Ancient Geography (+transcription)

jayabarathi barathi at PC.JARING.MY
Mon May 25 10:41:40 UTC 1998

At 11:45 AM 5/25/98 +0200, you wrote:
>Dear Indologist
>First of all I am sorry for the transcription. But I am using Sanskrit
>transcription from Taiwan. Can somebody please send me the transcription of
>devanagari used in this list.
>For some years I am trying to translate Lan%ka^vata^ra su^tra from the 4th
>century Chinese translation. Since I have seen the discussion on some
>ancient geography here  I would like to ask about a place where the sutra
>suppose to take place.
>In the most of the manuscripts it is mentioned as
>lan%kagiri in the malaya kingdom
>and is some commentarries it is mentioned as
>malayagiri in the malaku^t!a kingdom
>In some latter translations from 6th and 7th century author of the
>Lan%ka^vata^ra says that his father is Praja^pati, his mather Vasumati, his
>name is Viraja and he is from the Ka^tya^yana race born in Campa.
>I found that  forest called the Malaya mountains is mentioned in Nagananda
>I do not know whether it is the same place, since no word about Lan%ka is
>Please, does any of these names says anything to anybody on the list? I
>would be glad to transcribe them to the standard used in the list if I know
>where to obtain it.
>I would like to know where it is in today's India and where I can leran more
>about the places people or times mentioned above.
>Since the Chinese translation is from the beginning of the fifth century the
>names reffered must be much older.

        Dear Sir,

                The Malaya mountains might mean the Podhiyil
        Mountains of the tail end of the Western Ghats in India.
        But there is no Lankagiri thereabout.
                The second possibility may be SriLanka itself,
        because  there is a place called Malainadu. Ramani
        Kandiah and Sivalingam Ramalingam in this list are
        from the island. May be they can throw some light.
                The third possibilty is Cambodia, since Campa
        is mentioned as his birth place. Malaya name is
        also associated with Cambodia.
                The fourth possibility and the one with a
        greater likelihood is the east coast of the Malay
        Peninsula itself. The name of the peninsula is known
        as Malaya. This is actually derived form the word
        "malaya" of Tamil origin.
        There is still an island called Langkawi which is said
        to have been the site of Asoka Vana where Ravana hid
        Sita. But there was an ancient kingdom which sprawled
        across the northern part of the peninsula and this
        was called the kingdom of "Langka Suka". Champa was
        just three hundred miles away across the Gulf of
        Thailand. In those days five day's journey.
                It should be noted that Lanka Suka was a
        Buddhist kingdom for most part of its existence.
        Parts of it are now in Buddhist Thailand.
                It is a mountainous place, and the funny thing
        is that while other mountains have Malay names,
        the mountains in the earstwhile Lanka Suka still
        have Sanskrit names.
                Lanka Suka was a port of call for the Chinese
        and was of great importance to them.
                Must check up whether Yuen Chwang mentions this
        place. It Sing has mentioned it.
                This seems to be a likely place since both
        Malaya and Lanka are found in combination.



>Thank you very much for kind attention
>Petr Mares

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