Bhisma fight in Swayamvara.jpg
Bhishma abducts Ambalika and her sisters.
  • Kashya (Father)
  • Kausalya (Mother)


RelativesPandavas (grand children)

Ambalika (Sanskrit: अम्बालिका, romanizedAmbālikā) is a princess featured in the Mahabharata. The youngest daughter of Kashya, the King of Kashi, and Kausalya,[1] she is abducted by Bhishma during her svayamvara ceremony, and becomes the wife of Vichitravirya, the King of Hastinapura.[2]


Along with her sisters, Amba and Ambika, Ambalika was taken by force by Bhishma during their svayamvara, the latter having challenged and defeated the assembled royalty. He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya. Ambalika and her sister spent seven years in their husband's company. Vichitravirya was afflicted with tuberculosis, and died from the disease.[3][4]

After Vichitravirya's death, since he left no heirs, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, the sage Vyasa. She asked him to father children with the widowed queens of Vichitravirya, according to the prevalent custom of niyoga. Vyasa had come from years of intense meditation and as a result, he looked tremendously unkempt. When he approached Ambika, she closed her eyes in fear. As a result, the blind Dhritrashtra was born. When he approached Ambalika, she turned pale in fear. Her son Pandu, the result of the niyoga, was born with a pale appearance.[5][6]

After the death of Pandu, Ambalika accompanied her mother-in-law Satyavati, and sister Ambika, to the forest, and spent the rest of her days in spiritual retreat.[7]


  1. ^ (28 January 2019). "Story of Ambālikā". Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  2. ^ (28 February 2012). "Ambalika, Ambālikā: 14 definitions". Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  3. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section CII". Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  4. ^ Bhanu, Sharada (1997). Myths and Legends from India - Great Women. Chennai: Macmillan India Limited. pp. 35–6. ISBN 0-333-93076-2.
  5. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section CV". Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  6. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section CVI". Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  7. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section CXXVIII". Retrieved 15 August 2012.