Indraprastha, Dehli, Delhi

According to Devdutt Patnaik’s retelling of the Mahabharata, in an attempt to make peace between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, blind king Dhritarashtra gave the Pandavas the forest of Khandava-prastha. On Krishna’s advice, the five brothers invoked the fire god Agni and burnt the forest to the ground, slaughtering all living things -trees, herbs, grass, animals, birds, nagas, asuras- so that no one could lay claim to the land on a later date.

Maya used the principles of Vastushastra when building Indraprastha

Only one survived: the asura Maya, architect of the demons. He begged the Pandavas to spare his life; in exchange, he would build for them the greatest city in all of Bharat: Indra-prastha.

The modern city of Delhi, is, of course, said to be on the ruins of this very Indraprastha.

Quite an impressive legacy.

On a side note, from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

Delhi, city in India, of unknown origin, perhaps connected to Hindi dehli “threshhold,” with reference to the watershed boundary between the Ganges and Indus, which is nearby.

I found one source on the web which contemplates whether this threshhold might have been the door to India, or whether it was meant to represent the outskirts of the same Indraprastha. Delhi then would be a suburb which grew bigger than the mother city.


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