18 Akshauhini Sena: A Legendary Army Formation in Hindu Mythology


The Akshauhini Sena is an army formation in Hindu mythology that played a significant role in the Mahabharata war. It is a well-known fact that the Akshauhini Sena was one of the most formidable armies of ancient India. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of this Sena in detail and its significance in Hindu mythology.

Akshauhini Sena
Pictorial Representation of Akshauhini Sena

What is an Akshauhini Sena?

The Akshauhini was an ancient Indian army formation that was designed to be a complete military unit. The term “Akshauhini” refers to a unit of soldiers that includes 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 horses, and 109,350 foot soldiers. This formation was considered to be the ideal army structure in ancient India and was used in many battles.

The Sena consisted of different types of soldiers, including charioteers, archers, spearmen, and swordsmen. The chariots were considered to be the most effective weapons of the power Sena. The elephants were used as living tanks to crush the enemy’s lines, while the horses and foot soldiers were used to provide mobility and attack.

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Calculation of Akshauhini Sena

Role in the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic that tells the story of the two sets of cousins, the Kauravas, and the Pandavas, who fought a fierce battle for the throne of Hastinapur. The Akshauhini Senas played a crucial role in the Mahabharata war. It is believed that both sides used 18 Senas, which means that there were approximately 3,60,000 soldiers on each side.

The Mahabharata describes several battles in which the Akshauhini Senas were used, including the Battle of Kurukshetra, which lasted for 18 days. These Senas played a significant role in this battle, and it was instrumental in deciding the outcome of the war.

Casualties and Significance

The Mahabharata war was one of the bloodiest wars in ancient India, and it is believed that almost the entire Akshauhini Senas were wiped out. The casualties in the war were estimated to be around 1.6 million soldiers. The Akshauhini Sena’s symbolic significance in Hindu mythology is that it represents power and might. It is said that the Akshauhini Sena’s might was such that it could conquer any enemy, no matter how formidable.

The concept of the Akshauhini has influenced modern military strategy. Military commanders in India still use the Akshauhini Sena as a benchmark for the strength of their armies. The Akshauhini Sena’s significance has endured through the ages, and it continues to be a symbol of military power and strength.


The Akshauhini Sena is not only a legendary army formation in Hindu mythology, but it also has significant historical and cultural significance in India. Its use in battles, including the Mahabharata war, has left an indelible mark on Indian history and military strategy. The enormous casualties incurred during the war only add to the awe-inspiring symbolism of the Akshauhini Senas, which represents power, might, and invincibility.

Despite being an ancient concept, the Sena continues to inspire and influence modern military strategy in India. Military commanders still refer to this formation to gauge the strength of their armies. The Akshauhini Sena is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India and its ability to innovate in the field of military strategy.

In conclusion, the Akshauhini Sena is more than just a legendary army formation in Hindu mythology. It is a symbol of India’s rich military history, cultural heritage, and its ability to innovate in the face of adversity. The legacy of the Sena continues to endure, inspiring military commanders and people alike with its message of power, might, and invincibility.

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