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The Sudra Kingdom is mentioned as one of the kingdoms of ancient India mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. They were mentioned along with another tribe called the Abhiras along the banks of Sarasvati River where it dried up in the desert. The Yadava Balarama visited this place during his pilgrimage along the partially dried up river Saraswati. After this place, only a dried up river bed existed and the desert or the Maru region began.
References in Mahabharata
There are the Sudras, abhiras, the Dardas, the Kasmiras, and the Pattis; the Kshatriyas; the Atreyas, the Bharadwajas, the Stanaposhikas, the Poshakas, the Kalingas, and diverse tribes of Kiratas; the Tomaras, the Hansamargas, and the Karamanjakas among the kingdoms of Bharata Varsha (6:9).
Expeditions of Nakula
Nakula brought under subjection the mighty Gramaniya that dwelt on the shore of the sea, and the Suras and the Abhiras that dwelt on the banks of the Sarasvati River, and all those tribes that lived upon fisheries, and those also that dwelt on the mountains, and the whole of the country called after the five rivers, and the mountains called Amara, and the country called Uttarayotisha and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala (2:31).
Pilgrimage along Saraswati river
Bala Rama proceeded to Vinasana where the Saraswati hath become invisible in consequence of her contempt for Sudras and Abhiras. And since the Sarasvati, in consequence of such contempt, is lost at that spot, the Rishis, for that reason, always name the place as Vinasana (9:37).
Tribute to king Yudhishthira
The Sura kings that dwelt in the regions on the seacoast, brought with them hundred thousands of serving girls of the Karpasika country, all of beautiful features and luxuriant hair and decked in golden ornaments; and also many skins of the Ranku deer as tribute unto king Yudhishthira (2:50).
In Kurukshetra War
The Madras, the Trigartas the Amvashthas, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Surasenas, the Suras the Maladas, the Sauviras, the Kaitavas, the Easterners, and the Southerners placing Duryodhana and Karna at their head, forming the rear guard, gladdened warriors of their own army (7:7). The Kalingas, the Singhalas, the Easterners, the Suras, the Abhiras, the D3aserakas, the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Kamvojas, the Hangsapadas, the Surasenas, the Daradas, the Madras, and the Kalikeyas, with hundreds and thousands of elephants, steeds, cars, and foot-soldiers were stationed at the neck of the Kaurava battle-array (7:20).
King Usinara and Kakshivat
Gautama Dirghatamas of rigid vows begat on the Sudra woman Ausinari (the daughter of king Usinara) Kakshivat and other celebrated sons (2:21, 12:172). These sons later became the kings of Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundra and Suhma.
King Devaka had a daughter endued with youth and beauty and begotten upon a Sura wife. Bringing her from her father’s abode, Bhishma married her to Vidura of great wisdom. And Vidura begot upon her many children like unto himself in accomplishments (1:114).
- Ganguli, Krisna Mohan. The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Second Book Sabha Parva. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-4068-7044-2.