From Jatland Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Rushikulya (ऋषिकुल्या) is one of the important rivers of Odisha state. It is the Rishikulya (ऋषिकुल्य) of Mahabharata (III.82.43) (VI.10.34).



The Rushikulya originates at an elevation of about 1000 m. from Rushimala Hills near Matabarhi village of Kandhamal district which is lies within the geographical coordinates of 19.07 to 20.19 north latitude and 84.01 to 85.06 east longitude. It meets the Bay of Bengal at Puruna Bandha of Chhatrapur block.


The river flows from Daringbadi block of Kandhamal and in Ganjam district it flows through Surada, Dharakote, Asika, Pitala, Purusottampur, Ganjam and finally at Chhatrapur block.

Catchment area

It is 165 km long with the total catchment area is 7700 km2. It covers entire catchment area in the districts of Kandhamal and Ganjam district of Odisha.


Alexander Cunningham[1] writes that In the seventh century, the capital of the kingdom of Kie-ling-kia, or Kalinga, was situated at from 1400 to 1500 li, or from 233 to 250 miles, to the south-west of Ganjam.[2] Both bearing and distance point either to Rajamahendri on the Godavari river, or to Koringa on the sea coast, the first being 251 miles to the south-west of Ganjam, and the other 246 miles in the same direction. But as the former is known to have been the capital of the country for a long period, I presume that it must be the place that was visited by the Chinese pilgrim. The original capital of Kalinga is said to have been Srikakola, or Chikakol, 20 miles to the south-west of Kalinga-patam. The kingdom was 5000 li, or 833 miles, in circuit. Its boundaries are not stated ; but as it was united to the west by Andhra, and to the south by Dhanakakata, its frontier line cannot have extended beyond the Godavari river, on the south-west, and the Gaoliya branch of the Indravati river on the north-west. Within these limits, the circuit of Kalinga would be about 800 miles. The principal feature in this large tract of country is the Mahendra range of mountains, which has preserved its name unchanged from the time of the composition of the Mahabharata to the present day. This range is mentioned also in the Vishnu Purana, as the source of the Rishikulya river, and as this is the well-known name of the river of Ganjam, the Mahendra mountains can at once be identified with the Mahendra Male range, which divides Ganjam from the valley of the Mahanadi.

Alexander Cunningham[3] writes: The Calingae are mentioned by Pliny,[4] as occupying the eastern coast of India below the Mandei and Malli, and the famous Mount Maleus. This mountain may perhaps be identified with the high range at the head of the Rishikulya river, in Ganjam, which is still called Mahendra Male, or the " Mahendra mountain."


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[5] ने लेख किया है ...

1. ऋषिकुल्या (AS, p.107) भारत की एक नदी, जिसका उल्लेख पुराणों आदि में हुआ है- 'ऋषिकुल्यां समासाद्य वासिष्ठं चैव भारत'; 'ऋषिकुल्यां समासाद्य नर: स्नात्वा विकल्मष:।' (महाभारत, वनपर्व, 84-48-49)

महाभारत के उपरोक्त प्रसंग में हिमालय के तीर्थों का वर्णन है। ऋषिकुल्या नदी को यहां भृगुतुंग के निकट प्रवाहित होने वाली सरिता बताया गया है। (वनपर्व 84, 50) भृगुतुंग केदारनाथ के निकट तुंगनाथ है। अनुमान है कि ऋषिकुल्या गढ़वाल के पहाड़ों में बहने वाली ऋषिगंगा है। भीष्मपर्व 9, 36 में भी ऋषिकुल्या का उल्लेख है- 'कुमारी मृषिकुल्यां च मारिषां च सरस्वतीम्।'

2. ऋषिकुल्या (AS, p.107) दक्षिणी उड़ीसा-कलिंग की एक नदी, जो विंध्याचल के पूर्वी भाग की पहाड़ियों से निकल कर बंगाल की खाड़ी में गिरती है। श्रीमद्भागवत में इसका उल्लेख है-'महानदी वेदस्मृतिऋषिकुल्या त्रिसामाकौशिकी। (श्रीमद्भागवत 5, 19,18) विष्णु पुराण (2,3,14) में ऋषिकुल्या को शुक्तिमान पर्वत से निकलने वाली नदी कहा गया है- 'ऋषिकुल्या कुमाराद्या: शुक्तिमत्पादसंभवा:।'


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[6] ने लेख किया है ...ऋषिगंगा (AS, p.107) उत्तराखंड में बहने वाली एक नदी है। यह नदी गढ़वाल की पहाड़ियों में बहती है। ऋषिगंगा गंगा की सहायक नदी है। जो संभवत: महाभारत वन पर्व 84, 48-49 में उल्लिखित ऋषिकुल्या है।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[7] ने लेख किया है ... आर्यकुल्या नदी (AS, p.70) विष्णु पुराण 2,3,13 में वर्णित एक नदी जो महेंद्रपर्वत (उड़ीसा) से उद्भूत मानी गई है।--'त्रिसामा चार्यकुल्याद्यामहेंद्रप्रभवा: स्मृता:' आर्यकुल्या नदी पास ही बहने वाली दूसरी नदी ऋषिकुल्या से भिन्न है क्योंकि ऋषिकुल्या का उल्लेख विष्णु पुराण 2, 3, 14 में पृथक् रूप से है।


Its tributaries are the Baghua, the Dhanei, the Badanadi etc. It has no delta as such at its mouth.

Urban Centres

Only one city Brahmapur is situated in the basin and important towns are Chhatrapur, Ganjam, Asika, Bhanjanagar and Surada.

In Mahabharata

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 Describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Rishikulya is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.10.34). [8]

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 82 mentions importance of Rishikulya as a Pilgrims in verses-(III.82.43)[9] and (III.82.44) [10]....Repairing to Rishikulya and bathing there, and living a month upon herbs, and worshipping the gods and Pitris, one is cleansed of all his sins, and obtaineth the region of the Rishis. Proceeding next to


  1. The Ancient Geography of India/Southern India: By Sir Alexander Cunningham, p.516
  2. Julieii's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 92. See Maps Nos. I. and XIII.
  3. The Ancient Geography of India/Southern India: By Sir Alexander Cunningham, p.517
  4. Hist. Nat. vi. 21. "Gentea: Calingae proximo mari, supra Mandei, Malli, quorum mons Mallus, finisque ejus tractus est Ganges."
  5. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.107
  6. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.107
  7. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.
  8. लॊहित्यां करतॊयां च तदैव वृषभङ्गिनीम, कुमारीम ऋषिकुल्यां च बरह्म कुल्यां च भारत (VI.10.34)
  9. ऋषिकुल्यां समासाद्य वासिष्ठं चैव भारत, वासिष्ठं समतिक्रम्य सर्वे वर्णा दविजातयः (III.82.43)
  10. ऋषिकुल्यां नरः सनात्वा ऋषिलॊकं परपद्यते, यदि तत्र वसेन मासं शाकाहारॊ नराधिप (III.82.44)

Back to Rivers/Rivers in Orissa/Rivers in Mahabharata