|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2015)|
|Historical era||Bronze Age India, Iron Age India|
|-||Established||c. 1200 BCE|
|-||Disestablished||c. 6th century BCE|
|Outline of South Asian history|
The Janapadas (Sanskrit: जनपद pronounced [dʒənəpəd̪ə]) were the realms, republics and kingdoms of the Indian Vedic period late Bronze Age into the (Iron Age) from about 1200 BC to the 6th century BC coinciding with the rise of sixteen great Mahajanapadas most of the states were later annexed by more powerful neighbours whilst others remained independent.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Geography
- 3 Interactions between kingdoms
- 4 Cultural differences in the kingdoms
- 5 Lists of janapadas
- 5.1 Abravantis
- 5.2 Andhra
- 5.3 Anga
- 5.4 Ajada
- 5.5 Ashmaka
- 5.6 Avanti
- 5.7 Bahlika
- 5.8 Bhārata
- 5.9 Chola
- 5.10 Chinas
- 5.11 Dakshinatya
- 5.12 Darada
- 5.13 Dasharna
- 5.14 Dasherka
- 5.15 Ghandhara
- 5.16 Garga
- 5.17 Kasmira
- 5.18 Kalakuta
- 5.19 Kalinga
- 5.20 Kamboja
- 5.21 Karusha
- 5.22 Kasi
- 5.23 Kerala
- 5.24 Kirata
- 5.25 Kosala
- 5.26 Kuru
- 5.27 Kunti
- 5.28 Madraka
- 5.29 Maha-Chinas
- 5.30 Magadha
- 5.31 Malava
- 5.32 Mekhalas
- 5.33 Mleccha
- 5.34 Mudgala
- 5.35 Niharas
- 5.36 Panchala
- 5.37 Pandya
- 5.38 Paravartaka
- 5.39 Pishacha
- 5.40 Pratyagratha
- 5.41 Prasthala
- 5.42 Pundra
- 5.43 Pulinda
- 5.44 Sakadwipa
- 5.45 Salva
- 5.46 Salveya
- 5.47 Surasena
- 5.48 Tangana
- 5.49 Trigarta
- 5.50 Ursa
- 5.51 Utkala
- 5.52 Vidarbha
- 5.53 Vanga
- 5.54 Vatadhana
- 5.55 Vatsa
- 5.56 Videha
- 5.57 Yavana
- 6 See also
- 7 References
The term janapada is a tatpurusha compound term, composed of janas "people" or "subject" (cf. Latin cognate genus, English cognate kin) and pada "foot" (cf. Latin cognate pedis). From its earliest attestation, the word has had a double meaning of "realm, territory" and "subject population". A janapadin is the ruler of a janapada. Janapada's were the earliest gathering places of men, merchants, artisans and craftsmen akin to marketplace or town surrounded by hamlets and villages.
Linguist George Dunkel compares the Greek andrapodon "slave", to PIE *pédom "fetters" (i.e. "what is attached to the feet"). Sanskrit padám, usually taken to mean "footprint, trail", diverges in accent from the PIE reconstruction. For the sense of "population of the land", padasya janas, the inverted padajana would be expected. A primary meaning of "place of the people", janasya padam, would not explain why the compound is of masculine gender. An original dvandva "land and people" is conceivable, but a dual inflection would be expected.
In the Inscriptions of ancient India the subcontinent is generally divided into two parts namely (1) Āryāvarta (Northern India) and (2) the Dakshinapatha (Southern India). Āryāvarta is then subdivided into (1) the Madhyadesa (Middle India), (2) the Prachya (Eastern India), (3) the Aparanta (Western India), (4) the Udichya or north/north-west division. Outside of Aryavarta there are two more regions, (1) the Vindyavasins, and (2) the Parvatashrayins. The Bhuvanakosa Section of numerous Puranas refers to many Janapadas of ancient times (See: Kirfel's list of the countries of Bhuvanakosha). By about the sixth century BCE, many of these Janapadas further evolved into larger political entities by the process of merger and land grabbing which eventually led to the formation of bigger kingdoms known in Buddhist texts as the Mahajanapadas or the great nations (a karmadharaya of maha "great" and janapada "country").
- Notes: For a more extensive list of ancient kingdoms as reflected in the epic of the Mahabharata ca. (9th to 3rd century BC) see the article Bharata Khanda. Bharata Khanda (or Bharata Ksetra) is a term used in Hindu texts, including the Vedas, Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranic, to describe the geographic region that encompassed the modern countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan. Nepal and Sri Lanka. The historical context of the Sanskrit epics are the Vedic period (1700-600 BC) Mahajanapadas (600 BC) and the subsequent formation of the Maurya Empire (322 BCE), the beginning of the "golden age" of Classical Sanskrit literature.
The boundaries of the kingdoms
Often rivers formed the boundaries of two neighboring kingdoms, as was the case between the northern and southern Panchala and between the western (Pandava's Kingdom) and eastern (Kaurava's Kingdom) Kuru. Sometimes, large forests, which were larger than the kingdoms themselves, formed their boundaries as was the case of the Naimisha Forest between Panchala and Kosala kingdoms. Mountain ranges like Himalaya, Vindhya and Sahya also formed their boundaries.
The cities and villages
Some kingdoms possessed a main city that served as its capital. For example, the capital of Pandava's Kingdom was Indraprastha and the Kaurava's Kingdom was Hastinapura. Ahichatra was the capital of Northern Panchala whereas Kampilya was the capital of Southern Panchala. Kosala Kingdom had its capital as Ayodhya. 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.
Interactions between kingdoms
There was no border security for a kingdom and border disputes were very rare. One king might conduct a military campaign (often designated as Digvijaya meaning victory 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 (like Rajasuya or Ashvamedha) conducted in the kingdom of the campaigning king. The defeated king also was invited to attend these sacrifice ceremonies, as a friend and ally.
New kingdoms were formed when a major clan produced more than one King in a generation. The Kuru (kingdom) clan of Kings was very successful in governing throughout North India with their numerous kingdoms, which were formed after each successive generation. Similarly, the Yadava clan of kings formed numerous kingdoms in Central India.
Cultural differences in the kingdoms
Main article Bahlika Culture
Western parts of India were dominated by tribes who had a slightly different culture that was considered as non-Vedic by the mainstream Vedic culture prevailed in the Kuru and 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 as Mlechha. Very little was mentioned in the ancient Indian literature, about the kingdoms to the North, beyond the Himalayas. China was mentioned as a kingdom known as Cina, often grouped with Mlechcha kingdoms.
Lists of janapadas
Ancient Sanskrit texts like Ashtadhyayi (IV.4.168-175), Ramayana (IV/41-43), Mahabharata (VII/11/16-17; VIII/8/18-20)) and numerous Puranas (Bhuvanakosa list of countries) refer to many Janapadas of ancient times below is a combined sequence of Janapadas taken from the Pāṇini's Ashtadhyayi list of 15 Janapada. In the context of Krsna digvijay, the Mahabharata it furnishes a key list of 27 ancient Janapadas whilst the Ramayana (an earlier list) includes 29 ancient Janapadas. Some states indicated here overlap on the some or all of lists mentioned.
Andhra (Telugu: ఆంధ్ర) in Indian epic literature was a kingdom mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. It was a southern kingdom. Andhra and Kalinga are often used interchangeably. Andhras are sub-tribes of Andhra satavahanas. The state Andhra Pradesh got its name from this kingdom. Andhra Tribes are also mentioned in the Vayu and Matsya Purana. In the Mahabharata the infantry of Satyaki was composed of a tribe called Andhras, known for their long hair, tall stature, sweet language, and mighty prowess. They lived along the banks of the Godavari river. Andhras and Kalingas supported the Kauravas during the Mahabharata war. Sahadeva defeated the kingdoms of Pandya, Andhra, Kalinga, Dravida, Odra and Chera while performing the Rajasuya yajna. Buddhist references to Andhras are also found.   The Andhras trace their history to the vedic age. Andhra was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (ca. 800 BCE). According to Aitareya Brahmana of the Rig veda, Andhras left the North India and migrated to South India.
Anga is described in the Mahabharata as a kingdom in the eastern parts of India. In the Mahabharata, the Anga king Romapada was a friend of Kosala king Dasharatha. Kosala Princess Santha, elder to Raghava Rama, lived as the daughter of Romapada, since he was childless. Duryodhana established Karna as the ruler of Angas. It is believed that there were many Anga kings who ruled different parts of Anga kingdom, contemporary to Karna. Champapuri was the capital of Anga ruled by Karna. Magadha (south-west Bihar) king Jarasandha gifted another city called Malinipuri, to the Anga king Karna. It later became one of the sixteen great Mahajanapada states of India.
Assaka (Sanskrit: अश्मक, Aśmaka Pali: Assaka), was a region of ancient India (700–300 BCE). It was one of the solasa (sixteen) mahajanapadas in the 6th century BCE, mentioned in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya. The region was located on the banks of the Godavari river, between the rivers Godavari and Manjira. It was the only Mahajanapada situated to the south of the Vindhya Range, and was in Dakshinapatha.
The historical Avanti Kingdom of ancient India is described in the Mahabharata epic. Avanti was divided into north and south by river Vetravati. Initially, Mahissati (Sanskrit Mahishamati) was the capital of Southern Avanti, and Ujjaini (Sanskrit Ujjayini) was of northern Avanti, but at the times of Mahavira and Buddha, Ujjaini was the capital of integrated Avanti. The country of Avanti roughly corresponded to modern Malwa, Nimar and adjoining parts of the Madhya Pradesh.
The Bahlikas (Hindi: बाह्लिक Bāhlika) were the inhabitants of Balikha, mentioned in Atharvaveda, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, Vartikka of Katyayana, Brhatsamhita, Amarkosha etc. and in the ancient Inscriptions. The other variations of Bahlika are Bahli, Balhika, Vahlika, Valhika, Bahlava, Bahlam/Bahlim, Bahlayana and Bahluva
Bhāratas' were a tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. In the "river hymn" RV 3.33, the entire Bharata rulers are described as crossing a river Yamuna. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni (literally, "to be maintained", viz. the fire having to be kept alive by the care of men), and as a name of Rudra in RV 2.36.8. Mandala 7 (7.18 etc.) mentions the Bharatas as taking part in the Battle of the Ten Kings, where they are on the winning side. Due to the victory of the Bharata chieftain Sudas in this battle, the Bharata rulers were able to settle in the Kurukshetra area. They appear to have been successful in the early power-struggles between the various Aryan and non-Aryan rulers so that in post-Vedic (Epic) tradition, the Mahābhārata, the eponymous ancestor becomes Emperor Bharata, the ancient conqueror of all of India, and his ruler and kingdom is called Bhārata.
The Chola Kingdom (also called Choda and Cholan) was an ancient dynasty of southern India. Together with the Chera and Pandya dynasties, the Cholas formed the three main dynasties of Iron Age India, who were collectively known as the Three Crowned Kings. The earliest datable references to the dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE, left by Ashoka of the Maurya Empire, and in the ancient Sangam literature. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power from the later half of the 9th century until the beginning of the 13th century.
The Chinas or Chīnaḥ (Sanskrit चीन:) are a people mentioned in ancient Indian literature from the first millennium BC, such as the Mahabharata, Laws of Manu, as well the Puranic literature. They are believed to have been Chinese. The Sanskrit epic work Mahabharata (between the 8th and 9th centuries BC) contains certain references to China, referring to its people as the Chinas tribe. Chinas is mentioned as one among the northern kingdoms: Mahabharata, Book 6, chapter 9 (MBh.6.9) mentions like this:- Among the tribes of the north are the Mlecchas, and the Kruras, the Yavanas, the Chinas, the Kamvojas, the Darunas, and many Mleccha tribes; the Sukritvahas, the Kulatthas, the Hunas, and the Parasikas; the Ramanas, and the Dasamalikas.
Darada was a kingdom north to the Kashmir valley. Their kingdom is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. They are often spoken along with the Kambojas. The Pandava hero Arjuna had visited this country of Daradas during his northern military campaign to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.
Dasharna (Sanskrit:दशार्ण Daśārṇa) was an ancient Indian janapada (realm) in eastern Malwa region between the Dhasan River and the Betwa River. The name of the janapada was derived from the Daśārṇa, the ancient name of the Dhasan River. The janapada was also known as Akara and Rudradaman I in his Junagarh rock inscription referred to this region by this name. Kalidasa in his Meghaduta (Purvamegha,24-25) mentioned the city of Vidisha as the capital of Dasharna. Other important cities of this janapada were Erakina and Erikachha. According to the Mahabharata, the queen of king Virabahu or Subahu of Chedi kingdom and the queen of king Bhima of Vidarbha (the mother of Damayanti) were daughters of the king of Dasharna.
Gandhāra (Pashto: ګندارا, Urdu: گندھارا, Avestan: Vaēkərəta, Sanskrit: गन्धार) was an ancient kingdom (1500-500 BC) of Peshawar extending to the Swat valley, and potohar plateau regions of Pakistan as well as the Jalalabad district of northeastern Afghanistan, is a Bactrian kingdom grouped among the western Iranic kingdoms in the epic Mahabharata. The epic Ramayana also mentions it as a western kingdom. Gandhara prince Shakuni was the root of all the conspiracies of Duryodhana against the Pandavas, which finally resulted in the Kurukshetra War.
Kasmira was a kingdom identified as the Kashmir Valley along the Jhelum River of the modern Jammu and Kashmir state. Possibly, the sage Kashyapa or a descendant of this sage lived here, since the name Kas is derived from the name Kashyapa like the name Caspian of the Caspian Sea. During the epic ages this was one among the territories of the Naga race. The Naga are related to Kashyapa; according to the Puranas, the Naga race originated from Kashyapa. The Kasmiras were allies of the Kuru king Duryodhana.
Kalinga (Odia: କଳିଙ୍ଗ, Devnagari- कळिंग, Telugu- కళింగ) forms the sea shore of Orissa and Andhra region of Andhra pradesh up to river Godavari state in India. Kuru king Duryodhana's wife was from Kalinga. Kalingas sided with Duryodhana in the Kurukshetra War. The founders of five eastern kingdoms, which included: Angas (east, central Bihar), Vangas (southern West Bengal and Bangladesh), Kalingas (Sea shore of Orissa), Pundras (western Bangladesh and West Bengal, India), Suhmas (north-western Bangladesh and West Bengal) shared common ancestry. Two capitals (Dantapura and Rajapura) of Kalinga were mentioned in Mahabharata, probably there were many Kalinga kings, ruling different territories of Kalinga the state later developed into a powerful republic.
Kamboja In ancient literature, the Kamboja confederacy is variously associated with the Gandhara, Darada and the Bahlika (Bactria). Ancient Kamboja is known to have comprised regions on either side of the Hindukush. The original Kamboja was located in eastern Oxus country as neighbor to Bahlika, but with time, some clans of the Kambojas appear to have crossed the Hindukush and planted colonies on its southern side also. These latter Kambojas are associated with the Daradas and Gandharas in Indian literature and also find mention in the Edicts of Ashoka. The Kambojas were also a well known republican people since Epic times.
The Karusha Kingdom is one of the Yadava kingdoms of the Mahabharata epic. It is placed to the south of Chedi. Karusha king Dantavaktra supported Chedi king Sishupala and was killed by Vasudeva Krishna. Karusha Kingdom is identified as modern Datia district of Madhya Pradesh.
The kingdom of Kasi was located in the region around its capital Varanasi, bounded by the Varuna and Asi rivers in the north and south which gave Varanasi its name. Before Buddha, Kasi was the most powerful of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. Several jataka tales bear witness to the superiority of its capital over other cities in India and speak highly of its prosperity and opulence. These stories tell of the long struggle for supremacy between Kashi and the three kingdoms of Kosala, Anga and Magadha. Although King Brihadratha of Kashi conquered Kosala, Kashi was later incorporated into Kosala by King Kansa during Buddha's time. The Kashis along with the Kosalas and Videhans find mention in Vedic texts and appear to have been a closely allied people. The Matsya Purana and Alberuni spell Kashi as Kausika and Kaushaka respectively. All other ancient texts read Kashi.
Keralas or Udra Keralas are a dynasty mentioned in Sanskrit epics of ancient India. In Mahabharata, the Keralas rule over a kingdom which took part in the Kurukshetra War on the side of the Pandavas. According the Puranas, the navigators and survivors of the Yadavas of Dwaraka also settled in Kerala later, resulting in the cult of Krishna worship. And some remnants of the Sinhalas of Sri Lanka and of the Naga culture are also found here. This Kerala Kingdom has been identified with the Chera kingdom, which existed from 5th century BC to 12th century AD in present-day Kerala state
Kirata Kingdom in Sanskrit literature and Hindu mythology refers to any kingdom of the Kirata people, who were dwellers mostly in the Himalayas (mostly eastern Himalaya). They took part in the Kurukshetra War along with Parvatas (mountaineers) and other Himalayan tribes. They were widespread in the folds and valleys of Himalayas in Nepal and Bhutan, and also migrated to Indian states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Darjeeling,West Bengal Assam and Tripura including west mountain of Pakistan. Kirata dynasty was established by king Yalamber.
Kosala (Sanskrit: कोसल) was an ancient Indian kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh. It emerged as a small state during the late Vedic period, with connections to the neighboring realm of Videha. According to the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya and the Jaina text, the Bhagavati Sutra, Kosala was one of the Solasa (sixteen) Mahajanapadas (powerful realms) in 6th to 5th centuries BCE and its cultural and political strength earned it the status of a great power. However, it was later weakened by a series of wars with the neighbouring kingdom of Magadha and, in the 4th century BCE, was finally absorbed by it.
Kuru (Sanskrit: कुरु) was the name of a Vedic Aryan federated tribal kingdom in northern[note 1] Iron Age India, encompassing the modern-day states of Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and western part of Uttar Pradesh, which appeared in the Middle Vedic period (c. 1200 – c. 850 BCE) and developed into the first recorded state-level society in South Asia around 1000 BCE during this period it became one of the most dominant states.
The Kunti Kingdom was the kingdom of Kunti-Bhoja, one of the prominent kings among the Bhoja Yadavas. Kunti, the mother of Pandavas and the first wife of Kuru king Pandu, was the adopted daughter of Kuntibhoja. Her given name was Pritha and she was a sister of Vasudeva, the father of Vasudeva Krishna. The Kunti kingdom was neighbor to the Avanti Kingdom and was probably to the north of Avanti.
Magadha was a kingdom (1200-322 BC) ruled by Vedic civilization kings. Jarasandha was the greatest among them during epic times. His capital was Rajagriha or Rajgir a modern hill resort in Bihar. Jarasandha's continuous assault on the Yadava kingdom of Surasena resulted in their withdrawal from central India to western India. Jarasandha was a threat not only for Yadavas but also for Kurus. Pandava Bhima killed him in a wrestling duel. Thus Yudhisthira, the Pandava king, could complete his campaign of bringing the whole of Indian kingdoms to his sway, release the imprisoned kings and start his preparations for the Rajsuya sacrifice.
The Malava kingdom is one among the many kingdoms ruled by the Yadava kings in the central and western India (Malwa region) that are mentioned in the Mahabharata. Sometimes Avanti and Malava were described to be the same country. They were originally a western tribe, in Punjab province of Pakistan. Later they migrated to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states of India. In recorded history of India, there were a royal tribe called Malavas. They were believed to be the descendants of the Malavas.
Mleccha (from Vedic Sanskrit mleccha meaning "non-Vedic", "barbarian", also romanized as "Mlechchha" or "Maleccha") referred to people of foreign extraction in ancient India. Mleccha was used much as bárbaros (Ancient Greek: βάρβαρος) was used in Classical antiquity: originally to indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behaviour, and also used as a derogatory term in the sense of "impure and/or "inferior" people. The Vayu, Matsya and Brahmanda Puranas state that the seven Himalayan rivers pass through mleccha countries. The Brahmanas place mlecchas outside the varna system. Later Vedic literature speaks of the western Anava tribes as mlecchas and occupying northern Punjab, Sindh and eastern Rajasthan. The tribes of the north were mlecchas either because they were located on the frontiers such as Gandhara, Kashmira and Kambojas and therefore both their speech and culture had become contaminated and differed from that of Aryavarta, or else, as in the case of South Indians, they were once Aryas but having forsaken the Vedic rituals were regarded to mleccha status.
Panchala (Sanskrit: पञ्चाल, Pañcāla) was the name of an ancient kingdom of northern India, located in the Ganges-Yamuna Doab of the upper Gangetic plain, encompassing the modern-day states of Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh. During Late Vedic times (c.850-500 BCE), it was one of the most powerful states of South Asia, closely allied with the Kuru Kingdom. By the c. 5th century BCE, it had become an oligarchic confederacy, considered as one of the solasa (sixteen) mahajanapadas (major states) of South Asia. After being absorbed into the Mauryan Empire (322-185 BCE), Panchala regained its independence until it was annexed by the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.
The Pandyan or Pandiyan Kingdom or Pandian Dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being the Chola and the Chera. No other dynasty in the world has ruled more duration than Pandya. If you refer ancient Mahabharata text[where?] you can see The name of Pandya King and they have survived till the early British conquest. The Pandya King, along with Chera King and Chola King, together were called as Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam. The dynasty ruled parts of South India from around 600 BCE (Early Pandyan Kingdom
The origin of Piśāca is unknown, although it maybe be the personification of the will-o'-the-wisp. or the demonization of some Indian tribes by Aryans who lived in the Piśāca Kingdom. Pāṇini, in his Aṣṭādhyāyi, described the Piśāca as a "warrior clan". In the Mahābhārata, the "Piśāca people" (equivalent to the modern day Nuristani people) are said to live in Northwest India and they are descendants of Prajāpati Kaśyapa.
Prasthala was the kingdom of king Susharman of as per epic Mahabharata, the city of Prasthala was under the constant attack of Matsya kings like the king Virata. Susharman tried to avenge the Matsyas with the help of Duryodhana of Hastinapura, but the attempt was foiled by the Pandavas staying in the domains of the Matsyas. Prasthala is identified to be the modern city Jalandhar in Punjab, India.
Pundra (also known as Paundra, Paundraya, Purnia etc.) was an eastern kingdom located in West Bengal, Bangladesh and Purnia (now in Bihar, India). A Pundra king challenged Vasudeva Krishna by imitating his attributes. He called himself Paundraka Vasudeva. He was later killed by Vasudeva Krishna in a battle. The founders of five eastern kingdoms, which included: Angas, Vangas, Kalingas, Pundras and Suhmas shared a common ancestry.
The Pulinda kingdom and Pulindas (Sanskrit: पुलिंद) were an ancient tribe of India, likely resident in the environs of the Vindhya Range of Central India. The Rock Edicts of Ashoka (269 BCE - 231 BCE) mention the Pulindas, their capital Pulinda-nagara, and their neighboring tribes, based on which their capital is sometimes located in present-day Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh state.
Sakas are described in Sanskrit sources as a Mlechcha tribe grouped along with the Yavanas, Tusharas and Barbaras. They were Soma drinkers, Soma being an intoxicating liquor famous in the land of Devas (gods). There were a group of Sakas called Apa Sakas meaning water dwelling Sakas, probably living around some lake in central Asian steppes. The same name Apa comes in the name 'Apsaras' denoting fairy like women of exceeding beauty dwelling around water filled lakes (Apa := water, Saras := lake) Thus the Sakas are mysteriously connected with the Devas and Apsaras. Sakas took part in Kurukshetra War. Mahabharata mentions about a whole region inhabited by Sakas called Sakadwipa to the north-west of ancient India, at (6:11):-There in that region are, many delightful provinces where Siva is worshipped, and thither repair the Siddhas, the Charanas, and the Devas. The people there are virtuous, and all the four orders are devoted to their respective occupation. No instance of theft can be seen there. Freed from decrepitude and death and gifted with long life, the people there grow like rivers during the season of rains. The rivers there are full of sacred water, and Ganga herself, distributed as she hath been into various currents, is there as Sukumari, and Kumari, and Seta, and Keveraka, and Mahanadi and the river Manijala, and Chakshus, and the river Vardhanika, these and many other rivers by thousands and hundreds, all full of sacred water, are there. It is impossible to recount the names and lengths of rivers. As heard by all men there, in that region of Saka, are four sacred provinces. They are the Mrigas, the Masakas, the Manasas, and the Mandagas.
Surasena' (or Sourasena) (Sanskrit: शूरसेन, Śūrasena) was an ancient Indian kingdom corresponding to the present-day Braj region in Uttar Pradesh. According to the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya, it is mentioned in the Ramayana as an earlier Janapada state from at least 1000 BCE. Surasena was one of the solasa (sixteen) Mahajanapadas (powerful realms) in the 7th century BCE. The ancient Greek writers refer to the region as Sourasenoi and mention its capital as Methora.
Trigarta was a kingdom mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. Mahabharata mentions two different Trigarta kingdoms, one in the west close to the Sivi Kingdom and the other north to the Kuru Kingdom. Modern Kangra is one of the ancient town in North Trigarta, India, extending westward to the Punjab area. Trigarta is the territory around the three rivers of Satluj, Beas, and Ravi. These Trigarta kings were allies of Duryodhana and enemies of Pandavas and Viratas. Their capital was named Prasthala.
Utkala Kingdom (Odia: ଉତ୍କଳ; Devnagari: उत्कल) was located in the northern and eastern portion of the modern-day Indian state of Odisha. This kingdom was mentioned in the epic Mahabharata, with the names Utkala, Utpala, Okkal and Odra desha. It is mentioned in India's national anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
The Vidarbha kingdom in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata is among the many kingdoms ruled by Yadava kings (Bhoja Yadavas). It is the southernmost kingdom within the epic's geographical horizon, south of the Vindhya range, in the region still known as Vidarbha in what is now Central India.
The Vanga Kingdom was a kingdom located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent comprising today's politically divided Bengal region (West Bengal and Bangladesh). It was a seafaring nation of South Asia. The kingdom is referenced in the Mahabharata At (6:9) the Angas, the Vangas and the Kalingas were mentioned as close kingdoms in Bharata Varsha (Ancient India). All regions of sacred waters and all other holy palaces there were in Vanga and Kalinga, Arjuna visited all of them, during his pilgrimage lasting for 12 years throughout the ancient India.
The Vatsas, Vamsas or Vachchas are stated to be an offshoot of the Kurus. The Vatsa or Vamsa kingdom corresponded with the territory of modern Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. It had a monarchical form of government with its capital at Kausambi (identified with the village Kosam, 38 miles from Allahabad). Kausambi was a very prosperous city where a large number of millionaire merchants resided. It was the most important entreport of goods and passengers from the north-west and south. Udayana was the ruler of Vatsa in the sixth century BC, the time of Buddha. He was very powerful, warlike and fond of hunting. Initially king Udayana was opposed to Buddhism but later became a follower of Buddha and made Buddhism the state religion.
Videha' (Sanskrit: विदेह) was an ancient South Asian kingdom, located in what is now Mithila federal region in eastern Terai of Nepal and the northern Indian state of Bihar. During the late Vedic period (c.850-500 BCE), it became a dominant political and cultural centre of South Asia. Late Vedic literature such as the Shatapatha Brahmana and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad both mention Janaka (c. 7th century BCE) as a great philosopher-king of Videha, renowned for his patronage of Vedic culture and philosophy, and whose court was an intellectual centre for Brahmin sages such as Yajnavalkya.
Yavana or Yona was a kingdom in Hindu history that were grouped under western countries along with Sindhu, Madra, Kekeya, Gandhara and Kamboja as per the descriptions in the epic Mahabharata. This word is also used in Indian history to indicate Greeks and later Arabs from 7th century AD.
- Charles Rockwell Lanman (1912), A Sanskrit reader: with vocabulary and notes, Boston: Ginn & Co.,
... jána, m. creature; man; person; in plural, and collectively in singular, folks; a people or race or tribe ... cf. γένος, Lat. genus, Eng. kin, 'race' ...
- Stephen Potter, Laurens Christopher Sargent (1974), Pedigree: the origins of words from nature, Taplinger Publishing Co.,
... *gen-, found in Skt. jana, 'a man', and Gk. genos and L. genus, 'a race' ...
- Dunkel, George (2002), "Indo-European Perspectives (ed. M. R. V. Southern)", Journal of Indo-European Studies (Monograph) (43)
- Dikshitar, Ramachandra (1993-01-01). The Gupta Polity. ISBN 9788120810242.
- "Dance Dialects of India". Ragini Devi. Motilal Bansarsi Dass. ISBN 81-208-0674-3. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
- ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE KURU STATE by Michael Witzel, Harvard University 
- Kisari Mohan Ganguli, The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose, 1883-1896.
- Pandey, S.K. (1981). The Protohistoric Chronology of Daśārṇa Region in M.D. Khare ed. Malwa through the Ages, Bhopal: Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, Govt. of M.P., p.81
- Lahiri, Bela (1972). Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. to 320 A.D.), Calcutta: University of Calcutta, p.78
- Junagarh rock inscription
- Raychaudhuri, H.C. (1972). Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, p.115n
- Mahajan 1960, p. 230.
- Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, pp. 61–63.
- Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, 97–265.
- Raychaudhuri 1972, pp. 85–6.
- Pletcher2010, p. 63.
- Witzel 1995, p. 6.
- Sharma 1978, p. 152.
- Nath, Vijay (2002). "King Vena, Nisāda and Prthu: A Recurrent Purānic Myth Re-Examined". Indian Historical Review 29: 59. doi:10.1177/037698360202900203.
- Witzel, Michael (1995), "Early Sanskritization: Origin and Development of the Kuru state", EJVS vol. 1 no. 4 (1995)
- Sanskṛit-English dictionary : etymologically and philologically arranged with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages (Corrected ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 2005. p. 628. ISBN 81-208-3105-5.
- Hemchandra Raychaudhuri (1953), Political history of ancient India: from the accession of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta dynasty, University of Calcutta, retrieved 2010-05-06,
... Pulindas who are invariably associated with the Nerbudda (Reva) and the Vindhyan region ...
- Devadatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar (2000), Aśoka, Asian Educational Services, ISBN 81-206-1333-3, retrieved 2010-05-06,
... in Rock Edict XIII ... we have to place them somewhere to the north or the north-east of the Andhras ... In the Vayu-Purana, the southern branch of the Pulindas has been placed side by side with the Vindhya-muliyas ... their capital is mentioned as Pulinda-nagara and their kingdom as contiguous with the Chedi country ... the Jubbulpur District ...
- Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 85
- Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 124
- (Mbh 1:217)
- Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, 97–265.
- H.C. Raychaudhuri (1972), Political History of Ancient India and Nepal, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.41–52