Kimpurusha

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Kimpurusha Kingdom referrs to the territory of a tribe called Kimpurushas who were one among the Exotic Tribes of Ancient India. These exotic tribes lived in inaccassible regions like the Himalaya mountains and made limitted interaction with the Vedic civilization of ancient India. Thus they were represented as super human beings or as natural spirits, in the psyche of the Vedic people.

Kimpurushas were described to be lion-headed beings. Splitting the word to Kimpurusha = Kim (Is it ? ) + Purusha (Man) (literally translated "Is it human ?"), analogous to the word Kin + Nara (Man), shows that Kinnaras and Kimpurushas were related or probably the same tribe. The lion head may be an exagaration of their heavily bearded head. In some Purana's they were mentioned as horse-headed. They could be a tribe of horse-warriors like the Kambojas.

References in Mahabharata

Kimpurushas were mentioned as half-lions and half-men at (1,66). Here they were mentioned as related to other exotic tribes like the Rakshasas, Vanaras, Kinnaras (half-men, half-horses) and Yakshas. Sage Pulaha was linked with the Kimpurushas, where as the others were linked with the sage Pulastya. Another tribe viz the Valikhilyas (who follow the motion of the sun) where linked with the sage Kratu. Marichi, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu were mentioned as the six great sages, who probably originated the six great clans. The kinship of these exotic tribes is also mentioned at (12,206).

Arjuna's conquests

Arjuna, during his conquest of northern kingdoms also visited the Kimpurusha Kingdom

Arjuna, Crossing the White mountains, subjugated the country of the Kimpurushas ruled by Durmaputra, after a collision involving a great slaughter of Kshatriyas, and brought the region under his complete sway. (2,27)

Pandava's travels in Himalayas

The narration below is from a passage describing Pandava's trip in Himalaya mountains, guided by the sage Lomasa.

Lomasa:- "We shall now ascend that white rockā€”the mountain Mandara, inhabited by the Yakshas, Manibhadra and Kuvera, king of the Yakshas. At this place 80,000 fleet Gandharvas, and four times as many Kimpurushas and Yakshas of various shapes and forms, holding various weapons, attend upon Manibhadra, king of the Yakshas. (3,139)

Hillocks teeming with various minerals, thronged with Vidyadharas, inhabited on all sides by Vanaras and Kinnaras and Kimpurushas, and Gandharvas, and filled with peacocks, and chamaras, and apes, and rurus, and bears, and gavayas, and buffaloes, intersected with a network of rivulets, and inhabited by various birds and beasts, and beautified by elephants, and abounding in trees and enraptured birds, were seen by the Pandavas in this region (3,144)

The mountain Gandhamadana, was the abode of Kimpurushas, frequented by Siddhas and Charanas and ranged by female Vidyadharas and female Kinnaras and inhabited by herds of elephants and thronged with lions and tigers and resounding with the roars of Sarabhas and attended by various beasts. The war-like sons of Pandu gradually entered into the forest of the Gandhamadana. (1,157)

On the summits of the mountain are seen amorous Kimpurushas with their paramours, mutually attached unto each other; as also many Gandharvas and Apsaras clad in white silk vestments; and lovely-looking Vidyadharas, wearing garlands; and mighty Nagas, and Suparnas, and Uragas, and others. (3,158)

Kimpurusha King (or preceptor) Druma

  • Druma, the chief of the Kimpurushas, is mentioned as a ruler under the Yaksha king Kubera. (2,10).
  • Druma is mentioned as the preceptor of the Kimpurushas at (2,43). Here he is said to attend the Rajasuya sacrifice of Pandava king Yudhisthira.
  • Arjuna, had defeated the Kimpurusha king Durma-putra, during his military campaign in the northern regions (2,27)
  • Rukmi a king of Vidarbha was a disciple of the famous Kimpurusha who was known by the name of Drona or Druma. (5,159)

Other References

Rakshasa Ravana defeated the Devas, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, and the Kimpurushas. (3,279)

Kimpurushas used to wander alone in forests (12,168)

See also

  1. Kingdoms of Ancient India
  2. Kamboja Kingdom
  3. Kinnara Kingdom

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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 13 Jan 2010 12:16 and updated at 06 Jun 2010 17:32

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