In Hindu scriptures, Bharata is an ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Though the Bhāratas are a prominent community in the Rigveda, the story of Bharata is first told in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, wherein he is the son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala. The story of his parents and his birth is also related in Kalidasa's famous play Abhijñānashākuntala.
In the epic Mahābhārata, the ancestor of Kurus becomes Emperor Bharata, and his ruler and kingdom are called Bhārata. The Bharata clan mentioned in Mahabharata is a Kuru clan which is a sub-clan of the Puru clan.