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Kishkindha (Kannada: ಕಿಷ್ಕಿಂಧೆ Kishkindhe; IAST: Kiṣkindhā, Devanagari: किष्किन्‍धा) is the kingdom of 'Vaanar' Kings [AND not Monkey. A Sanskrit suffix 'Vaa' denotes 'other' and therefore Vaanar means 'Other Humans'. 'Markat' is a speicific word denoting Monkey] (Vanara) kingdom of the Vanara King Sugriva, the younger brother of Vali, during Ramayana times. This was the kingdom where he ruled with the assistance of his friend, Hanuman.

View of Kishkindha

This kingdom is identified to be the regions around the Tungabhadra river (then known as Pampa Saras) near Hampi and belongs to Koppal district, Karnataka. The mountain near the river with the name Rishimukha where Sugriva lived with Hanuman, during the period of his exile also is found with the same name.

During the time of Ramayana, i.e., Treta Yuga, the whole region was within the dense forest called Dandaka Forest extending from Vindhya range to the South Indian peninsula. Hence this kingdom was considered to be the kingdom of Vanaras (Which in Sanskrit means 'Vaa'+ 'Nar' meaning 'Other humans' & not "forest humans" because Van+Nar would have become Vannar and not Vaanar). During Dwapara 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.[citation needed]

Old Way to Kishkindha

References in Mahabharata and Ramayana

Though Kishkindha was mentioned in the epic Ramayana in great detail, some mention of this kingdom is also found in the epic Mahabharata.

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 to subjection King Vatadhipa. 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?). The long-armed hero having vanquished that monarch marched further to the south. Then he beheld the celebrated caves of Kishkindhya and in that region fought for seven days with the Vanara-kings Mainda and Dwivida. Those illustrious kings however, without being tired in the encounter, were gratified with Sahadeva. And 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 Ramayana

A few chapters of Mahabharata, contains within it, the epic Ramayana in brief.

Places Related to Ramayana

After Vanara king Vali (Ramayana) had been slain by Rama, Sugriva, the younger brother of the king, regained possession of Kishkindhya. Rama, meanwhile dwelt on the beautiful Malyavat Mountains (a mountain range, in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) for four months, duly worshipped by Sugriva all the while.

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

Rama 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 to his own capital-city Ayodhya of Kosala Kingdom

Anjaneya Parvat, said to be birthplace of Lord Hanuman

At the mountain named Hrishyamukha (Risyamuka) where Sugriva and Hanuman spent their exile, due to fear of King Vali is mentioned.

References of Vanaras in Mahabharata

Vanaras were described as one of the Exotic Tribes of Ancient India along with many others, in the epic Mahabharata.

Their kinship with other such tribes are hinted 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 (butterfly-like beings—the angels or fairies in western mythologies) and Valikhilyas (the followers of the movements of the sun) (the last three were linked to the sage Pulaha) were mentioned to have kinship

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

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

Territories of Vanaras

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

See also


  • Sister Nivedita & Ananda K.Coomaraswamy: Myths and Legends of the Hindus and Bhuddhists, Kolkata, 2001 ISBN 81-7505-197-3
  • Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu mythology
  • Mahabharata of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, translated to English by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
  • Ramayana of Valmiki

External links