|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
It lay to the west of the Kurukshetra plain. It contained within it a lake called the Kamyaka lake (2,51). Kamyaka forest is mentioned as being situated at the head of the Thar desert, near the lake Trinavindu (3,256).
The Pandavas on their way to exile in the woods, left Pramanakoti on the banks of the Ganges and went towards Kurukshetra, travelling in a western direction, crossing the rivers Yamuna and Drishadvati. They finally reached the banks of the Saraswati River. There they saw the forest of Kamyaka, the favourite haunt of ascetics, situated on a level and wild plain on the banks of the Saraswati (3-5,36) abounding in birds and deer (3,5). There the Pandavas lived in an ascetic asylum (3,10). It took 3 days for Pandavas to reach the Kamyaka forest, setting out from Hastinapura, on their chariots (3,11).
Kamyakasara (काम्यकसर) [Mahabharata]] (II.48.19),
Kamyakavana (काम्यकवन) [Mahabharata]] (III.11.11),(III.48.12),
Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 48 describes Kings who presented tributes to Yudhishthira. Kamyakasara (काम्यकसर) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.48.19). ....Then the kings of those nations each gave a thousand elephants furnished with tusks like unto the shafts of ploughs and decked with girdles made of gold, and covered with fine blankets and therefore, resembling the lotus in hue. And they were all darkish as rocks and always musty, and procured from the sides of the Kamyaka lake, and covered with defensive armour.
Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 11 tells about destruction of Kirmira. Kamyakavana (काम्यक) is mentioned in [Mahabharata]] (III.11.11) ....Pandavas' stay in the Kamyakavana: First time visit: During their first time stay at Kamyaka, Bhima slew Hidimba (1st king of kamyaka) and Krimira, the Rakshasas. Bhima was second king of kamyaka. Kamyaka forest was easily accessible for the citizens of Kurujangala. So the people of Kurujangala frequently visited their King Yudhishthira in this forest (3,23). (Their cousins viz. the Yadavas, the Chedis and the Kekayas also visited them here). In order to avoid such contacts they moved to the Dwaita Forest (3,24).
Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 48 describes Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira attended by the chiefs of many islands and countries. Kamyakavana (काम्यक) is mentioned in [Mahabharata]] (III.48.12). ....Second and Third time Stay: The Pandavas came back from the Dwaita woods to Kamyaka again for a 2nd time. This time they lived without Arjuna who had left for military training in the northern Himalayas (3,36). They lived thus for 5 years in Kamyaka (3,50). Ghatotkacha lived with them during this period (7,181). Sage Vyasa and Sage Lomasa visited them then. From there, they set out for a pilgrimage across India, guided by Lomasa (3,93). Completing a tour of the whole of India, they came back to the Kurukshetra region, but without entering the Kamyaka forest, went to the regions north of the Himalayas. They came back from there with Arjuna among them and entered the Kamyaka woods for a 3rd time (3,181). It was the rainy season then and the Saraswati River was full of water at that time (3,181). This time the Yadavas and Sage Markandeya visited them. Sage Markandeya was an inhabitant of the Markanda river, a tributary of the Saraswati River in the north of Kurukshetra district in Haryana.
Before entering Kamyaka this time, they had also spent one year in the forests of Vishakhayupa to the north of Kamyaka, on the banks of the Yamuna, up on the mountains from where the river originated. It was in the midst of mountains abounding with water-falls (3,176). While dwelling there Bhima was afflicted by a snake.
Fourth time Stay: The Pandavas again shifted to the Dwaita forest (3,176) and came back to Kamyaka for the 4th time after 1 year and 8 months, seeing that the deer population near the Dwaita lake was declining due to their presence there (3,256). During this time Jayadratha, the king of the Sindhu Kingdom, on his way to the Salwa Kingdom passed through the Kamyaka forest (3,262). He tried to abduct Draupadi, but the Pandavas prevented that attempt. In the 12th year of their exile they left Kamyaka forest forever and went to the Dwaita woods (3,308).
Thus the Pandavas spent their 12 years of forest life by shuttling between the Kamyaka and the Dwaita forests. There were roads walked by travellers, fields furnished with excellent corn and clear water between Dwaita and Kamyaka (3,256).
Kings of kamayaka forests
- Hidimba, first king
- Bhima, second king
- Ghatotkacha, bhima's son third king
- Takshaka, fourth king
- Mayasura, fifth king
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ... काम्यकवन (AS, p.170): महाभारत में वर्णित एक वन जहाँ पांडवों ने अपने वनवास काल का कुछ समय बिताया था। यह सरस्वती नदी के तट पर स्थित था--स व्यासवाक्यमुदितो वनाद्द्वैतवनात् तत: ययौसरस्वतीकूले काम्यकंनाम काननम्।
महाभारत वनपर्व 1 के अनुसार द्यूत में पराजित होकर पांडव जिस समय हस्तिनापुर से चले थे तो उनके पीछे नगर निवासी भी कुछ दूर तक गए थे। उनको लौटा कर पहली रात उन्होंने प्रमाणकोटि नामक स्थान पर व्यतीत की थी। दूसरे दिन वह विप्रों के साथ काम्यकवन की ओर चले गए- तत: सरस्वती कूले समेपु मरुधन्वसु, काम्यकंनाम दद्दशुर्वनंमुनिजन प्रियम् (महाभारत वनपर्व 5, 30)। यहाँ इस वन को मरुभूमि के निकट बताया गया है। यह मरुभूमि राजस्थान का मरुस्थल जान पड़ता है जहाँ पहुँच कर सरस्वती लुप्त हो जाती थी। (दे. विनशन) इसी वन में भीम ने किमार नामक राक्षस का वध किया था। (महाभारत वनपर्व 11) इसी वन में मैत्रेय की पांडवों से भेंट हुई थी जिसका वर्णन उन्होंने धृतराष्ट्र को सुनाया था--तीर्थयात्रामनुकामन् प्राप्तोस्मि कुरुजांगलान् यद्दच्छया धर्मराज द्दष्टवान् काम्यके वने। ( महाभारत वनपर्व 10, 11)
- Dr Mohan Lal Gupta:Rajasthan Jyankosh, Rajasthani Granthagar, Jodhpur, 2008, ISBN 81-86103-05-8, p.219
- ईषा दन्तान हेमकक्षान पथ्मवर्णान कुदावृतान, शैलाभान नित्यमत्तांश च अभितः काम्यकं सरः (II.48.19)
- तीर्दयात्राम अनुक्रामन पराप्तॊ ऽसमि कुरुजाङ्गलम, यथृच्छया धर्मराजं थृष्टवान काम्यके वने (III.11.11)
- शरुत्वा हि निर्जितान थयूते पाण्डवान मधुसूथनः, तवरितः काम्यके पार्दान समभावयथ अच्युतः
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.170