“’O son of Kuru’s race, I will, however, describe to thee the island called Sudarsana. This island, O king, is circular and of the form of a wheel. It is covered with rivers and other pieces of water and with mountains looking like masses of clouds, and with cities and many delightful provinces. It is also full of trees furnished with flowers and fruits, and with crops of diverse kinds and other wealth. And it is surrounded on all sides with the salt ocean. As a person can see his own face in a mirror, even so is the island called Sudarsana seen in the lunar disc. Two of its parts seem to be a peepul tree, while two others look like a large hare. It is surrounded on all sides with an assemblage of every kind of deciduous plants. Besides these portions, the rest is all water. What remains I will describe to thee shortly. The rest I will speak of afterwards. Listen now to this that I describe in brief.”
“Dhritarashtra said.—–“Thou art intelligent, O Sanjaya, and acquainted with the truth (about everything). Thou hast duly given a description of the island in brief. Tell us now of the island in detail. Tell us now of the dimension of the expanse of land that lies in the portion looking like a hare. Thou mayst then speak of the portion resembling peepul tree.”
Vaisampayana said,—“Thus addressed by the king, Sanjaya began to say.
“Sanjaya said,—’Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that are equal and that extend from the eastern to the western ocean. They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals. These are the six mountains, O king, which are always the resorts of Siddhas and Charanas. The space lying between each of these measures a thousand Yojanas, and thereon are many delightful kingdoms. And these divisions are called Varshas, O Bharata. In all those kingdoms reside creatures of diverse species. This (the land where we are) is in the Varsha that is called after Bharata. Next to it (northwards) is the Varsha called after Himavat. The land that is beyond Hemakuta is called Harivarsha, South of the Nila range and on the north of the Nishadha is a mountain, O king, called Malyavat that stretches from east to west. Beyond Malyavat northwards is the mountain called Gandhamadana. Between these two (viz., Malyavat and Gandhamadana) is a globular mountain called Meru made of gold. Effulgent as the morning sun, it is like fire without smoke. It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas high, and, O king, its depth also is eighty-four Yojanas. It standeth bearing the worlds above, below and transversely. Besides Meru are situated, O lord, these four islands, viz., Bhadraswa, and Ketumala, and Jamvudwipa otherwise called Bharata, and Uttar-Kuru which is