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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Nishadha (निषध) was a country, a mountain and an Indo-Aryan tribe of ancient India that lived in a country of the same name. It is not to be confused with the Nishadas, who were a non Aryan tribe.[1][2]



Ancestry of Kuru as per Bhagavata Purana

Nishadha was a Chandravanshi King and son of Janamejaya. It was also used for one of The Mahabharata Tribes.


Nishadha Kingdom: Nala was king of Nishadha Kingdom. He was the husband of Damayanti and their story is told in the Mahabharata. Nala was known for his skill with horses and culinary expertise. His main weakness was gambling. He was possessed by the demon Kali.

The history of King Nala of Nishadha: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 52 - There was a celebrated king among the Nishadhas, named Virasena. He had a son named Nala, versed in the knowledge of virtue and wealth. It hath been heard by us that, that king was deceitfully defeated by Pushkara, and afflicted with calamity, he dwelt in the woods with his spouse Damayanti.[3]

Nala to Damayanti, on the roads running through Nishadha Kingdom: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 61 - These many roads lead to the southern country, passing by (the city of) Avanti] and the Rikshavat mountains. This is that mighty mountain called Vindhya; yon, the river Payasvini running sea-wards, and yonder are the asylums of the ascetics, furnished with various fruit and roots. This road leadeth to the country of the Vidarbhas—and that, to the country of the Kosalas. Beyond these roads to the south is the southern country.’ Addressing Bhima’s daughter, he distressed king Nala spake those words unto Damayanti over and over again.

Giriprastha, a place in Nishadha: Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 313 - Indra for the purpose of overcoming his foes, dwelt in disguise in the asylum of Giriprastha, in Nishadha and thus attained his end.

A Mountain Range named Nishadha: Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 6 - Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that extend from the eastern to the western ocean. They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals.

Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 7 - On the south of Nila and the north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal.

Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 8 - On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is the Varsha (Region or a sub-continent), called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of white complexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men born there are also all without enemies. On the south of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river called Hiranwati. There liveth the great Garuda. And the people there are all followers of the Yakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. The men there are endued with great strength and have cheerful hearts.

Nishadha, in the list of Kingdoms in Bharata Varsha (Ancient India): Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 9 - ……….the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas, the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the Madhumattas,……

Nishadhas in Kurukshetra War: Mahabharata, Book 7, Chapter 20 - Drona sets the troops in Garuda Military Configuration. In the tail of the array stood Vikartana’s son Karna, with his sons, kinsmen and friends, and surrounded by a large force raised from diverse realms, Jayadratha, and Bhimaratha, and Sampati, and the Jays, and the Bhojas, and Bhuminjaya, and Vrisha, and Kratha, and the mighty ruler of the Nishadhas, all accomplished in battle, surrounded by a large host, in the heart of that array.

Karna's Military Campaign: Mahabharata, Book 8, Chapter 8 - He had subjugated many invincible and mighty foes—the Gandharas, the Madrakas, the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Tanganas, the Khasas, the Pancalas, the Videhas, the Kulindas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Suhmas, the Angas, the Nishadhas, the Pundras, the Kichakas, the Vatsas, the Kalingas, the Taralas, the Asmakas, and the Rishikas.

In Maharashtra

Nishadha (निषध) is mentioned in Maharashtra (I.89.50), (1.94), (III.85.20), (VI.10.50),

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 89 gives History of Puru and Pandavas (Aila dynasty). Nishadha (निषध) is mentioned in Maharashtra (I.89.50).[4]....And unto Parikshit were born sons who were all acquainted with (the secrets of) religion and profit.[5] And they were named Kakshasena and Ugrasena, and Chitrasena endued with great energy, and Indrasena and Sushena and Bhimasena. [6]And the sons of Janamejaya were all endued with great strength and became celebrated all over the world. And they were Dhritarashtra who was the eldest, and Pandu and Valhika,[7] and Nishadha endued with great energy, and then the mighty Jamvunada, and then Kundodara and Padati and then Vasati (I.89.50) the eighth. And they were all proficient in morality and profit and were kind to all creatures. [8]Among them Dhritarashtra became king.[9]

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 85 mentions sacred asylums, tirthas, mountans and regions of eastern country. Nishadha (निषध) is mentioned in Maharashtra (III.85.20).[10]....And there also is the mountain called Kundoda (कुण्डॊद) (III.85.20), which is so delightful and abounding in fruits and roots and waters, and where the king of the Nishadhas (निषध) (III.85.20) (Nala) had slaked his thirst and rested for a while. In that quarter also is the delightful Deva-vana (देव वन) (III.85.21) which is graced by ascetics. There also are the rivers Bahuda (बाहुदा) (III.85.21) and Nanda (नन्दा) (III.85.21) on the mountain's crest.

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Nishadha (निषध) is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.10.50).[11] ...the Sakas, the Nishadas (निषाद), the Nishadhas (निषध), the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Dugulas, the Pratimatsyas, the Kushala, the Kunatals, and....


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[12] ने लेख किया है ...1. निषध (AS, p.502) = निषध देश का प्रशासन राजा नल द्वारा संचालित किये जाने का वर्णन महाभारत में है। नल के पिता वीरसेन को भी निषध का राजा बताया गया है- 'निषधेतु महीपालो वीरसेन इति श्रुता तस्य पुत्रोऽभद्रस्मान्ना नलो धर्माणंकोविद:', ब्रह्मण्योवेदविच्छूरो निषधेषु महीपति:' महाभारत, वनपर्व 52, 55, 53, 3.

ग्वालियर के निकट नलपुर नामक स्थान को परम्परा से राजा नल की राजधानी माना जाता है और निषध देश को ग्वालियर के पार्श्ववर्ती प्रदेश में ही मानना उचित होगा। विष्णुपुराण 4,24,66 में शायद निषध देश को नैषध कहा गया है- 'नैषध नैमिषक मणिधान्यकर्वशा भोक्ष्यन्ति' इससे सूचित होता है कि संभवत: पूर्व गुप्त काल में नैषध या निषध पर मणिधान्यकों का आधिपत्य था। निषध देश का निषादों से भी संबंध हो सकता है, जो संभवत: किसी अनार्य जाति के लोग थे।

2. निषध (AS, p.503) = निषध पर्वत (AS, p.503): महाभारत के वर्णनानुसार हेमकूट पर्वत के उत्तर की ओर सहस्रों योजनों तक निषद पर्वत की श्रेणी पूर्व पश्चिम समुद्र तक फैली हुई है- 'हिमवान् हेमकूटश्च निषधश्च नगोत्तम:' भीष्मपर्व 6,4. श्री चि.वि. वैद्य का अनुमान है कि यह पर्वत वर्तमान अलताई पर्वत श्रेणी का ही प्राचीन भारतीय नाम है। हेमकूट और निषध पर्वत के बीच के भाग का नाम 'हरिवर्ष' कहा गया है। महाभारत के वर्णन में निषद पर नाग जाति का निवास माना गया है- 'सर्पानागाश्च निषधे गोकर्ण च तपोवनम्' भीष्मपर्व 6, 51. विष्णु पुराण 22,10 में भी इस पर्वत का उल्लेख हुआ है- 'हिमवान् हेमकूटश्च निषधश्चास्य दक्षिणे' इसी को विष्णु 22,27 में निषद भी कहा गया है.

External links

See also


  1. Vivekanand Jha (1974) [1958]. "From tribe to untouchable: the case of Niṣādas". In R. S. Sharma (ed.). Indian Society: Historical Probings in memory of D. D. Kosambi. Indian Council of Historical Research / People's Publishing House. p. 73. ISBN 978-81-7007-176-1. "The Niṣādas are surely quite distinct from the Niṣādhas, with whom they are often confounded but who in all probability belonged to the Aryan fold."
  2. Haripada Chakraborti (1981). Vedic India: political and legal institutions in Vedic literature. Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar. "The Niṣādhas, residing in the Niṣādha country were obviously Aryan tribes and they should not be confused with the Niṣāda, the non-Aryan tribe."
  4. 50 निषधश च महातेजास तथा जाम्बूनदॊ बली, कुण्डॊदरः पदातिश च वसातिश चाष्टमः समृतः (I.89.50)
  5. जनमेजयादयः सप्त तथैवान्ये महाबलाः, परिक्षितॊ ऽभवन पुत्राः सर्वे धर्मार्थकॊविदाः (I.89.47)
  6. कक्षसेनॊग्र सेनौ च चित्रसेनश च वीर्यवान, इन्द्रसेनः सुषेणश च भीमसेनश च नामतः (I.89.48)
  7. जनमेजयस्य तनया भुवि खयाता महाबलाः, धृतराष्ट्रः परथमजः पाण्डुर बाह्लीक एव च (I.89.49)
  8. निषधश च महातेजास तथा जाम्बूनदॊ बली, कुण्डॊदरः पदातिश च वसातिश चाष्टमः समृतः, सर्वे धर्मार्थकुशलाः सर्वे भूतिहिते रताः (I.89.50)
  9. धृतराष्ट्रॊ ऽथ राजासीत तस्य पुत्रॊ ऽथ कुण्डिकः (I.89.50)
  10. कुण्डॊदः पर्वतॊ रम्यॊ बहुमूलफलॊदकः, नैषधस तृषितॊ यत्र जलं शर्म च लब्धवान (III.85.20)
  11. शका निषादा निषधास तदैवानर्तनैरृताः, दुगूलाः प्रतिमत्स्याश च कुशलाः कुनटास तदा
  12. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.502