Nahusa – Remote ancestor of the protagonists of this story (Vadhryasva and Divodasa). The protagonists of this story and their relatives are collectively referred to as the sons of Nahusa in the Rig Veda. Also, father of Yayati.
Yayati – Father of five sons, these sons and their descendants are collectively referred to as the five tribes in the Rig Veda. The five sons and hence the five tribes are – Yadu, Turvasa, Druhyu, Anu and Puru. A brief reference to the legend of
Yayati is available in Virshika’s quest for revenge
Bharata – One of the most famous Puru kings. Ancient India was named after this king. Remote descendant of Puru and remote ancestor of Mudgala.
Mudgala – Father of Vadhryasva and one of the five sons of a Puru king by the name Bhrmyasiva, who divided his kingdom amongst his five sons and hence the region came to be known as Panchala. Elder brother of Srnjaya. Belonged to the Puru tribe and the founder of North Panchala dynasty.
Srnjaya – Younger brother of Mudgala. Father of Prastoka. One of the five sons of Bhrmyasiva, who divided his kingdom amongst his five sons and hence the region came to be known as Panchala. Belonged to the Puru tribe and the founder of South Panchala dynasty along with his younger brother Kampila.
Vadhryasva – Father of Divodasa and a protagonist of the first part of this story. Son of Mudgala. His wife is Menaka.
Divodasa – Hero of this story. Established a kingdom from the Ganges river in the east to (undivided) Punjab in the west and included modern day Rajasthan and Northern Madhya Pradesh. Belonged to the Puru tribe and the North Panchala dynasty. Son of Vadhryasva and Menaka. His sister is Ahalya (she is part of a legend involving Lord Ram).
Bharadvaja – Respected seer and chief priest of the Puru tribe, particularly the Panchala dynasty. Part of one of the most ancient lineage of seers called the Angirasas. Descendant of Brihaspatya Bharadvaja the founder of Bharadvaja branch of Angirasas. The Puru king Bharata is said to have adopted Brihaspatya Bharadvaja and that is how the Bharadvaja’s have always held a close relation with the Purus.
Payu – Son of Bharadvaja and perhaps became the chief priest of Divodasa (in our story he does, but not proven by fact).
Dabhiti – Nothing is known about this person in the Rig Veda or other texts. His name is mentioned in the Rig Veda and from inference he could have been an important priest. In our story, he is the high priest of the North Panchala dynasty.
Bribu – a Pani chieftain. The Panis were a tribe different from the five tribes that are central to the Rig Veda. They are antagonists to the Rig Vedic tribes, however Bribu is shown in good light. It appears, that Bribu may also have been a clan of the Pani tribe, not just the name of a person/chieftain.
Virshika – King of the Vrcivan clan. The Vrcivans are part of the Yadu tribe and descended from Yadu. Belonged to the Yadu tribe and the Vrcivan clan which may have also been a dynasty.
Prastoka – Prince Prastoka is the son of Srnjaya and Divodasa’s cousin. Belonged to the Puru tribe and the South Panchala dynasty.
Abhyavartin Cayamana – King of the Anu tribe and ruled in the janapadha neighbouring the Panchalas (to their west, undivided Punjab and Haryana, India). Unlike the Yadu tribe that was always antagonistic to the Puru tribe, the Anu tribe had on-off relationships with the Purus. During the time of this king, they had very good relations. Belonged to the Anu tribe and the Cayamana dynasty. His son is Kavi Cayamana.
Kavi Cayamana – Son of Abhyavarthin Cayamana and one of the sworn enemies of Divodasa. Belonged to the Anu tribe and the Cayamana dynasty.
Kulitara – A powerful Dasa king who ruled from Abudara – current day Mt. Abu. Father of Sambara.
Sambara – Son of Kulitara and even more powerful than the father. Dasa king and sworn enemy of Divodasa. The Sambhar lake in Rajasthan could have been named after him.
Ahichhatra – capital of North Panchala from where Vadhryasva ruled. Close to modern day Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
Kampilya – capital of South Panchala from where Srnjaya and Prastoka ruled. Modern day Kampil, Uttar Pradesh, India
Abudara – capital of Dasa king Kulitara and his son Sambara – current day Mt Abu.
Kalesar National Park could have been the possible location of Rishi Bharadvaja’s ashram that Vardhryasva, Menaka and Dabhiti visit.
Modern names of ancient rivers mentioned in the Rig Veda
Central Rivers - Rivers in the Punjab
The East-central Rivers - Rivers of Haryana
Sarasvati - the original Sarasvati dried around 4000 years ago
Drsadvati/Hariyupiya/Yavyavati - these rivers too dried along with the Sarasvati
Apaya - ??
The Eastern Rivers
Asmanvati (Assan, a tributary of the Yamuna)
Link to Maps
Maps containing places referred in the story