The names of the cities, towns, villages and districts that were there in the Mahabharata period, only a few names are found at present. Over time those names kept changing. However, there are many such cities which are still called by the same names by which they were called in the Mahabharata period. Like Mathura, Kashi, Jagannath, Dwarka, Badrinath, Gangotri, Somnath, Kurukshetra etc. Let us know by what name those cities and villages are known today.
Kurukshetra, the Battlefield
Kurukshetra is still called Kurukshetra which is located in Haryana. Abhimanyupur was near Kurukshetra which is presently known as Amin. There is an area named Jayanta near Kurukshetra which is currently called Jind. Jind has now become a district of Haryana. Similarly, Paniprastha is called Panipat, Soniprastha is called Sonipat and Vyagrapat is called Baghpat. Baghpat is a region of Uttar Pradesh. In recent excavations here, ancient remains of the Mahabharata period have been found. Baghpat is part of the same historical kingdom of Hastinapur for which the war of Mahabharata was fought.
People now know Paniprastha as Panipat, while Soniprastha has now become Sonipat and Vyagrapat has now become Baghpat. Hastinapur (named after King Hastin, today this place is near Meerut) and Mathura are two such places whose names have not changed till now. Lastly, there is Gurugram, which is called Gurgaon in modern times. But now it is once again known by its ancient name Gurugram. The area of the Kurus was around Meerut and Thaneshwar and the capital was first Hastinapur and later Indraprastha.
The places whose names are today Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, Wakhan, Bagram, Pamir, Badakhshan, Peshawar, Swat, Charsadda etc., were known as Kumbha or Kuhka, Gandhar, Balhik, Wokkan, Kapisha, Meru, Kamboj, Purushpur respectively in Mahabharata period. (Peshawar), Suvastu, Pushkalavati etc.
Delhi was Pandavas Rajdhani
In those days Delhi was known as Indraprastha and Meerut was known as Hastinapur. The Old Fort in Delhi is proof of this. Based on the remains found in the excavation, a large section of archaeologists believe that the capital of the Pandavas was at this site. Delhi has been witness to many historical events. The old fort is located near the Yamuda river in Delhi, which was built by the Pandavas. Later it was revived.
The area of Gandhara district is currently a part of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Taxila was the capital of Gandhara. The northwestern region in present-day Pakistan is located 18 miles north of Rawalpindi and 30 kilometers from Islamabad. Only the western region of Pakistan and the eastern region of Afghanistan came under the Gandhara kingdom. Fragrance is half of Gandhar. Gandhari was the daughter of a king named ‘Subal’ of Gandhara country.
Barnawa is situated about 35 km from Meerut (Hastinapur) in Sardhana tehsil of Baghpat district at the confluence of Hindni (Hindon) and Krishna river. This ancient village is ‘Varnavat’ or ‘Varnavart’, which was one of the five villages demanded by the Pandavas from Duryodhana before the Mahabharata war. These 5 villages were as follows according to the present name- Panipat, Sonipat, Baghpat, Tilpat and Varupat (Barnawa). There is Lakshagriha mound of Mahabharata period in Barnawa village. There is also a tunnel here. The tunnel here opens on the banks of the Hindni river.
Cambodia was also in Mahabharata
Ancient Kambuj is currently called Cambodia. Bareilly, Badaun and Farrukhabad used to come in the area of Panchal; Then the capital was Ahichhatra and Kampilya. The first mention of its name is found in the Taittiriya Samhita of Yajurveda as ‘Kampila’. According to Cunningham, present Ruhelkhand was North Panchal and Doaba was South Panchal. Panchal was settled by people of five clans together. Like Kivi, Keshi, Srinjay, Turvasas and Somak.
Apart from this, these cities are also known by this names at present –
- Kosala: Awadh; Capital Saket and Shravasti.
- Shursen: The area around Mathura; Capital Mathura.
- Kashi: Varanasi; Capital Varanasi.
- Magadha: South Bihar, capital Girivraj (modern Rajgriha).
- Vats: Prayag (Allahabad) and its surroundings; Capital Kaushambi.
- Organ: Bhagalpur; Capital Champa.
- Fisheries: Jaipur; Capital Virat Nagar.
- Vajji: District Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur; Capital Mithila, Janakpuri and Vaishali.
- Malla: District Deoria; Capital Kushinagar and Pava (modern Padrauna)
- Chedi: Bundelkhand; The capital Shuktimati (near present-day Banda).
- Avanti: Malwa; Capital Ujjaini.
- Ashmaka: Godavari Valley; Capital Pandanya.
These major cities: Takshashila (near Rawalpindi), Avantika (Ujjayani), Hastinapur (Meerut), Baranavat or Vyagrapad (Baghpat), Vrindavan, Mathura, Indraprastha and Khandavprastha (present-day Delhi), Panchal (the place between the Himalayas and the Chamba river ), Anga Pradesh (Bhagalpur), Matsya Pradesh’s capital Virat (present day Bairath is a city in Jaipur district of Rajasthan), Dwarka (on the coast of Gujarat) etc. Are. Harappa and Mohenjodaro are also civilizations of the Mahabharata period, which end with the war of Mahabharata.