Utopia / Dystopia

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Tue Apr 13 17:39:32 UTC 2010

The Uttarakurus, who live somewhere north of the Himalayas, are depicted as ideally virtuous, but I can't give citations.  I think there is something about them in the Mahabharata.  There is a Wiki article "Uttarakuru" with inadequate source citations (and multiple misspellings) but which at least directs one to the names of the texts mentioning them, and a few chapter and verse citations.  Standard books on ancient cosmology and geography would presumably mention them and give sources better.  So would dictionaries and perhaps books on ancient Indian political thought.

It's interesting that (at least as far as I know) there are no Utopias that are the result of conscious planning, colonization, and/or setting of laws, unlike many Western examples.

Someone referred to the state depicted in the Arthasastra as "a bureaucrat's utopia" rather than the representation of an actual state, whether Maurya or later.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Team Coordinator
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

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