(Last Updated on : 16/04/2015)
Kamyaka Forest is mentioned in the Indian Epic "Mahabharata
" being situated at the head of the Thar Desert
, near the Trinavindu Lake. The Kamyaka Forest was situated on the western boundary of the Kuru Kingdom
, on the banks of the Saraswati River. It lay to the west of the Kurukshetra
region. It contained within it a lake called the Kamyaka Lake. The Pandavas
on their way to exile in the woods; left Pramanakoti on the banks of the Ganges
and went towards Kurukshetra, travelling in a western direction, crossing the Yamuna
and Drishadvati rivers. They finally reached on the banks of the Saraswati River. There they saw the forest of Kamyaka situated on a level and wild plain on the banks of the Saraswati. The forest was abounded in birds and deer. There the Pandavas lived for several years. It took 3 days for Pandavas to reach the Kamyaka Forest, setting out from Hastinapura
, on their chariots.
The Pandavas' Stay in the Kamyaka Forest
During their first stay at Kamyaka, Bhima
slew Krimira, a Rakshasa. Kamyaka Forest was easily accessible for the citizens of Kurujangala. So the people of Kurujangala frequently visited their King Yudhisthira
in this forest. In order to avoid such contacts, the Pandavas moved to the Dwaita Forest
The Pandavas came back from the Dwaita woods to Kamyaka again for a second time. This time they lived without Arjuna
; who had left for military training in the northern Himalayas
. They lived in the Kamyaka Forest for 5 years. Ghatotkacha lived with them during this period. During this period, Sage Vyasa and Sage Lomasa visited them. From there, they set out for a pilgrimage across India, guided by Sage Lomasa. Completing a tour of the whole of India, they came back to the Kurukshetra region, but without entering the Kamyaka Forest, went to the regions north of the Himalayas. They came back from there with Arjuna and entered the Kamyaka woods for a third time.
The Pandavas again shifted to the Dwaita Forest and came back to Kamyaka for the fourth time after 1 year and 8 months. On observing that the deer population near the Dwaita Lake was declining due to their presence there, they shifted to Kamyaka Forest. During this time Jayadratha
, the king of the Sindhu Kingdom, on his way to the Salwa Kingdom passed through the Kamyaka Forest. He tried to abduct Draupadi
, but the Pandavas prevented that attempt. In the 12th year of their exile they left Kamyaka Forest forever and went to the Dwaita woods.
Thus the Pandavas spent their 12 years of forest life by shuttling between the Kamyaka and the Dwaita Forests.