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History Of Indian Places
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tracing evidence of Lord Ram and his times

Report: Rahul Sinha
Adapted by: Deepak Nagpal

India is a land of Gods and Goddesses. India is a secular land where various religions thrive. And India is a land where people are both deeply religious and pioneers in science.

However, recent developments have shown that this trait of being both religious as well as scientific leads to clashes – clashes between those who have certain beliefs and those who don't.

The most prominent example to cite here is the 'Ram Setu' issue. Who would have ever thought that one day, India will fight over the existence of its very own 'Lord Ram' – the most worshipped Hindu God, who is also referred to as 'Maryada Purushottam' or the Perfect Man. In Hindu mythology, Ram is considered to be the seventh avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu – the protector of all existence.

Zee News' Initiative

With so many controversies around and the very existence of Lord Ram being questioned in the land to which He belonged, Zee News thought it's worthwhile to find answers to some very pertinent questions: Is Ramayana a true story or just a mythological text? Did Ram really exist? Did he have an ardent devotee in Hanuman? Was Ram exiled from Ayodhya? Did he spend years of exile in Chitrakoot? Was his wife Sita abducted? Is there any place called Ravan's Lanka?

What kept our hope alive was the fact that when India had Ram's Ayodhya (in Uttar Pradesh), there must be something in Sri Lanka which will lend proof to the belief that Ram in not a myth, but a reality. So we thought we need to go back to places which are connected with Ram. <b>The two major points our search focussed on were Chitrakoot in India and the neighbouring Sri Lanka. </b>

A Zee News team led by Rahul Sinha then set out on a journey to find Ram. But did they find Him? Find out and judge for yourself…first hand…

<b> At Chitrakoot </b>

We begin our journey at Chitrakoot, in Madhya Pradesh. Here, there's a rock where, it is believed, Ram, Lakshman and Sita used to rest during their stay as part of their 14-year-long 'vanvaas' (exile). This place is known as 'Ram Shayya'.

Many tourists who visit Chitrakoot know about Kamakhya mountain, but only a handful are aware of the existence of Ram Shayya. We found three separate marks of Ram, Sita and his dhanush (arrow) on the rock. It is believed that these marks were formed when the two slept here.

According to a local priest, the hard rock turned into a soft rock when Ram and Sita slept there. It is because of this softness of the rock that the marks were formed.

While we were in Chitrakoot, local priests also took us to a place called Sphatic Shila where they showed us the footmarks of Ram, Lakshman and Sita. We also got the chance to see some footmarks at Janaki Kund which are believed to be of Sita.

Janaki Kund & Sita Kund

The place where Sita used to take bath during her stay at Chitrakoot is known as Janaki Kund. We also came across a 'havan bedi' where Sita used to perform 'havan' after taking bath. This havan bedi was built by Sita and local priests recite Ramayana even now during morning and evening everyday.

Apart from Janaki Kund, there's a place called Sita Kund. It is located inside a cave in the mountains surrounding Chitrakoot. It is believed that Sita had taken bath here. The water in the Sita Kund is of Godavari river. What's interesting is that the river vanishes after entering the cave and nobody has so far been able to figure out where it disappears.

Hanuman Dhara

In Chitrakoot's dense forest, there's a place known as Hanuman Dhara. We had to climb nearly 650 steps to reach this place. What we saw here was a very old, ancient-looking statue of Hanuman and from its right, water was flowing out of the mountain. However, a pipe has now been attached to this opening in the rocky mountain to control the flowing water.

It is believed that even after reducing Ravan's Lanka to ashes, the fire inside an angry Hanuman remained intact. After the war ended, Hanuman requested Ram to help douse the fire inside his body. It is then that Ram shot an arrow and a fountain sprung from the mountain. Since then this place has come to be known as Hanuman Dhara.

This flowing water disappears after falling on Hanuman's statue from the pipe. This gave birth to many questions inside the minds of our team members. We tried to find the source of the water but couldn't find any.

Also located right above Hanuman Dhara is a small room called Sita Rasoi where we saw a small rolling pin (chakla belan) made on a rock. It is believed Sita used to cook food here.

And We Find Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas

Not faraway from Chitrakoot is Rajapur. Here, we were told, the original Ramcharitmanas written by Tulsidas is kept inside a house. A person named Ramashrya Das has been taking care of this highly important mythological text.

What made us sad was the fact that only one 'adhyay' (chapter) of the Ramcharitmanas is secure. All other chapters have been stolen.

We got the chance to see the text from a close range. The chapter was written on a paper with hand-made ink. Ramashrya told us that the style of writing at that time was quite different from now.

At that time, only seven lines were written on each page. The chapter, which is secure, has a total of 170 pages and 326 couplets.

<b>Focus Shifts To Sri Lanka </b>

Our search for Ram and the Ramayana in India's Chitrakoot ends here, but we travel next to Sri Lanka – the same place where it is believed Ravan used to live. But how much of that is true, we find in the next part of this series.

We have told you about the evidence of Ramayana which we found in Chitrakoot. We now take our journey further – into Sri Lanka.

Across The Sea

As the team reached the coast of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, what we saw around was the blue sea – the same sea which Lord Ram and his vaanar sena (army of monkeys) crossed to reach Ravan's Lanka, to rescue Sita. Ravan's Lanka is now known as Sri Lanka – India's neighbour in the south.

But as we set our foot on Sri Lanka's soil, several questions came to our mind – Is this really Ravan's Lanka? Is this the place where 'Lanka Naresh' Ravan brought Sita after abducting her? Is this the same place which Hanuman set on fire with his burning tail? Questions were many, the place unknown and nobody around to answer them. But we had a hope – a hope to find some evidence of Ram's existence.

In Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, we didn't find too many people around who knew about either Ram or Ravan. But we were asked to visit nearby Norliya if really wanted to find something concrete.

The Breakthrough

In Norliya, we met a Delhi-based Indian named Harinder Sikka at a popular golf course. We were on cloud nine when we came to know that Sikka himself had been doing research on Ramayana for years. It was the most unexpected thing we had ever imagined that would happen to us. It was a real breakthrough in our search for Ram.

Sikka's love for golf had brought him to Sri Lanka and it was during his interaction with local friends on the epic Ramayana that he decided to do a research on the topic.

Ashok Vatika Discovered

We were left surprised when Sikka told us that barely five kilometres from where we were standing now, was located one of the most important places mentioned in Ramayana – the Ashok Vatika. This is the place where Sita stayed after Ravan abducted her from India.

In Sri Lanka, Ashok Vatika is known as Sita Ella.

The place had statues of Lord Ram, his brother Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman. By their look, the statues seemed to be hundreds of years old. However, a local resident, named Romilla, corrected us, saying the statues were nearly 5,500 years old. The statues seemed to have been carved out of nearby rocks.

When we enquired about the 'Ashok Vriksh', Romilla told us that the famous tree was no more. But standing in its place was a hundreds of years old tree.

It is believed that Hanuman first met Sita at this place.

At Ashok Vatika

Not many people in Sri Lanka know the significance behind Ashok Vatika and treat it like any other picnic spot. However, several Indians have come together and are now turning this place into a temple. Also, paintings have been put up there to help locals understand the Ramayana-related events that took place at Ashok Vatika.

We, along with Romilla, also went to a stream called Sita Jharna that flows right under Ashok Vatika. It is believed that Sita used to bathe here during her captivity at Ashok Vatika.

The stream is surrounded by huge and dense mountains. Nobody knows where water in the stream comes from and disappears after accumulating in a 'kund'. What's fascinating is the fact that water level in the kund remains same throughout the year.

The disappearing of water at Sita Jharna in Ashok Vatika, and at Sita Kund and Hanuman Dhara in Chitrakoot hints at some form of connection between the three – and also makes one believe that something miraculous is happening at all three places.

Hanuman's Footmark

Romilla next took us to that part of Ashok Vatika where, it is believed, a giant footmark of Hanuman is imprinted. According to beliefs, Hanuman appeared in his gigantic form before Sita for the first time here. This footmark was formed then.

Sri Lankan government's archaeological department has conducted a survey and found that the marks, located on a rock near Sita Jharna, are around 6,000 years old.

If viewed from a distance, the footmark resembles that of a huge monkey. It is believed that Hanuman appeared in his gigantic form before Sita to make her believe that Ram's vaanar sena had the strength and capability to fight Ravan's army.

Sleeping Divinity

The next place we visited in our search for Ram literally left us stunned.

Not far away from Ashok Vatika is a place where it is believed Hanuman is resting in his giant form. The place is close to Chinmaya Temple. After reaching the temple, what we saw could make any atheist start believing in God.

Hanuman was sleeping in front of our eyes – in his giant form.

Anybody coming to Chinmaya Temple can see a faraway mountain structure which resembles a sleeping Hanuman in his giant form. It is not difficult to make out the head and face of the giant body, along with the chest and huge legs.

Those who question everything can raise doubts over the footmarks of Hanuman, Ram, Lakshman and Sita which we saw in our journey so far. But it will be difficult for even those people to refute the fact that the mountain structure in front of our eyes resembled a sleeping Hanuman.

Built inside the Chinmaya Temple is a huge, 16 feet granite statue of Hanuman where hundreds come everyday to offer prayers. These include not just expatriate Indians but also Buddhist Sri Lankans in large numbers. The statue is a copy of the mountain structure. The only difference is the fact that it is placed in a vertical position inside the temple.

Another Halt

We have made two important discoveries in Sri Lanka – Ashok Vatika and sleeping Hanuman in his giant form. We now take our journey further to discover a legacy left behind by Hanuman, but only in the next and last part of the series.


So far, we have travelled through Chitrakoot in India and Norliya in Sri Lanka in our search of Ram. We have also found several things that hint at the existence of Ram. However, we still have to come face-to-face with several things, which will lend weight to our belief that the Ramayana and everything mentioned in this epic is true.

The Ashes

After visiting Chinmaya Temple, we were told that Hanuman had left behind a legacy in Lanka which is still present in its original form – a legacy of ashes which every child in India knows about.

Located close to Ashok Vatika in Norliya are mountains whose soil is of black colour. The researcher on Ramayana, Harinder Sikka told us that mountains located on the left side of the Sita Jharna have black soil while mountains on the right have soil which is of usual brown colour.

Sikka said that the colour of the soil is black because Hanuman had put these mountains on fire along with Ravan's Lanka, as mentioned in the Ramayana.

It is difficult to find the end of these mountains which are spread as far as the vision goes. The soil of these mountains looks like ash but what's striking is the fact these mountains are extremely dense.

It's not just the soil of these mountains which is black but also the rocks. It looks as if these rocks were also burnt. When we asked the locals about any huge fire occurring in the area in recent memory, the answer was in the negative.

Monkeys With Black Tail

While roaming around these mountains, we were shocked to see monkeys whose tails are also black in colour, unlike the brown body.

As if this shock wasn't surprising enough, what we saw next left us speechless. When we went little closer to these monkeys, who were shy unlike their naughty Indian counterparts, we found that their lips and ears were also of black colour.

Locals said the reason behind their black lips, ears and tails is linked to Hanuman.

Lanka Naresh Finds Us

With our search for proofs of Ramayana still incomplete, we decided to leave these monkeys, ashy mountains and sleeping Hanuman behind.

As we travelled further in Norliya, we came across a display board the words written on which read – Ravan Ella. What we were trying to find had suddenly appeared in front of us.

When we enquired about this place from locals, they told us that a King named Ravan used to bathe here. They also showed us a rock on which he used to sit while taking bath in the waterfall. The force with which water used to fall from the top was immense some years back but it has now subsided, as we found. However, the force was still such that we were frightened to even think about being in its way.

The board with words Ravan Ella had been put up by the Sri Lankan government, which proved that it is the present-day Sri Lanka which was earlier called Lanka and that Ravan belonged to this very same land.

One More Setu

It's not just Ram Setu which connects Sri Lanka with India, but also a mountain which is believed to be a part of the great Himalayas. It is said the magical Sanjeevani is found on this mountain only. It is this small mountain which Hanuman brought from India to Sri Lanka.

The mountain is called Romosola, or Sumeru Parvat, which is situated on the coast of Sri Lanka. If one travels by an aeroplane or helicopter, he will find that this type of mountain is not found anywhere else on Sri Lanka's entire coastline.

While roaming around the mountain, we met a local resident named Dharamsree. He expressed ignorance about Sanjeevani, but said people in a nearby village come to this mountain whenever anybody falls ill. The villagers use various kinds of tree leaves to cure the ill.

As we were trying to find the glowing Sanjeevani, which we unluckily didn't find, we saw Sikka concentrating on some leaves. Then we came to know that he was the director of a famous Indian pharmaceutical company, Nicholas Piramal. He then cleared all the doubts we had about the usefulness of these tree leaves.

According to Sikka, 90 percent of the plants and trees on the Sumeru Parvat had medicinal value. He said that such trees are found only in Himalayas. Many of the plants found on Sumeru Parvat were beneficial in the treatment of heart ailments, allergies, body rashes, problems related to bones etc.

Also located at one corner of the mountain is a statue of Hanuman in which he is shown as carrying Sumeru Parvat. It was quite striking to find this kind of statue in a country which has only a handful of people who know about either Ram or Ravan. This highlighted the kind of faith which Sri Lankans had in Ram and Hanuman.

The Journey Ends, But Not The Search

Our search for Ram and the Ramayana ends here, but not the proofs which are spread across Sri Lanka and India. Many places in North Jaffna, Sri Lanka, are full of such proofs, as we are told. But due to several constraints we have to end our mission here. However, we are only halting our journey in search of Ram and hope to resume it sometime in future. Because as always, the search for truth never ends…!

It would be a good idea to catalog the places mentioned in the Ramayana and also the main Sri Rama temples. In Andhra Pradesh there is Bhdrachalam.
Tour package: Trail of Ramayana in Srilanka

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tour package: Trail of Ramayana in Srilanka
17 January 2008

Lanka unveils ‘Trail of Ramayana’ tour package

New Delhi (PTI): With an eye on its “primary source market”, Sri Lanka Tourism has identified some 50 sites associated with Hindu epic Ramayana to lure more pilgrim travellers from India to the island nation.

‘Following the Trail of Ramayana’ is based on research findings that link the sites to Lord Ram, wife Sita and demon king Ravana, SLT director-general S Kalaiselvam told reporters while unveiling the ambitious thematic programme here on Thursday.

“Currently we are taking steps to develop and restore all 50 sites to facilitate foreign and local visitors the opportunity to witness and experience the sacredness of these sites,” he said.

The tour package of areas “steeped in Ramayana history” comes on the heels of the Buddhist circuit of Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Rajgir, Varanasi and Lumbini aimed at attracting pilgrim tourists to India.

The programme includes names of places like Seethaeliya, Ram Bodha, Ussangoda and Roomassala and special temples in areas where Ravana is believed to have held Sita captive.

Kalaiselvam said the “Ramayana epic is a very special feature in the bond that we have with India and we are trying to offer opportunity to our friends here to visit Sri Lanka to explore, absorb and enjoy the various places of significance as present in the epic”.

He, however, parried a question on Ram Setu controversy and said “this is a question of faith. Local people believe it and there are many who would like to visit the sites related to the Ramayana in Lanka. We are trying to facilitate it”.


Lanka banks on Ramayana to woo tourists
18 Jan 2008, 0150 hrs IST,Ashish Sinha,TNN

NEW DELHI: Politicians may spar in India over whether Ram Setu was more than a figment of Valmiki’s imagination but for neighbouring Sri Lanka, the Ramayana legends are an article of faith.
Sri Lanka Tourism has identified five “airports” where Ravana parked his fleet of pushpak vimanas, the mythological aircraft he used to abduct Sita when she was in vanvasa on mainland India. The ruler of ancient Lanka — a brilliant Brahmin and devout Shiva disciple — didn’t only excel in charting an air route, as he was a pioneer in “underground transport” as well.
No doubt then that remains of intricate tunnel networks, leading to palaces and battlefields, that Ravana spread across the island, are also to be seen.
These and nearly 50 more sites, related to the “Ramayana trail”, have been showcased by Sri Lanka tourism in its new deal to promote “spiritual tourism”, an experiment aimed specifically at Indian visitors, who, at 100,000, already constitute 20% of the country’s annual tourist inflow.
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority director-general S Kalaiselvam told TOI that these sites are not imaginary and have existed since times immemorial.
“We are simply putting all details together. People in villages have always revered these sites, which form a part of the folklore. A five-day tour would be enough to make a tourist realise what we’re talking about,” he said before launching the package with cricketers Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva.
So much so, that the board appointed a research team to trace the “trail” before formally making the findings public. Ashok Kainth, the main researcher who began work four years ago, said 59 spots had been located which relate to various stages of the Ramayana period.
“Among them are Ravana’s palaces and dairy farm, besides several later-period temples devoted to Sita,” Kainth said. The trail even encases a pond which is believed to have come into existence through Sita’s tears. “Evidence suggests that even during worst droughts, this pond never dried up,” the researcher said.
The various spots are spread across the island, beginning from its northern tip at Nagadeepa, believed to be Hanuman’s entry point to Lanka. The southern tip, Donara, is the place where Ram began his first attack on Ravana. The main battleground, identified as Yudagannawa, is a wildlife sanctuary now but, Kalaiselvam said, no vegetation “strangely” grows in the area except grass.
Mythology suggests that Ram, a Kshatriya, performed penance after killing Ravana, a Brahmin. The tourism board has identified the exact spot as Chilaw and Muneswaram where Ram carried out pujas to cleanse him of the sin. “Sri Lanka Tourism believes that Ramayana has brought together Sri Lanka and India through the exploration of its great story backdrop, which is Ayodhya and Lankapura (Sri Lanka). We are also undertaking restoration and maintenance of these sites,” Kalaiselvam said.
Asked about cooperation with Indian government, he said there was a general MoU over tourism. “We have entered into an arrangement with Andhra Pradesh Tourism specifically over the trail,” Kalaiselvam added.


Sri Lankan Cricket Icons Sell Ramayana Trail In India

Thursday 17th of January 2008

Cricket icons Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva are currently in India to sell the ‘Ramayana trail’ in the hope that thousands of Hindus will flock to Sri Lanka to see places associated with the epic.
‘Apart from Arjuna and Aravinda, two Hindu leaders from Sri Lanka will participate in the campaign to familiarise Indians with places in the island associated with the Ramayana,’ S. Kalaiselvan, director general Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), told IANS over phone from New Delhi Thursday.
The head of the Ramakrishna Mutt in Colombo and the high priest of the Hanuman temple in Dehiwela are currently in New Delhi along with the cricket stars. They would be meeting the media and prominent personalities to elicit support for the path-breaking tourism project, Kalaiselvan said.
‘Sri Lankan folklore and religious scholars have identified more than 30 places on the island which are associated with the Ramayana. And interestingly enough, people in these places have a strong sense of history and lore, and a strong sense of possession. They are proud of their association with the Hindu epic,’ Kalaiselvan said.
This is so even though 90 percent of the people in the Ramayana-related areas are Sinhalese Buddhists.
According to the Ramayana, Ravana brought Sita to Sri Lanka by a vehicle called ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ by the Hindus and ‘Dandu Monara Yanthraya’ by the Sinhalese Buddhists. According to mythology, this vehicle landed at Werangatota, about 10 km from Mahiyangana, east of the hill station of Nuwara Eliya, in central Sri Lanka.
Sita was then taken to Goorulupota, now known as Sitakotuwa, where Ravana’s wife, Mandodari, lived. Seetakotuwa is about 10 km from Mahiyangana on the road to Kandy.
Sita was housed in a cave at Sita Eliya, on the Colombo-Nuwara Eliya road. There is a temple for her there. She is believed to have bathed in the mountain stream flowing beside the temple.
North of Nuwara Eliya, in Matale district, is Yudhaganapitiya, where the Rama-Ravana battle took place. According to a Sinhalese legend, Dunuwila is the place from where Rama shot the ‘Bramshira’ arrow that killed Ravana. The Sri Lankan king was chalking out his battle plans in a place called Lakgala when the killer arrow struck him.
Lakgala is a rock from the top of which Ravana could see north Sri Lanka clearly. It served as a watchtower following the expectation that Rama would invade the island to rescue his consort.
Ravana’s body was placed on the rock at Yahangala for his subjects to pay their last respects.
Since Ravana was a Brahmin, it was considered a sin to kill him, even in battle. To wash off the sin, Rama performed puja at the Munneswaram temple in Chilaw, 80 km north of Colombo. At Manaweri, north of Chilaw, there is a temple gifted by Rama.
According to another legend from the southern part of Sri Lanka, Sita was actually detained in the mountainous forest area of Rumassala near Galle. When she fell ill, Hanuman wanted to bring some medicinal plants from the Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayan chain to cure her. Since he could not find the plants, he brought the whole mountain and dropped it at Unawatuna, which is near the present Galle harbour. Unawatuna means ‘here it fell’. Indeed, the area is known for its medicinal plants.
At Ramboda, in the central highlands, known for its massive waterfalls, a temple for Hanuman has now sprung up as the belief is that he had visited Sita who was incarcerated there.
Legend has it that the Koneswaram temple, in the eastern district of Trincomalee, was gifted by Lord Shiva to Ravana, as he was an ardent devotee.
In the famous Buddha Vihara at Kelani, near Colombo, there is a representation of Rama handing over captured Sri Lanka to Ravana’s brother, Vibheeshana, who sided with him in his conflict with Ravana.

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jan 3 2008, 02:26 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jan 3 2008, 02:26 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->It would be a good idea to catalog the places mentioned in the Ramayana and also the main Sri Rama temples. In Andhra Pradesh there is Bhdrachalam.
Indeed Ramana. I'm in search of two works which is supposed to be pretty comprehensive:
One on <b>Rama's yatra by Ram Autar </b>in Hindi.
Another is about <b>Tirthasthanas in Mahabharata</b> (this one I believe is a Ph D thesis).

Can anyone help out here?
Recently visited Eklingji temple in Rajasthan.

Its a wonderful temple to visit. More history of this temple in the link.



Also visited Shrinathji temple in Nathadwara. The guide there came up with interesting story about Shrinathji. Two related stories actually.

1. There is a diamond in Shrinathji's chin. The guide said that diamond was given by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb also used his beard to clean Shrinathji temple's stairs. Before this version of the story, what I had heard was that it was because of Aurangzeb's fear that Shrinathji's murti was moved from Vrindavan to Nathdwara and that it was on insistence of Mewar's Rana that the murti was established at Nathdwara.

2. The second story is again about some inscriptions on the heavily fortified main gates of the temple. Just on the entrance there are 2 inscriptions - one on left side with picture of cow on it and another one on right with a pig on it. The guide said that the inscriptions had saugand for hindus and muslims (cow/pig) that they will maintain the maryada of the temple.

Does any body have anymore insights ?
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Sep 24 2008, 10:02 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Sep 24 2008, 10:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Recently visited Eklingji temple in Rajasthan.

Its a wonderful temple to visit. More history of this temple in the link.



Also visited Shrinathji temple in Nathadwara. The guide there came up with interesting story about Shrinathji. Two related stories actually.

1. There is a diamond in Shrinathji's chin. The guide said that diamond was given by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb also used his beard to clean Shrinathji temple's stairs. Before this version of the story, what I had heard was that it was because of Aurangzeb's fear that Shrinathji's murti was moved from Vrindavan to Nathdwara and that it was on insistence of Mewar's Rana that the murti was established at Nathdwara.

2. The second story is again about some inscriptions on the heavily fortified main gates of the temple. Just on the entrance there are 2 inscriptions - one on left side with picture of cow on it and another one on right with a pig on it. The guide said that the inscriptions had saugand for hindus and muslims (cow/pig) that they will maintain the maryada of the temple.

Does any body have anymore insights ?

Rajesh, very interesting, thanks! Do you have pictures, can you post? (What a coincidence if things work out as planned, I might be there next week too!)

Reg. Shrinath Ji, you are right and the guide is obviousely wrong! During the first decade of awrangzib coming to power, majority of important vigraha-s were removed from mathura area and smuggled into rajputana. I mentioned something similar somewhere:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In the village are some other important temples too.

Aurangzeb was undertaking the campaign of ransacking the Mathura-Vrindavan area to destroy the important temples of the region to crush the spirit of the Hindus. It was then that some Rajput nobilities were trying to help smuggle away the important vigraha of the original deities of Vrindavana to Rajputana, to avoid destruction. Three of these: Radha-Madana-Mohana, Radha-Govinda and Radha-Gopinatha were being taken from Vrindavana to Jaipur, and on the way they were hidden in Kamyavana for a few days. Since these Deities stayed here, three temples have been established dedicated to Radha-Govinda, Radha-Madana-Mohana and Radha-Gopinatha.

Rama Setu in Vrindavana: Kamyavana Setu Bandha Kunda<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

About pig thing, the guide would be wrong again. Pig is not the same for muslims as cow for Hindu of course. Pig is hated by them and no "saugandh" on pig is possible! maybe those rajputs were gullible as well if what you described is true. Can you pls post images?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Reg. Shrinath Ji, you are right and the guide is obviousely wrong! During the first decade of awrangzib coming to power, majority of important vigraha-s were removed from mathura area and smuggled into rajputana.  I mentioned something similar somewhere:
My relative has married a northern vaishya whose family worships shrInAth-ji of nAthadvAra. With their family I had visited a replica of that temple here in mlechChadesha. A brochure there clearly mentioned that Awrangzeb's attack lead to the image being moved to Chittor, which was a in Hindu control, but the the procession stopped close by and the idol was installed in nAthadvara.

bappA rAval was patron of the shaiva-s of both the pAshupata and kaula stream-s (gorAkSha etc). But ekaling was originally a pAshupata temple, one of the few surviving ones in the north.
Pig is Varaha incarnation of Vishnu.
Unfortunately I dont have pictures - didnt have a camera. Most temples dont allow cameras so I had left cameras home. More then one guide mentioned that Aurangzeb's diamond was only accepted after he cleaned 9 stairs (some relation to navdhabhakti) of the temple. I also briefly read the inscriptions - since there was a lot of pushing and shoving you cant really stand in one place to read the inscriptions - best is to take a picture of the inscriptions. The cow and pig are definitely visible. The words "hindu", "mussalman" etc were legible but it reqd a patient reading. Next time I visit the place or some friend does I will ask to take pictures of those. I found out later that cameras are allowed upto that point - its just near the main red gates of the temple - after you enter the red gates just about 10 feet inside there are 2 pillar type structures - you will find these at about 10 feet height..

Another interesting story I heard was at Maharana Pratap Smarak in Udaipur.The story is that after various raje/maharaje refused to protect Shrinathji due to aurangzeb's fear the murti approached mewar. The reigning rana also rejected but his mother said -> please take my bangles and give me your talwar after which Rana agreed to give protection to Shrinathji at Nathdwara.


Another tidbit.
In Udaipur city palace in middle of the tour you will find pictures of "elephant god" and a sole shop for Ganesha, the elephant god. I couldnt understand my feelings when I saw all this. I did realise however that the glory of Mewar was past. And then while googling I ran into this


Weird. Oh well.
Couple more tidbits..

- Bappa Rawal was referred to as Hindua Suraj. Doesnt that contradict the theory that the term hindu is a later invention ?
- At Maharana Smarak, there were a few pretty fiery poems from Shri Narendra Mishra. And I am not kidding - they were pretty fiery poems. Anybody knows more details on Pt Mishra ? Where is his work available ?

Not sure of Narendra Mishra, never heard of him. But, of course the celebrated poet Shyam Narayan Pandey had written a very famous masterpiece 'Haldighati', which is a fiery saga of the struggle of Maharana Pratap. I quote one pada:

hara-ekalinga ko maath navaa, lohaa lene chal paDaa veer
chetak ka chanchal veg dekh, tha mahaa-mahaa lajjit sameer
laD-laD kar akhil maheetal ko, shoNita se bhar dene waali
talwaar veer ki taDap uThee, ari-kaNTha kutar dene waali
raaNaa ka oj bhara aanan sooraj samaan chamchamaa uTha
ban mahakaal ka mahaakaal, bheeshan bhaalaa damdamaa uTha
here is what Rajesh was referring to in #45 and after.

At the main entracnce to the fortress-like srInAthajI temple of nAthadwAra in mewADa, the left hand side of the main doorway shows this inscription:
<img src='http://inlinethumb04.webshots.com/39875/2650818180100818794S500x500Q85.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

and the right hand side this:

<img src='http://inlinethumb28.webshots.com/39195/2603697150100818794S500x500Q85.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

At least left one is a typical of the late temple prashasti-s of the region. Especially the traditional royal seal of the sisodiyA rAjpUts of mewAD - a cow feeding her calf under the eyes of Sun and Moon.

The one on the right hand side does attest to what Rajesh had described the guide telling him. It states the orders of some "nawAb amIruddawlA mahamad shrI mIr khAn bahAdur Ji" to hindus and muslims visiting the temple to keep the sanctity of the shrine ("abad and marajaad"), and towards those tending to be not faithful to shInAthajI ("shrIjI kI sebA se vimukha"), i.e. true muslims, those are called upon to respect the shrine in name of the pig, kuran and khuda.

The left hand one mirrors the same message coming from "shrI mahArAjAdhirAja sUbedAra jI shrI jaswant rao kaskara", apparantly some governer of "alI-jAh bahAdur" and calls upon hindus and musalmans, this time in name of gau and sUrya. Both bear the same date - 11th vaishAkha of 1862nd vikramI. (1805 CE)

Now, who was this nawab? By his name, we do know, there happened to be a Nawab in lucknow, and the year would suit. To date there are some colleges in Lucknow by this name. So we may speculate it to be from him. Besides, no reference to Allah or Mohammed, but to Khuda instead also points to a Shia, which will support it to be this nawab. Besides the title of 'khAn bahAdur', a typical of the honorary titles given by angrez also suits this candidate. (This nawab and after had just stopped paying maratha-s and started paying Brits.) But I have no more interest to inquire on this subject.

and Rajesh, you were right, the guides were singing the tales of awrangzib cleaning the nine-steps of shrInAthJi with his red beard and gifting shrInAthJi with a diamond (to regain his eye sight because he was blinded due to some miracle of shrInAthJi when he was at the outkirts of nAthdwAra during his campaign -- although as per the real history the deity was already removed before awrangzib arrived here and stealthily moved to the safety of the lake-palace of udaipur and then again hidden into a small village called ghasiara near haldighati). I did think of asking for refund of what you paid the silly guide <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> . By the way I hope you noticed the fort like massive doors of the shrine. Also I hope you visited the museum of shrInAthajI's history in the shrI-vallabha-maTha, a few KMs from here.
<b>Lord Bhairava sculpture unearthed near Palani </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Madurai (PTI): A seventh century sculpture of Lord Bhairava has been unearthed from the Pachaiyaru river bed at Azhagapuri near Palani in the district, officials said.

A team led by Narayanamurthy, an archaeological expert unearthed the granite stone sculpture of the Lord, which was 125 cm tall and 52 cm broad.

He said that a Shiva temple had existed in the course of the river bed and it had been either washed away or partly submerged by floods and sand over the years. An elephant chain also had been recovered from the spot, he said.
Thankyou Bodhi for the pics. Yes I did notice the heavily fortified temple doors. BTW if you visit the Eklingji temple I mentioned earlier the guide will show you the damaged temples from attacks by muslim invaders. Even that temple is like a mini-fort. Another interesting story a guide told me at the Eklingji temple. Just opposite the main shrine of Eklingji temple is the usual murti of Nandiji. The guide showed me the front left leg which was damaged and looked like it was repaired. He said the muslims were in the process of destroying Nandijis pratima when from the damaged left-front leg appeared thousands of madhumakhis driving the invaders away.
Rajesh, thanks, yes I did visit shrI ekali~Ngeshwara, and that was truly an experience of a life time. Very intriguing place. too many mysteries and far less convincing answers. I have several unresolved thoughts in the end.

here is the only image I was allowed to shoot, the inscription at the entrance declaring the temple to be a pivate shrine to the iShTadeva of the royal house of the Aryakula-kamala-divAkara, the Sun of Hindus, the mahArANA of mewADa, estabished in 734 (by the founder of the kula of mewADa bappA kAlabhoja rAwala, who was blessed and inspired by the then gorakShanAtha for it):

<img src='http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/40544/2387990710100818794S500x500Q85.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Ramayana trail in Srilanka


'dAnI' community of mehatA businessmen trace their origin to a mahu.A village in saurAShTra, although today they are spread all over the world. Community recently undertook the collection of vaMshAvalI, a compilation of community history, which so far goes back to VS 662 when they had first migrated from puShkara to gujarAta about 1500 years back. Some 550 families of the community from all over the world took part in this 18 month history project, which started and concluded with community conferences in their original village.

मुंबई [ओमप्रकाश तिवारी]। गुजरात में सौराष्ट्र के मूल निवासी दानी समुदाय ने हाल ही में महुआ क्षेत्र में अपने समुदाय का एक कुटुंब मेला आयोजित किया जिसमें समुदाय के देश-विदेश में रह रहे करीब 550 परिवारों ने हिस्सा लिया। सम्मेलन की खास बात वह वंशवृक्ष कैलेंडर रही, जिसमें समुदाय की 50 पीढि़यों के सभी सदस्यों के नाम दर्ज हैं। वंशवृक्ष की शुरुआत होती है करीब 1500 वर्ष पहले विक्रम संवत् 662 में राजस्थान से गुजरात के पालनपुर में आकर बसे पूर्वज अनंग शॉ से और सबसे छोटा सदस्य है आठ माह का विहान।

लेकिन 50 पीढ़ी पीछे तक पहुंचना आसान काम तो था नहीं। दानी कुटुंब मंडल के चेयरमैन जयेशभाई दानी बताते हैं कि वंशावली इकट्ठा करने की शुरुआत करीब 18 महीने पहले एक छोटे सम्मेलन से हुई थी। इसमें आए लोगों से फार्म भरवाकर उनके पूर्वजों की जानकारियां ली गई। इसके बाद करीब दस कुटुंब मेले हुए। दानी कुटुंब मंडल के सदस्य घर-घर जाकर जानकारियां इकट्ठी करते रहे और उन्हें परखते रहे। कई ऐसे बुजुर्ग भी सामने आए, जिनके पास पुराने रिकार्ड थे, सरकारी गजट की भी मदद ली गई और आज देश-विदेश में जा बसे दानी कुटुंब की 50 पीढि़यों का इतिहास एक वंशवृक्ष के रूप में सामने है ।

मंडल के सचिव देवांशु दानी बताते हैं कि पूर्वजों का इतिहास तो इससे भी पहले है जब वे पुष्कर तीर्थ के पास से विस्थापित होकर अजमेर होते हुए पालनपुर में आ बसे। व्यापारी होने के कारण यह वर्ग करीब 450 वर्ष बाद पाटन आ गया, जो अपनी व्यावसायिक गतिविधियों के कारण उन दिनों भारत का वेनिस कहा जाता था। कुछ सदियों बाद यह कुटुंब पाटन से भी विस्थापित होकर सौराष्ट्र के गोहिल राजाओं के क्षेत्र में जा बसा। मेहनती और ईमानदार होने के कारण इस वर्ग को गोहिल राजा ने दूसरे राज्य की सीमाओं से आने, जानेवाले माल पर कर वसूलने की जिम्मेदारी सौंपी।

संभवत: कर को उस समय दान के नाम से जाना जाता था, इसलिए कर वसूलनेवाला यह वर्ग अपने व्यवसाय के चलते दानी उपनाम से जाना जाने लगा। आज भी ज्यादातर लोग दानी लिखते हैं, जबकि कुछ मेहता उपनाम प्रयोग करते हैं। महुआ के पास छह गांवों में अपनी जड़ें रखनेवाला यह व्यवसायी समुदाय अब मुंबई से लेकर अमेरिका, ब्रिटेन और दुबई तक जा बसा है, लेकिन जड़ों को याद रखने की चाहत में हर व्यक्ति ने अपने गांव में अपना एक घर जरूर बना रखा है।


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Panini mentioned some countries in his Ashtadhyayi

Kachcha (IV, 2.133) , Avanti (IV. 1.176), Kosala (IV. i.171), Kalinga (IV. i. 170) and Asmaka (IV. 1.173) He did not mention any countries in South India except for Asmaka .

Sutta Nipata , one of the oldest pali texts in Buddhist litt. speaks of a Brahmin guru called Bavarin from Sravasthi, Kosala who settled in  a village on the Godhavari (R. Godavari) in the Assaka (Asmaka, today's Bodhan, Nizamabad dist) territory in the Dakkinaptha (South India) (Vs  976-7)

Bavarin sent his sixteen pupils to pay their homage to Buddha and confer with him. There is a big story why he  sent his disciples but it is irrelevant here  I think .

The route by which the disciples proceeded northwards is also described. (Vs 1011-3)

First , they went to Pattithana (Paithan) of Mulaka country , then to Mahissati (Mahismati of MP?)

To Ujjain, Gonaddha, Vedisa (Vidisha) and Vanasahvaya., Kosambi, Saketa and Savatthi (Sravastri,the capital of Kosala) ; to Setavya, Kapilavastu and Kusinara; to Pava, Vesali(capital of Magadha?)  and finally to Pasanaka Chetiya where Buddha then was.

In the text of Sutta nipata edited by V Fausholl, the reading Alaka is adopted (Vs 977 & 1011) and the variant Mulaka was noted in the foot notes. There can however, be no doubt that Mulaka must be the correct reading. We know of no country of the name Alaka. Mulaka on the other hand, is well known.

Thus in the celebrated Nasik cave inscriptions of Vasisthiputra Pulumavi  the Mulaka country has been associated with Asaka (Asmaka) exactly as it has been done in the Sutta Nipata (EI, VIII. 60)

The same country seems to have been mentioned as Maulika by Varaha mihira in Brht Samhita (XIV.8)

Further, considering that Godavari has been called Godhavari in the Sutta nipata, Gonaddha can very well be taken to stand for Gonadda-Gonarda, the place from which Patanjali , author of Mahabhashya, hailed. Sir RamaKrishna Bhandarkar has shown on the authority of the Mahabhashya that Saketa was situated on the road from Gonarda to Pataliputra (IA,II.7c) This is exactly in accordance with what the Sutta nipata says, for Saketa , according to the route taken by Bavarin's pupils was on the way from Gonaddha to the Magadha country. The native place of Patanjali was , there fore, in Central India, somewhere between Ujjain and Besnagar near Bhilsa.

The description of this route is very important in more than one ways.

In the first place, it will be seen that Bavarom's settlement was much to the south of Paithan, which is in Maharashtra, since Paithan was the principal town of Mulaka province to the south of which lies Asmaka, where Bavarin then was. Secondly, it is worthy of note that Bavarin's disciples went to North India , straight through Vindhyas. This disproves the theory of some scholars that Aryans were scared of Crossing Vindhyas and went southwards to the Deccan by an easterly detour around the mountain range.

From Paithan, the troupe reached Mahissati or Mahismati  or Mandhata or Maheswari on the banks of Narmada, in MP, near Indore.  Evidently, they must have passed to Mahismati  through Vidharbha .

Unlike Panini, where Asmaka is the only country in South India to be mentioned by him, Katyayana who wrote aphorism called Vartikas to explain and supplement Panini and who has been assigned to the middle of 4th century B.c. goes beyond this.

To a Panini sutra : Janapada – Sabdat kshatriyad = an (IV. 1.168) , Katyayana adds a vartika or aphirms , Pandor = dyan , from which we obtain the form Pandya.

Again we have a sutra of Panini Kambojal = luk (IV.1.175) which lays down that the word Kamboja denotes not only Kamboja country but also the tribe and their king.  But then there are other words which are exactly like Kamboja in this respect but which Panini has not mentioned. Katyayana is, there fore, compelled to supplement the above sutra with the vartika Kambojadibhyo = lug – vacahannam Choddyartham.  This means that like kamboja, the words choda, kadera and Kerala denote not only the country , tribe but also the king. It will thus be seen that choda and Kerala were known to Katyayana but possibly, not to Panini.

However,  Artha sastra mentions about Tamraparni river, in Srilanka and also speaks of pearls being found among other places in the Tamraparni river, in Pandya kavataka, and near the mt. Mahendra,all situated on the extremity of the Southern Peninsula.  Kautilya's  Pandya kavataka seem to be the same as Pandya vataka or Pandya vatabhava of the Brihat Samhita (80.2 and 6) Mahendra hills could be Travancore Hills (JRAS, 1894, 262)

It is possible that Pandyans are an "Aryan tribe"  unlike Cholas. This surmise is sought to be proved as below:

1.      It is shown above that the word Pandya is derived from Pandu

2.      Pliny, on the authority of Megasthenes tells us that they were descended from Pandoea, The only daughter of Krishna. She went away from the country of Saurasena whose principal town were Mathura and Krishna Pura (Cleisobora) and was assigned by her father just" that portion of India which lies southwards and extends to the sea" (IA VI 249-50 and 344) While this could be taken as a combination of both truth and fiction, it lends credence to our theory

3.      Ptolemy speaks not only of the Kingdom of Pandion or Pandya but also of the country of Pandooui In Punjab. (IA, XIII, 331 and 349) these people could be Pandus. 

4.        Varahamihira makes mention of a tribe called Pandus & places them in Madhya desa. (Brihat samhita XIV 3)   

That Pandyans called their capital Mathura supports the above theories. This is quite in accordance with the practice of the colonists naming the younger towns after the older. However, we have to remember that there is a third Mathura in Srilanka and a fourth Mathura in the Eastern Archipelago.

The Arthasastra talks of a Bhoja king ruling Dandaka or Maharashtra. Bhojas must be a north Indian tribe who have migrated south to Maharashtra.  Similarly, it can be argued, Paithan which is also in Maharashtra was named after Prathisthana situated near the confluence of Ganga and  Yamuna, the same tradition of naming younger towns after older ones,as mentioned above, continuing here.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another route by which Aryans seem to have gone to South India was by sea – from Indus to Kutch and from there, by sea coast to Saurashtra or Kathiawar. From Kathiawar, they went to Modern Broach , from where they proceeded to Sopara (Supparaka) in Thane district, Maharashtra.

After Mahabharata war, there was a declinein Aryan civilzation and there was a mix of various tribes, just as feared by Arjuna in the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita that there will be destruction of Varna Dharma and the women folk will become daring in their marriage with men from other Varnas.

Baudhayana  in his Dharmasutras quotes a verse from the Bhallavan school fo Law, which tells us that

The inhabitants of Sindhu , Sauvira and Surashtra like those of Deccan were of mixed origin. It is possible that Aryans were recolonizing these parts, much time after Mbh. Towards the end of period of Dharma sutras, they seem to have advanced as far south as Sopara.  Since no mention is traceable of any inland countries or towns between  the sea coast and Deccan, it is clear that they must have taken a sea route.

Kittel  in his Kannada English Dictionary gives a long list of Sanskrit words which seems to have been derived from Dravidian languages.

For eg., Matachi (Chandogya 1.10.1) occuring in the passage "matachi hateshu Kurushu atikya saha jayaya ushastir , ha chakrayana  ibhya –grame pradranaka uvasa"

The verse speaks of devastation of crops in Kuru country due to matachi, which is nothing but locusts(red colored winged creatures) (JRAS,1911, p 510), which is equivalent to midiche in Kannada or midatha in Telugu. (grasshopper or locust)  It is astonishing that how a dravidian word is found in a purely north Indian Upanishad, which was supposed to have composed primarily in Punjab. That some explanations that  Dravidian languages were present in NI prior to Aryanization, say as evidenced by the language of Brahuii does not explain this fact very well.  This only can be explained by a) the antiquity of the Upanishads, taking them much before the times of IVC and b) the interaction between the NI and SI.

The Aryan words or langauge supplanting in a  Dravidian country rather superficially  can not be really argued because for eg., the names of even lowly goldsmiths or leather workers  in Bhattiprolu and Amaravati inscriptions of early periods were totally sanskrit names and not dravidian, as evidenced by the early inscriptions.  The names mentioned are Siddhartha, Vriddhika , Naga, Kanha and so on.  One curious thing happens here that Kanha, an Aryan by name, calls himself a Damila (ASSI, I p 104) This shows that Damila is not a race distinct from Aryans.

Coupled this with the fact we find Pali inscriptions of much early periods show that Aryans were settled in South India for a very long time than that is being thought today.  Pali was in fact continued to be the official langauge in "dravidian " kingdoms and this shows that Pali was not a which was supplanted at a later date must have been a natural langauge of the area.  Here, we are talking of Malavalli inscriptions, Karnataka by Chutukalanamda satakarni of Kadamba dynasty , king of Vaijayanti or Banavasi of North canarese district, Karnataka. Another king connected to this dynasty is Mulanamda , both of who have issued coins. Jayavarman, Pallavan king of Kanchi issued copper plate grants in Pali language, as did Vijayadevavarman.

That fact that every one of these is a title deed and has been drawn up in Pali shows that this Aryan langauge must have been known not only to officials but also to literate and semi literate people, since these grants went even to villagers and guards and cowherds.  By no stretch of imagination, you can think that these common people could understand a foreign language, thus making Pali a local and natural language in South India at that time.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Madhya desa is the most central of the earliest political  provinces in India.

According to Manu, Madhya desa is the land between Himalaya in the north, the Vindhya in the South, Prayaga (Allahabad) in the east and Vinasana (the place where Sarasvati disappears) in the West. Evidently , this kind of description is traditional since it appears to be older than what we find in the Buddhist Pali canon.  Pali canons describe the eastern tip of Madhya desa to be far to the east of Prayaga, unlike Manu.  This   proves beyond doubt that Manu Smriti is composed earlier to Buddha. 

The description of Madhya desa in Pali canons occurs in Vinaya Pitaka (Vin.i.197; DA.i.173; MA.i.316, etc.; AA.i.55, etc.; J.i.49; Mbv.12)in connection with Avanti Dakshinapatha  country where the Buddhist monk Maha Katyayana  was carrying on his missionary work. Avanti Dakshinapatha was , we are told, outside the Middle country  and it appears that Buddhist had not made much progress there when Maha Katyayana began his work. He was the same monk who has converted King Asmaka or Assika of Bodhan in Andhra pradesh.   (We have already discussed about Asmaka desha earlier)

When a new member was received into the Buddhist Order, the necessary initiation ceremony had to be performed before a chapter of at least ten monks. This was the rule ordained by Buddha, but this was well nigh impossible in the Avanti Dakshina patha country as there were very few Bhihus there.  Maha Katyayana , therefore sent a pupil of his to Buddha to get the rule relaxed. Buddha relaxed the rule and laid down that all provinces outside the Middle country (i.e. where Buddhism was prominent during the living days of Buddha) a chapter of four Bhikshus was quite sufficient.  It was however necessary to specify the boundaries of the Middle country and this was done by Buddha with characteristic precision.  To the east , was the town called Kajangala , beyond that lies Mahasala. To the south east is the river Salalavati , to the south is the town  Setakanuika, to the west is the Brahman village called Thuna and to the north is the mountain called Ustraddhaja. Unfortunately, none of these boundary places  here specified have been identified except one.  This exception is the easterly point ie Kajangala.


Kajangala ,  according to Prof Rhys Davids, is situated nearly  70 miles east of Bhagalpur. Kajangala  must be spreading across an area what is now part of Birbhum district in West Bengal and Santhal paraganas in Jharkhand (Roy, Niharranjan, Bangalir Itihas, Adi Parba, (Bengali), first published 1972, reprint 2005, pp. 99-100, 81-93, Dey's Publishing, 13 Bankim Chatterjee Street, Kolkata,) This  formed part of the Rarh region of  later times, mentioned in Bhubaneswar stone tablet of Bhatta Bhabadev, a minister of King Harinbarmadev of 11th c . CE. Hiuen Tsang ( 640  CE)also had mentioned about Kajangala in his writings that he traveled from Bhagalpur or champa to Kajangala and then proceeded to Pundravardhana

Kajangala seems to be   a prosperous place where provisions could easily be obtained (dabbasambhárasulabhá) (J.iv.310) during Buddha's times . Once when the Buddha was staying in the Veluvana at Kajangala, the lay followers there heard a sermon from the Buddha and went to the nun Kajangalá to have it explained in detail (A.v.54f). On another occasion the Buddha stayed in the Mukheluvana and was visited there by Uttara, the disciple of Párásariya. Their conversation is recorded in the Indriyabháváná Sutta (M.iii.298ff). In the Milindapañha (p.10), Kajangala is described as a brahmin village and is given as the place of Nágasena's birth. In the Kapota Játaka mention is made of Kajangala, and the scholiast (J.iii.226-7) explains that it may be the same as Benares. According to the scholiast of the Bhisa Játaka (J.iv.311), the tree-spirit mentioned in that story was the chief resident monk in an old monastery in Kajangala, which monastery he repaired with difficulty during the time of Kassapa Buddha.

In the time of Buddha , therefore, the eastern limit of the Middle country had extended nearly 400 miles eastward of Prayaga which was its eastern most point in Manu's time. Now there can not be any doubt that Madhya desa was looked upon as a territorial division.  Jataka tales make constant reference to it. Thus in one place we read of two merchants  going from Utkala to the Middle country (Jataka tales  I, 80)  We also read there that Videha is a part of  Middle country or Majjhima desa/ (Jat., III.364)  Again, we hear of hermits fearing to descend from Himalayas to go into Majjhima desa because people there are too learned (Jat III, 115-6)  Thus, it is clear that that Majjhima desa was a name not created by literary authors but was actually in vogue among the people and denoted a particular territorial division. It was with reference to this Middle Country that the terms Dakshina patha and Uttara patha seem to have come into use.  Thus, it is possible that Dakshinapatha originally  meant a country to the south not of Vindhyas but a country to the south of Middle country.  This is clear from the fact that we find mention made of Avanti Dakshinapatha. (ie  Southern Avanti ) It is worthy of note that Avanti was a very extensive country and that in Buddhist works we sometimes hear of Ujjeni and some times of Mahissati (or present Maheswari) as being its capital.  While Ujjeni is the well known Ujjain, Mahissati must be the same as the Sanskrit Mahismati.


Mahismati  is variously identified but today, it is taken as the modern Maheswar, a town in the Khargone District in Madhya Pradesh (http://stable.toolserver.org/geohack/geo...N_75.58_E_)

Mahismati, popular as the capital of Heheyas , the dynasty to which Kartavirya Arjuna belongs, was mentioned in Mbh as well as in Ramayan. (Mbh 13:52)  Karvavirya was a contemporary of  Ravana , who has unsuccessfully attacked Mahismati.  Sahadeva ,one of the Pandava brothers, also attacked Mahismati  when king Nila was its ruler (Mbh 2:30)  King Nila also fought on the side of Kauravas in the war of Kuruksetra.

It appears that Ujjain was the capital of the northern division of  Avanti or Avanti country and Maheswar of the southern division , which was therefore called Avanti Dashkina patha. It is possible that the Southern Avanti included parts of Vidarbha  which were to the south of Vindhya . Thus, the country of Avanti Dakshinapatha (Jat III. 463.16) was not exactly to the south of Vindhya as its upper half was to the north of Vindhyas and lower half to the south of Vindhyas. Yet if it was called Dakshinapatha, it is because it was lying to the south not so much of the Vindhyas but of the Middle country. The same appears to be the case with term Uttarapatha.


One Jataka (II. 287.15) speaks of certain horse dealers as having come from Uttarapatha to Baranasi or Benares.  Uttarapatha cannot here signify Northern India because Benares itself is in Northern India.  Evidently it denotes a country at least outside and to the north of the Kasi kingdom whose capital was Benares.  As the horses of the dealers just referred to are called Sindhava , it clearly indicates that they came from the banks of Indus (Sindh8).  Indus is as much to the north as to the west of Saraswati and therefore must have been in the north west of Madhya desa also. It was thus with reference to the Middle country that the name Uttarapatha also was devised. In fact, Divyavadana clearly mentions that Taxila was placed in Uttarapatha. .  We find that the term Uttarapatha was in this sense almost till 10th Century CE. 

Thus, when Prabhakaravardhana, king of Sthaneswar , sent his son Rajyavardhana to invade Huna territory in Himalayas, Bana , the author of Harsacarita, represents him to have gone to the Uttarapatha..  As the Huna territory was thus placed in Uttarapatha, it is clear that Prabhakaravardhana's kingdom was excluded from Uttaraptha. As Thaneswar was on the eastern side of Saraswati, his kingdom was understood to be included in the Madhyadesa with reference to which alone the Huna territory seems to have been described as being in the Uttarapatha.

Similarly, the poet Rajasekhara (880-920 CE), in his Kavyamimansa attests that Uttarapatha lay to the west of Prithudaka (modern Pehoa) near Thaneswar in Haryana. Prithudaka lies on the banks of  river Saraswati and is associated with the legendary king Prithu.  Prithudaka literally means the pool of Prithu and is said to be place where Prithu is believed to have performed the Shraddha of his father.  Hiuen Tsang  also records the existence of the town Pehoa, named after Prithu, "who is said to be the first person that obtained the title Raja (king)". The town is referred as the boundary between Northern and central India and referred to by Patanjali.

Coming back to  Kavyamimamsa, it  further lists the Sakas, Vokkanas, Hunas, Kambojas, Keikayas, Bahlikas (Bactrian's), Pahlavas, Lampakas, Kulutas, Tanganas, Tusharas, Turushakas (Turks), Barbaras among the tribes of Uttarapatha (Kavyamimamsa Chapter 17).

It is therefore clear that the terms Dakshinapatha and Uttarapatha came into vogue only in regard to the Madhyadesa.  It must, however, be borne in mind that  the term Uttarapatha denoted different meanings in Northern and Southen Indias even at the time of Bana.  In North India, it denoted the country north of  Madhya desha. But in South India, it held a different meaning. It denoted the whole of North India even during times of Bana as mentioned above. Thus Harshavardhana, Bana's patron, has been described in South Indian inscriptions as Srimad Uttarapathadhipati  i.e. sovereign of Uttaraptha which must here signify North India. (JBBRAS , XIV, 26; I.A., VIII, 46).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
in above, the writer says:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Gonaddha can very well be taken to stand for Gonadda-Gonarda, the place from which Patanjali , author of Mahabhashya, hailed. Sir RamaKrishna Bhandarkar has shown on the authority of the Mahabhashya that Saketa was situated on the road from Gonarda to Pataliputra (IA,II.7c) This is exactly in accordance with what the Sutta nipata says, for Saketa , according to the route taken by Bavarin's pupils was on the way from Gonaddha to the Magadha country. The native place of Patanjali was , there fore, in Central India, somewhere between Ujjain and Besnagar near Bhilsa.

I think there may be a stronger candidate for "Gonaddha" - that is the modern Gonda town of Eastern UP, separated by a few miles from the modern town of ayodhya on the other side of the Sarayu river. It will also make sense since sAketa in koshala will fall directly en-route when traveling from modern Gonda to pAtaliputra in magadha. Another reason in favour of this candidate is that the Gonda was central to many important bauddha sites including sAvatthI (shrAvastI), and therefore must have been better known to bauddha monks. Besides, being on confluence of several rivers, it was probably also a rather important harbour for traders, and therefore better known. By the way, traditional etymology of gonAddha/gonDA/gonArda is 'gonAda: the noise of cows'.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Dec 14 2008, 02:02 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Dec 14 2008, 02:02 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->email
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->[...]
It is possible that Pandyans are an "Aryan tribe"  unlike Cholas. This surmise is sought to be proved as below:
1.      It is shown above that the word Pandya is derived from Pandu
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->[right][snapback]91821[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->That the Pandyans are a Kuru tribe or closely related to the Kuru dynasty was already discussed in an earlier post by Ishwa. And it is to be noted that the Cholas were also included. (But don't know the relevance of the still-fantastical "Oryans" - or Dravidoids, for that matter - in any discussion on historical Hindu tribes such as those related in the Mahabharatam.)

<!--QuoteBegin-Ishwa+Sep 8 2008, 05:23 PM-->QUOTE(Ishwa @ Sep 8 2008, 05:23 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Notes Wlson:
442:4 Besides Bharata, who, as will be hereafter seen, was the son of Dushyanta, the Váyu, Matsya, Agni, and Bráhma Puráńas enumerate several descendants in this line, for the purpose evidently of introducing, as the posterity of Turvasu, the nations of the south of India: the series is Varuttha, (Karutthama, Bráhma), <b>Ándíra</b> (Ákríra, Bráhma); whose sons are <b>Páńd́ya, Karńát́a, Chola, Kerala</b>; the Hari V. adds Kola, and the Agni very incorrectly Gandhára.

Turvasus, thus according to the Puranas, were in the SE (of Aryavarta) and one branch merged with Purus, went to the south, and one went to the west (Bhagavata development): Agnipurana may be correct that they went further to Gandhara. These are the Yavanas. Says the Mahabharata:
yadostu yaadavaa jaataasturvasostu yavanah smrtah (MBh adiparva 136)
(One may wonder whether the Yavanas had not initially some (adopted) Munda or Dravidian affinities, before they moved on.)[right][snapback]87693[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
"Páńd́ya, Karńát́a, Chola, Kerala"
That's at least one tribe of Karnataka, two of TN, one of Kerala.
(Since I don't know Samskritam, Andhra may merely have a meaning that is connected with direction like Uttara in Uttara Pradesh and Madhya in Madhya Pradesh; but if not, perhaps Andhra may be related to the above-mentioned "Ándíra"? After all, word games seem to have more firm support in actuality in the Indian context.)

Also from Ishwa's post 234 of the Ancient Indian History, INDIAN CIVILIZATION thread:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->shakA yavana kAmbojAH pAradAH cha vishAmpate |
kolisarpAH sa mahiShA dArdyAH cholAH sa keralAH || 1-14-18
sarve te kShatriyAH tAta dharmaH teShAM nirAkR^itaH |
vasiShTha vachanAt rAjan sagareNa mahAtmanA || 1-14-19
In fact, all the shaka-s, yavanA-s, kAmboja-s, pArada-s, koli-sarpa-s, mahiSha-s, dArdya-s <b>chola-s, and kerala-s, are kshatriya-s only</b>... but, emperor sagara precluded them from kshatriya dharma for their unprincipled actions, according to the verdict of sage vashiSTha.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

And that's not all. There was a book on Hindu folk beliefs of Tamizh Nadu that I looked through many years ago (it wasn't so exciting to read back then as its contents appear to me now). IIRC, it mentioned some 5 or 6 Tamizh communities as being *among several* Tamizh ones that traced themselves back to the royal or other Kshatriya lineages of the Mahabharatam. And it also mentioned that there were communities in TN that counted themselves among *other* Hindu lineages mentioned in the same literature.

In other respects also, TN does not consider itself unconnected to the Mahabharatam. For instance:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>AZHAGAR KOIL</b>
There is also another story connected with this doorway. In the army of the Naick King there was a soldie r named Madurai Veeran (Warrior of Madurai) whom the princess loved and with whom she eloped to some unknown place. After their death, the story says, they were deified and worshipped.
Madurai Veeran is also known as Patinettuppadi Karuppan (guard of 18 steps).

Round about this ancient temple are the ruins of an old fortified town covering an area of 100 acres. It is said that the <b>Naga Princess Uloopi</b> who, according to the Mahabharata story, married Arjuna <b>ruled this place</b>. There is no doubt that Nagas once inhabited the mountain. There is a temple dedicated to Naganatha and further many images of Nagas can be seen on the mountain.

Naga worship is being conducted even today in this locality. There are many Mantapams and gopurams with images and sculptures of exquisite beauty and grace.The walls of the Vasanta.Mandapam inside the temple are blazoned with fine frescoes illustrative of the story of the Ramayana.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->In the above, Nagas refer to the Snake Gods (Naga Devas) and beings (not the Hindu community in the NE who are <i>also</i> called Nagas).

There is a deep ancientry to Hindu populations, many are 'curiously' accounted for in our ancient past. (Very 'curious', considering that modern christo-forgers will have it that we are a non-historic nation with no sense of history and no realisation that we all arrived in our country only recently. Whether we all came just after or just before christianism I forget - it will be whichever they decide tomorrow is most convenient for their jeebus-peddling/terrorism.)

That ancient Hindus travelled up and down and left and right within Bharatam was never contradicted by our literature and even genetics seems to bear this out.

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