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I heard that in Ramayana it is stated that mountains used to have wings at one point, then somehow all the mountains lost their wings, except for one mountain which was between India and Sri Lanka.

This mountain helped Lord Hanuman by letting him rest on itself for a while when he was flying towards Lanka in search of Goddess Sita. Although, Lord Hanuman didn't take rest on the mountain, he did show respect towards the mountain for its kindness, by touching it with his toe.

So, is it true that mountains had wings? If yes, then how did they lose their wings?

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As Sundarkandnirnay - 2 says

Mainak parvat had wings. Earlier all the mountains had wings. They out of pride, started flying in the air and settling down at their will. This caused inconvenience to the people at large. Hence Indra cut the wings of all the mountains.

But Mainak, the golden parvat, 100 yojana in width, took shelter of vayu and then consequently was saved and allowed to stay in lavan samudra.

And one more point need to mention, which may be out of this question but from same link,

The fact that Mainak was 100 yojana, 800 miles, shows Lanka is not the Srilanka we often mistake, Lanka is far away beyond Malayachal, behind trikut parvat. Srilanka is simhala dweep according to Varaha purana.

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    hi, correct answer. Just add references to the Ramayana verses if you like instead of blog posts and it will be more better. – Be Happy Jul 10 '14 at 8:56
  • @jabahar Hi thanks for your complement, but I didn't understand what reference. Because, this happened in Krutayuga which is some million years before of Ramayana. – Bharadwaj Jul 10 '14 at 9:42
  • By references I meant verses of the scripture that mention those things. For example, Valmiki Ramayan 5.1.123 and 125 mention that mountains had wings but Indra cut them down. – Be Happy Jul 10 '14 at 13:45
  • Valmiki Ramayan might be stated it because to give reference to the context what Mainaka parvat told to Hanuman. But this cutting wings happened long before Ramayana. – Bharadwaj Jul 10 '14 at 13:47
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    To extend your answer as I know lord indra cut the wings of mainak parvat (mountain) after lord hanuman crossed it. The mountain was aware that lord Indra will cut his wings if he reveals himself out of ocean. Still he came above ocean to help lord Rama to find his wife Sita. A great sacrifice for a good purpose. – Mr_Green Jul 10 '14 at 18:10
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Yes. Mountains had wings. When landing, mountains killed innocent beings and disturbed yajnas and without Yajnas Devas had no food. Indra cut their wings with his thunderbolt to solve that problem. This is described in Chapter 4 of Setu Mahatmya-Brahma Khanda of Skanda Purana .

Sri Süta said:

53b-58. Formerly all the mountains had wings. They had the velocity of mind. They moved about here and there by the ethereal path along with the other mountains nearby. They glided and flew along and settled on cities and countries, villages and forests. Wherever these mountains settled down like this, men, cows and other living beings were crushed by them. They met with instantaneous death. When Brähmanas and peoples of other castes too perished thereby, this prevented the performance of Yajnas, etc. On account of the absence of the Yajnas and other rites, Devas became distressed, Indra became infuriated. Seizing the thunderbolt he cut off the wings of the powerful mountains.

59.When their wings were thus being cut off by Indra. all the mountains had no other refuge. Out of fear they entered the sea.

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Yes, all mountains did have wings in the Krita Yuga. Hanumān, en route to Lanka over the seas in search of Sita, encounters the Maināka mountain in its human form standing on its own peak, and that is when Maināka introduces himself to Hanumān as the only mountain currently left with its wings still intact.

Vālmiki narrates the following in Sundara Kanda, Sarga 1:

O son! Earlier in the Krita yuga, mountains had wings. With speed equal to that of Garuda and Vayu, they went in all directions. [5-1-123]

After that when those mountains were thus flying freely, Devas and living creatures together with sages obtained fear in the doubt that those mountains might fall down. [5-1-124]

Then the angry Devendra who performed a hundred Asvamedha rituals, cut off the wings of thousands of mountains by his weapon vajra then and there. [5-1-125]

That Devendra angrily reached me with raised vajra. Then I was thrown away immediately by the great Vayu. [5-1-126]

O best among vanaras! With saved full wings, being thrown down into this salt ocean, I have been protected by your father. [5-1-127]

O chief among vanaras! Vayu is thus indeed respectable to me. For that reason I am respecting you. My this relationship with you has great virtues. [5-1-128]

As to your suggestion that the Lanka mentioned in the Vālmiki Rāmāyaṇa is same as the present day Sri Lanka, there's a question on that.

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Yes , its true that formerly mountains had wings. This is described in one of the shloka in Shreemad Bhagvat Purana.in the skanda 8 - SB 8.11: King Indra Annihilates the Demons Verse 34.

While fighting with demons at one point Indra throws his Vajra (weapon) on daemon named Namuchi , But the Vajra fails to do any harm to that demon. At that time Indra gets frightened and thinks himself that – previously when mountains used to have wings and they used to fly all over the earth ,and due to their flying ,they used to fall on earth causing destruction on earth , I using this Vajra itself ,broke those wings of mountains. So from here we come to know that they used to fall on earth while flying with wings due to weight ,so in order to stop havoc caused by mountains ,Indra cut those wings.

येन मे पूर्वमद्रिणान पक्षस्च्छेद: प्रजात्यये ।
कृतोनिविशतां भारै: पतर्त्रे: पततां भुवि ॥34॥

yena me pūrvam adrīṇāṁ pakṣa-cchedaḥ prajātyaye
kṛto niviśatāṁ bhāraiḥ patattraiḥ patatāṁ bhuvi

Meaning -: Indra thought: Formerly, when many mountains flying in the sky with wings would fall to the ground and kill people, I cut their wings with this same thunderbolt.
SB 8.11.34

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