Pandu's father Vichitravirya had died heirless and there was no one to look after the Hastinapura kingdom. Satyavati- mother of Vichitravirya was worried about the functioning of the kingdom and hence called upon her first son sage Vyasa to bless Ambalika with a son.
According to his mother's wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them a son. Ambalika was instructed by Satyavati to keep her eyes open lest she would bear a blind son like Ambika. She did keep her eyes open but she became pale after seeing the formidable form of the Sage. Therefore, Pandu was born pale.
The life of Pandu
Pandu was an excellent archer. He was also the commander of Dhritarashtra's army. He also ruled the kingdom for the blind Dhritarashtra. Pandu conquered the territories of Dasarnas, Kashi, Anga, Vango, Kalinga, Bihar">Magadha etc. and thus re-established superiority over all the kings.
Pandu first got married to Kunti- the daughter of King Kuntibhoja and later on to Madri- sister of shalya.
The curse on Pandu
Once, while hunting, Pandu shot down a male deer that was mating with its partner. The male deer in reality was a sage who along with his wife assumed the form of deer so as to mate. Pandu was unaware of this fact. Before dying, the sage cursed Pandu that the moment he tries to have a sexual relationship, he shall die.
Disappointed, Pandu returned back to the kingdom only to take the decision of living a life of hermit along with his two wives. For fifteen years he lived the life of celibacy. Since he had a desire to father children, Kunti shared with him a secret about the boon that she was granted with by sage Durvasa. She used the boon and shared it with Madri to give birth to children. While Kunti bore three children, Madri bore two children. These five children were: Yudhisthir, Bheem, Arjuna, Nakul and Sahadev.They together were called the Pandavas.
One day when Kunti along with the five children had gone out, Pandu could not resist his attraction towards Madri. Though Madri relented to his approach reminding him of the curse, Pandu did not pay heed to it and touched Madri. As a result, he died. Over-ridden with guilt that she was responsible for Pandu's death, she handed over Nakul and Sahadev to Kunti and sacrificed her life in her husband's pyre.