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Dakshinapatha is a historical region which has been used to describe either:
- the "Ancient South of the Indian subcontinent" below Uttarapatha. The term can encompass Dravida, Sri Lanka, the Tamil Eelam region, the Lakshadweep region, and the Maldives.
- the "great southern highway" in India, traveling from Magadha to Pratishthana, or
- a kingdom on the Godavari River in southern India
The Dakshinapatha trade route was one of two great highways that have connected different parts of the sub-continent since the Iron Age. The other highway was the Uttarapatha or the great northern road that ran from Taxila in Afganisthan, through the modern Punjab up to the western coast of Yamuna. Following the course of Yamuna it went southwards up to Mathura, from there it passed on to Ujjain in Malwa and to Broach on western coast. According to "Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India's Geography" by Sanjeev Sanyal, the trajectory of the northern road has remained roughly the same from pre-Mauryan times and is now NH2. However, the southern road appears to have drifted. Rama's route into exile in the epic may have been an early version of the road, but by the time of Buddha it started at Varanasi and ran through Vidisha in central India, to Pratishthana (Paithan). It probably extended all the way to Chola, Chera and Pandya kingdoms of the extreme south. By the Mauryan period there would have been a branch from Ujjain to the ports of Gujarat. This made Ujjain a major city by Gupta times. Today Dakshinapatha is known as NH7, which runs much further east of the old road but still meets NH2 at Varanasi.
- Singh, U. (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education. p. 289. ISBN 9788131711200. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
- "Dakkhināpatha". palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.