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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Bāhlika is mentioned in the Mahābhārata in several contexts:

  • A country (also mentioned in Rāmāyana)
  • A king that fought for Duryodhana
  • The younger brother of king Śantanu

Bāhlika-The Country[edit]

The country of Bāhlika (also spelt as Vāhlīka) has been mentioned in the epic Mahābhārata[1]. It has been identified with Bactria, situated in north of Afghanistan, and east of Iran. Arjuna, the Pāṇḍava hero, conquered this country during his victory marches before the Rājasṅya sacrifice. The people of this country faced significant criticism for their unethical ways of life[2].

The Rāmāyana alludes towards a country called Bāhlika, situated between Ayodhyā and Kekaya, which extends between the rivers Satadru (Sutlej) and Vipāśā (Beas)[3].


  1. Mahābhārata, Bhismaparva 9
  2. Mahābhārata, Karnaparva 44
  3. Rāmāyana, Ayodhyākānda 68.18
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore