Bharata Khanda

Western parts of India were dominated by tribes who had a slightly different culture that was considered as non-Vedic by the mainstreamVedic cultureprevailed in theKuruand Panchala kingdoms. Similarly there were some tribes in the eastern regions of India, considered to be in this category. Tribes with non-Vedic culture specially those of barbaric nature were collectively termed asMlechha. Very little was mentioned in the ancientIndianliterature, about the kingdoms to the North, beyond theHimalayasChinawas mentioned as a kingdom known as Cina, often grouped withMlechchakingdoms.

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Tribes and kingdoms mentioned in the

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To know about the mythological aspects of these exotic tribes seeHindu mythology. To know about the historical significance of these tribes see theExotic tribes of ancient India.

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The table lands and valleys of the greatHimalayanMountain Ranges, which were almost inaccessible to the people settled in theGangesSarasvati RiverandSindhuriver valleys, were inhabited by tribes who had very little interactions with the rest of the world. The domains of these tribes are listed below:

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Dikshitar, Ramachandra (1993-01-01).

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Map showing the locations of Kingdoms mentioned in the Indian epics or Bharata Khanda.

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There was no border security for a kingdom and border disputes were very rare. One king might conduct a military campaign (often designated asDigvijayameaningvictory over all the directions) and defeat another king in a battle, lasting for a day. The defeated king would acknowledge the supremacy of the victorious king. The defeated king might sometimes be asked to give a tribute to the victorious king. Such tribute would be collected only once, not on a periodic basis. The defeated king, in most cases, would be free to rule his own kingdom, without maintaining any contact with the victorious king. There was no annexation of one kingdom by another. Often a military general conducted these campaigns on behalf of his king. A military campaign and tribute collection was often associated with a great sacrifice (likeRajasuyaorAshvamedha) conducted in the kingdom of the campaigning king. The defeated king also was invited to attend these sacrifice ceremonies, as a friend and ally.

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Bharata Khanda(orBharata Ksetra[1]) is a term used inHindu texts, including theVedas,Mahabharata,Ramayanaand thePuranic, to describe the geographic region that encompassed the modern countries ofAfghanistanBangladeshIndiaPakistanNepalBhutanMaldivesSri LankaandMyanmarthat is,South Asiaat the terms furthest extent. The historical context of theSanskrit epicsare theVedic period(1700-600 BC),Mahajanapadas(600 BC) and the subsequent formation of theMaurya Empire(322 BCE), the beginning of the golden age ofClassical Sanskrit literature.

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Often rivers formed the boundaries of two neighboring kingdoms, as was the case between the northern and southernPanchalaand between the western (Pandavas Kingdom) and eastern (Kauravas Kingdom)Kuru. Sometimes, large forests, which were larger than the kingdoms themselves, formed their boundaries as was the case of theNaimisha Forestbetween Panchala andKosalakingdoms. Mountain ranges like Himalaya, Vindhya and Sahya also formed their boundaries.

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Some kingdoms possessed a main city that served as its capital. For example, the capital of Pandavas Kingdom wasIndraprasthaand the Kauravas Kingdom wasHastinapuraAhichatrawas the capital of Northern Panchala whereasKampilyawas the capital of Southern Panchala.Kosala Kingdomhad its capital asAyodhya. Apart from the main city or capital, where the palace of the ruling king was situated, there were small towns and villages spread in a kingdom. Tax was collected by the officers appointed by the king from these villages and towns. What the king offered in return to these villages and towns was protection from the attack of other kings and robber tribes, as well as from invading foreign nomadic tribes. The king also enforced code and order in his kingdom by punishing the guilty.

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In Hindu scriptures, Bharata Khanda is habitable world; the known land as experienced by the writers.[2][3][4]It is named after the legendary emperorBharata.

New kingdoms were formed when a major clan produced more than one King in a generation. TheKuru (kingdom)clan of Kings was very successful in governing throughout North India with their numerous kingdoms, which were formed after each successive generation. Similarly, theYadavaclan of kings formed numerous kingdoms in Central India.

Pandyan Dynasty, c. 1251 c. 1323 CE

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This is a list of ancient kingdoms as reflected in the epic of the

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