Vanaras and Kishkinda

See Index Page : Ancient Beings, People, Tribes, Races

A. Vanara Location : Kishkinda Bellary

Kishkinda is in  Bellary : From various sources, that I will present in this site, this is a fairly strong conclusion to arrive at. The civilization here is 500,000 years old. Though the sites are being destroyed due to negligence and ignorance, there is an archaeological project that is going on here, that is working as fast as it can to excavate and interpret the data. Here I will try to present the archaeological and literary evidence, that supports my understanding. Since the Vanaras are Kishkindavasis and they built the Rama Sethu, Rama Sethu is also covered here. And since Sri Lanka is at the other end of the Rama Sethu, where the Vanaras fought a major war with the Rakshasas, aspects of Sri Lanka  that are relevant to Ramayana and ancient India are also covered here.

Continuous civilization present in South India from 500,ooo BC to present : At this link: you can find comparitive maps of South India from the stone age to the present. They show that there was a continuous civilization present in South India from 500,ooo BC to present.

In Janamejaya’s dana sasana patram (letter of gift) : we get this information : 89 years, after Vyasa started writing the Mahabharata (Jaya), Janamejaya, (Arjuna’s great grand son), made a gift of land to a saint, near the Tungabhadra. Janamejaya ruled in Kishkinda (Hampi). Janamejaya worshipped Sita, Rama and Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Siva).

Excerpt: “—- In the 89th year of of Jayabhyudaya Yudhisthira Saka, in the Plavangakhya, In the Sahasya Masi, on the Amavasya Day (New Moon Day), on a Monday, Sri Janamejaya, ruler of the earth (king), born in the Gotra of Vaiagrani Vayaghra, enthroned in the city of Kishkinda, the protector of all Varnas and Asramas (classes and stages)in the western city of Sitapura, in the Vrukodara Kshetra ….” For Complete  Details See:

This map below from, shows you the Anjaneya Hill where Hanuman was born, Rsyamukha Hill where Rama and Sugreeva met, the Matunga Hill, where Sugreeva hid from Vali, The Tungabhadra river that Janamejaya refers to, the Gandhamadana, Malayavanta, Hemakuta mountains and the way to Bellary!For some more information: you can see :

Rama’s journey through KishkindaQuoted from:“FOOTPRINTS OF LORD RAMA ON THE SANDS OF TIME”“Entering Dandakaaranya, Rama reached Panchavati where an abode was set up by Lakshmana for the three to stay and it was here Sita was abducted by Ravana. While some historians identify Panchavati with modern Nasik, there are others who hold the view that it must be the modern Badrachalam in Andhra Pradesh. After a long trek through dense forests in search of Sita, Rama and Lakshmana reached Sabari Ashrama which was located on the west bank of Pampa Saras. The district map of Bellary shows a Pampa Sagar on the north bank of Tungabadra. According to Professor Wilson, there is a Pampas Lake and also a river of the same name North of Tungabadra, the Pampa River starting from the Rishyamooka Hill joins the main river. Sabari received the brothers here. From there the brothers proceeded to Kishkinda. To the west of the town of Bellary on the south bank of Tungabadra is the small village of Hampi where the ancient Kishkinda is placed on general agreement by scholars. Longhurst on Hampi says Pampa Saras or Pampa Tirtha is on the Nizam’s side near the village Anegundi. Pampa is said to be the puranic name of River Thungabadra. Such is the story of the Ramayana that the names of several localities around Hampi are identical with those in the Epic. Griffith also thinks that the semi-civilized state of Kishkinda included a great part of the Deccan.

Rama and Lakshmana accompanied by the Vanara Sena under the leadership of Sugriva and Hanuman marched towards the south and walked through the area now known as Chitaldroog District of Karnataka before reaching the Sahya Parvata or the Western Ghats. Trekking along the eastern slopes of this mountain, they should have crossed the river kaveri near its source, the Coorg Hills. Rice in the gazetteer of Mysore says, “it is generally believed that Rama crossed the Kaveri west of Srirangapatam near its junction with the River Lakshmana Teertha.” From there they reached Mahendragiri from where Hanuman took his leap to Lanka.”

Kabandha asks Sri Rama to go West to Pampa. Flora and Fauna description. Google Map of the region.. Karnataka District Map, Map of Valmiki’s Kishkinda: by Jijith N.R.Photos of Kishkinda

B. Vanaras as humans :

The Vanara Tribes : “In the British records of the gazette of Bellary district, which is very near modern day Hampi, or Kishkinda of earlier times, the then collector has noted that the forest tribes of that area call themselves the Vanara people, and used Monkey as a symbol in their totem pole and flag. This vanara totem is in the Bellary District Gazetteer.” Source

Vanaras in human form at Rama’s coronationIn the Yuddhakanda of Valmiki’s Ramayanam, he says that when the Vanaras visted Ayodhya for Sri Rama’s coronation they assumed a human form and rode elephants., because they were kamarupadharis. This word can mean either those of  attractive form or it can mean those who can take any form. All the magic happened in Kishkinda, south of Vindhyas!

Rama BantuHanuman is often called Rama Bantu.Thyagaraja once sang a song – Bantu reeti koluvu iyyavayya Rama – give me the role of your servant. So in Telugu, Bantu has come to mean a servant. Nammina Bantu means, trusted servant. On the internet I have read an analysis connecting the term, Bunt, Bantu and the Vanaras. Even today the Bunts are known for their excellent warrior like qualities. The article, said that the Telugu speaking Mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh and the Tuluva speaking Shettys of Karnataka are known as BANTS. It also said that there exists a community of people belonging to Bandars in Nepal & Madhya Pradesh who call themselves as offsprings of Hanuman. Some Banjars believe that Banjara derives from Vanchara or Vanaras.

Kapi :  Valmiki frequently uses the word kapi to describe the Vanaras. Apte gives all these meanings for kapi . ape; elephant; 3.a species of karaJja; 4.incense; 5.the sun; of viSNu

What interests me is that the word kapila refers to “one of a tawny or a light brown colour.”

So Valmiki could have been talking of light brown people when he referred to the vanaras as kapis.

Kapi : A Name of Vishnu : Vishnu Sahasranama

C. Vanaras as Fighters and Winners:

Vanara Rakshasa Conflicts : The Rama Ravana war over Sita was not the first conflict between the Vanaras and the Rakshasas. The Vanaras were fast and strong and had won over technically sound Rakshasas many times before the Ramayana war.

  1. Vali defeated Ravana
  2. Vali defeated and killed Dundhubhi and Mayavi, the sons of Maya Danava, the father-in-law of Ravana and Maya ran away to Patala.
  3. Under the leadership of Sri Rama and Sugriva, the Vanara Armies defeated the Rakshasas of Sri Lanka.

D. Vanara Archaeology.

Vanara Kishkinda Archaeology (3000 BC) : For those of us who are looking for archaeological evidence of the Vanara Culture prior to 3000 BC, the source below tells us that they had pottery, ground axes, ceramics, animal herding and cultivation, rock art, rock music and ashmounds (see below). 3100 BC is the traditional date for the Bharata war and the start of the Kaliyuga. The Ramayana war took place  may be about 200 years before that: See Generations between Rama and Krishna.

Source for data given below : (Please click here for gallery)“The “Neolithic” throughout the Old World is taken to be synonymous with the earliest agriculture. In material terms the Neolithic is usually represenetd by ground stone axes and ceramics. The earliest pottery and ground axes in South India date back to ca. 3000 BC and it is plausible the food production, in terms of animal herding and plant cultivation, was already practiced from this time. Clear archaeobotanical evidence for cultivation, however, dates from ca. 2200 BC, while probably domestcated cattle, sheep and goats date to before 2600 BC. The Neolithic continued until 1200-1000 BC when Iron objects first appear and the periods is known as the Megalithic. A particularly distinctive aspect of this ancient culture are “ashmound” sites which consist of large heaped accumulations of ash and vitirfied material, which are now generally accepted as having originated from burnt cattle dung. In addition to the ashmounds there are many site of habitation, often on the tops of granite hills, as well a major concentrations of rock art attributed to this period.”

South Deccan Prehistory Project :  Quoted from South Deccan Pre-History Project : “The South Deccan Prehistory Project is a joint India-Europe project that is aimed at investigating the rich prehistory of central Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is an umbrella project that incorporates a number of separate studies and fieldwork expeditions. The South Deccan Prehistory Project is co-directed by Nicole Boivin (UK grants PI), Dorian Q Fuller (UK grants PI), Ravi Korisettar (Indian PI), and Michael Petraglia (Co-Investigator). The project is based at the Department of History and Archaeology , Karnatak University, the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, and the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. It includes many collaborating researchers from institutions in India, the UK, France, Spain and elsewhere. It previously was called the Southern Neolithic Archaeological Project. The project is focused on investigating, recording and interpreting the prehistoric remains, especially Neolithic and Iron Age, of the south Deccan plateau. As many of these sites are undergoing rapid and ongoing destruction, the project is also keen to raise awareness of their importance and value.”

Bellary District Archaeological Project: Quoted from : Bellary District Archaeological Project

“The Bellary District Archaeological Project, undertaken in 2002, focused its efforts in particular on the Sanganakallu-Kupgal cluster of hills and sites. It also involved exploration and analysis of other sites in Bellary District, Karnataka and beyond. The Sanganakallu-Kupgal cluster of archaeological sites has been known since at least the 19th century, and early reports refer to it as ‘Peacock Hill’. We refer to the cluster of sites as the ‘Sanganakallu-Kupgal archaeological heritage area’, due to the remarkable concentration of archaeological sites found in the area of these two villages (Sanganakallu and Kupgal). The area appears to have been particularly important during the Neolithic period, when settlement was focused on the granitic hills themselves (see Intensive systematic survey). The archaeological importance of the Sanganakallu-Kupgal heritage area is significant, and these sites deserve government protection”

Brahmagiri, Chitradurga: Chitradurga is the adjacent district to Bellary. There is a pre-historic site at Brahmagiri. There is also a temple which marks the spot where Jatayu died. This link gives you the write-up and some photos: and these links have some extra photos:,

See Also:  Archaeobotany of South India,

E. Vanara Heroes

Kesari and SumeruHanuman’s father, Kesari, the Vanara king and hero was the king of Sumeru. In the Bhavisya Purana, It is said that The state of Tailanga (Telangana in modern Andhra) is on the banks of the Narmada River which flows on the southern side of Meru. It was a place of Devarshis. In the link below, I look at the maps of regions called Sumeru near Iraq! There are two Meru mountains in Africa, near the Bhoo Madhya Rekha – the earth’s equator. For Details: The Bhu Madhya Rekha can also mean 0 longitude. In India 0 longitude was line through Ujjain and Sri Lanka. In addition, the Surya Siddhantam of Maya Asura clearly states that the Meru is really the axis of the earth, (about which the earth spins). At the north pole it looks as if the Sun goes round this axis.

Hanuman’s AncestryDivine Hanuman is also the most important Vanara Hero. I have included his ancestry under Ancient Indians here:

Sugriva, Sri Rama’s Friend : Rama and Lakshmana first hear of Sugriva, the Vanara King from Kabanda

G. Kishkinda Asetics

Sabari, a Siddha, Sramani and Tapodhana

H. Vanara Accomplishments: Rama Sethu or Nala Sethu

Sethupatis: Preservers of the Vanara heritageQuoted From: “For thousands of years, there was a royal family in South India with its headquarters at Ramanathapuram near Rameshwaram, known as the Sethupati Rajas or the guardians of the Sethu. Like the Maharajas of Kashi in North India, the specific task of these kings was to guard the sanctity of Rameshwaram temple and protect the Sethu – now so much under the limelight.

In fact even today, though the famous Rameshwaram temple (which technically belonged to the Sethupatis) is administered by the Government of Tamil Nadu, the head of the Sethupati dynasty, at present Rajeshwari Nachiar, is the hereditary head of the temple’s board of trustees….. Although the dynasty claims that they are mentioned in the 2000-year-old sagas of Tamil literature, as the brave Marava community guarding the Sethu since the times of Rama, the first historical reference comes only in the 11th century AD, when Chola king Rajaraja made the head of Marava community as  Sethupati to protect the pilgrims to Rameshwaram temple and the Rama Sethu.

The temple complex itself was built by Sethupati rulers in the 12th century, with Sethupathy Maravar beginning the construction of the grand Ramanathaswamy temple. Then again reference is made in A D1434 to the repair of  the temple walls by the head of the Sethupati clan, known as Udayan Sethupati. Geologists state that till AD1480, when a tsunami damaged the present Rama Sethu, one could walk from India to Sri Lanka on the Sethu!….

Archaeological Evidence for the Rama Sethu built by Vanaras :Valmiki tells us that The Kiskindavasis, the Vanaras, built the Rama Sethu for Rama’s sake, under the guidance of Nala, Viswakarma’s son and Nila. The web-site historicalrama has collected together in one place picturs of coins, maps, books, and ancient texts, with references to the Rama Sethu. I have culled together a few points which show that the Vanaras of Kiskindha were the builders of the Rama Sethu, it was built of stone and wood, it was 100 yojans long and 10 yojanas wide, it was washed out in 1480, many travellers and writers referred to it including Vyasa, Al Beruni and Krishna Devaraya. Please visit their web-site for greater details.

Notes from :

  1. Veda Vyasa said in the Mahabharatha 3.267.45 “nalasetur iti khyato yo ‘dyapi prathito bhuvi ramasyajnac purask – tya dharyate girisacnibha” . This means that the Nala Sethu of Rama, still existing at the time of the Mahabharat was preserved in memory of Sri Rama.
  2. The story of a bridge 100 yojans long and 10 yojans wide, being built by Nala ar Rama’s instance is explained in detail in the Vanaparva – Ramopakhyam of the Mahabharata, by Markandeya to the Pandavas.
  3. The details of using strings to mark lines, the chipping of boulders, the kinds of trees cut.. all this is given in the Yuddhakandam of the Valmiki Ramayanam.
  4. Krishnadeva Raya mentions the Rama Sethu.  Inscriptiondated Saka 1430 (1508 C.E). Epigrapha Indica Volume 1 1892 Pg. 363 – 366 (
  5. Paraantaka Chola Plates “This ruler performed tulaabhaara with gold acquired by his valour, at the beautiful Sriraamatirtha,where the ablest of vanara flocks built the bridge; at the Kanyaatirtha which subdued the southern quarters, and at Srirangam beautiful by the areca groves, where Sri Vishnu reclines on his serpent couch.”
  6. Alberuni said “It is the dike of Rama, the son of Dasaratha which he built from the continent to the castle Lanka. At present it consists of isolated mountains between which the ocean flows… Sixteen farsakh from Setubandha towards the east is Kihkind. The mountians of the vanara…
  7. “Ramanathapuram District Gazette of 1972: The Gazette goes on to clearly speak of the ‘Adam’s Bridge’ as ‘Sethu Palam’ and ‘Rama Sethu’ and calls it as ‘tiruvanai’ meaning Sacred Dam in Tamil. It also states that this is called the ‘Ramar Palam’ because it was built by the ‘Kuranguppadai’ or ‘Vanara Sena’ and it was in use till 1480 A.D., when it was washed away in a storm””

Rama Setu in the Padma Purana, Significance of Rama Setu in Skanda Purana, Rameswaram Ram Setu Protection Project, Engineering Aspects of Rama Sethu,

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