Abhira Kingdom

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Abhira Kingdom
248 A.D.–315 or 415 A.D.[1]
Vedic Hinduism
Janaka (King or Chief)[citation needed] 
Historical eraEarly Classical
• Established
248 A.D.
• Disestablished
315 or 415 A.D.[1]
Today part ofIndia

The Abhira kingdom in the Mahabharata is either of two kingdoms near the Sarasvati river. They were dominated by the Abhiras, sometimes referred to as Surabhira also, combining both Sura and Abhira kingdoms. Modern day Abhira territory lies within Northern areas of Gujarat and Southern Rajasthan, India.[3][4]

Reference to Abhiras in literature[edit]

According to the Puranas[edit]

All the kshatriya (warrior caste) were killed in a massacre led by Parshuram. Only the Abhiras survived by escaping into the craters between mountains. The sage Markandeya remarked that all Kshatriya have been killed but Abhira have survived they will surely rule the earth in Kaliyuga." Vātsyāyana also mentions the Abhira kingdoms in the Kama Sutra.[5] References of Abhira being residents of kingdom ruled by Yudhisthira is found in Bhagwatam.[6]

Abhiras are mentioned as warriors in support of Duryodhana in Mahabharta war.[7][8] The Gopas, whom Krishna had offered to Duryodhana to fight in his support when he himself joined Arjuna's side, were no other than the Yadavas themselves, who were also the Abhiras.[9][10][11] Their king, Chitra, was killed by Prativindhya, the son of Yudhishthira and Draupadi. The Abhiras also have been described as Vrata Kshatriyas. The Abhir, Gopa, Gopal.[12] and Yadavas are all synonyms.[13][14][15] They defeated the hero of Mahabharatha war, sparing him when he disclosed the identity of the members of the family of Sri Krishna.[16]

Abhira kingdom of Maharashtra[edit]

The Abhiras established a large kingdom in Maharashtra, succeeding the Satavahanas, which included Nasik, Aparanta, Lata, Khandesh and Vidarbha.[17][18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya (1974). Some Early Dynasties of South India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 128–130. ISBN 978-81-208-2941-1.
  2. ^ B.H. Mehta (2017). Gonds of the Central Indian Highlands Vol II. Concept Publishing Company. p. 569. GGKEY:DDRXNHQXYN8.
  3. ^ Numismatic Society of India (1991). The Journal of the Numismatic Society of India. Vol. 53. ISSN 0029-6066.
  4. ^ The Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Volume 53
  5. ^ Sircar, Dineschandra (1971). Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 978-81-208-0690-0.
  6. ^ "Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 2 Chapter 4 Verse 18". vedabase.net. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  7. ^ Man in India – Google Books. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  8. ^ Man in India, Volume 54-page-39
  9. ^ Man in India – Google Books. 1974. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  10. ^ Shah, Popatlal Govindlal (13 February 2009). Ethnic history of Gujarat – Popatlal Govindlal Shah – Google Books. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  11. ^ Ethnic history of Gujarat
  12. ^ Regmi, D. R. (1 December 1973). Ancient Nepal – D. R. Regmi, Nepal Institute of Asian Studies – Google Books. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ Kapoor, Subodh (2002). Encyclopaedia of ancient Indian ... – Subodh Kapoor – Google Books. ISBN 9788177552980. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ Rao, M. S. A. (14 December 2006). Social movements and social ... – M. S. A. Rao – Google Books. ISBN 9780333902554. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  15. ^ Rao, M. S. A. (14 December 2006). Social movements and social ... – M. S. A. Rao – Google Books. ISBN 9780333902554. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  16. ^ Singh Yadav, J. N. (28 August 2007). Yadavas through the ages, from ... – J. N. Singh Yadav – Google Books. ISBN 9788185616032. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  17. ^ Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya (1974). Some Early Dynasties of South India. History. Motilal. p. 129. ISBN 9788120829411.
  18. ^ Subodh Kapoor (2002). Encyclopaedia of Ancient Indian Geography, Volume 1. Geography. Cosmo Publications. p. 2. ISBN 9788177552980.
  19. ^ Central Provinces District Gazetteers- Nagpur.
  • Kisari Mohan Ganguli, The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose, 1883–1896.