Madhyadeśa

(‘the middle part of the country [Bhāratavarṣa]’)

The purāṇas divide Bhāratavarṣa (undivided India) into seven deśas or regions. They are: Aparānta, Madhyadeśa, Udīcya or Uttarāpatha, Prācya, Dākṣiṇātya or Dakṣiṇāpatha, Vindhya-pṛṣṭha and Parvata.

The Madhyadeśa is defined as that part of the country which is between the Himālayas and the Vindhya Mountains, but to the west of Prayāga (modern Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh) and to the east of Vinaśana (the place where the river Sarasvatī disappears).

Seventeen types of people are mentioned in the epics and the purāṇas as living in this region. Some of them are: Kuru, Pāñcāla, Śālva, Jāṅgala, Śūrasena, Bodha, Kulya, Kirāta, Magadha and so on. Obviously they seem to be the names of the countries or regions in which they lived.