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BEN Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary (User notes)

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APPENDIX III. Geographical names

On important Geographical names in ancient India.
अंग¦ N. of an important kingdom situated on the right
bank of the Ganges. Its capital was Champâ, also
called Angapurî. This town stood on the Ganges
about 24 miles west of a rocky island, and is, there-
fore, considered to be the same as, or situated very
near, the modern Bhágalpur.
अंध्र¦ N. of a people and their country. It is said to be
the same as the modren Telangaṇa, and the
mouths of the Godâvarî were in the possession of
the Andhras. But the limits were probably con-
fined to the Ghâts on the west, and the rivers
Godâvarî and Kṛishnâ on the north and south. It
bordered on Kalinga; (see Dk. 7th Ullâsa,) and
its capital अंध्रनगर is probably the old town of
Vengi or Vegi.
अवंति¦ N. of a country, north of the Narmadâ; its
capital was Ujjayinî, also called Avantipurî or
Avanti and Visâlà, (cf. Me. 30) situated on the
Siprâ. It is the western part of Málvâ. In the
time of the Mahâbhârata the country extended on
the south to the banks of the Narmadâ and on the
west probably to the banks of the Mahi or Myhe.
On the north of Avanti lay another principality
with its capital Dasapura on the Charmanvati river,
which appears to be the modern town of Dholpur,
and was the capital of Rantideva.
अश्मक¦ An old name of Travancore.
आनर्त¦ See सौराष्ट्र।
इंद्रप्रस्थ¦ (also called हरिप्रस्थ, शक्रप्रस्थ &c.) identified with
the modern Delhi, though it stood on the left bank
of the Yamunâ, while Delhi stands on the right.
उत्कल¦ or ओड् N. of a country, the modern Orissa,
which lay to the south of Tâmralipta, and extend-
ed to the river Kapisá; cf. R. 4. 38. The chief
to was of this province are Cuttak and Purî where
the celebrated temple of Jagannath is situated.
कनखल¦ N. of a village near Hardvâra which is situat-
ed on the Ganges at the southern base of the
Sewalika mountains. कनखत was also the name of the
surrounding mountains.
कपिशा¦ See under सुह्य।
कलिंग¦ N. of a country lying to the south of Odra or
Orissa and extending to the mouths of the Godâ-
varî. It is identified with the Northern Circars.
Its capital कलिंगनगर was in ancient times at some
distance from the sea-coast (cf. Dk. 7th Ullâsa),
and was probably at Râjamahendri; see अंध्र also.
कांची¦ See under द्रविड।
कामरूप¦ An important kingdom said to have extended
from the banks of the Karatoyâ or Sadánîrâ to
the extremities of Assam. It must have extended
up to the Himâlaya on the north and the borders of
China on the east, as its king is said to have assist-
ed Duryodhana with an army of Kirâtas and
Chînas. The ancient capital of this kingdom was
प्राग्ज्योतिष on the other side of the Lauhitya or the
river Brahmap utra; cf. R. 4. 81.
कांबोज¦ N. of a people and their country. They
must have inhabited the Hindoo Koosh mountain
which separates the Giljit valley from Balkh, and
probably extended up to little Thibet and Lâdak.
Their country was famous for handsome horses and
shawls made of goats’, rats’, and dogs’ wool, and
abounded in walnut trees; cf. R. 4. 69.
कुंतल¦ N. of the country to the north of Chola.
Kalyâna or Kallian Doorg south of Kurugade
appears to have been its capital. The country re-
presents the south-western portion of Hyderabad.
कुरुक्षेत्र¦ N. of an extensive region or plain near Delhi;
the scene of the great war between the Pâṇḍavas
and Kauravas. It is the tract near the holy lake
called by the same name lying to the south of
Thàneshvar, and extended from the south of the
Sarasvatî to the north of the Drishadvatî. It is
sometimes called समंतपंचक the tract of the ‘five
pools’ of blood of the Kshatriyas slain by
कुलूत¦ N. of a country (modern Kulu) lying to the
north east of the Jalandar Doab and on the right
bank of the Satadru (Sutlej).
कुशावती¦ or कुशस्थली The capital of Dakshiṇa-Kosala
and situated in the defiles of the Vindhya; it must
have been to the north of the Narmadâ but south
of the Vindhya, and is probably the same as
Ramnagar in Bundelkhand. Ràjasekhara calls the
lord of Kusasthalî मध्यदेशनरेंद्र, the lord of the mid-
dle-land or Bundelkhand.
केकय¦ The country of the Kekayas bordering on
Sindhu-Desa q. v.
केरल¦ The strip of land between the Western Ghats
and the sea north of the Kâverî. The principal
rivers in this tract are the Netravatî, the Sarâvatî
and the Kâli-Nadî, which is considered to be the
same as the Muralâ referred to in R. 4. 55, and
in U. 3, and forms the principal river of Kerala.
Kerala corresponds to modern Kânarâ, and pro-
bably included Malabar also, and extended beyond
the kâverî.
कोशल¦ N. of a country situated, according to the
Râmâyaṇa, along the banks of the Sarayū (or
Gogrâ). It was divided into ‘Uttara-Kosala’
and ‘Dakshiṇa Kosala.’ The former is also called
‘Ganda’, and it must have therefore signified the
country north of Ayodhyâ comprising Ganda
and Baraitch. Aja, Dasaratha &c. are said to have
ruled over this province. At the time of Râma’s
death his two sons Kusa and Lava reigned respec-
tively at Kusâvatî in southern Kosala in the de-
files of the Vindhyas, and at Srâvastî in northern
कौशांबी¦ N. of the capital of the Vatsa country. It
was near the modern Kosam about 30 miles above
कौशिकी¦ N. of a river (Kusi) which flowed on the
east of Durbhangâ through northern Bhâgalpur
and western Poornea. Near the banks of this
river stood the hermitage of the sage ऋष्यशृंग।
गौड¦ or पुंड्र Northern Bengal, (Puṇḍra originally
signifying the land of the ‘Pooree’ cane.)
चेदि¦ N. of a country and their people. The Chedis
were also called Dàhalas and Traipuras; they oc-
cupied the banks of the Narmadâ and were the
same as the people of दशार्ण q. v. Their capital was
at one time त्रिपुरी q. v. The Chedis are considered
by some to have inhabited the modern Bundel-
khand in Central India, while by others their
country is identified with the modern Chandail.
The Haihayas or Kalachuris ruled at Mâhishmatî
situated on the Narmadâ between the Vindhya
and Riksha mountains about Bheraghar below
चोल¦ N. of a country, situated on the banks of the
Kâverî and said to cover the southern portion of
Mysore. It was beyond the Kâverî, as Pulekasi
II. invaded it after crossing the river. The coun-
try latterly came to be called Karnâṭaka.
जनस्थान¦ ‘Human habitation’, a part of the great
Daṇḍakâ forest which stood in the vicinity of the
mountain called Prasravaṇa. The celebrated Pan-
chavatî (identified by local tradition with the place
of the same name situated about 2 miles from the
present Nassik) stands in this tract.
जालंधर¦ The modern Jalandar Doab, watered by the
rivers Satadru and Vipâsâ (Sutlej and Beas).
ताम्रपर्णी¦ N. of a river rising in the Malaya moun-
tain. It appears to be the same as the Tâmbara-
vâri of the present day which rises in the eastern
declivity of the western Ghats, runs through the
district of Tinnevelly, and falls into the gulf of
Manar; cf. R. 4. 49, 50 and B. R. 10. 56.
ताम्रलिप्त¦ See under सुह्म।
त्रिगर्त¦ A most arid country in ancient times. It
stood for the desert on the east of the Satadru,
and included the tract between the Sutlej and the
Sarasvatî containing Loodiana and Pattiala on the
north and some portion of the desert on the
त्रिपुर-री¦ N. of the capital of the Chedis, ‘made
noisy by the waves of the Moon’s daughter’, i. e.
the Narmadâ, and, therefore, situated on that
river. It is identified with the modern Tevur
6 miles from Jabbalpur.
दशपुर¦ See under अवंति।
दशार्ण¦ N. of a country, through which flows the
Dasârṇâ (Dasan). It was the eastern part of
Mâlava or Mâlvâ, its capital being Vidisâ–the
modern Bhilsâ–situated on the Vetravati or Betva,
cf. Me. 24, 25 and Kâdambarî. Kâlidása also
makes Vidisá a river which is probably the same
as the Bees that joins the Betva.
द्रविड¦ N. of a country to the south of the wild tract
between the Kṛishṇâ and the Polar. In its larger
sense it included the whole of the Coromandel
coast to the south of the Godâvarî. But in its
strict sense it must not have extended beyond the
Kâverî. Its capital was Kânchî, the same as
Conjeveram situated on the Vegavatî river 42
miles south-west of Madras.
द्वारका¦ See under सौराष्ट्र्।
निषध¦ N. of a country ruled over by Nala; its capi-
tal is said to have been Alakâ, situated on the river
Alakanandâ. It appears to have formed part of
the modern Kumaon in northern India. This is
also the name of one of the Varsha mountains.
पंचवटी¦ See under जनस्थान।
पंचाल¦ N. of a celebrated region which lay, accord-
ing to Râja Sekhara (B. R. 10. 86), between
the streams of the Yamunâ and the Ganges,
and is, therefore, the Gangetic Doab. In the
time of Drupada it extended from the banks of
the Charmanvati (Chambal) upto Gangâdvâra
on the north. The northern portion from Bhâ-
gîrathî was called ‘Uttara-Panchâla,’ which
was Ahichhatra. The southern portion was cal-
led ‘Dakshina-Panchâla,’ which was merged in
the kingdom of Hastinâpura after the death of
पद्मपुर¦ The native place of the poet Bhavabhūti, si-
tuated somewhere near Chandrapura or Chàndá
in the Nâgpur districts.
पद्मावती¦ Identified with the modern Narwâr in
Mâlva as being situated on the river Sind or
Sindhu. The other rivers, that are in its vici-
nity, are Pârâ or Pârvatî, Luṇa, and Madhuvar
which correspond to the Pârá, Lavaṇâ and Ma-
dhumatî, mentioned by Bhavabhūti, as flowing
in the vicinity of the town. This town was the
scene of Bhavabhūtî’s Mâlati-Màdhava.
पंपा¦ N. of a celebrated lake, which is considered to
be the same as the river Pennair, near which
stands the Rishyamūka mountain. The river is
known to rise from tanks; the northern part espe-
cially from a stone tank in the centre of Chander-
doorg. This was probably the original Pampâ, and
Chanderdoorg the Rishyamūka mountain. Subse-
quently the name was transferred from the tank
to the river which rose from it.
पाटलिपुत्र¦ N. of an important town in Magadha or
south Behar situated at the confluence of the
Ganges and the Soṇa (or Son). It was also cal-
led ‘Kusumapura’ or ‘Palibothra’ referred to
in the classical accounts of India. It is said to
have been destroyed by a river inundation about
the middle of the eighth century A. D.
पांड्य¦ N. of a country in the extreme south of India,
and lying to the south-west of Choladesa. The
mountain Malaya and the river Tâmraparṇî fix
its position indisputably; cf. B. R. 3. 31. It may
be identified with the modern Tinnevelly. The
holy island of Râmeshvara belonged to this king-
dom, Kâlidása calls the capital of Pâṇḍya-desa
the ‘serpent-town’, which is probably the same as
Negapattan 160 miles south of Madras; cf. R. 6.
पारसीक¦ The people inhabiting Persia-perhaps ap-
plicable also to the tribes inhabiting the outly-
ing districts on the north-western frontier.
Horses from their country are mentioned under
the name वनायुदेश्य।
पारियात्र¦ One of the principal mountain chains
in India. It is probably the same as the
Sewalik mountains which run parallel to the
Himâlaya and guard the Gangetic Doab on the
प्रतिष्ठान¦ The capital of Purūravas, one of the earliest
kings of the lunar dynasty; situated opposite
Prayâga or Allahabad. It is said in Harivamsa to
have been situated on the north bank of the
Ganges, in the district of Prayâga. Kàlidàsa
places it at the junction of the Ganges and Yamuná;
cf. V. 2.
मगध¦ The country of the Magadhas or south Behar.
Its old capital was गिरिव्रज (or राजगृह) which con-
sisted of five hills विपुलगिरि, रत्नागिरि, उदयगिरि, शोणगिरि,
and वैभार– (or व्याहार–) गिरि। Its next capital was
Pátaliputra q. v. Magadha was also called कीकट in
later literature.
मत्स्य¦ or विराट N. of a country lying to the west of
Dholpur; the Pâṇḍavas are said to have entered it
from the banks of the Yamuná through the land
of the Rohitakas and Sūrasenas towards the north
of Dasârṇa. Vairâṭa, the capital of Virâṭa, is
probably the same as Bairat 40 miles north of
मलय¦ One of the seven principal chains of mountains
in India. It is most probably to be identified with
the southern portion of the Ghàts running from
the south of Mysore, and forming the eastern
boundary of Travancore. It is said by Bhavabhūti
to be encircled by the river Káverî (Mv. 5. 3,
also R. 4. 46), and is said to teem in cardamoms,
pepper, sandal, and betel-nut trees. In R. 4. 51
Kâlidâsa calls the mountains Malaya and Dardura
‘the two breasts of the southern region.’ 
 is, therefore, that portion of the Ghâts,
which forms the south-eastern boundary of My-
महेंद्र¦ One of the seven principal chains of mountains
in India identified with Mahendra Màle which
divides Ganj m from the valley of the Mahânadî
and probably tincluded the whole of the eastern
Ghats between the Mahânadî and Godâvarî.
महोदय¦ (also called कान्यकुब्ज or गाधिनगर) is the same
as the modern Kânyakubja or Kanoja, on the
Ganges. In the seventh century it was the most
celebrated place in India. Cf. B. R. 10. 88-89.
मानस¦ A lake said to be situated in Hâṭaka which
appears to be the same as Lâdak. On the north of
Hâṭaka is Harivarsha, the country of the northern
Kurus. The lake was celebrated in former times as
the abode of Kinnaras, and is said by poets to be
the annual resort of swans at the approach of the
माहिष्मती¦ See under चेदि।
मिथिला¦ See under विदेह।
मुरल¦ See under केरल।
मेकल¦ The mount Amarakantaka, the source of the
लाट¦ N. of a country said to lie to the west of the
Narmadâ; it probably included Broach, Baroda
and Ahmadabad, and Khaira also according to
वंग¦ (also called समतट or the ‘Plains’) A name for
eastern Bengal (to be clearly distinguished from
गौड or northern Bengal), including also the sea-
coast of Bengal. It seems to have included at one
time Tippera and the Garo hills.
वलभी¦ See under सौराष्ट्र।
वाह्लीक, वाहीक¦ A general name for the tribes inhabit-
ing the Punjab. Their country is the modern
Bactria or Balkh. In the Bhârata they are said to
have inhabited the country watered by the Indus
and the five rivers of the Punjab outside ‘holy’
India. The country was noted for its breed of horses
and asa-fœtida.
विदर्भ¦ The modern Beràr, a great kingdom in ancient
times lying to the north of Kuntala and extending
from the banks of the Kṛishṇâ to about the banks of
the Narmadâ. On account of its great size, the
country was also called ‘Mahârâshṭra’; cf. B. R.
10. 74. Kuṇḍinapura, also called Vidarbhâ, was its
ancient capital, which probably stands for the modern
Beder. The river Varadâ (Warda) divided Vidar-
bha into two parts, Amarâvatî being the capital
of the northern, and Pratishṭhâna of the southern,
विदिशा¦ See under दशार्ण।
विदेह¦ N. of a country lying to the north-east of Maga-
dha. Its capital Mithilá is the same as Janakapur
in Nepal north of Madhuvâṇî. Videha must have
covered, in ancient times, besides a portion of
Nepal, all such places as Sîtâmâri, Sîtâkunda, or the
northern part of the old district of Trihut and the
north-western portion of Champaran.
विराट¦ See मत्स्य।
वृंदावन¦ ‘Rádhá’s wood’ now forming an important
town a few miles north-west of Mathuràa, and stand-
ing on the left bank of the Yamunâ.
शक¦ N. of a tribe inhabiting the countries on the
north-western frontier of India, the Sacæ of the
classical writers, and generally identified with the
शुक्तिमत्¦ One of the seven principal chains of moun-
tains in India. Its position is not clearly ascertain-
ed, but it appears to be the Sub-Himâlayan range
in the south of Nepal.
श्रावस्ती¦ N. of a town in northern Kosala where Lava
is said to have reigned; (it is called शरावती in R.
15. 97). It is identified with Sahet Mahet north
of Ayodhyâ. It was also called धर्मपत्तन or धर्मपुरी।
सह्य¦ One of the seven principal chains of mountains
in India. It is still known as Sahyadri, and is the
same as the Western Ghats as far as their junction
with the Neilgherries north of the Malaya.
सिंधु¦ See under पद्मावती।
सिंधुदशेः¦ The country of the upper Indus.
सह्म¦ N. of a country which lay to the west of Vanga.
Its capital ताम्रलिप्त (also called तामलिप्त, दामलिप्त, ताम-
लिप्ती and तमालिनी) is identified with the modern
Tumlook on the right bank of the Cossye, which
is the same as the कपिशा of Kâlidâsa. In ancient
times the town was situated nearer to the sea,.
and was a place of considerable maritime trade.
The Suhmas are sometimes called Râḍhas, the
people of Western Bengal.
सौराष्ट्र¦ (also called आनर्त) The modern peninsula of
Kattywar. Dwârakâ is called आनर्तनगरी or अब्धिनगरी-
The old Dwârakâ stood near Madhupura 95 miles
south-east of Dwàrakâ, and also near mount Raiva-
taka, which appears to be the same as the Girinar
hill near Junagad. Valabhi appears to have been
the next capital of the country, the ruins of which
were discovered at Bilbi 10 miles north-west of
Bhownaggar. The celebrated lake Prâbhasa was
situated in the same country and stood on the
स्रुघ्न¦ N. of a town and district at some distance from
Pâtaliputra. It is identified with the modern Sug
on the old bed of the Yamunâ.
हस्तिनापुर¦ N. of a celebrated town said to have been
founded by king Hastin, one of the descendants
of Bharata; said to be situated about 56 miles
north-east of the modern Delhi on the banks of
an old channel of the Ganges.
हेमकूट¦ The ‘golden-peaked’ mountain, one of the
ranges of mountains which divide the known con-
tinent into nine Varshas (वर्षपवर्त); it is general-
ly supposed to be situated north of the Himâlaya
–or between the Meru and the Himálaya-form-
ing with it the boundaries of the Kimpurusha-
varsha or abode of Kinnaras, cf K. 136. Kâlidâsa
speaks of it as ‘having plunged into the eastern
and western oceans and emitting golden fluid’;
see S. 7.