Early Sanskritization. Origins and Development of the Kuru State

  • Michael Witzel (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The Mahābhārata is, by and large, the tale of a great battle between two sections of the ancient Kuru people of the Haryana/W. Uttar Pradesh region, as told at the snake sacrifice of the post-battle Kuru king Parīkṣit. Since the Vedic texts are “tape recordings” of the Vedic period we can use them as basis for judging the less strict tradition of the Epics. To provide such a basis, the present paper is an investigation of the forces behind the formation of the Kuru realm at the end of the Ṛgvedic period.

The emergence of the Kuru realm is of extraordinary importance as its civilization has influenced later Indian ritual, society and political formations, frequently even until today. Comments are welcome and will be published in a separate column of letters/discussion.