(Last Updated on : 05/05/2010)
The Pundras seem to have been a very ancient people. They are mentioned in the Aitareya Brahmana where they are described as outcaste descendants of Visvamitra. But they are most frequently mentioned in the Puranas and epics by the name of their originator, Pundra, one of the eponymous' Baleya Ksatras. It is said that Vasudeva defeated the Pundras along with the Angas, Vaiigas, Kalingas, Kasis, Kosalas, Karasas and others
It has been referred to in history that Jarasandha
, king of Magadha
, is referred to in the Harivamsa as having once held sway over the Pundras as well as over the Angas, Vangas and Kalingas. In the Ramayana
Pundra is referred to as a southern country, but, according to the Puranas and the Mahabharata
, the realm of the Pundras seems to have been situated in the eastern division, as they are always associated with the Vangas, Angas and Kalingas and also with the Suhmas. This is also supported by Rajasekhara's Kavyamimamsa, which places the Pundra country in the east along with Pragjyotisa and Tamralipta. This determines the correctness of the usually accepted identification of the ancient Pundra country with what later came to be known as Pundravardhana.
In history the Pundras are sometimes referred to as Paundras, Paundrakas or even Paundrikas. In the great epic of Mahabharata these names are sometimes used as equivalents, but sometimes a distinction is made between the Paundras and Pundras. According to history it has been stated that the Pundra country should be identified with Maldah, portions of Purnea, east of the Kosi, and parts of Dinajpur and Rajshahi. The Paundras, however are linked as they were with the Odras, Utkalas, Mekalas, Kalingas and Andhras occupied the modern district of Santal Parganas and Birbhum and northern portion of Hazaribagh. Pundravardhana was the capital of the kingdom of the Pundras.
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