Section XXVI of the Astika Parva of Mahabharata mentions the incident of Garud and his mother Vinata carrying snakes and their mother Kadru to an island called Ramaniyaka.

The next section describes it thus:

"Sauti said, 'And then the Nagas drenched by that shower, became exceedingly glad. And borne by that bird of fair feathers, they soon arrived at the island. That island had been fixed by the Creator of the Universe as the abode of the makaras. There they saw the terrible Lavana Samudra (ocean of salt). On arriving there with Garuda, they saw there a beautiful forest washed by the waters of the sea and resounding with the music of winged choirs. And there were clusters of trees all around laden with various fruits and flowers. And there were also fair mansions all around; and many tanks full of lotuses. And it was also adorned with many lakes of pure water. And it was refreshed with pure incense-breathing breezes. And it was adorned with many a tree that grew only on the hills of Malaya, and seemed by their tallness to reach the very heavens.

Given that the salt-ocean is mentioned along with the Malaya hills that form the lower part of the western ghats, is there a way to identify this island?

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    Ramaniyaka is just a variant spelling of Ramanaka, which is one of the 8 Upadvipas or mini-islands surrounding Jambudvipa. See this picture. People have various theories on the identities of these Upadvipas (as well as theories about the identities of the actual Varshas of Jambudvipa). Sep 20, 2017 at 15:29
  • Hmmm @KeshavSrinivasan if that is so then according to the image it should be located diametrically opposite to India (Bharat Varsh) on the globe. Perhaps it could be one of the Caribbean islands? Sep 20, 2017 at 16:46
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    Hmm I do believe Bharatvarsha is Indian subcontinent but I think Jambudweep is the earth not India thats why was thinking of this particular island being near the carribean on the opposite side of the globe. Hope someone does some real research on it and help settle this confusion once and for all. Sep 20, 2017 at 19:13
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    Well its even less practical to think of the seven dweepas with their weird oceans to be present on earth! The only ocean on earth is the Salt Ocean which gives more credence to Jambudweep being the earth of millenia ago, maybe something like pangea when it was all joined together. Anyhow let us agree to disagree on this and focus on finding the answers instead of arguing :) Sep 20, 2017 at 19:55
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    By the way, I found out that Hindus in Fiji believe that Fiji is Ramanaka. That's because the people of Fiji worship a serpent god called Degei, whom Hindus equate with Kaliya. Kaliya returned to Ramanaka after Krishna defeated him; see this chapter and the next chapter of the Bhagavatam: vedabase.com/en/sb/10/16 Sep 20, 2017 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Not a scholar just very interested in the subject. My theory is that Jambudvipa might literally mean land of jambus. It appears that jambu tree is most commonly originated in Indonesia. It makes a lot of sense for Ancient Indians to view the lands of Indonesia as an island in the middle of the ocean. Indonesia is also close enough that Ancient Indians could've easily known about it. This is just a very logical approach but feel free to find flaws in this theory.

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