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Bukka's Aqueduct
Bukka's Aqueduct

Kishkindha (IAST: Kiṣkindhā) is the kingdom of the Vanara King Sugriva, the younger brother of Vali, in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. According to the historical account of India, this was the kingdom where Sugriva ruled with the assistance of his friend, Hanuman. This kingdom is identified to be the region around the Tungabhadra river (then known as Pampa Sarovara) near Hampi in present-day Vijayanagara district, Karnataka. The mountain near the river known as Rishimukha, where Sugriva lived with Hanuman during his exile, bears the same name.

During the Treta Yuga, the whole region was within the dense Dandaka Forest, which extended from the Vindhya range to the South Indian peninsula. Thus, this kingdom was considered that of the Vanaras. During the Dvapara Yuga, the Pandava Sahadeva was said to visit this kingdom, as per the epic Mahabharata, during his southern military campaign to collect tribute for Yudhishthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.

View of Kishkindha
View of Kishkindha

References in Mahabharata and Ramayana

The epic Ramayana mentioned Kishkindha in great detail. The epic Mahabharata included some mentions as well.

Sahadeva's conquests

Sahadeva, the Pandava general, and younger brother of Pandava king Yudhishthira, came to southern regions to collect tribute for the Rajasuya sacrifice of the king.

Sahadeva reduced King Vatadhipa to subjection. He then defeated the Pulindas (Pulindas in the south, see also the northern Pulindas) and then marched southward. He then fought for one whole day with the King of Pandrya (Pandya?). Having vanquished that monarch, the long-armed hero marched further to the south. Then he beheld "the celebrated caves of Kishkindhya" and fought for seven days in that region with the Vanara-kings Mainda and Dwivida. Those illustrious kings, however, without being tired in the encounter, were gratified with Sahadeva. Furthermore, joyfully addressing the Kuru prince, they said,--"O tiger among the sons of Pandu, go hence, taking with the tribute from us all. Let the mission of the king Yudhishthira the just possessed of great intelligence be accomplished without hindrance." Taking jewels and gems from them all, the hero marched towards the city of Mahishmati, and there he battled with King Nila.

Rama's history within Ramayan

A few chapters of Mahabharat, contain within it, the epic Ramayan in brief.

Places related to Ramayana
Places related to Ramayana

After Raghuvanshi Rama killed the Vanar king Vali, Sugriv, the younger brother of the king, regained possession of Kishkindha. Ram, meanwhile dwelt on the beautiful Malyavat Mountains (a mountain range, in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) for four months, duly worshipped by Sugriv all the while.

Sugriv is mentioned as the ruler of the forest-kingdom Kishkindha and the king of the Vanaras (forest-dwellers), installed on the throne by Raghuvanshi Rama and to whom all foresters and apes, monkeys and bears owe allegiance.

Ram slew the Rakshasa king Ravana in battle and installed Vibhishana, Ravana's younger brother, on the throne of Lanka. Thus he regained his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana. He then left Lanka and re-entered Kishkindhya with King Sugriva. Having arrived at Kishkindhya, he installed the old King Vali's son Angada as prince-regent of that kingdom. After that, he left for his capital city Ayodhya in the Kosala Kingdom.

Anjaneya Parvata, said to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman
Anjaneya Parvata, said to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman

The mountain Hrishyamukha (Risyamuka), where Sugriva spent his exile due to fear of King Vali, is mentioned with Hanuman accompanying him.

References to the Vanaras in Mahabharata

Vanaras were described as one of the exotic tribes of ancient Bhārat, along with many others, in the epic Mahabharata.

Their kinship with other such tribes is hinted at in various texts. The Rakshasas, Yakshas, Vanaras, and Kinnaras (these four were linked to the sage Pulastya) and with Kimpurushas (half-men, half-horse), Salabhas (grasshopper/locust or moth-like beings of ill omen), and Valikhilyas (the followers of the movements of the sun) (the last three were linked to the sage Pulaha) were mentioned to have a kinship.

They were mentioned along with one of these or some of these tribes at many locations in the epic.

Pampa Sarovar, the lake where Hanuman rested on his way to the Himalayas[citation needed]
Pampa Sarovar, the lake where Hanuman rested on his way to the Himalayas[citation needed]

Territories of the Vanaras

Kishkindhya and southern India were the most populous territories of the Vanaras. However, they were also found in the forests of the Himalayas (3–144, 157). Bhima in his wanderings, saw the abode of the Vanara chief Hanuman in a plantain wood on an elevated rocky base in the mountains of Gandhamadana in the Himalayas.

See also

References