As I have been going through the Original Texts of Indian Epics, especially the Ramayana, I have across some facts which I am unable to reconcile with geographical locations.
I have checked most of the places mentioned in the Ramayana and has even posted the route taken by Lord Rama in search of Sita who was abducted by
Ravana to Lanka.
I also checked the places associated with the Ramayana in Sri Lanka.
I have been able to find Ravana’s city,his palace,the places where Sita was moved from one place to another in captivity,where She took bath.
I have posted articles on these.
I now have a problem in Sundara Kanda of Ramayana.
Valmiki states clearly that Hanuman jumped from Mahenra Parvatha.
( I found an answer relating to the place from where Hanuman jumped for Lanka, here the answer was Hanuman did not jump but walked over!
This information is incorrect.
Valmiki states in Sundara Kanda,
niilalohitamaaJNjishhThapatravarNaiH sitaasitaiH |
svabhaavavihitaishchitrairdhaatubhiH samalaMkR^itam ||5-1-5
kaamaruupibhiraavishhTamabhiikshNaM saparichchhidaiH |
yakshakinnaragandharvairdevaklpaishcha pannagaiH ||5-1-6
sa tasya girivaryasya tale naagavaraayute |
tishhThan kapivarastatra hrade naaga ivaababhau ||5-1-7
5,6,7. saH= that, kapivaraH= great monkey, babhau= shone, naagaH iva= like an elephant, hrade= in a lake, tishhThan= being located, tasya girivarasya= on that great mountain’s, tale= foot, naagavaraayute= which had best of elephants, tatra= there, samalaMkR^itam= was decorated by, svabhaavavihitaiH= naturally formed, dhaatubhiH= mineral rocks, chitraiH= of varied hues, sitaasitaiH= (like) black and white, niilalohitamaaJNjishhThapatravarNaiH= blue, red, yellow, leaf color (green), abhiikshNam aavishhTam= surrounded to a great extent by, yakshakinnaragandharvaiH= Yakshas- Kinnaras-Gandharvas, kaamaruupibhiH= who could assume desired form, saparichchhadaiH= together with their families, cha deva kalpaiH pannagaiH= and godly serpents.
That great monkey Hanuma shone like an elephant in a lake, standing on the foot of that great mountain by the name of Mahendra, where many elephants of good breed resided, which was beautifully decorated with many naturally formed mineral rocks of varied hue like black, white, red, blue, yellow and green and which was surrounded by godly serpents and Yakshas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas who were capable of assuming desired form, together with their families.(Verse 8,Sundara Kanda, Sarga 1)
The problem is that Iam unable to find the Mountain in India, save for a refernce to Tirukurungudi in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, South India. The taluk of Thirukurungudi isNanguneri and it belongs to Nanguneri Assembly. At the foothills of the Western Ghats and 40 km to the North of Cape Comerin.
This is reported to be the place from Hanuman jumped for Lanka.
Another one is near Rameswaram, where Rama’feet, Ramar Padam, are found with Sugreeva’s Temple.
Both these refernces do not seem to meet with the description of Valmiki.
There is yet another mahendragiri found in Odisha.
There is also the theory that there was an island off the Narmada River.
This could be the Lankaof Ramayana!
“n an article “The Antiquity of Rama’s Era”, in the journal Prachya Pratibha
(published by Prachya Niketan, a Birla sponsored institution in Bhopal),
Vol. 11-1, 1982[?], the author, R.L. Gupta, a retired engineer and
government secretary, says, that for India’s geography to match that
described in the Ramayana, particularly the existence of the ‘hundred yojana
sea’, the Ramayana era must have been at that time in the geological past
when a lake, large enough to be described by that phrase and abutting the
Vindhyan mountain range where it is described in the Ramayana and is
accepted by geologists as having existed… in the Narmada valley. He
identifies Lanka as an Island in that Narmada lake, now Bagra hill. He also
re-identifies several other places in the the Ramayana by correlating
geographical features and present place names; Chitrakuta, Panchvati (where
Sita was abducted), the Pampawati river, Kishkindha, Mahendra Parvata,
Trikuta Parvata, Rameshwaram, Pampa lake, Kishyamuka, Pravarsan, Mynaka and
Suvela Parvatas, Dhawalgiri and the Setu (bridge) built by Rama… all in
locations in present Madhya Pradesh.
According to the author of the article, Reva Khanda of Skandha Purana speaks
of a big lake or sea in the Narmada valley and that modern fossil finds in
the area substantiate this. He refers to the Madhya Pradesh Chronicle of May
23, 1982 and to an article in the Times of India, June 20, 1982. Geologists
believe in the existence of an ancient lake existing till the middle or late
Pleistocene extending from about the town of Harda, District Hoshangabad in
the west to about the town of Jabalpur M.P. in the east, a distance of over
320 km. At places it was over 300 meters deep and 65 km wide — enough to
appear as a ‘sagar’.
He refers to a book ‘Lanka ki khoj’ which lists many past attempts by
various authors to identifiy the ‘true’ location of Lanka (including,
outside India: Sumatra, the Maldives, Lakshadwip, Liggadwip, 800 miles into
the Indian ocean, Lanka (the present Sri Lanka) and Australia (!), and
within the boundaries of India: Assam, Rekanpalli, between the Godavari and
Krishna rivers, near Maheshwar, near Jabalpur, Amarkantak and near Pendra in
Bilaspur district, M.P. The book’s author (Hiralal Shukla), himself suggests
the Godavari delta as the location of Lanka.
According to Ramayana, Lanka was located on Trikuti Parvata close to
Dhawlagiri surrounded by the hundred yojana sea and in a area where Sal
trees grew (the trees used both by both Hanuman and his followers and Ravana
and company in the Ramaa-Ravana battle). The article describes Bagra hill as
close to and a little west of Pachmarhi Hill, district Hoshangabad, Madhya
Pradesh. Pachmarhi hill is identified in the respected reference book
‘Castes and Tribes of the Central Provinces’ as Dhawlagiri. The article’s
author refers to Survey of India (SOI) topographical map 55 F/14 showing
three hill tops on Bagra Hill at longitude 78° E. It marks the beginning of
a region extending east to Chota Nagpur and south almost to Bhadrachalam on
the Godavari. It also is in a Sal area.
The author says (plausibly), that the phrase “hundred yojana sea” has more
than one interpretation: that it was only a general expression to create the
impression of ‘large size’. In at least one Bhagavatam verse (5.16.23)
‘hundred yojanas’ appears to be used in this way.
It is long ago that I read the complete Ramayan (and would not have
remembered such details in any case) but according to the article, the
Ramayan indicates the sagar as lying along the Vindhya mountain range,
citing that Swanyaprabha, while escorting Hanuman and other Vanaras out of
the tunnel in those mountains, pointed out that they were on Mahendragiri
and that the expanse of water below was the Sagara. Jatayu’s brother Sampati
also indicated the Sagara as the location of the island of Trikuta parvata
with Lanka on it.
The article claims that the geography described in the Ramayana establishes
the antiquity of Rama’s era. The Mynaka Parvata which Hanuman used in his
leap — in geological terms the ‘Vindhyan geosyncline’ (‘uplifted trough’),
came up from the sea. In Rama’s ancestor Bhagtratha’s time, Bhagiratha had
to work hard to bring the Ganga river to the plains. In his father Dilip’s
time, it was confined to the mountains. The Ramayana, also shows that in
Bhagiratha’s ancestor Sagar’s time the river Saryu, which at present flows
southwards, flowed northwards. These changes and events had their causes in
the rise of land masses and the last such land rise of any magnitude in
India is reported by the geologists to have been associated with the
uplifting of the Himalayas in late pleistocene to early recent times. The
drying up of the Saraswati River is another instance… attributed to the
rising up of the Sivalik Himalaya foothills.
Regarding the Setu, causeway, the “bridge”, the topography map of the once
Narmada lake bed shows a formation compatible with its having once been a
setu from near the present town of Hosangabad to about the town of Itarsi
and to the Bagra hill, just where the lake is narrowest. The level of this
formation is fifty metres higher than those of the neighbouring areas.
Furthermore, based on bore hole drillings, the rock in this formation is
different from surrounding rock: It is black basalt, as compared to anything
but black basalt for many kilometres on either side. The floating stone,
presumably pumice, used by Hanuman and the monkeys has the same origin as
black basalt, namely lava flows and is formed by the solidifying froth on
the surface of glassy lava. There is the significant description in Ramayan
that the sea started boiling as soon as Rama but an arrow to his bow. This
could be due to submarine volcanic activity. Furthermore, there is a place
presently known as Bandrabhan which the author points out sounds very much
like “Vänara Bandh”, or the “Bandh (Setu) built by the Vanaras”. The author
says that there is no basalt south of Bombay (Panaji region) except an
isolated flow at Rajamundry, A.P.
According to the Ramayana Hanuman crossed the Sagara by jumping from
Mahendra Parvata north of Lanka. Lord Caitanya visited a Mahendra Parvata
after visiting Madurai and before visiting Setubandha, Dhanus-tirtha,
Ramesvara, the Tamraparni River, Sri Vaikuntham and Kanya-kumari — all in
South India. But Lord Balaram, “after finishing His bathing and ritualistic
ceremonies at Gangasagara, proceeded toward the mountain known as Mahendra
Parvata. After this He turned toward southern India and visited the banks of
the river Godavari” indicating this Mahendra Parvat to be in North India.
The author of the article refers to a hill Mahendra shown on governemt maps
today in the Vindhyan range in the Ken river basin at latitude 23° N, 79° E
and suggests, based on the time Lord Rama took to travel between the places
He visited, that it is the Mahendra parvat of the Ramayana — north of the
Bagra hill and almost at the edge of the Narmada lake.
Ramayana describes the rising of Mynaka parvata from the sagar to assist
Hanuman in his jump over it. The Vindhyas arose from the ocean over 500
million years ago. The author suggests the likelihood that the rise of the
Vindhyan trough coincided with Hanuman’s jump. The uplifted trough has a
break where Hanuman crossed it.
There is anotherview.
The Mahedra Pavatha city is found in, of all places, Cambodia.
And to add to this confusion, the Trikuta Parvatha from where Hanuman is reported to have jumped from Lanka to India is found in Kashmir.
Please read my post Hanuman to Lanka, distance controversy.
A lost city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1,200 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists using airborne laser technology, Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday in a world exclusive.
Over two dozen temple sites have been discovered on the site, which is thought to have been built around 802 AD when the Angor Empire was founded.
It is believed to be the lost city of Mahendraparvata, located on a misty mountain called Phnom Kulen deep in the hinterland of Cambodia. It was thought to be built 350 years before the famed Angor Wat. A journalist and photographer from the newspaper accompanied the expedition, led by a French-born archaeologist, through the landmine-strewn jungle in the Siem Reap region where Angkor Wat is located.