King Dhritarashtra assigned his nephew Yudhishthira important public duties in Hastinapura, but he later regretted this decision. Yudhishthira and his brothers became wildly popular, and Dhritarashtra was worried that the Pandava brothers had eclipsed his own son Duryodhana in the public's esteem.
As a result, the king decided to send the Pandavas away. "Take a long holiday!" he said to Yudhishthira. "Go with your mother and brothers to Varanavata."
Yudhishthira was surprised, but he did as his uncle commanded.
Meanwhile, Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana, and Shakuni hatched an evil plot, hoping to put an end to the Pandavas once and for all.