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Bharata Khanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bharata Khanda
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Epic India) This article is about the kingdoms as reflected in the epic of the Mahabharata. See History of India for a conventionally historical overview, in particular the articles on the Mahajanapadas and the Middle kingdoms of India for ca. 700 BCAD 1200. Bharata Khanda (or Bharata Ksetra[1]) is a term used in Hindu texts, including the Vedas, Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranic, for the geography of Greater India in ancient India. The historical context of the Sanskrit epics are the late Vedic Mahajanapadas (early 1st Millennium BCE) and the subsequent formation of the Maurya Empire (322 BCE), the beginning of the "golden age" of Classical Sanskrit literature.

1 The name 2 The Kingdoms 2.1 The boundaries of the kingdoms 2.2 The cities and villages 2.3 Interactions between kingdoms 2.4 New kingdoms 2.5 Cultural differences in the kingdoms 2.6 Main kingdoms of Northern India 2.7 Main kingdoms of North-Central India 2.8 Kingdoms of Western/Central India 2.9 Kingdoms of North Western India 2.10 Foreign Kingdoms to the North-West 2.11 Foreign Kingdoms to the North 2.12 Eastern Kingdoms of India 2.13 Kingdoms of Central India 2.14 Kingdoms of Southern India 2.15 Saraswathi Valley Kingdoms of India 2.16 Himalayan kingdoms 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

The name
In Hindu scriptures, Bharata Khanda is habitable world; the known land as experienced by the writers.[2]

The Kingdoms
The boundaries of the kingdoms 1/5


Bharata Khanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Often rivers formed the boundaries of two neighboring kingdoms, as was the case between the northern and southern Panchala and between the western (Pandava's Kingdom) and eastern (Kaurava's Kingdom) Kuru. Sometimes, large forests, which were larger than the kingdoms themselves, formed their boundaries as was the case of the Naimisha Forest between Panchala and Kosala kingdoms. Mountain ranges like Himalaya, Vindhya and Sahya also formed their boundaries.

The cities and villages

Some kingdoms possessed a main city that served as its capital. For example, the capital of Pandava's Kingdom was Indraprastha and the Kaurava's Kingdom was Hastinapura. Ahichatra was the capital of Northern Panchala whereas Kampilya was the capital of Southern Panchala. Kosala Kingdom had its capital as Ayodhya. Apart from the main city or capital, where the palace of the ruling king was situated, there were small towns and villages spread in a kingdom. Tax was collected by the officers appointed by the king from these villages and towns. What the king offered in return to these villages and towns was protection from the attack of other kings and robber tribes, as well as from invading foreign nomadic tribes. The king also enforced code and order in his kingdom by punishing the guilty.

Interactions between kingdoms

There was no border security for a kingdom and border disputes were very rare. One king might conduct a military campaign (often designated as Digvijaya meaning victory over all the directions) and defeat another king in a battle, lasting for a day. The defeated king would acknowledge the supremacy of the victorious king. The defeated king might sometimes be asked to give a tribute to the victorious king. Such tribute would be collected only once, not on a periodic basis. The defeated king, in most cases, would be free to rule his own kingdom, without maintaining any contact with the victorious king. There was no annexation of one kingdom by another. Often a military general conducted these campaigns on behalf of his king. A military campaign and tribute collection was often associated with a great sacrifice (like Rajasuya or Ashvamedha) conducted in the kingdom of the campaigning king. The defeated king also was invited to attend these sacrifice ceremonies, as a friend and ally.

Map of Ancient India with locations of cities and places during the time of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Buddha.

New kingdoms
New kingdoms were formed when a major clan produced more than one King in a generation. The Kuru (kingdom) clan of Kings was very successful in governing throughout North India with their numerous kingdoms, which were formed after each successive generation. Similarly, the Yadava clan of kings formed numerous kingdoms in Central India.

Cultural differences in the kingdoms

Main article Bahlika Culture Western parts of India were dominated by tribes who had a slightly different culture that was considered as non-vedic by the mainstream Vedic culture prevailed in the Kuru and Panchala kingdoms. Similarly there were some tribes in the eastern regions of India, considered to be in this category. Tribes with non-Vedic culture specially those of barbaric nature were collectively termed as Mlechha. Very little was mentioned in the ancient Indian literature, about the kingdoms to the North, beyond the Himalayas. China was mentioned as a kingdom known as Cina, often grouped with Mlechcha kingdoms. 2/5


Bharata Khanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main kingdoms of Northern India

Kuru Kingdom Panchala Kingdom Vatsa Kingdom Matsya Kingdom

Main kingdoms of North-Central India

Kosala Kingdom Kasi Kingdom Videha Kingdom Dakshina Kosala Kingdom Malla Kingdom

Kingdoms of Western/Central India

Surasena Kingdom Dwaraka Kingdom Anarta Kingdom Saurashtra Kingdom Heheya Kingdom Nishadha Kingdom Gurjara Kingdom Karusha Kingdom Chedi Kingdom Kunti Kingdom Avanti Kingdom Malava Kingdom Dasarna Kingdom

Kingdoms of North Western India

Trigarta Kingdom Salwa Kingdom Sivi Kingdom Bahlika Kingdom Kamboja Kingdom Madra Kingdom Sindhu Kingdom Sauvira Kingdom

Kekeya Kingdom Gandhara Kingdom Youdheya Kingdom Kashmira Kingdom

Foreign Kingdoms to the North-West

Bahlika Kingdom Parama Kamboja Kingdom Uttara Madra Kingdom Uttara Kuru Kingdom Yavana Kingdom Khasa Kingdom Saka Kingdom

Foreign Kingdoms to the North

Kamboja Kingdom Darada Kingdom Parada Kingdom Tushara Kingdom Huna Kingdom Parasika Kingdom

Hara Huna Kingdom Rishika Kingdom

Eastern Kingdoms of India

Magadha Kingdom Kikata Kingdom Anga Kingdom Pragjyotisha Kingdom Sonita Kingdom Vanga Kingdom Pundra Kingdom Suhma Kingdom Utkala Kingdom Odra Kingdom

Kingdoms of Central India

Vidarbha Kingdom Anupa Kingdom Surparaka Kingdom Nasikya Kingdom Konkana Kingdom Asmaka Kingdom Danda Kingdom Kalinga Kingdom

Kingdoms of Southern India 3/5


Bharata Khanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andhra Kingdom Kanchi Kingdom Satyaputra Kingdom

Telinga Kingdom

Kishkindha Kingdom

Gomanta Kingdom

Karnata Kingdom

Pallava Kingdom

Tulu Kingdom Mushika Kingdom Chera Dynasty Ay Kingdom

Pandya Dynasty Chola Kingdom

Saraswathi Valley Kingdoms of India

Saraswata Kingdom Abhira Kingdom Sudra Kingdom Nishada Kingdom

Himalayan kingdoms
The table lands and valleys of the great Himalayan Mountain Ranges, which were almost inaccessible to the people settled in the Ganges, Sarasvati River and Sindhu river valleys, were inhabited by tribes who had very little interactions with the rest of the world. The domains of these tribes are listed below: To know about the mythological aspects of these exotic tribes see Hindu mythology. To know about the historical significance of these tribes see the Exotic tribes of ancient India. Kirata Kingdom Himalaya Kingdom Parvata Kingdom Nepa Kingdom

See also
Ramayana Mahabharata Bharatavarsha Chakravartin Exotic tribes of ancient India Monarchy in ancient India Iron Age India

1. ^ Dikshitar, Ramachandra. The Gupta Polity ( id=KP_DTtd6kJEC&pg=PA230&lpg=PA230&dq=%22Bharata+Khanda%22&source=bl&ots=w5JvDmpLO7& sig=wDmJI_zXyLr0mxlzMEITvOfcfM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kPmCT_mpG4jJ0AGT3PT2Bw&ved=0CGIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=%22 Bharata%20Khanda%22&f=false). 2. ^ Hamilton, Francis. A journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar ( id=oajq17SrONAC&pg=PA306&lpg=PA306&dq=%22Bharata+Khanda%22&source=bl&ots=RoyhLGQzww& sig=1RKazcvk-itZyHhQFoDPPQr1hg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kPmCT_mpG4jJ0AGT3PT2Bw&ved=0CFsQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q= %22Bharata%20Khanda%22&f=false).

Law, Bimala Churn (1926). Ancient Indian Tribes ( Motilal Banarsidas.



Bharata Khanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

External links
Mahabharata of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa (English translation is available at Ramayana of Valmiki (English translation is available at Retrieved from "" Categories: Wikipedia pages needing cleanup from November 2011 Sanskrit texts Indian literature Ancient India Ancient Hindu kingdoms Ancient Indian kingdoms This page was last modified on 14 April 2013 at 19:15. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.