King of the Bears[1]
Member of Chiranjivi
Painting of Jambavan
TextsRamayana, Bhagavata Purana
Personal information
ChildrenJambavati (daughter)

Jambavan (Sanskrit: जाम्‍बवान्, IAST: Jāmbavān), also known as Jambavanta (Sanskrit: जाम्बवन्त, IAST: Jāmbavanta), is the king of the bears in Hindu texts.[2]

He emerged from the mouth of Brahma when the creator deity yawned. He assisted Rama, the 7th avatar of Vishnu in his quest to save his wife Sita from the rakshasa king Ravana.[3] In the Ramayana, he helps Hanuman realise his potential, just before his famous leap over to the island of Lanka.[3] Jambavan was present at the Samudra Manthana, and is supposed to have circled Vamana 21 times in a single leap, when he was acquiring the three worlds from Mahabali.

Jambavan, together with Parashurama and Hanuman, is considered to be one of the few to have been present for the birth of both Rama and the Krishna. His daughter Jambavati was married to Krishna.


Jambavana as depicted in Yakshagana (a dance drama)

Jambavan is also known as:



In the beginning, when Brahma was sitting on the lotus from the navel of Vishnu, he started meditating and yawned, from which a bear was born, which later became Jambavan. It is said he was called Jambavan either because he was born on Jambudvipa, or because he was born while yawning. He was present at the time when Vishnu fought Madhu and Kaitabha. At the time of Ramayana, he was 6 manvantaras old.[5]


In the epic Ramayana, Jambavan helped Rama find his wife Sita and fight her abductor, Ravana. It is he who makes Hanuman realise his immense capabilities, and encourages him to fly across the ocean to search for Sita in Lanka.[6]


In the Mahabharata, Jambavan had killed a lion, who had acquired a gem called syamantaka from Prasena, after killing him. Krishna was suspected of killing Prasena for the jewel, so he tracked Prasena's steps until he learned that he had been killed by a lion, who had been killed by a bear. Krishna tracked Jambavan to his cave, and a fight ensued. The combat between Krishna and Jambavan ensued for 27/28 days (per Bhagavata Purana) and 21 days (per Vishnu Purana), after which Jambavan began to grow tired. Realising who Krishna was, Jambavan submitted. He gave Krishna the gem, and also presented him his daughter Jambavati, who became one of Krishna's wives.[6]


The only temple of Jambuvanta is located at Jamkhed, in the Jalana district. His temple is in a cave on the hill north of Jamkhed. The temple is about 2 kilometres away from Jamkhed village.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. McFarland. 6 December 2021. ISBN 9780786491797.
  2. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (29 June 2012). "Jambavan, Jāmbavān: 4 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  3. ^ a b Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter. Dictionary of ancient deities. 2001, page 248
  4. ^ Magnotti, Angela; rews. "Jambavan Fights Krishna (Syamantaka Mani Legend, Part 5)".
  5. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (28 January 2019). "Story of Jāmbavān". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  6. ^ a b Mani, Vettam (1 January 2015). Puranic Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Work with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0597-2.
  7. ^ "Jambuwant Temple: The only temple of Jambuwant Maharaj in Ramayana". 25 May 2022.