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The approximate extent of Iron Age (Vedic civilization) 'Āryāvarta' is highlighted in pale yellow

Āryāvarta[pronunciation?] (Sanskrit: आर्यावर्त, "abode of the Aryans") is the name for present-day Pakistan and North India in classical Sanskrit literature.

Classical sources[edit]

The Manu Smriti (2.22) gives the name to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".[1][2]

The Vasistha Dharma Sutra I.8-9 and 12-13 locates Āryāvarta to the east of the disappearance of the Sarasvati in the desert, to the west of Kalakavana, to the north of the mountains of Pariyatra and Vindhya and to the south of the Himalaya.[3]

Baudhayana Dharmasutra (BDS) gives similar definitions and declares that Āryāvarta is the land that lies west of Kalakavana, east of Adarsana, south of the Himalayas and north of the Vindhyas, but in BDS Āryāvarta is confined to the Ganges - Yamuna doab, and BDS Patañjali's Mahābhāṣya[citation needed] defines Āryāvarta like the Vasistha Dharma Sutra.

Some sutras recommend expiatory acts for those who have crossed the boundaries of Āryāvarta. Baudhayana Shrauta Sutra recommends this for those who have crossed the boundaries of Āryāvarta and ventured into far away places.[citation needed]

The Gurjar Pratihar king in the tenth century was entitled as Maharajadhiraja of Aryavarta.[4]


  1. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 70. 
  2. ^ Michael Cook (2014), Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press, p.68: "Aryavarta [...] is defined by Manu as extending from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhyas of Central India in the south and from the sea in th west to the sea in the east."
  3. ^ Jason Neelis (2010), Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange Within and Beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia, BRILL, p.194: "Aryvarta begins east of where the Sarsavati disappears, effectively excluding the Punjab, the Indus river valley, and the northwestern borderlands."
  4. ^ André Wink (2002). Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th-11th centuries. BRILL. p. 284. ISBN 0-391-04173-8, ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8. 


See also[edit]