Mahendra is the chain of hills that extends from Orissa and the northern Circars to Gondwana land, part of which, near Ganjam, is still called Mahendra Malei, or hills of Mahendra. It is named in the name of Lord Indra. It is this Mahendra Hills of Ganjam and Southern India, where Parashuram retired after he was defeated by Rama. The whole range of hills extending from Orissa to the district of Madura was known by the name of "Mahendra Parvata". It included the Eastern Ghats and the range extending from the Northern Circars to Gondwana. It joins the Malaya Mountain.
Mythology of Mahendra Parvata
The Mahendra Mountain is associated with mythological stories from the Ramayana as Mahendra Parvata (mountain). It is a 'Kula Parvata' along with Malaya, Sahyadri, Parijatra, Shuktiman, Vindhya and Malyavaan. In the Puranas and Mahabharata that Parashuram practiced penance for a long time on the Mahendra Mountain.
The epic mountain Mahendragiri is situated in Gajapati district, Odisha. Legend says that, it is the place where Lord Parashuram, a Chiranjeevi staying eternally and doing tapasya. Temples built by Pandavas are seen. The main festival here is Shiv Ratri, the worship of Shiva, the guru or preceptor of lord Parashuram.
Chain of Hills
The seven chains of hills are namely the Mahendra, Malaya, Sahyadri, Parijatra, Shuktiman, Vindhya and Malyavaan. Some of the hills of Mahendra Parvata are mentioned below:
Mahendragiri: It is a mountain peak at in the Paralakhemundi subdivision of the district of Gajapati, Odisha. It is situated amongst the Eastern Ghats at an elevation of 1,501 m (4,925 ft). It is also known as the Southern Amarnath of Orissa. Mahendragiri has interesting archaeological remains.
Malayagiri: The Malayagiri hills are situated in the Pal Lahara town near Kendujhar in the district of Kendujhar of Orissa. At 1,187 m (3,894 ft), it is not the highest mountain in Orissa; Mahendragiri is taller at 1501 m.
Sahyadri: The Sahyadri mountain range is a very well known and a prominent range located in south-western India. This mountain range is also known as the "Western Ghats". The Sahyadri mountain range is believed to be the backbone of the state. The altitude of the Sahyadri range is approximately 1000m and the average elevation is considered to be approximately 900 meters. This range is home to many hill stations, including Matheran, Lonavala-Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Amboli, Kudremukh and Kodagu. The range is known as Sahyadri in Maharashtra and Karnataka and as Sahya Parvatam in Kerala.
Vindhya: Vindhya Range has been situated in main Native Indian, Madhya Pradesh, and only 970 km lengthy and the 910 m high. These hills are relatively less strong and are small in size. These actually form the split between Indo-Gangetic flatlands and Deccan position of country. The range comes from Gujarat state continuing into eastern and north until the stream Ganges at the Mirzapur.