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LANKA /ˈləŋkɑː/ is the name given in Hindu
Hindu
epics to the island fortress capital of the legendary demon king Ravana in the epics of the Ramayana
Ramayana
and the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
. The fortress was situated on a plateau between three mountain peaks known as the Trikuta Mountains
Trikuta Mountains
. The ancient city of Lankapura is thought to have been burnt down by Hanuman
Hanuman
. After its king, Ravana, was killed by Rama
Rama
with the help of Ravana's brother Vibhishana , the latter was crowned king of Lankapura. The site of Lankā is identified with Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
. His descendants were said to still rule the kingdom during the period of the Pandavas . According to the Mahabharata, the Pandava
Pandava
Sahadeva visited this kingdom during his southern military campaign for the rajasuya of Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Rulers of Lanka
Lanka
* 2 Lanka, Sri Lanka, and possible locations * 3 Description

* 4 References to Lanka
Lanka
in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata

* 4.1 Sahadeva\'s expedition to South * 4.2 Presence of the King of Lanka
Lanka
in Yudhishthira\'s Rajasuya * 4.3 Other fragmentary references

* 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

RULERS OF LANKA

According to both the Ramayana
Ramayana
and the Mahabharata, Lanka
Lanka
was originally ruled by a rakshasa named Sumali. According to Uttara Kanda, Lanka
Lanka
was originally built by the divine architect Vishwakarma for the gods, but was seized by the brothers, Malyavan, Sumali
Sumali
and Mali. The brothers ruled for years and invaded the heavens. After suffering a humiliating and disastrous defeat at the hands of Lord Vishnu, the brothers were too ashamed to return to Lanka. Kubera seized control of Lanka
Lanka
and established the Yaksha Kingdom and his capital was guarded by rakshasas . His half-brother Ravana, son of the sage Vishravaya and Sumali's daughter, fought with Kubera and took Lanka
Lanka
from him. Ravana ruled Lanka
Lanka
as king of the Rakshasa Kingdom . The battle in Lanka
Lanka
is depicted in a famous relief in the 12th-century Khmer temple of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
. Hanuman
Hanuman
Watches Lanka
Lanka
Burn

After Ravana's death, he was succeeded by his brother, Vibhishana.

LANKA, SRI LANKA, AND POSSIBLE LOCATIONS

The Lanka
Lanka
referred to in the still-extant Hindu
Hindu
Texts and the Ramayana
Ramayana
(referred to as Ravana 's Lanka), is considered to be a large island-country, situated in the Indian Ocean. Some scholars asserted that it must have been Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
because it is so stated in the 5th century Sri Lankan text Mahavamsa . However, the Ramayana
Ramayana
clearly state that Ravana's Lanka
Lanka
was situated 100 Yojanas (roughly 1,300 km or 800 miles) away from mainland India. Some scholars have interpreted the content of these texts to determine that Lanka
Lanka
was located at the point where the Prime-Meridian of India passes the Equator
Equator
. This island would therefore lie more than a hundred miles South-west of present-day country of Sri Lanka. The most original of all the existing versions of Valmiki
Valmiki
's Ramayana
Ramayana
also suggest the location of Ravana's Lanka
Lanka
to be in the western Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
. In fact it indicates that Lanka
Lanka
was in the midst of a series of large island-nations, submerged mountains, and sunken plateaus in the western part of the Indian Ocean.

There has been a lot of speculation by several scholars since the 19th century that Ravana's Lanka
Lanka
might have been in the Indian Ocean around where the Maldives
Maldives
once stood as a high mountain, before getting submerged in the Indian Ocean. Sumatra
Sumatra
has also been suggested as a possibility.

DESCRIPTION

Hanuman
Hanuman
set all Lanka
Lanka
on fire

Ravana's Lanka, and its capital Lankapuri, are described in a manner that seems superhuman even by modern-day standards. Ravana's central palace-complex (main citadel) was a massive collection of several edifices that reached over one yojana (8 miles or 12.88 kilometres) in height, one yojana in length, and half a yojana in breadth. The island had a large mountain range known as the Trikuta Mountain, atop which was situated Ravana's capital of Lanka, at the center of which in turn stood his citadel.

REFERENCES TO LANKA IN THE MAHABHARATA

Many of the references to Lanka
Lanka
in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
are found in sage Markandeya
Markandeya
's narration of the story of Rama
Rama
and Sita
Sita
to king Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
, which narration amounts to a truncated version of the Ramayana
Ramayana
. The references in the following summary are to the Mahabharata, and adhere to the following form: (book:section). Markandeya's narration of the story begins at Book III (Varna Parva), Section 271 of the Mahabharata.

SAHADEVA\'S EXPEDITION TO SOUTH

The son of Pandu , viz. Sahadeva , conquered the town of Sanjayanti and the country of the Pashandas and the Karanatakas by means of his messengers alone, and made all of them pay tributes to him. The hero brought under his subjection and exacted tributes from the Paundrayas (Pandyas ?) and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas and the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas, and also the delightful city of Atavi and that of the Yavanas
Yavanas
. And, He having arrived at the seashore, then dispatched with great assurance messengers unto the illustrious Vibhishana , the grandson of Pulastya and the ruler of Lanka
Lanka
(2:30).

PRESENCE OF THE KING OF LANKA IN YUDHISHTHIRA\'S RAJASUYA

Lanka
Lanka
king is listed as present in the conclave of kings present in Pandava
Pandava
king Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
's Rajasuya sacrifice.

.. The Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Cheras and Pandyas and Mushika and Andhakas , and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the seaboard as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the Sinhalas , the barbarous mlecchas, the natives of LANKA, and all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the seacoast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas
Yavanas
and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas and the Kekayas and the Malavas and the inhabitants of Kasmira ... (3:51).

OTHER FRAGMENTARY REFERENCES

* Lanka, with its warriors, and horses, elephants and chariots (3:149). * Lanka
Lanka
with its towers and ramparts and gates (3:147) * The walls of Lanka
Lanka
(3:282).

SEE ALSO

* Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Kingdoms of Ancient India * Ancient clans of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Naga people (Lanka)
Naga people (Lanka)
* Sinhala Kingdom
Sinhala Kingdom
* Vishwakarma
Vishwakarma

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Braddell, Roland (December 1937). "An Introduction to the Study of Ancient Times in the Malay Peninsula and the Straits of Malacca". Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 15 (3 (129)): 64–126. * ^ Valmiki
Valmiki
Ramayana
Ramayana
4.58.20 * ^ Valmiki
Valmiki
Ramayana
Ramayana
4.58.24 * ^ The Indian calendar, with tables for ... – Google Books. Retrieved 26 January 2011. * ^ "Bharath Gyan". Bharath Gyan. Retrieved 26 January 2011. * ^ Valmiki\'s Ramayana * ^ Vālmīki; Venkatesananda, Swami (1988-01-01). The Concise R_m_ya_a of V_lm_ki. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780887068621 . * ^ The Hindu
Hindu
Pantheon - Edward Moor - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. * ^ Excerpta Máldiviana - H.C.P. Bell, Harry Charles Purvis Bell - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. * ^ Ravana - The Great King of Lanka
Lanka
- M.S. Purnalingam Pillai - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. * ^ "Situation of Ravana’s Lamka on the Equator". The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society. XVII (1). 1926. * ^ " Valmiki
Valmiki
Ramayana
Ramayana
- Sundara Kanda - Sarga 9". Sanskritdocuments.org. 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2012-11-07. * ^ The Society of the Rāmāyaṇa - Ananda W. P. Guruge - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. * ^ Srimad Valmiki- Ramayana
Ramayana
- Vālmīki - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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