(Last Updated on : 15/01/2018)
Vindhya Mountain Range is a very old mountain
range in central India
. It is one of seven chief holy mountain ranges in India
. These hills are comparatively less rugged and smaller in size. They actually form a divide between the Indo-Gangetic plains
and the Deccan
region of the country.
The Vindhya ranges restrict the path of the winds making the area quite inhospitable and rough. The different slopes of the Vindhya Range are drained by the tributaries of Ganges
towards the north and Narmada
in the south. Theses ranges have huge sandstone reserve which was used to build Buddhist stupas
and other temples
Location of Vindhya Mountain Range
Vindhya Mountain Range is located in central India, Madhya Pradesh
, and is 970 kilometres long and 910 metres elevated. The range originates from the state of Gujarat
continuing into the east and north till the river Ganges
Etymology of Vindhya Mountain Range
The word Vindhya derives from the Sanskrit
word "Vaindh" means to get in the way. The Vindhya Range is also famous as "Vindhyachala" or "Vindhyachal"; the word achala (Sanskrit) or achal (Hindi
) denotes a mountain.
Myths of Vindhya Mountain Range
A mythological story (see below) states that the Vindhyas once obstructed the path of the sun
. According to another theory, the name "Vindhya" means "hunter" in Sanskrit, and can refer to the tribal
hunter-gatherers inhabiting the region. In Mahabharata
, the range is also referred to as Vindhyapadaparvata.
In the prehistoric Indian texts, the Vindhyas are seen as the demarcating line between the territories of the Indo-Aryans. The most ancient Hindu
texts consider it as the southern boundary of Aryavarta. Historically, Vindhya Mountain was considered extremely remote and dangerous due to dark plants
and the aggressive tribes residing there. The later texts explain that the Vindhya Range is the dwelling of ferocious form of Shakti
), who lived there since killing the demon
s. She is described as Vindhyavasini and a temple is dedicated to her which is situated in the Vindhyachal
town of Uttar Pradesh
. Mahabharata mentions the Vindhyas as the "everlasting residence" of goddess Kali.
According to one myth
, the Vindhya Mountain once battled with the Mount Meru, rising so high that it blocked the sun. Sage Agastya
then asked Vindhya to lower itself, in order to ease his way across to the south. In respect for sage Agastya, the Vindhya lowered its height and promised not to grow until sage Agastya returned to the north. Sage Agastya settled in the south, and the Vindhya Mountain, true to its word, never grew further.
The Kishkindha Kanda
states that Maya
built a house in the Vindhyas. In Dashakumaracharita
, King Rajahamsa of Magadha
and his ministers created a new settlement in Vindhya forest
, after being forced out of their kingdom following a battle overpower.
Geography of Vindhya Mountain Range
The northern slopes of Vindhya Mountain Range are drained by tributaries of the Ganges, including the Kali Sindh
, and Ken
. The Son
, a tributary of the Ganges, drains the southern slopes of the range at its eastern end. The southern slopes of the range are drained by the Narmada River
, which drains further westward to the Arabian Sea
in the depression between the Vindhya Range and the parallel Satpura Range
to the south. The Narmada Valley
's northern edge is flanked by the Vindhya Range.
Climate of Vindhya Mountain Range
Vindhya Mountain Range has basically the growth of dry- deciduous forests. Rainfall here is actually seasonal followed up with a long dry season, which hampers the growth of natural vegetation, which loose out their leaves. Trees
, which can be found in these places, are mainly teak
, sal, and bamboo
. The animal
kingdom ranges from bison, wild buffalo, spotted deer
, black buck
and large brown deer ("sambar"). The Vindhya Range is the home of vast wildlife
and forestry. Though there has been major degradation in the natural environment due to human interventions leading up to a vast array of ecological problems.
Rivers of Vindhya Mountain Range
A number of tributaries of Ganga-Yamuna originate from the Vindhyas. These consist of Chambal
, Ken, Tamsa, Kali Sindh and Parbati
. The northern hills of Vindhyas are drained by these rivers
Narmada and Son rivers drain the southern hills of Vindhyas. Both the rivers rise in the Maikal
hills, which are now distinct as an addition of the Satpuras
, though a number of older texts make use of the term Vindhyas to cover them up.