The Mahabharata war between the Kauravas and Panadvas was of epic proportions and it lasted for eighteen days.
Millions were killed and only a few remained alive after the war.
Please read my post on this.
What were the weapons used and with what effect?
The war started on Kartheeka Bahula Amavasya (end of the Kartheeka and the start of the Margasira lunar month), moon on Jyesta star, on Tuesday early morning.( This is under dispute, I shall be posting on this)
Solar eclipse also happened on that day and this Muhurth was kept by SriKrishna himself.
As usual Krishna did not directly fix the Muhurta.
Sahadeva fixed it and Krishna manipulated the Solar Eclipse to happen a Day earlier, knowing well it was started on the Day of Solar Eclipse the one who chooses that date would win.
Duryodhana was tricked into fixing this date.
This day was not the Amavasya, when Solar Eclipse happens, but a Day earlier.
This Amavasya is called the Bodhayana Amavasya.
Asi , Special Sword of Brahma.
Brahma performed a Yagna, when a demon-like being sprang from the midst of the sacrificial fires scattering flames all around.
His teeth were sharp and terrible, stomach lean and skinny ,very tall ,slim and very powerful.
Simultaneously, the earth started shaking, there were turmoil in the oceans, the forceful winds started howling all around, the trees started falling and being torn apart, and the meteors started blazing through the skies!
Brahma declared: The ‘being’ I have conceived is Asi. It shall effect the destruction of the enemies of the gods and restore the Dharma.
Upon this, the creature assumed the form of a blazing, sharp-edged sword, glowing like the flames at the end of the Kalpa.(Shantiparva,Mahabharata)
Though Krishna vowed not to bear arms in the mahabharata War, he became angry at the rate Bhishma was killing the Pandava Sena, He bore the Disk on His hand .
As Bhishma Bowed and prayed Krishna reminding subtly that He had vowed not to bear arms Krishna withdrew it.
A chentu is a horse whip which looks like a crooked stick, and is a typical attribute of Lord Ayyanar, Krishna in his aspect as Rajagopala, and Shiva with Nandi.
The attribute of chentu, which is etymologically derived from a Tamil word, generally appears in Southern India, especially in Hindu images of Tamil Nadu state, India.
This was used by all the warriors in the War.
4.The elephant/hathi goad or Ankusa (Sanskrit) .
A tool employed in the handling and training of elephants. It consists of a hook (usually bronze or steel) which is attached to a handle.
The hook is inserted into the elephant’s sensitive skin, either slightly or more deeply, to cause pain and induce the elephant to behave in a certain manner.
5.Kandiva, the Bow of Arjuna.
This was given to him by Agni after Ajuna allowed Agni(Fire) to devour the Kandava Forest.
This was kept in the custody of Varuna.
Beside Lord Krishna no one except Arjuna could wield the bow in the mortal world.
6.Khatvanga is a long, club or staff created to be used as a weapon.
It is a divine weapon of polysemic significance and accoutrement of chthonic deities and ‘left-handed path’ (Sanskrit: vamamarga) holy people in
Dharmic Traditions such as Shaivism.
One of the three Great weapons of Mass destruction, others being Brahmastra, Pasupatastra, Narayanstra would destroy anything and the only way to escape its wrath is to drop all the weapons and prostrate before it.
Aswathama used it unsuccessfully and under instructions from Krishna Arjuna had it withdrawn.
8.Brahmastra-Though not used in the Mahabharata war, it is one of the Great weapons.
Please read my post on this.
Though this was obtained by Arjuna from Lord Shiva, Karna from Parasurama, Arjuna did not have the occasion to use this and Karna could not as he
was cursed to forget the launching Mantra, by Parasurama.
Presiding Deity: Indra, the god of weather
Weapon’s Effect: Would bring about a shower of arrows from the sky.
Used by both the sides.
Presiding Deity,Varuna, Water.
This will ensure heavy downpour.
Presiding Deity, Vayu, God of Wind.
This will create uncontrollable winds.
13.Vasvi astra: A deadly weapon like Pasupata.
Karna used this.
14.Vajra: Indra’s favorite weapon.
Arjuna used this.
A powerful missile used to scatter the opposing army.
Users. Arjuna,Drona, Ashwatthama, Yudhishthira.
Presiding Deity: The Nagas
Weapon’s Effect: The weapon would have an un-erring aim and take on the form of a snake, proving deadly upon impact.
Karna used this unsuccessfully against Arjuna.
Krishna saved Arjuna from its wrath.
Apart from these traditional weapons like Sword, Spear, Bows and Arrows, Gada, Dagger were used.