Let’s see the feats of Ghatotkacha and Ashwatthama.
Feats of Ghatotkacha:
1. Ghatotkacha created the elephants Airavata, Anjana, Vamana and Mahapadma through his own maya to fight with Bhagadatta’s elephant force on the 4th day.
2. Ghatotkacha defeated Bhagadatta in archery which made Kourava commander Bhishma to withdraw the Kourava army from the fight on the 4th day.
3. Ghatotkacha killed mighty demons like Alayudha and Jatasura.
4. Ghatotkacha invoked his maya and created countless powerful demons who decimated Duryodhana’s forces.
5. Ghatotkacha fought to such an extent that Karna had no choice but to hurl Indra’s spear which he preserved to kill Arjuna.
6. Ghatotkacha assumed a gigantic form and fell upon one Akshauhini of Kourava soilders killing them parallelly with ending his own life.
Feats of Ashwatthama:
1. Possessed the knowledge of lethal celestial weapons like Brahmashira and Narayanastra.
2. Possessed the ability to invoke weapons through mind, air or tiny objects like a blade of grass.
3. The only warrior who fought Arjuna to stalemate in Virat war.
4. Defeated Yudhishthira, Bhima, Satyaki and Dhristadyumna multiple times.
5. Killed one Akshauhini of Ghatotkacha’s soilders on the 14th night.
6. Killed Ghatotkacha’s son Anjanaparva.
7. Defeated Ghatotkacha in archery.
8. Killed innumerable Pandava soilders by invoking Narayanastra on the 15th day.
9. Killed one Akshauhini of Pandava soilders by firing Agneya missile on the 15th day.
10. Killed great Pandava warriors like Nila and Malayadwaja.
11. Rescued Karna from Arjuna three times in Kurukshetra war.
12. Became invincible when Lord Shiva entered his body thus helping him to decimate the remaining soilders of the Pandava camp.
Now come to the prowess of Ghatotkacha and Ashwatthama.
Ghatotkacha being a demon was surely superior in strength as compared to mortal warriors. As we saw in the Mahabharata, Ghatotkacha’s strength increased in twilight and eventually he became invincible in the night. Ghatotkacha put up a good fight with Bhagadatta on the 4th day. Ghatotkacha had the ability to invoke great maya and create creatures like beasts, demons, ghosts, goblins, serpents and sharks to confound the enemy. The best time for any warrior to fight with Ghatotkacha was in broad daylight.
Ashwatthama always sought the welfare of the Pandavas and didn’t fight to his full potential until the 15th day. Even though he fought mildly, Ashwatthama had some great feats and repeatedly proved himself a warrior of highest class. In the knowledge of celestial weapons, no one was close to Ashwatthama barring Arjuna. From putting up some great fights with Arjuna to annihilating two Akshauhinis of Pandava forces, Ashwatthama was the achiever of some extraordinary feats. And when Lord Shiva entered his body, he was absolutely invincible armed with a scimitar. Realising the true potential of Ashwatthama, even Lord Krishna had to depart from the Pandava camp taking the five Pandava brothers along with him. After arriving in the Pandava camp, Ashwatthama single-handedly wiped out all the remaining warriors.
After the war was over, Duryodhana lamented in death bed that he made the mistake of not making Ashwatthama as his commander immediately after Dronacharya’s death. Duryodhana realised angered at Dronacharya’s death, Ashwatthama could have single-handedly wiped out the Pandava army.
Inspite of being a mortal warrior, Ashwatthama was afterall the partial incarnation of Lord Shiva. A genius in the art of divine weapons, Ashwatthama defeated foremost Pandava warriors like Bhima and Satyaki. Ashwatthama also defeated Ghatotkacha on the 14th night. Inspite of repeatedly trying in diverse ways, Ghatotkacha was unable to confound Ashwatthama with maya. Ashwatthama destroyed all of Ghatotkacha’s illusions with his celestial weapons. Therefore, Ghaotkacha had to abandon the fight with Ashwatthama and proceed for Karna’s direction instead.
Ashwatthama was a greater warrior than Ghatotkacha.