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Vindhya Range (विन्‍ध्य)
Range
Vindhya Range
Country India
State Madhya Pradesh
River Kali Sindh, Parbati, Betwa, Ken, Son
Highest point Amarkantak
 - elevation 1,048 m (3,438 ft)
 - coordinates 22°40′N 81°45′E / 22.67°N 81.75°E / 22.67; 81.75
Topographic map of India showing the range

The Vindhya Range (Sanskrit: विन्‍ध्य) is a range of older rounded mountains and hills in the west-central Indian subcontinent, which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India (the Indo-Gangetic plain) and Southern India.

The western end of the range is in the state of Gujarat at the eastern side of the Gujarat peninsula, near the border with the modern states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Reaching the sub-continent proper, the range runs east and north nearly to the Ganges River at Mirzapur. The area to the north and west of the range are arid and inhospitable, located in the shadow of both the Vindhya and the higher Aravalli range to the south blocking the prevailing winds.

The southern slopes of the range are drained by the Narmada River, which proceeds westward to the Arabian Sea in the wide valley between the Vindhya Range and the parallel Satpura Range farther to the south. The northern slopes of the range are drained by tributaries of the Ganges, including the Kali Sindh, Parbati, Betwa, and Ken, Son, a tributary of the Ganges, drains the southern slopes of the range at its eastern end.

The earliest known multicellular fossils of eukaryotes (filamentous algae) have been discovered from Vindhya basin dating back to 1.6 to 1.7 billion years ago.[1]

The Vindhyan tableland is a plateau that lies to the north of the central part of the range. The cities of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, and Indore lie on the tableland, which rises higher than the Indo-Gangetic plain to its north.

Legend

Hindu legends say that the Vindhya mountains once showed a tendency to grow so high as to obstruct the usual trajectory of the sun. This was accompanied by increasing vanity on the part of that mountain range, which demanded that Surya, should circum-ambulate the Vindhyas in the same way as he does Mount Meru. The need arose to subdue, by guile, the Vindhyas, and Agastya was chosen to do that.

Agastya journeyed from north to south, and on the way encountered the now impassible Vindhya mountains. He asked the mountain range to facilitate his passage across to the south. In reverence for Agastya, the Vindhya mountains bent low enough to enable the sage and his family to cross over and enter south India. The Vindhya range also promised not to increase in height until Agastya and his family returned to the north. Agastya settled permanently in the south, and the Vindhya range, true to its word, never grew further.

  1. ^ Bengtson S, Belivanova V, Rasmussen B, Whitehouse M. (2009). The controversial "Cambrian" fossils of the Vindhyan are real but more than a billion years older. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106: 7729–7734 PubMed

Coordinates: 24°37′N 82°00′E / 24.617°N 82°E / 24.617; 82

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