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  • Uttarāpatha

The northern division of Jambudīpa. Its boundaries are nowhere explicitly stated in Pāli literature. It has been suggested (See Law, Early Geog. of Bsm., pp.48ff) that Uttarāpatha was originally the name of a great trade-route, the northern high road which extended from Sāvatthi to Takkasilā in Gandhāra, and that it lent its name - as did the Dakkhināpatha - to the region through which it passed. If this be so, the name would include practically the whole of Northern India, from Anga in the east to Gandhāra in the north-west, and from the Himālaya in the north to the Vindhyā in the south.

According to the brahmanical tradition, as recorded in the Kāvyamīmāmsā (p.93), the Uttarāpatha is to the west of Prithudaka (Pehoa, about fourteen miles west of Thāneswar).

The chief divisions included in this territory are mentioned in the Pāli literature as Kasmīra-Gandhāra and Kamboja. This region was famous from very early times for its horses and horse-dealers (See, e.g., Vin.iii.6; Sp.i.175), and horses were brought down for sale from there to such cities as Benares (J.ii.287).

In Uttarāpatha was Kamsabhoga, where, in the city of Asitañjana, King Mahākamsa reigned (J.iv.79). The Divyāvadana (p.470) mentions another city, Utpalavatī.

According to the Mahāvastu (iii.303), Ukkala, the residence of Tapassu and Bhalluka, was in Uttarāpatha, as well as Takkasilā, the famous university (Mtu.ii.166).

There was regular trade between Sāvatthi and Uttarāpatha (PvA.100).

Anganika Bhāradvāja had friends in Uttarāpatha (ThagA.ii.339).


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