Videha was the kingdom of the royal sage Seeradhwaja Janaka. He is the father of Sita the wife of Raghava Rama. Rama's brothors married the sisters of Sita. Thus Videha Kingdom was closely allied to Kosala Kingdom. Mithila was the capital of Videha, now identified with Janakpur town in Bihar state. The rulers of Vidheha were called Janakas and they were all great scholars. It is believed that they were the oldest among the clans migrated from the river Saraswati as the river started drying up. They probably were farmers of Saraswati basin. (King Seeradwaja Janaka got Sita from a farm field.) Thus Videha became the seat of Vedic knowledge inherited from the Saraswati Valley Civilization. Epic gives another explanation, that the name came from a dead king (Videha, one devoid of body or dead) whose sons were created by sages who performed magical rites upon the kings dead-body. This explanation is too far fetched. Mithila was the capital of Videha kingdom.

References in Mahabharata

Alliances with Vedeha Princess

Devatithi married Videha Princess

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 95

Extract from the lineage of kings in the Lunar Dynasty.

Ayutanayi took for a wife Kama, the daughter of Prithusravas. And by her was born a son named Akrodhana, who took to wife Karambha, the daughter of the king of Kalinga. And of her was born Devatithi, and Devatithi took for his wife Maryada, the princess of Videha. And of her was born a son named Arihan.

Janamejaya's son married Videha Princess

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 95

Extract from the lineage of kings in the Lunar Dynasty.

Parikshit married Madravati, thy mother, O king, and thou art born to her, O Janamejaya! Thou hast also begotten two sons on thy wife Vapushtama, named Satanika and Sankukarna. And Satanika also hath begotten one son named Aswamedhadatta upon the princess of Videha.

Military Campaigns through Videha

Pandu's Military Campaign

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 113

Pandu then marched into Mithila and subjugated the Videhas. And then Pandu led his army against Kasi, Sumbha, and Pundra, and by the strength and prowess of his arms spread the fame of the Kurus.

Bhima's Military Campaign

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 28

Bhima, going first into the great country of the Panchalas, began by various means to conciliate that tribe. Then that hero, within a short time, vanquished the Gandakas and the Videhas. That exalted one then subjugated the Dasarnas.The hero next vanquished, by policy alone, the Sarmakas and the Varmakas. He then defeated with comparative ease, Janaka the king of the Videhas. And the hero then subjugated strategically the Sakas and the barbarians living in that part of the country. And the son of Pandu, sending forth expeditions from Videha, conquered the seven kings of the Kiratas living about the Indra mountain.

Karna's Military Campaign

  • Mahabharata, Book 7, Chapter 4

Many kings, amongst whom Nagnajit was the foremost as also the Amvashthas, the Videhas, and the Gandharvas, were all vanquished by Karna while staying in Girivraja.

Panchali's Self Choice Event

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 189

Then those princes:

  1. Karna
  2. Duryodhana
  3. Salwa
  4. Salya
  5. Aswatthaman
  6. Kratha
  7. Sunitha
  8. Vakra

the ruler of Kalinga and Banga, Pandya, Paundra, the ruler of Videha, the chief of the Yavanas, and many other sons and grandsons of kings, sovereigns of territories, one after another began to exhibit prowess for winning that maiden of unrivalled beauty (Panchali).

The Gate of Videha

  • Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 130

Yonder is the gate of the Manasasarovara. In the midst of this mountain, a gap hath been opened by Rama. And here is the well-known region of Vatikhanda, which, although adjacent to the gate of Videha, lieth on the north of it.

Ramayana inside Mahabharata

  • Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 272

Dasaratha had four sons conversant with morality and profit known by the names, respectively, of

  1. Rama
  2. Lakshmana
  3. Satrughna
  4. and the mighty Bharata

And Rama had for his mother Kausalya, and Bharata had for his mother Kaikeyi, while those scourge of their enemies Lakshmana and Satrughna were the sons of Sumitra. And Janaka was the king of Videha, and Sita was his daughter.

  • Mahabharata, Book 4, Chapter 21

Bhima to Panchali:- Thou mayst have heard that Janaka’s daughter Sita, the princess of Videha, followed her lord while living in dense woods.

  • Mahabharata, Book 5, Chapter 117

Enumeration of best couples

  1. Nala with Damayanti
  2. Narada, with Satyavati
  3. Jaratkaru with Jaratkaru
  4. Pulastya with Pratichya
  5. Urnayus with Menaka
  6. Tumvuru with Rambha
  7. Vasuki with Satasirsha
  8. Dhananjaya with Kamari
  9. Rama with the princess of Videha Sita
  10. or Janardana with Rukmini.

Raghava Rama slew in Janasthana fourteen thousand Rakshasas for the protection of the ascetics. While dwelling there, the Rakshasa called Ravana, beguiling both him and his companion (Lakshmana) abducted his wife, the princess of Videha.

The 18 Wicked Kings mentioned by Bhima

  • Mahabharata, Book 5, Chapter 74

Bhima speaks words of peace, enumerates 18 bad kings

Even as, when Dharma became extinct, Kali was born in the race of Asuras flourishing with prosperity and blazing with energy, so was born:

  1. Udavarta among the Haihayas
  2. Janamejaya among the Nepas
  3. Vahula among the Talajanghas
  4. proud Vasu among the Krimis
  5. Ajavindu among the Suviras
  6. Rushardhik among the Surashtras
  7. Arkaja among the Valihas
  8. Dhautamulaka among the Chinas
  9. Hayagriva among the Videhas
  10. Varayu among the Mahaujasas
  11. Vahu among the Sundaras
  12. Pururavas among the Diptaksha
  13. Sahaja among the Chedis and Matsyas
  14. Vrishaddhaja among the Praviras
  15. Dharana among the Chandra-batsyas
  16. Bigahana among the Mukutas
  17. Sama among the Nandivegas

These vile individuals, spring up, at the end of each Yuga, in their respective races, for the destruction of their kinsmen.

The List of Provinces of Bharata Varsha

  • Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 9

Videha is listed along with many other kingdoms like the Mallarashtras, Keralas, Varatrasyas, Apavahas, Chakras, Vakratapas, Sakas, Magadhas, Swakshas, Malayas, Vijayas, Angas, Vangas, Kalingas, Yakrillomans etc as a kingdom of Ancient India (Bharata Varsha).

Videhas in Kurukshetra War

  • Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 118

Hearing these words of Duryodhana with bow in hand, many mighty combatants, excited with rage, belonging to the Videhas, the Kalingas, and the diverse tribes of the Daserkas, fell upon Arjuna.

See also

Kingdoms of Ancient India

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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 13 Jan 2010 11:25 and updated at 06 Jun 2010 09:56

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