Many historians, travel writers, temple-discoursers believe that Kishkindha is near Hampi, Karnataka State, South India. This Hampi, and Anegondi (both were Capitals of Vijayanagar Empire of 14-16 Centuries) are between Krishna and Tungabhadra Rivers. This belief can be justified only if the place of abduction of Sita by Ravana-- Panchavati Hermitage is on the banks of Godavari either at Nasik, Maharashtra, or Bhadrachalam, Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border. But, one important factor, we have to keep in our mind. There is no evidence in Valmiki Ramayana of SRL Sita-Rama-Lakshmana crossing the Godavari River using some country boats, or by swimming, or through some other means. Godavari is a mighty river, the crossing of which by SRL could not have been ignored by Sage Valmiki. Godavari River throughout its course flows far down to the South of Vindhya HIlls in all the three States i.e. Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. If Kishkindha is in Karnataka, our South bound Vanaras led by Angada-Hanuman-Jambavanta, can never land on Vindhya Hills. But it happened. After a strenuous search, the South Bound Vanaras were tired, hungry-sticken they entered into the Cave of a Demy Goddess by name Svayamprabha. Initially, they thought that she herself was Sita. She hears their whole story from the South-searching-batch of Vanaras, feeds them with fruits etc., and advises them to go to Lanka. When they opened their eyes, they found that they were dropped by Svayamprabha on the Vindhya Hills, with Mahendra Hill nearby.
Book 4 kishkindha kAnDa (Book of kishkindha, the Capital of vAnaras),
Chapter 37, Verse 2.
mahendra himavat vindhya
kailaasa shikhareShu ca |
mandare paaNDu shikhare
panca shaileShu ye sthitaaha.
Sri rAma and lakshmaNa were in kishkindha, searching for Sita. rAma killed vAli. The new king sugrIva had to, as per his promise, send vAnaras (monkeys?) for searching SIta.
sugrIva was giving his directions to his minister hanumAn for summoning all the vAnaras on the earth.
Call all the vAnaras staying on the five mounts:
ahobhiH daSa aha bhih yE ca
na Agacchhanti mama aagnyA
hantavyAH te durAtmAno
raaja SAsana dUshakAha.
Who ever does not turn up WITHIN TEN DAYS, they should be tried as contemnors of royal decree.
SatAni atha sahasrANi
koTyaH ca mama SAsanAt
prayAntu kapi siMhaanaam
nidishe mama ye sthitaaH.
Let all the lions among the monkeys under control, start their journeys in hundreds, thousands and tens-of-millions (kOTi, kOTyaha).
Some scholars felt that kishkindha is located near Anegondi, Bellari Region, in North karnATaka, on the border of State of Andhra Pradesh.
Question: Where are himAlayas?
Ans: Extreme North of India.
Question: Where is kailAsh?
Question: Can the vAnaras living in Himalyas and kailAsh reach kishkindha in ten days?
Ans: Possible only if kishkindha is not in Bellari-Anegondi-karnATaka. In other words, kishkindha should be in Eastern UP or Bihar.
This augurs well if Sita was abducted by rAvana from the banks of Godavari either at nAsik, MaharAshTra or at bhadrAcalam, Andhra Pradesh. Both the claims are strong. But they do not stand the test of facts. See the following discussion.
Where are vindhyAs?
We have to differentiate between the vindhya mountains in general and the ramAyaNa related vindhyA mountains.
The general Vindhya mountains seem to be between Itarsi and nAgpur in madhya pradesh. The rivers narmada and tapati flow threw these mountains.
sugrIva knows about the vindhya mountains spreading across the Central India. See these verses:
Book 4 - kishkindhA kAnDa, Chapter 41, Verse 8.
4-41-8 to 4-41-10
sahasra shirasam vindhyam
naanaa druma lataa aayutam
narmadaam ca nadiim ramyaam
tato godaavariim ramyaam
varadaam ca mahaabhaagaam
mekhalaan utkalaam caiva
dashaarNa nagaraaNi api
abravantiim avantiim ca
sarvam eva anupashyata
vidarbhaan RiSTikaan caiva
ramyaan maahiSakaan api
SugrIva was asking the South-searching vAnara batches to search for Sita in vindhya Hills, on the banks of narmada, Godavari, krishNavENi, etc. and search in vidarbha (around nAgpur) etc.
SugrIva was treating all these places as 'south' and asking the 'south-bond' batch to search. In other words sugrIva was at a place North to the above mountains, rivers, vidarbha (nAgpur), utkal (orissa). This clearly indicates that sugrIva's kishkindha is not in Anegondi of Bellari-karnATaka.
More relevant rAmAyaNa's vindhyas seem to be near Mirzapur, the famous Carpet Making Centre of South East Uttar Pradesh. Mirzapur is a name given by the British rulers. Mirzapur has vindhyAcal or vindhyAncal hills crossing the River Ganges. The area is known as MirzApur-Vindhyanchal.
If Mirzapur-vindhyanchal is the Vindhya Mountain, Svayamprabha referred to in verse 4-52-31 quoted below, the Sea facing the angada-hanuman led vAnarAs will be the Ganga river! Some island in the Mirzapur's Ganga should be the Lanka of rAvaNA. kishkindha should be on the North of MirzApur.
JAMBAVANTHA or JAMBAVAN जांबवान
The native place of Jambavantha, (Jambavan), an important General of Sugriva, after Hanuman, is said to be in Jamthun जामथुन జాంథున్ Village in Ratlam District of Madhya Pradesh. If Kishkindha is near Ballari , Karnataka, how can Jambavan belonging to Madhya Pradesh, be a Vanara (vanachara or forest dweller) of Karnataka? This gives us one clue that Kishkindha is in North MP / Chattisgadh or Southern most border of U.P. Definitely not in Karnataka or Maharashtra or Telangana State.
SAMPATI (also SAMPATHI OR SampAti), the legendary kite with broken wings, & brother of jaTAyu
SampAti may also be a forest-dwelling human, instead of a kite. SampAti has guided South-bound vAnaras (forest dwellers) searching for Sita, to go to Lanka, crossing the sea. He is said to be a native of Satna District, Madhya Pradesh. His dwelling is said to be GRIDDHARAJ PARVAT (The Mountain of the Kite). Kite may be a totem sign used by the tribe to which SampAti belonged to. Assuming that SampAti was a human -forest-dweller and not a kite, it is difficult to expect him to lie down with broken wings on the banks of ocean, and encourage the South bound Vanaras to cross the ocean. Sampati, Jatayu, Hanuman (born in Western Jharkhand) thus everybody belonged to Central India, between the Narmada and Ganga Rivers.
I request my readers to see my blog posts where I have made some calculative approximation that RavaNa's like might have been in Chindwara Dt., Madhya Pradesh, or Bhagalpur in Jharkhand. The calculation is based on the analysis that Ravana's Lanka (Island kingdom) may be a River Island in Ganga / Mahanadi / Narmada / Tapati / Godavari Rivers. Or it can be some other island on seashore of Orissa coast.
Where are the Matanga Hills?
The importance of the Matanga hill in Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda end and Kishkindha Kanda: Kabandha, the demon slain by Rama and discharged from his curse proceeding to heaven, advised Rama to go to Matanga Hill where Sugriva took shelter. Tourist industry has made substantial business, by representing that Hampi-Pampa Lake of Hospet -Ballari in Karnataka has the Matanga Hill, with a dilapidated temple of Matangeswar Mahadev on a hill top.
Some analysis of ybrao-a-donkey: MATANGA CULTURE ORIGIN IN MADHYA PRADESH
The existence of Matangeswar Mahadev Shiva Temple in Hampi on a hill top might have been true. Hampi was built and ruled by Vijayanagara dynasty founded by Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya. Historians consider that Vijayanagara dynasties were of YADAVA clan. Early Vijayanagara rulers were Saivas (Shiva worshippers), and the later Vijayanagara Rulers were Vaishnavites (Vishnu worshippers).
Matangeswar is a Shiva God, with great temples in Ujjain and Khajuraho of Madhya Pradesh. After the invasions by Mohd. Ghazni, MOhd. Ghori, Malik Kaffur (Allauddin Khilji's commander), Mohd. Bin Tughlack, the Yadava Kings of Malva and Devagiri might have fled southwards towards Anegondi-Hampi-Vijayanagara. They might have taken with them along, the Matangeswara worship culture of Ujjain and Khajuraho to Hampi, built a new Matangeswar Temple on a hilltop of Hampi, and renamed that hill as Matanga hill. The original Matanga Hill which might have existed in Ujjain / MAHESWAR / Khajuraho / Chindwara / Gwalior / Myhar Region might have lost its name. A deeper research into the histories of these places can help us to identify the original Matanga Hill of the Ramayana period. Anyway, Matanga Hill of the Kishindha definitely was in South UP or Madhya Pradesh, and not in Karnataka.
Maharashtra's National Hero "Shivaji" and his son "SambhAji" have Saivite names. When Maratha Empire was at its peak, they seem to have chosen to conquer their ancestral areas i.e. Indore and Ujjain Areas. Even today, we can probably observe that Shiva (and his son Ganesha) worship is predominant in Maharashtra, rather than Vishnu worship. Though some people consider that Vithala of Pandharpur was Vaishnavist, Vithala seems to be a tribal God with Shaivite origin. After the influence of Ramanuja spread into Hampi Vijayanagar, Vithala might have been reformed into Vaishnava. Maheswar near Ujjain on the AGra Mumbai Highway, in Madhya Pradesh has an ancient Matangeswar Temple and a medieval Maratha built Vithaleswara Temple.
Ravana was a staunch Shiva worshipper. Mandodari's (Ravana's Chief Queen), native place is said to be at Mandsar which though is in Rajasthan, may be considered as part of Chitrakoot Chindwara culture.
Some people consider Hanuman (Jharkhand) as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Anyway, everything is in Central India, and not in Tamil Nadu. We do not find this type of Shiva worship culture in Sri Lanka. Shri Lanka is just using the name of Ravana's Lanka, to attract Tourists from India. No logic can really help to identify Sri Lanka as Ravana's Lanka, and Pak Straits and the sand dunes of Adam's Bridge, as Rama Setu.
Khajuraho though mainly is a Saivite Centre, it is said to have a Vamana Temple, Varaha Temple. The three principal scriptures of INdia are Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Mahabhagavata. All the three are Vaishnavite. Valmiki Ramayana gives little importance to LOrd Shiva. Though Mahabharata is also Vaishnavite, some Parvas such as Drona Parva have extensive praises of Lord Shiva. Mahabhagavata, except in the "hAlAhala bhakshaNa" (Shiva consuming poison emanating from the churning of the Mandhara Hill by the Gods and Demons)) does not give much importance to Lord Shiva, One notable thing here is, Hampi Vijayanagara Kings gave importance to Varaha. Their coins and logos contained a picture of Varaha (bore). The evolution of DaSAvatArAs (10 incarnations of Lord VishNu) includes both Vamana (dwarf) and Varaha (bore) incarnations. From this, I get an irrestible impression that Vishnu worshippers who have migrated from Latvia, Lithuania, Old Prussia, Scandinavia, Baltics of North Europe, seem to have tried to usurp the tribal Gods of Central India, by incorporating them into the daSAvatAras (ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu), among which King Rama (may be a North European) is one incarnation. In other words, they seem to have tried to equate Rama with Vamana and VarAha. Note: This paragraph is absolutely provisional and requires rethinking. It may have to be deleted.
Question: Where are mahEndra Hills?
Ans: If you make an internet search you will get two sets of mahEndra Hills.
1. Mahendra Hills of parlakemundi in South Orissa, on the Andhra Orissa Border.
eSa vindhyo giriH shriimaan
naanaa druma lataa aayutaH
eSa prasavaNaH shailaH
saagaro ayam mahaa udadhiH
You will find that south-searching vAnaras fell in a cavity (cave like space) and were rescued by Lady svayamprabha. She got them out of the cavity and told them before them it was the vindhya Mountain.
Then they reach the nearby mahEndra mountain and the sea shore. From the top of the mahEndra parvat, hanumAn leaped over the Sea.
If kishkindha is in Anegondi-Bellari, south-bound vAnaras led by Angada and hanuman can never be caught in a cavity of Vindhya Mountains which are to the North of Anegondi-beLLAri, and they would have ovestepped into the shoes of the North-bound vAnarAs. They can never see the mahendra Hill which is in Orissa.
The second mahendra hill is in Kerala, Tiruvananthapuram. Both the Kerala and Orissa hills have the place-linked-legend of the Axe-wielding-sage parasu rAma residing at the place. Both the places claim that hanumAn leaped over the sea towards Lanka from their mounts.
I am afraid that none of the two cannot be true.
The axe-wielding Sage parasurAmA's mahEndra Hill abode should be somewhere in Bihar itself, in the Muzaffarpur belt. That place should be very near to the camp where the sita-rAma wedding group was on their journey from janakpur in nEpal to ayOdhya in U.P.
Question: Where is Mount mandara?
Answer: In vAlmiki rAmAyan in yuddha kAnDa, rAvaNa and his followers were compared to the Mount mandhara in many verses. As per mahAbhAgavata, mandhara mountain was said to have been used as a churner of ambrosial nectar (amritam) by Gods and demons.
As per udyOga parva (Vol.5) of mahAbharata, mandharas were in the Southern Region, and it was there rAvana sought the boon of immortality from the Creator. Thus we have to presume that Mount mandhara was in South.
But this "South" in our vAlmIki rAmyaNa need not refer to Sri Lanka. It can be some thing which is South of Ayodhya, vindhyanchal, and Kishkindha.
It must be the Mount mandara in Bhagalpur City, the 2nd most important City of Bihar. The City has an 800 ft. high Mount called mandhara. According to local legends, it was the same mount used by Gods and demons, as churner for extracting ambrosial nectar.
Banka Town, a district Headquarters Town, south of bhagalpur, and in the Division of bhagalpur, too has a mandara parvat. It is 1600 ft. tall.
The mandara parvat of Bhagalpur city or the Banka town - any one of the two can be lanka's mandara parvat. Hanuman might have leaped over the Ganga river and might have thought that he leaped over the Sea itself.
In the above paragraphs, at mount vindhyAnchal, I mentioned that Hanuman might have leaped over the Ganga river from the mirzapur-vindhyanchal hills. Now, we can think of one amendment. Hanuman might have swum along the Ganga river on the Mirzapur-Buxar-Patna-Bhagalpur route to the South coast of Ganga towards bhagalpur of ruled by rAvaNa.
Further proofs for Bhagalpur Ganga islands being the Lanka ruled by rAvaNa: 1. rAvaNa was said to have carried the atma-linga of God Siva towards Lanka. This he was said to have dropped at baidyanath -one of the locations 12 jyOtirlingas of India. It is further down on to the South East of bhAgalpur-Ganga near kureel. If Lanka is Sri Lank, rAvaNa cannot drop the baidyanAth linga in Bihar-Bengal border.
About 43 kms. aerial distance north of Bhagalpur, we have a small town called ayOdhyaganj in samEli tahasil of katIhar District. This ayOdhyaganj-SamEli seems to be the real birth place of Shri rAmA.
Question: Then, how about phaizabad ayOdhya of U.P.
Answer: There are very few places which start with ayOdhya in India. There may be hundreds of thousands of rAmpurs, lakshmaNpurs, sitArAmapurams, but ayOdhya seems to be a god-forbidden name for Indian villages. Fortunately, I could trace only two villages with the name ayOdhya in U.P. and Bihar.
The first is the ayOdhya of phaizAbad. The second is the ayOdhyaganj, I am referring to. There is another place called 'Englishganj' nearby. There might have been two market places during the 18th and 19th Centuries, when the British traded on the Ganga river. The people or the British traders might have added the suffix 'ganj' to both the places to distinguish them. The native village market ayOdhya might have become ayOdhyaganj. The new market at another village might have become the 'Englishganj'.
The citizens of bhagalpur and katihar districts have to dug up their histories and come up with their views.