's younger son -"Puru" are known to be "Purus"

So I would say - "Yudhisthir Puru, Bhim Puru, Arjun Puru, etcc :)

~~~ This is a view of what I understood from various sources including own life experiences, there may be better explanation/justification.

  • FYI, Chakraborty is a title of Respect or you may call it as earned degree.. Like now a days people put PMP with their names everywhere..
    – Kruns4u
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 18:11
  • What is PMP? Is it some kind of abbreviation?
    – Yogi
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 14:50

Kuru is the name of the clan to which Kaurav's and Pandav's belonged. King 'Yayati', their forefather and ancestor was the descendent of Lunar Lineage or Chandra Vansha. During that time surnames were not used, rather "Varna" was used to describe the caste/community of a tribe to whom one belong. The Kuru clan, thus belonged to 'Kshatriya' Varna. Also, pls note that during the 'Yagna' or Marriage the clan was known by the Guru or Maha-rishi they followed. Guru Dronacharya, although their chief Guru/Seer/Sage of Kuru Vansh or Kul, but he was only their Teacher and not their Kul Guru. All the current descendent of Kuru vansh has only these 2 Surnames - Tomar/ Tanwar and 2 Gotras - Attri or Vyaghra - Both were their Kul Gurus. Sage Attri was Kul Guru of Yayati and Sage Vyaghra was Kul Guru of last Kuru's. Most of the today's clan of Kuru Vansh is found in Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE! Kindly add references to your answer! Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 4:21

I think Chakraborty is right because this is truth that the Pandavas were also called Chakraborty Samrat. My guru told me that Chakraborty was non-other than the surname of the Pandavas. Chakraborty families are Brahmins and also Kshatriyas and Pandavas too. I am himself from a Chakraborty family,so I know that Pandavas were my forefathers. Believe me and this is truth!

  • 4
    Chakraborty is a title not a surname, whichever king conquered the rest of the kingdoms was called as Chakravarti.
    – Surya
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 7:11

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