(Last Updated on : 24/03/2010)
The word Vanga is essentially a tribal name. But in ancient days Vanga was limited to only parts of Bengal. Vanga thus comprised the modern Dakha and Chittagong divisions of Bangladesh. The Vangas in some places have been identified with a tribe called Harilekas. Several historical records say that in the Matsya Purana
, Vanga and Suhma are included in a list of the eastern countries. According to the Mahabharata
, King Jarasandha
is said to have extended his supremacy over the Angas, Vangas, Kalingas, and Pundras. Karna is also once said to have conquered the Suhmas, Angas and Vangas , while Vasudeva is said to have once routed in battle the Angas, Vangas, Kalingas and Paundras along with other peoples. In the Sabha parva
, the Pandavas are described as having subjugated the Pundras and the Vangas, and had led their victorious army to Suhma.
The Vangas as a tribe are not mentioned in earlier Vedic literature but they have been mentioned in Aitareya as Vanga-Vagadhah. Vanga was a close neighbour of the Magadhas. Vangas have been described as a pre-Aryan tribe. Even in the time of Patanjali the Vangas and their country were excluded from Aryavarta because they were considered impure by people who were Aryans
It has been recorded in history that Vanga country was distinguished from that of the Gaudas. The Vangas are mentioned in Kalidasa's Raghuvansa
, where Raghu is said to have conquered the Vangas after he had finished his task with the Suhmas. In the age of Kalidasa Vangas were distinguished from the Sushmas. Historical record also states that Kirtivarman of the Chalukya dynasty
gained victories over the kings of Vanga, Anga and Magadha
, which were three neighbouring countries. When Yasovardhan had occupied Vanga it is said that Vanga was in utter chaos.
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