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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 22 Jul 2011 09:55 and updated at 22 Jul 2011 09:55




Description of Bharata varsha: extent: chief mountains: nine divisions: principal rivers and mountains of Bharata proper: principal nations: superiority over other Varshas, especially as the seat of religious acts. (Topographical lists.)

THE country that lies north of the ocean, and south of the snowy mountains, is called Bharata, for there dwelt the descendants of Bharata. It is nine thousand leagues in extent 1, and is the land of works, in consequence of which men go to heaven, or obtain emancipation.

The seven main chains of mountains in Bharata are Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, suktimat, Riksha, Vindhya, and Paripatra 2.

From this region heaven is obtained, or even, in some cases, liberation

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from existence; or men pass from hence into the condition of brutes, or fall into hell. Heaven, emancipation, a state in mid air, or in the subterraneous realms, succeeds to existence here, and the world of acts is not the title of any other portion of the universe.

The Varsha of Bharata is divided into nine portions, which I will name to you; they are Indra dwipa, Kaserumat, Tamravarna, Gabhastimat, Naga dwipa, Saumya, Gandharba, and Varuna; the last or ninth Dwipa is surrounded by the ocean, and is a thousand Yojanas from north to south 3.

On the east of Bharata dwell the Kiratas (the barbarians); on the west, the Yavanas; in the centre reside Brahmans, Kshetriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras, occupied in their respective duties of sacrifice, arms, trade, and service 4.

The satadru, Chandrabhaga, and other rivers, flow from the foot of

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[paragraph continues] Himalaya: the Vedasmriti and others from the Paripatra mountains: the Narmada and Surasa from the Vindhya hills: the Tapi, Payoshni, and Nirvindhya from the Riksha mountains; the Godavari, Bhimarathi, Krishnaveni, and others, from the Sahya mountains: the Kritamala, Tamraparni, and others, from the Malaya hills: the Trisama, Rishikulya, &c. from the Mahendra: and the Rishikulya, Kumari, and others, from the suktimat mountains. Of such as these, and of minor rivers, there is an infinite number; and many nations inhabit the countries on their borders 5.

The principal nations of Bharata are the Kurus and Panchalas, in the middle districts: the people of Kamarupa, in the east: the Pundras,

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[paragraph continues] Kalingas, Magadhas, and southern nations, are in the south: in the extreme west are the Saurashtras, suras, Bhiras, Arbudas: the Karushas and Malavas, dwelling along the Paripatra mountains: the Sauviras, the Saindhavas, the Hunas, the Salwas, the people of sakala, the Madras, the Ramas, the Ambashthas, and the Parasikas, and others. These nations drink of the water of the rivers above enumerated, and inhabit their borders, happy and prosperous 6.

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In the Bharata varsha it is that the succession of four Yugas, or ages, the Krita, the Treta, the Dwapara, and Kali, takes place; that pious ascetics engage in rigorous penance; that devout men offer sacrifices; and that gifts are distributed; all for the sake of another world. In Jambu dwipa, Vishnu, consisting of sacrifice, is worshipped, as the male of sacrificial rites, with sacrificial ceremonies: he is adored under other forms elsewhere. Bharata is therefore the best of the divisions of Jambu dwipa, because it is the land of works: the others are places of enjoyment alone. It is only after many thousand births, and the aggregation of much merit, that living beings are sometimes born in Bharata as men. The gods themselves exclaim, "Happy are those who are born, even from the condition of gods, as men in Bharata varsha, as that is the way to the pleasures of Paradise, or the greater blessing of final liberation. Happy are they who, consigning all the unheeded rewards of their acts to the supreme and eternal Vishnu, obtain existence in that land of works, as their path to him. We know not, when the acts that have obtained us heaven shall have been fully recompensed 7, where we shall renew corporeal confinement; but we know that those men are fortunate who are born with perfect faculties 8 in Bharata varsha."

I have thus briefly described to you, Maitreya, the nine divisions of Jambu dwipa, which is a hundred thousand Yojanas in extent, and which is encircled, as if by a bracelet, by the ocean of salt water, of similar dimensions.


From the Mahabharata, Bhishma Parva, II. 342.


Sanjaya speaks to Dhritarashtra. Hear me, monarch, in reply to your inquiries, detail to you the particulars of the country of Bharata.

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[paragraph continues] Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, suktimat 2, Gandhamadana, Vindhya, and Paripatra are the seven mountain ranges: as subordinate portions of them are thousands of mountains; some unheard of, though lofty, extensive, and abrupt; and others better known, though of lesser elevation, and inhabited by people of low stature 3: there pure and degraded tribes, mixed together, drink 4 of the following streams: the stately Ganga, the Sindhu, and the Saraswati 5; the Godavari, Narmada, and the great river

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[paragraph continues] Bahuda 6; the satadru, Chandrabhaga, and great river Yamuna; the Drishadwati 7, Vipasa 8, and Vipapa, with coarse sands; the Vetravati, the deep Krishnaveni, the Iravati 9, Vitasta 10, Payoshni 11, and

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[paragraph continues] Devika 12; the Vedasmrita, Vedavati 13, Tridiva 14, Ikshumalavi 15, Karishini, Chitrabaha, the deep Chitrasena, the Gomati, the Dhutapapa, and the great river Gandaki 16; the Kausiki, Nischita 17, Kritya, Nichita, Lohatarini 18, Rahasya, Satakumbha, and also the sarayu 19, the Charmanvati, Chandrabhaga 20, Hastisoma, Dis, Saravati 21, Payoshni, Para 22, and Bhimarathi 23, Kaveri 24, Chulaka 25, Vina 26, Satabala, Nivara, Mahita 27,

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Suprayoga 28 Pavitra 29, Kundala, Sindhu 30, Rajani 31, Puramalini, Purvabhirama, Vira, Bhima 32, Oghavati, Palasini 33, Papahara, Mahendra, Patalavati 34, Karishini, Asikni, the great river Kusachira 35, the Makari 36, Pravara, Mena 37, Hema, and Dhritavati 38, Puravati 39, Anushna 40, Saivya, Kapi 41, Sadanira 42, Adhrishya, the great river Kusadhara 43, Sadakanta 44, siva, Viravati, Vastu, Suvastu 45, Gauri, Kampana 46, Hiranvati, Vara, Virankara, Panchami, Rathachitra, Jyotiratha, Viswamitra 47, Kapinjala, Upendra, Bahula, Kuchira 48, Madhuvahini 49, Vinadi 50, Pinjala, Vena, Tungavena 51, Vidisa 52, Krishnavena, Tamra, Kapila, Selu, Suvama 53, Vedaswa, Harisrava, Mahopama 54, sighra, Pichchhala 55, the deep Bharadwaji, the Kausiki, the Sona 56, Bahuda, and Chandrama, Durga,

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[paragraph continues] Amtrasila 57, Brahmabodhya, Vrihadvati, Yavaksha 58, Rohi, Jambunadi, Sunasa 59, Tamasa 60, Dasi, Vasa, Varana, Asi 61, Nala, Dhritamati, Purnasa 62, Tamasi 63, Vrishabha, Brahmamedhya, Vrihadvati. These and many other large streams, as the Krishna 64, whose waters are always salubrious, and the slow flowing Mandavahini 65, the Brahmani 66, Mahagauri, Durga 67, Chitropala 68, Chitraratha, Manjula 69, Mandakini 70, Vaitarani 71, the great river Kosa 72, the Muktimati 73, Maninga 74, Pushpaveni, Utpalavati, Lohitya 75, Karatoya 76, Vrishakahwa 77, Kumari, Rishikulya 78, Marisha, Saraswati, Mandakini, Punya 79, Sarvasanga; all these, the

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universal mothers, productive of abundance, besides hundreds of inferior note, are the rivers of Bharata, according to remembrance 80.


Next hear from me, descendant of Bharata, the names of the inhabitants of the different countries, They are the Kurus, Panchalas 1, salwas, Madreyas, and dwellers in thickets Jangalas(), surasenas 2, Kalingas 3, Bodhas 4, Malas 5, Matsyas 6, Sukutyas 7, Sauvalyas 8, Kuntalas 9,

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[paragraph continues] Kasikosalas 10, Chedyas 11, Matsyas 12, Karushas 13, Bhojas 14, Sindhupulindas 15, Uttamas 16, Dasarnas 17, Mekalas 18, Utkalas 19, Panchalas 20,

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[paragraph continues] Kausijas 21, Naikaprishthas 22, Dhurandharas 23, Sodhas 24, Madrabhujingas 25, Kasis 26, Aparakasis, Jatharas, Kukuras, Dasarnas, Kuntis, Avantis 27, Aparakuntis 28, Goghnatas 29, Mandakas, Shandas 30, Vidarbhas 31, Rupavahikas 32,

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[paragraph continues] Aswakas 33, Pansurashtras, Goparashtras 34, Karitis 35, the people of Adhivajya 36, Kuladya 37, Mallarashtra 38, and Kerala 39; the Varapasis 40, Apavarhas 41, Chakras 42, Vakratapas and sakas 43, Videhas 44, Magadhas 45, Swakshas 46, Malayas 47, and Vijayas 48; the Angas 49, Vangas 50, Kalingas 51 and Yakrillomas, Mallas 52, Sudellas 53, Prahladas, Mahikas 54 and

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[paragraph continues] sasikas 55, Bahlikas 56, Vatadhanas 57, abhiras 58 and Kalajoshakas 59, Aparantas 60, Parantas, Pahnavas 61, Charmamandalas 62, Atavisikharas and Merubhutas 63, Upavrittas, Anupavrittas, Swarashtras 64, Kekayas 65,

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[paragraph continues] Kuttaparantas 66, Maheyas 67, Kakshas 68, dwellers on the sea shore, and the Andhas and many tribes residing within and without the hills; the Malajas 69, Magadhas 70, Manavarjjakas 71; those north of the Mahi Mahyuttaras(), the Pravrisheyas, Bhargavas 72, Pundras 73, Bhargas 74, Kiratas, Sudeshtas; and the people on the Yamuna Yamunas(), sakas, Nishadas 75, Nishadhas 76, anarttas 77; and those in the south west Nairritas(), the Durgalas, Pratimasyas 78, Kuntalas, Kusalas 79, Tiragrahas,

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[paragraph continues] Surasenas, Ijikas 80, Kanyakagunas, Tilabaras, Samiras, Madhumattas, Sukandakas, Kasmiras 81, Sindhusauviras 82, Gandharas 83, Darsakas 84, Abhisaras 85, Utulas 86, saivalas 87, and Bahlikas 88; the people of Darvi 89, the

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[paragraph continues] Vanavas, Darvas, Vatajamarathorajas, Bahubadhas 90, Kauravyas, Sudamas 91, Sumallis, Badhnas, Karishakas, Kulindapatyakas, Vatayanas 92, Dasarnas 93, Romanas 94, Kusavindus, Kakshas 95, Gopala kakshas 96, Jangalas 97, Kuruvarnakas 98, Kiratas, Barbaras 99, Siddhas, Vaidehas 100 Tamraliptas 101, Audras 102, Paundras 103, dwellers in sandy tracts (saisikatas), and in mountains Parvatiyas(). Moreover, chief of the sons of Bharata, there are the nations of the south, the Draviras 104, Keralas 105, Prachyas 106, Mushikas 107, and Vanavasakas 108; the Karnatakas 109, Mahishakas 110, Vikalyas 111 and Mushakas 112, Jillikas 113, Kuntalas 114, Sauhridas,

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[paragraph continues] Nalakananas 115, Kaukuttakas 116, Cholas 117, Kaunkanas 118, Malavanas 119, Samangas, Karakas, Kukkuras, Angaras 120, Dhwajinyutsavasanketas 121, Trigarttas 122, salwasenis, sakas 123, Kokarakas 124, Proshtas, Samavegavasas 125. There are also the Vindhyachulukas 126, Pulindas and Kalkalas 127, Malavas 128, Mallavas 129, Aparavallabhas, Kulindas 130, Kalavas 131, Kunthakas 132, Karatas 133, Mushakas, Tanabalas 134, Saniyas 135, Ghatasrinjayas 136, Alindayas 137, Pasivatas 138, Tanayas 139, Sunayas 140, Dasividarbhas 141, Kantikas 142, Tanganas 143, Paratanganas, northern and

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other fierce barbarians Mlechchhas(), Yavanas 144, Chinas 145, Kambojas 146; ferocious and uncivilized races, sakridgrahas 147, Kulatthas 148, Hunas, and Parasikas 149; also Ramanas 150, Chinas, Dasamalikas 151, those living near the Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas and sudras 152; also

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[paragraph continues] sudras 153, abhiras 154, Daradas 155, Kasmiras, with Pattis 156, Khasiras 157, Antacharas or borderers, Pahnavas 158, and dwellers in mountain caves

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[paragraph continues] Girigahvaras( 159), atreyas, Bharadwajas 160, Stanayoshikas 161, Proshakas 162, Kalinga 163, and tribes of Kiratas, Tomaras, Hansamargas, and Karabhanjikas 164. These and many other nations, dwelling in the east and in the north, can be only thus briefly noticed.

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