Can anyone explain the specific skills of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata? For example Arjuna is known for his bow.
Skills Of Pandavas
He was ingenious, dedicated to the path of Dharma and hence he was called Dharmaraja and a prudent politician.
He was Fearless and Brave. His physical power was unmatchable at that time. In Mahabharat Shambhav Parva:
In fact, those princes were no match for Bhima in pugilistic encounters, in speed, or in skill. Bhima used to make a display of his strength by thus tormenting them in childishness but not from malice.
He was a great archer and most of his archery knowledge was taught to him later by Devas which was unique at that time.Here is a story from Mahabharat Sambhava Parva: The eye of a Bird
O son, stand here with bow and arrow for an instant.' Thus addressed, Arjuna stood aiming at the bird as desired by his preceptor, with his bow bent. An instant after Drona asked him as in the case of others, 'Seest thou, O Arjuna, the bird there, the tree, and myself?' Arjuna replied, 'I see the bird only, but nor the tree, or thyself.' Then the irrepressible Drona, well-pleased with Arjuna, the instant after, again said unto that mighty car-warrior amongst the Pandavas, 'If thou seest the vulture, then describe it to me.' Arjuna said, I see only the head of the vulture, not its body.' At these words of Arjuna, the hair (on Drona's body) stood on end from delight. He then said to Partha, 'Shoot.' And the latter instantly let fly (his arrow) and with his sharp shaft speedily struck off the head of the vulture on the tree and brought it down to the ground. No sooner was the deed done than Drona clasped Phalguna to his bosom and thought Drupada with his friends had already been vanquished in fight.
He was a good trainer of animals.He was compared to Kamadeva due to his good looks.
He had a great knowledge of astrology. He was the main tactical planner among the pandavas. Here
Sahadeva replied, "I will become a keeper of the kine of Virata's king. I am skilled in milking kine and taking their history as well as in taming their fierceness. Passing under the name of Tantripal, I shall perform my duties deftly. Let thy heart's fever be dispelled.
Here Is the Skills Of Pandavas
Yudhishthir, the eldest son of Pandu, was a man of truth and piety; Bhima, the second, was a stalwart fighter; and Arjun, the third son, distinguished himself above all the other princes in arms. The two youngest brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva, were twins. Duryodhan was the eldest son of Dhrita-rashtra and was jealous of his cousins, the sons of Pandu. A tournament was held, and in the course of the day a warrior named Karna., of unknown origin, appeared on the scene and proved himself a worthy rival of Arjun. The rivalry between Arjun and Karna is the leading thought of the Epic, as the rivalry between Achilles and Hector is the leading thought of the Iliad.
The skills of each of the Pandavas are briefly described in this chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, in reference to their education under Drona:
Two of Drona's pupils became very much accomplished in the use of mace. These were Duryodhana and Bhima, who were, however, always jealous of each other. Aswatthaman excelled everyone (in the mysteries of the science of arms). The twins (Nakula and Sahadeva) excelled everybody in handling the sword. Yudhishthira surpassed everybody as a car-warrior; but Arjuna, however, outdistanced everyone in every respect--in intelligence, resourcefulness, strength and perseverance. Accomplished in all weapons, Arjuna became the foremost of even the foremost of car-warriors; and his fame spread all over the earth to the verge of the sea. And although the instruction was the same, the mighty Arjuna excelled all (the princes in lightness of hand). Indeed, in weapons as in devotion to his preceptor, he became the foremost of them all. And amongst all the princes, Arjuna alone became an Atiratha (a car-warrior capable of fighting at one time with sixty thousand foes).
So Bhima was known for the mace, Yudhishthira was known for his chariot-fighting, Nakuka and Sahadeva for the sword, and Arjuna was good at pretty much everything.
For more details we can turn to one of the people who knew the Pandavas the best, their wife Draupadi. Once while the Pandavas were living in the forest, Draupadi was kidnapped by the king Jayadratha. (He was the husband of Dhritarasthtra's daughter Duhsala, whom I discuss here.) When the Pandavas are approaching to rescue Draupadi, Jayadratha asks Draupadi to describe her husbands. This is what she says in this chapter of the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata (I've split it up into separate paragraphs for each of the Panadavas):
That warrior at the top of whose flagstaff two handsome and sonorous tabours called Nanda and Upananda are constantly played upon,--he, O Sauvira chief, hath a correct knowledge of the morality of his own acts. Men that have attained success always walk in his train. With a complexion like that of pure gold, possessed of a prominent nose and large eyes, and endued with a slender make, that husband of mine is known among people by the name of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma and the foremost of the Kuru race. That virtuous prince of men granteth life to even a foe that yields. Therefore, O fool, throwing down thy arms and joining thy hands, run to him for thy good, to seek his protection.
And that other man whom thou seest with long arms and tall as the full-grown Sala tree, seated on his chariot, biting his lips, and contracting his forehead so as to bring the two eye-brows together, is he,--my husband Vrikodara! Steeds of the noblest breed, plump and strong, well-trained and endued with great might, draw the cars of that warrior! His achievements are superhuman. He is known, therefore, by the name of Bhima on earth. They that offend him are never suffered to live. He never forgetteth a foe. On some pretext or other he wrecketh his vengeance. Nor is he pacified even after he has wrecked a signal vengeance.
And there, that foremost of bowmen, endued with intelligence and renown, with senses under complete control and reverence for the old--that brother and disciple of Yudhishthira--is my husband Dhananjaya [Arjuna]! Virtue he never forsaketh, from lust or fear or anger! Nor doth he ever commit a deed that is cruel. Endued with the energy of fire and capable of withstanding every foe, that grinder of enemies is the son of Kunti.
And that other youth, versed in every question of morality and profit, who ever dispelleth the fears of the affrighted, who is endued with high wisdom, who is considered as the handsomest person in the whole world and who is protected by all the sons of Pandu, being regarded by them as dearer to them than their own lives for his unflinching devotion to them, is my husband Nakula possessed of great prowess. Endued with high wisdom and having Sahadeva for his second, possessed of exceeding lightness of hand, he fighteth with the sword, making dexterous passes therewith. Thou, foolish man, shall witness today his performances on the field of battle, like unto those of Indra amid the ranks of Daityas!
And that hero skilled in weapons and possessed of intelligence and wisdom, and intent on doing what is agreeable to the son of Dharma, that favourite and youngest born of the Pandavas, is my husband Sahadeva! Heroic, intelligent, wise and ever wrathful there is not another man equal unto him in intelligence or in eloquence amid assemblies of the wise. Dearer to Kunti than her own soul, he is always mindful of the duties of Kshatriyas, and would much sooner rush into fire or sacrifice his own life than say anything that is opposed to religion and morals.
So in Draupadi's view, Yudhisthira is known for his morality, Bhima for his vengeance, Arjuna for his archery, Nakula for his swordsmanship, and Sahadeva for his intelligence.
Yudhisthira: is best known as a person who has no aggression, and always upheld justice. His non-aggression came to use when he had to fight with Shalya who had a unique ability to obtain slightly more prowess then whomever he is about to fight.
Bhima: is a fast runner, has a huge bold body, and is tall. Like wind he loves and gives freedom.
Arjuna: the most noble and humble and saintly and mostly loved by the lord Krishna. His saintly attitude allows him to become the master of warriors.
Nakula: apart from his prowess for riding horses and skillfulness in swordsmanship, he also has the ability to ride his horses in the rain without getting wet.
Sahadeva: is also an expert swordsman, and has the ability to predict the future. But he's cursed so that if he tells others about the future his mind can blow away. That's why he has also the ability to sustain in worse situations and remain calm and silent.
Every character in Mahabharata has special qualities. Not only the Pandavas, but everyone.