Krishna and Arjuna Founder of Indraprastha – Delhi; A Historical Analysis
A proud civilization should showcase its culture in the most magnificent way, highlighting the ancient founders of its cities by building statues and symbols showcasing its ancientness.
The American US nation, despite its origins tracing back to only a few centuries, projects its founding fathers in great detail. Hollywood works to glorify the American culture however small it is, but Bollywood cares little about the Sanatana Dharma Samskrti which is many thousand years old and many thousand times richer. It is several times older than the American culture. While we hope that the current controversy in Bollywood will rectify our film industry at the end of this Samhara Tandava of truth, we can’t wait doing other important things to illuminate the glory of our Bharatiya Dharma Samskrti in the other ways possible.
Hence this attention onto our national capital Delhi!
The oldest reference to the Delhi region is in the Mahabharata where what is now Delhi to the west of Yamuna river is mentioned as a barren bush land called Kurujangala. Undeveloped, uncultivated barren land with full of forest bushes was known as Khandavaprastha to its south. The aridity of the desert (Maru) to its south-west has slightly encroached this region. Some Nagas were living in Khandava on top of an elevated southern hill, the northern end of the Aravali hills (known in Mahabharata as the Arbuda Parvata).
The Pandavas were given this uncultivable bush land as their kingdom by Dhrtarashtra so that he can later make his son Duryodhana as the king of the prosperous eastern Kuru Rashtra to the east of Yamuna and award the much wealthy city Hastinapura (the city of elephants) on the Western bank of Ganga as the capital of Duryodhana’s domain.
Actually this city Hastinapura was ruled by the father of the Pandavas, viz Pandu and it rightly belonged to the Pandavas with the eldest Yudhisthira supposed to be the king of Hastinapura. Pandu hadworked hard to increase the prosperity of Hastinapura by bringing much wealth from the kingdoms like Panchala, Dasarana, Kunti, Kashi, Magadha, Videha, Pundra and Suhma in his military campaign.
Due to premature ill health, Pandu had to retire early into the Satasringa forests in the Himalayan foothills (now in Uttarakhand) leaving the kingdom to his elder brother Dhrtarashtra. Pandu died in the forest. The Pandavas in their childhood returned to Hastinapura. Duryodhana tried to kill them in the Lakshagriha by setting it to fire at Varanavati (Barnava), but they escaped due to the intelligence of the wise Vidura. They wandered around and finally married Panchali at Kampilya (Kampil) which turned their luck. When the Pandavas thus returned to Hastinapura with prosperity, Dhrtarashtra send them to Kurujangala asking them to rule there, instead of handing over the throne of Hastinapura to Yudhisthira who was its rightful heir.
The mother of the Pandavas, viz Prtha (famous as Kunti since she was the princess of the Kunti Rashtra) had a brother Vasudeva. His son was Krishna. He was much fond of the Pandavas and noticed their hardships right from the childhood much like his own childhood full of hardships. He met them at Kampilya during Draupadi Swayamvara. Knowing that the Pandavas were given a waste land as their kingdom, Krishna thought about how he built Dwaraka in the abandoned island of Kusastali in the western ocean with the help of Vishvakarma.
Krishna joined the Pandavas in building a new city from scratch. Years of hard work paid off and a grand white colored city arose on the western banks of Yamuna under the guidance of Yadava Krishna and Pandava Arjuna, his friend and cousin-brother. Arjuna was in charge of all construction works.
This region between Yamuna, Drishadvati and Sarasvati was formerly ruled by Indra, during the reign of the ancient Adityas. It was then known as Brahmavarta, the domain of Brahmarshi sages, the Yajnavedi of Brahma, the playground of the Devatas, the Swarga, Swargadvara etc. Places named after the Aditya devatas, like Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Pusan, Vivasvat, Vivasvat’s sons Yama & Manu, Manu’s daughter Ila are plenty in this region. Brahmavarta later became the land of Kurus, starting with the forefather king Kuru and hence it became famous by the new name Kurukshetra. In memory of Indra, the city was named Indraprastha. Indra was also the pitru-devata of Arjuna, the city builder in-charge.
Krishna and Arjuna cleared the Khandava forest to the south of Indraprastha which was inhabited by the Nagas like Takshaka who also worked as the spies of Duryodhana. They spared the Danava architect Maya who was living there and he became an ally of the Pandavas. Maya built the famous Sabha for Indraprastha where Yudhisthira conducted his Rajasuya. It was in this Sabha that Krishna killed Shishupala and where Duryodhana got confused between water and the shiny reflective floor and felt humiliated, leading to the events that culminated in the Kurukshetra War.
I have created the painting below (picture 1) based on these events. The Five Pandavas with Krishna and Maya Danava looking at the white city Indraprastha and the newly built Maya Sabha to its south (bottom). All buildings of Indraprastha were painted white. Maya Sabha structure had a highly reflective floor that resembled water surface made of crystals from the Himalayan mines.
Indraprastha; Created by Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
The interior of Maya Sabha (picture 2) with the five Pandavas with Yudhisthira seated as the emperor of Bharatavarsha, the Yadavas with Krishna, Balarama and king Ugrasena, Vyasa and other sages and the invited kings from all Bharatavarsha kingdoms including Kuru, Panchala, Kashi, Kosala, Videha, Malla, Magadha, Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Lohiti, Dasarna, Chedi, Karusha, Dravida, Chola, Pandya, Kerala, Vidarbha, Hehaya, Avanti, Kunti, Anarta, Salva, Matsya, Trigarta, Madra, Kekaya, Gandhara, Sindhu, Sauvira, Shivi, Ambasta, Kamboja, Rshika, Loha and China all present there.
Maya Sabha; Created by Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
Picture 3 shows my paintings of Mayasabha and Indraprastha exhibited in front of the National Museum Delhi as part of the Indraprastha International Conference held in 2016 by Draupadi Dream Trust lead by Smt Neera Misra, where I also presented a research paper on the Yamuna Sarasvati Region. The proceedings and the paper submissions of this conference can be read at ISBN 13: 9789386223678 – Indraprastha Revisited, BR Publishing Corporation, 2017.
Jijith Nadumuri Ravi’s paintings of Mayasabha and Indraprastha exhibited in front of the National Museum Delhi
This conference passed a resolution to rename Delhi as Indraprastha. This is a civilizational milestone we need to achieve, like the start of the reconstruction of the destroyed Ayodhya Ram Mandir.
This is justified because Mahabharata with its Rajasuya narrative shows the position of this city founded by Krishna and Arjuna, as the capital of Bharatavarsha with Yudhisthira as the emperor. All the contemporary kingdoms of Bhararavarsha and even the far away mountainous kingdoms like China brought tribute to Yudhisthira. Thus Indraprastha turned a cosmopolitan capital city at such ancient period, under the rule of the Pandavas!
It is also important that we create a grand statue for Krishna and Arjuna, like the Patel statue at Narmada, as the founders of Indraprastha – Delhi, at a key place in Delhi.
Writing this to create this thought in our national consciousness: Delhi renamed as Indraprastha, Krishna and Arjuna as the founder of our capital city with the statues and monuments proclaiming it auspiciously!!
How grand such a vision will be? Isn’t that the most befitting tribute to our Bharatiya Dharma Samskrti?
Featured image courtesy: allindiaroundup.
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Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
Jijith Nadumuri is a former scientist of ISRO who worked as part of the Chandrayan 1 study phase currently engaged in the research of geographical data present in the Mahābhārata. In this capacity he has presented many papers in various international conferences. He owns the web-portal AncientVoice. He is an artist and has visualized many scenes from the Mahābhārata which was exhibited in different conference venues. Combining this expertise with software technology he is engaged in creating Virtual Avataras of Itihāsa personalities in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
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Although nothing remains of Indraprastha, legend holds it to have been a thriving city. The first reference to the place-name Delhi seems to have been made in the 1st century bce, when Raja Dhilu built a city near the site of the future Quṭb Mīnār tower (in present-day southwestern Delhi) and named it for himself.What is the story of Indraprastha? ›
"Plain of Indra" or "City of Indra") is mentioned in ancient Indian literature as a city of the Kuru Kingdom. It was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas mentioned in Mahabharata . Under the Pali form of its name, Indapatta, it is also mentioned in Buddhist texts as the capital of the Kuru mahajanapada.Who founded the first city of Delhi and name Indraprastha? ›
The Pandavas founded the first city of Delhi and named it Indraprastha. The king of Pandava, Dharmaraj Yudhishthira established Indraprastha in Modern Delhi, as the capital of Pandava Kingdom.What is the history of Delhi in Mahabharata? ›
The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha: Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad and Shahjahanabad.Why is Delhi historically important? ›
Delhi is of great historical significance as an important commercial, transport, and cultural hub, as well as the political centre of India. According to legend, the city was named for Raja Dhilu, a king who reigned in the region in the 1st century bce.What is the old name of Indraprastha Delhi? ›
The old name of Delhi is Indraparastha according to Mahabharata era. Pandavas used to live in indraprasta. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha: Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad and Shahjahanabad.Is Mahabharata true story? ›
Apart from the modern day astronomers, even Aryabhataacknowledged that Mahabharata was a real event and calculated that Mahabharata war happened approximately 3100 B.C. Moreover, all places mentioned in Mahabharata are real places, all are identified as real places.What happened to Indraprastha? ›
Indraprastha is considered to have been the first significant settlement in the Delhi area, which has since hosted a succession of kingdoms and giant civilisations. At some point, Indraprastha fell from grace, either conquered or abandoned.What happened to Indraprastha after the war? ›
After the war, Yudhishthir became king of Hastinapur and Indraprastha. The Pandavas ruled for 36 years, after which they abdicated in favour of Abhimanyu's son, Parikshit.Who was the real founder of Delhi city? ›
Anangpal Tomar founded Delhi in 1052. A VS 1383 inscription in Delhi Museum confirms the founding of Delhi by the Tomars. He established the Tomar Dynasty of Delhi in the early 8th century and built his capital at the Anangpur village in Haryana.
The city of Delhi was founded by the Pandavas and they named it Indraprastha. The eldest son of Pandavas and King Dharmaraj Yudhishthira established Indraprastha in Modern Delhi, as the capital of Pandava Kingdom.How many years did Pandavas rule Indraprastha? ›
Indraprastha, The capital of the Pandavas (the Pandus) whence they ruled for 36 years.What is the historical evidence of Mahabharata? ›
The historicity of the Kurukshetra War is unclear. Many historians estimate the date of the Kurukshetra war to Iron Age India of the 10th century BCE. The setting of the epic has a historical precedent in Iron Age (Vedic) India, where the Kuru kingdom was the center of political power during roughly 1200 to 800 BCE.Was Indraprastha real? ›
history of Delhi
…the narrative, a city called Indraprastha (“City of the God Indra”), built about 1400 bce, was the capital of the Pandavas. Although nothing remains of Indraprastha, legend holds it to have been a thriving city. The first reference to the place-name Delhi seems to have been made in the 1st…
Copper and iron utensils, seals with pictures, gold and silver ornaments, terracotta figurines and painted grey ware pottery have been found in these sites. Scientific dating of these artefacts corresponds to the period described in the Mahabharat.What is the interesting history of Delhi? ›
The city of New Delhi (or Lutyens Delhi as it was known) was built by the British, its foundation stone being placed in 1911 by Emperor George V of Great Britain. So the city of New Delhi is 113 years old (as of 2023). The city was inaugurated as the capital of India on 13th February 1931.What is the historical importance of Delhi in India's freedom struggle? ›
The genesis of freedom struggle in Delhi can be traced to the Great Revolt of 1857. The flames which lit in Meerut on 10 May 1857 reached Delhi the next day and engulfed the entire city. The soldiers proclaimed Bahadur Shah as Emperor of India. In the resultant violence many Europeans and Indian Christians were killed.Who is the ruler of Indraprastha? ›
Yudhishthira (Sanskrit: युधिष्ठिर, IAST: Yudhiṣṭhira) also known as Dharmaputra, is the eldest among the five Pandava brothers, the central figures of the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata. He was the emperor of Indraprastha and later the Kuru Kingdom.Who was the first king of Indraprastha? ›
The city of Indraprastha was carved out at a suitable location on the Yamuna banks by the Pandavas, with support of their mentor and friend Vasudeva Krishna — scion of Sursena Janapada. The city had well-planned habitation, entertainment areas and market places.
Astronomically backed calculations and planetarium software have proved that events narrated in Valmiki Ramayana actually occurred around 7,000 years back and they can be sequentially dated. Even genealogy charts, compared with genetic studies, support the astronomical date sequence of the Ramayana.Who is the real hero of Mahabharata? ›
Karna (Sanskrit: कर्ण, IAST: Karṇa), also known as Vasusena, Anga-raja, and Radheya, is one of the main protagonists of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata.Why Kurukshetra soil is red? ›
ANSWER. The soil of Kurukshetra is red in color mostly because of it's rich iron content.What did Indraprastha look like? ›
Vyasa describes Indraprastha as a utopia – an ideal example of how cities should be planned and functioned in the epic. According to the epic, the city housed a grand palace, wide roads, lush green gardens, water elements. The Royal Palace is described as a brilliance of beauty and structure.Who was killed by Krishna in Indraprastha? ›
Then Shri Krishna used Sudarshana Chakra on Shishupala and killed him.Who remained alive after Mahabharat? ›
Only eleven major warriors survive the war: the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Ashwatthama, Kripa, Yuyutsu,and Kritavarma. Yudhishthira is crowned king of Hastinapura. After ruling for 36 years, he renounces the throne and passes the title on to Arjuna's grandson Parikshit.Did Pandavas go to heaven? ›
In reality, Pandavas and Draupadi reached heaven just after their deaths. Yama explained everything and Yudhishtira reached heaven with his mortal body. Pandavas were the incarnation of previous Indra's.What happened to Arjuna after Krishna died? ›
Ulupi, the second wife of Arjuna, revived Arjuna using a celestial gem called Nagamani. After Krishna left his mortal body, Arjuna took the citizens of Dwaraka, including 16,100 wives of Krishna, to Indraprastha.What happened to Draupadi after Mahabharata war? ›
The exile is followed by the Kurukshetra War, where Draupadi loses her father, brothers, and her five children. After the war, she resumes her role as the empress for 36 years, after which she retires to the Himalayas along with her husbands.Who was the last Hindu king of Delhi? ›
In modern times, the Chauhan king has been referred to as 'the last Hindu emperor', because Muslim rule prevailed for centuries following his defeat. Despite being overthrown, however, his name and story have evolved over time into a historical symbol of India's martial valor.
|Siege of Delhi|
|Date 8 June – 21 September 1857 Location Delhi, Mughal Empire Result British-East India Company victory Fall of the Mughal Empire Setback for Indian Rebellion|
|British Empire East India Company Native irregulars Civilian volunteers Kingdom of Nepal Patiala State||Mughal Empire Sepoy Mutineers|
However, if epics are to be believed, according to Mahabharata, the ancient Sanskrit epic, Bharat, the son of King Dushyant and Shakuntala was the first Hindu King of India. Who was the first king/rular of Ancient India? Ans: Chandragupta Maurya was the first king/ruler of Ancient India.Who helped build Indraprastha? ›
Indraprastha, the great capital of the kingdom of Pandavas, designed and built by the great architect Vishwakarma was actually a rugged forest and a barren land called Khandavaprastha located at the banks of Yamuna river.Who invaded Delhi before the Mughals? ›
Mughal Empire (1526 – 1857)
1639 – Shahjahanbad (Old Delhi) is founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. 1737 – First Battle of Delhi, where Mughal Delhi is sacked by Marathas. 1753 – Jat ruler Suraj Mal plundered Delhi.
|Mayasura (left) is asked by the god Krishna to build a palace for the Pandavas, a 20th-century illustration.|
Bhima had three wives — Hidimbi, the Rakshasi sister of Hidimba, Draupadi, who was married to five Pandavas because of Kunti's misunderstanding, and Valandhara, a princess of Kashi Kingdom. Ghatotkacha, Sutasoma and Savarga were his three sons.Did Pandavas have other wives? ›
Thus all the Pandavas have other wives, but these wives stay with their parents and the Pandavas have to travel out of the city to visit their other wives in the four years that Draupadi is intimate with the other brothers. The only exception is made for Krishna's sister, Subhadra, who marries Arjuna.Did Kunti lived in Indraprastha? ›
Role in the events of Hastinapura
On the advice of Bhishma, Pandavas were given a barren land to rule which was developed into Indraprastha. However Kunti remained in Hastinapura with her co-sister, Gandhari.
According to the historians of Early India, the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, can certainly be used as a source of history provided one can identify its internal chronology. Broadly speaking, the composition of the Mahabharata has been dated between c. 400 BCE and c.What happened to Dwarka after Krishna left? ›
The ancient Indian city of Dwarka is known in Hindu culture to have been the great and beautiful city of Krishna. The Hindu writings say that when Krishna left the Earth to join the spiritual world, the age of Kali began and Dwarka and its inhabitants were submerged by the sea.
The BORI CE happens to be and is recognized as the most accurate rendition of the Mahabharata. Kisari Mohan Ganguli has referred to the Burudwan edition.Which God built Indraprastha? ›
|Indraprastha New Delhi|
|• Type||Municipal council|
Soon, a beautiful city was constructed and people started to shift there. The Khandavaprastha which was once a land known for demons was now turned into Indraprastha which translates into the home of Indra, the king of Gods. Kind weather favored the residents of Indraprastha and they were able to produce good harvest.Where is Pandavas buried? ›
A discovery of note was made in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. A unique megalithic burial site which dates back to 800 BC was found at a cave, it was revealed on Tuesday. The discovery happened at a a cashew nut plantation near Ramakunja village in Kadaba taluk of the district.What are the unknown facts of Mahabharata? ›
We all know that in Mahabharat, Duryodhana won the chess game and asked Yudhisthir to let Draupadi to sit on his left thigh. Because of this he is known as villain. But in those times, wife was given a place on left thigh or left side of a man and the right thigh or right side was kept for daughters.Is there any evidence of Mahabharata in Hastinapur? ›
Abstract. Hastinapur, capital of the Kuru Kingdom in the era of Mahabharata. Some ancient structures imply the name of Mahabharata personages such as Karna Ghat Mandir, Draupadi Ghat Mandir, Pandeshwar Mahadev Mandir, Pandv Tila, or Ulta Khera Mound, etc.Is Ramayana and Mahabharata true story? ›
But did the characters of these epics exit in real? Did they take birth on this planet, or are they fictional characters? According to Sadhguru, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are not religious texts but documented versions of the nation's history.Who ruled Delhi before Mughals? ›
They spent the 13th year masquerading as peasants in the service of the royal family of Virata, the king of Matsya. Upon completion of the terms of the last bet, the Pandavas returned and demanded that their kingdom be rightfully returned to them. Duryodhana refused to yield Indraprastha.What happened to Sri Krishna after Mahabharata? ›
Krishna goes to Dvaraka and consoles his father Vasudeva, before returning to his brother Balarama in the forest. He sees him departing from this world, giving up his life through yoga. Krishna who had the foresight of everything that had happened, concludes that the hour of his departure from this world has come.
Copper and iron utensils, seals with pictures, gold and silver ornaments, terracotta figurines and painted grey ware pottery have been found in these sites. Scientific dating of these artefacts corresponds to the period described in the Mahabharat.