from top: A Bengal Tiger in Dandakaranya in Bastar Paintings;
View of Abujmarh Forest in Sukma
LocationBastar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana, India
Area92,200 km²

Dandakaranya is a historical region in India, mentioned in the Ramayana. It covers about 92,200 square kilometres (35,600 sq mi) of land, which includes the Abujhmar Hills in the west and the Eastern Ghats in the east, including regions of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana and Karnataka states. It spans about 300 kilometres (200 mi) from north to south and about 500 kilometres (300 mi) from east to west.[1] Dandakaranya roughly translates from Sanskrit to "The Jungle (aranya) of Danda (Danda, the son of Ikshvaku)."[2]


Dandakaaranya, means the Dandaka forest, the abode of the demon Dandaka.[1] Dandaka (Sanskrit: दंडक, IAST: Daṃḍaka) is the name of a forest mentioned in the ancient Indian text Ramayana. It is also known as Dandakaranya, aranya being the Sanskrit word for "forest". It was the location of the Danda Kingdom, a stronghold of the rakshasa tribes. It was state of the Lanka Kingdom under the reign of Ravana. Ravana's governor Khara ruled this province.


Dandakaranya is considered sacred in Hinduism, as many accounts of the region describe ancient Hindu peoples and Hindu deities living together in refuge there. The Dandakaranya zone was the location of the turning point in the Ramayana, a famous Sanskrit epic. The plot for the divine objectives to uproot the rakshasa from the land was formulated here.[3] According to the Ramayana, it was home to many deadly creatures and demons. It is described to have stretched from Narmada to The Godavari and Krishna Rivers according to Valmiki Ramayana. Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana spent initial years of fourteen years as exiles traveling around the region.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Dandakaranya". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  2. ^ "In the footsteps of Rama - The Pioneer". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  3. ^ Arya, Ravi Prakash (ed.).Ramayana of Valmiki: Sanskrit Text and English Translation. (English translation according to M. N. Dutt, introduction by Dr. Ramashraya Sharma, 4-volume set) Parimal Publications: Delhi, 1998, ISBN 81-7110-156-9