By Swami Harshananda
Aryāvarta literally means ‘the land of the ārya’.
From the most ancient times, the region between the Himalayas and the Vindhya mountains, demarcated by the western and eastern seas, has been declared as the ‘Āryāvarta,’ the land of the ārya, ‘the refined and cultured people.’
Black antelopes roam about this land. It was believed that it was a holy land and only people with puṇya (religious merit) would have the privilege to have birth there. Of course, there are other descriptions according to which there are slight variations to its geographical limits.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore