(Last Updated on : 31-01-2009)
Drupada is the king of Panchalas. He was the son of Prishata and father of Draupadi, wife of the sons of Pandu. Drupada was one of the generals of the Pandava army. After being conquered by Drona, Drupada only managed to retain the southern part of his kingdom from the Ganges to the Charmavati (the modern Chumbal) including the cities Makandi and Kampilya. Drupada wanted to accept the arrangement made by Drona, by which his rule was confined to the country south of the Bhagirathi. Drupada then wished to get back his kingdom from his enemy. He longed for a powerful son who can take revenge on his behalf and could fight Drona's disciples.
Therefore, Drupada visited the chief resorts of the Brahmans to meet with some holy sage, whose more than human faculties might secure him progeny. Drupada found two Brahmans of eminent learning and sanctity named Yaja and Upayaja and addressed himself to the latter. Drupada promised him a million of cows if he enabled him to obtain the son he desired. Upayaja however declined the task and referred him to his elder brother Yaja, to whom the king requested and promised ten millions of kine. Upayaja with much reluctance accepted the task of directing a sacrificial ceremony by which the king should obtain offspring and called his younger brother Yaja to assist him.
When the rite had reached the proper period the queen of Drupada was invited to participate in it. But, the queen did not complete her toilet work and begged the Brahmans to delay the ceremony. It was too late, and the sacrifice proceeded without her. The children of Drupada were born independent of her participation. The son Dhrishtadyumna appeared with a diadem on his head and armed with a bow and falchion, from the middle of the sacrificial fire. Draupadi, the daughter of Drupada was born from the middle of the vedi or altar on which the fire had been kindled. Draupadi was of very black colour but full of loveliness and was therefore named Krishna. The name of the son of Drupada is derived from the pride and power with which he was endowed from his birth.
King Drupada was killed by Drona on the fourteenth day of the Great War of Kurukshetra.