Saka Dvip is said to be named after the tree of Shaka. It is referred to as the homeland of Sakas in Mahabharat.

Just like in Jambu Dvip, Jambu tree has been identified, which tree in modern day is the Shaka tree?

2 Answers 2


what is the shaka tree after which sakadvip has been named.

The saka tree after which sakadvipa has named is Sagvan Or Teak.

Saka (Scythian) is a Sanskrit word which means Sagwan or Teak(Tectona grandis), generally grown in monsoon region.

See the section Origin of Saka

The saka tree and Sakadvipa is mentioned in - Shreemad Bhagvat Purana Skanda 5- Chapter -20 -Verse -24

एवं पुरस्तात्क्षीरोदात्परित उपवेशितः शाकद्वीपो द्वात्रिंशल्लक्षयोजनायामः
समानेन च दधिमण्डोदेन परीतो यस्मिन् शाको नाम महीरुहः स्वक्षेत्रव्यप
देशको यस्य ह महासुरभिगन्धस्तं द्वीपमनुवासयति ॥ SB 5.20.24

evaḿ purastāt kṣīrodāt parita
upaveśitaḥ śākadvīpo dvātriḿśal-
lakṣa-yojanāyāmaḥ samānena ca dadhi-maṇḍodena parīto yasmin śāko nāma mahīruhaḥ sva-kṣetra-
vyapadeśako yasya ha mahā-surabhi-gandhas taḿ dvīpam anuvāsayati

Outside the Ocean of Milk is another island, Sakadvipa, which has a width of 3,200,000 yojanas [25,600,000 miles]. As Krauncadvipa is surrounded by its own ocean of milk, Sakadvipa is surrounded by an ocean of churned yogurt as broad as the island itself. In Sakadvipa there is a big saka tree, from which the island takes its name. This tree is very fragrant. Indeed, it lends its scent to the entire island.

  • 1
    (+1) Thanks for the answer. Isn't Saka Dvip located in Central Asia by modern scholars? But Teak doesn't grow there.
    – MathGod
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 13:29
  • Thanks , actually Teak (Tectona grandis) is a tropical hardwood. Wikipedia says - Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia,- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teak Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 13:36
  • 1
    Right. But Saka Dvip is located in Central Asia. So how can Teak grow there?
    – MathGod
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 13:42
  • 2
    Yes i got your question , but see this wiki info. - Tectona grandis is found in a variety of habitats and climatic conditions from arid areas with only 500 mm of rain per year to very moist forests with up to 5,000 mm of rain per year.So its quite possible that is of a different variety , which used to grow in ancient times , but now not because of climate change or something. I will further update the answer in time . And will add the explanation . Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 13:51

The Shaka tree is the Teak tree. Here is what page 522 of this book says:

The Vishnu Purana and the Mahabharata's derive the name Saka-dvipa from the 'Saka tree' the modern Sagavana. In India the word Sagavana, a corruption of Sanskrit Saka is used up to this day to denote the teak tree. According to the Matsya Purana however, there was a Saka mountain in the Saka-dvipa and hence the land takes its name after the name of the mountain.

  • how can such vast expanses of milk and yoghurt not undergo chemical reactions, that too over eons?
    – S K
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 0:34
  • (+1) Thanks for the answer. Isn't Saka Dvip located in Central Asia by modern scholars? But Teak doesn't grow there.
    – MathGod
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 13:29
  • @S K I think that might be a metaphorical term, like we refer to Netherlands as the land of milk and honey in modern era.
    – MathGod
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:37

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