Dakshināvarta portal aims to capture, assemble and consolidate the rich political history, culture and traditions, the people and the inspirational icons, reflecting the society and it’s changing times. It hopes to present a kaleidoscope of socio-cultural history of Dakshin, it’s geo-politics, it’s culture and fine arts, and it’s spiritual traditions. Political and other development of the region would be presented in the News section, and would be open for relevant contributions and features by bloggers.
Dakshināvarta – Indian south
Dakshināvarta is Dakshin Bharat – Southern India; Dakshin is traditionally regarded as the land south of Vindhyas. The legend goes that Sage Agastya Mahamuni was asked to migrate to Daskhina, south of Vindhyas, by Bhagwan Mahasiva to bring in equilibrium to the landmass, as Vindhya mountains were trying to compete with Himalayas by growing enormously in height. As he was traversing the path, the Vindhyas prostrate before him, and he asks the mountains to lie down till he returns. Sri Agastya never returns and the Vindhyas stay as low mountain ranges. (It is understood that the Nakshatra Agastya, Canopus in English, was visible from the Vindhyas around 5000BCE and would have been named after him.) Agastya Mahamuni and his wife Lopamudra are Vedic rishi and rishikas who contributed to Rigvedic Hymns. The couple appear in Ramayana and Mahabharatha Ithihasas as well as several texts of Puranic literature including Skanda Purana.
The Dakshin peninsular landmass is surrounded by the seas on all three sides, Bay of Bengal in the east, Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. In terms of states, Dakshināvarta covers the present states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Tamilnadu and Telangana. It also covers parts of the current states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Odisha.
Mountains, Forests and Rivers
Vindhya and Satpura ranges are the major mountain ranges in central India. The Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri hills, run along the Dakshin’s west coast are higher and long mountain ranges; Eastern Ghats which includes Nallamala range, are on the eastern coast, though not as extensive or contiguous as Western Ghats. The Dandakaranya- Abujmarh forest traversing a few sections of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra; the Vandalur reserve forest in TamilNadu, and the many smaller pockets in Eastern and Western Ghats provide the green cover. The Western Ghat hill ranges are also the home of several mighty rivers including Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna and Narmada, although mostly fed by seasonal monsoons.
Deccan Plateau – the Deccan (derived from Dakshin) plateau is said to be a segment of the very ancient continent of Gondwana land, the oldest and most stable landmass in Bharat, typically rocky and dry in nature. The plateau made up of basalt and granite rock, is rich in primary minerals of mica and iron ore, and covers parts of Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Diamonds and other metals were also found in the Golkonda region in the past.
Languages and culture
The many living spoken classical languages, cultural richness, the development of fine arts, classical music and dance, the architectural splendor of the majestic temples -all reflect the antiquity from times immemorial of Dakshināvarta Bharata. The major languages of Dakshināvarta are Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu; Konkani and Tulu are the major dialects spoken mainly in Karnataka. The Dakshina region’s diversity and richness is reflected in the multiple languages spoken.
Classical languages- Interestingly, the four main languages – Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, spoken in Dakshin are also among the five classical languages recognized by Govt of India (the 5th being Odiya spoken in Odisha). Extensive and rich literature and Vangmaya flourished in the Dakshina region in Sanskrit and all dakshina languages.
Dakshināvarta, with it’s relative peace and political stability, has also seen the flourishing and rich splendor of Classical Arts, Music and Dance. Dakshin is the home for many majestic temples built centuries ago by the Hindu ruling dynasties, even though some are lost due to invasions, majority of them are flourishing to this day. Hindu traditions are reflected in the various Mutts and Peethas as per the Saiva, Vaishanava and Saktheya Sampradayas. Jainism and Buddhism too flourished in dakshin at different periods of time, leaving behind a rich cultural tapestry.