Latitude: 20'-30" North. Longitude: 83'-27" East.
Also called subarNapUr.
Headquarters of the Sonepur-subarNapur District, in West Orissa.
sOne = gold. subarNa or suvarNa or svarNa or swarNa = gold. pUr = town.
We have to guard ourselves against confusion with other sOnepur-s.
1. sOnepUr in 24 pargaNa Dt. of West Bengal.
2. sOnepur, 22 km. from pATna in SaraN District, bIhAr.
Factors which favor sOnepur as rAmAyaNa's lanka:
1. Existence of Goddess lankESwari on an island hill in mAhAnadi river.
2. Existence of some mounds in the river, which support the possibility of remnants of an Earth fort.
3. vAlmIki rAmAyaNa described lanka as a land extremely rich in gold and gems.
Vol. 5, Chapter 2, verse 54
Book of beauty i.e. sundarakANDa, sarga 2, SlOka 54.
kAnchanAni cha chitrANi
toraNaani ca rakshasAm
Vol. 5, Chapter 6, verse 34
Book of beauty i.e. sundarakANDa, sarga 6, SlOka 34.
sahasram vaahinIhi tatra
hema jAlair avicchinnAha
taruNa Aditya samnibhAha.
jAmbU nadamayAni eva
SayanAni AsanAni ca
bhAjanAni ca SubhrANi
dadarsha hari yUthapaHa,
3. Sonepur, West Orissa has rich tantric and witchcraft traditions. rAvaNa and his son mEghnAth had great reputation as powerful fighters using black magic and sorcery.
4. A copper plate of 10-11th Century A.D. circa, found at Sonepur, indicated that its Price SomEswar dEVa, called himself ruler of 'paschim lanka' (western lanka).
UNFAVOURABLE FACTORS FOR SONEPUR, WEST ORISSA.
1. Too long a distance (nearly 540km.) from bhagalpur where there were the mandhara Mount and rAvaNa-worshipped baidyanAth-dhAm.
2. -do- FROM Anjana, pampa, and rishyamUka, pAlkot (birth place of hanuman, and possible locations of kishkindha).
3. -do- from Mirzapur (alia vindhyAncal) of the U.P. /bIhAr border.
4. -do- Sage sutIkshNa's hermitage near SatnA, madhya pradEsh.
The whole abduction, search for SItA, vAli-sugrIva battle, etc. have to take place between the rivers mandAkini and pampa. mandAkini river, as per the current evidence being at citrakUT on UP/MP border and pampa in gumlA Dt. of jhArkhanD. There after the battle scene has to shift to trikUT Mountains in the baidyanAth dhAm, deoghar, jhArkhand.
Hence,I am unable to accept SOnepur as the location of lanka.
Subject to re-edit after getting fresh evidence.