The Kurukshetra War, also called the Mahabharata War, is a war described in the Indian epic poem The Mahābhārata. The conflict arose from a dynastic succession struggle between two group of cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas, for the throne of Hastinapura. It involved several ancient kingdoms participating as allies of the rival groups.
The historicity of the war remains subject to scholarly discussions. It is possible that the Battle of the Ten Kings, mentioned in the Rigveda, may have formed the nucleus of the story of the Kurukshetra war, though it was greatly expanded and modified in the Mahabharata's account, making the Mahabharata's version of dubious historicity. Attempts have been made to assign a historical date to the Kurukshetra War. Scholarly research suggests ca. 1000 BCE, while popular tradition holds that the war marks the transition to Kali Yuga and thus dates it to 3102 BCE.
The location of the battle is described as having occurred in Kurukshetra in North India. Despite only spanning eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the entire epic, which spans decades of the warring families.