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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Anottata (अनोत्तत) is a Lake in Himalayas. Anottata is considered to be the place of origin of Rivers: Ganges, Vakshu, Sindhu River and Sita River. [1] Anotatta (अनोतत्त) is the lake lying at the center of the world, according to an ancient Buddhist cosmological view. It is often identified with Lake Manasarovar, which lies at the foot of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.


Origin of name

The name Anavatapta means "heat-free"; the waters of the lake were thought to be able to soothe the fires that torment beings. Anavatapta is also the name of the dragon that lives in the lake; having become a Bodhisattva, it was free from the distresses that plague other dragons, which are tormented by fiery heat and preyed on by Garuda birds.

List of Naga Rajas includes a Naga King named Anavatapta Nagaraja (अनवतप्त नागराजा)


Lying south of Gandhamadana (Perfume Mountain), Lake Anavatapta is said to be 800 li in circumference and bordered by gold, silver, and precious stones. Four rivers issued from the lake. The earthly manifestation of the lake is often identified with Lake Manasarovar, which lies at the foot of Mount Kailash (Gandhamadana or Perfume Mountain) in the Himalayas. The four mythical rivers are sometimes identified with the Ganges (east), the Indus (south), the Oxus (west), and the Tarim or the Yellow River (north).


According to Charles Higham (archaeologist), Lake Anavatapta was a "sacred Himalayan lake imbued with miraculous curative powers to remove human sins.[2]

George Coedes states the lake, "...according to Indian tradition, is located in the confines of the Himalayas, and its waters gush out of gargoyles in the form of the heads of animals." [3]

One route by which this ancient Buddhist view of the cosmos passed from sixth-century China to Japan was via gardening. Such gardens often had a hill in the center, representing Mount Meru, and a pond symbolizing Lake Anavatapta (which became Munetsunochi (無熱悩池) or Munetsuchi (無熱池; "pond without heat") in Japanese).

In Mahavansa

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) writes that The Jats of Jakhar tribe traditionally remember Jakha or Jakhu as their progenitor. [4] Mahavamsa, provides a continuous historical record of over two millennia, and is considered one of the world's longest unbroken historical accounts.[5] It is one of the few documents containing material relating to the Nāga and Yakkha peoples, indigenous inhabitants of Lanka prior to the legendary arrival of Prince Vijaya from Singha Pura.

Mahavansa/Chapter 1 writes that ...Now since a great sacrifice by Kassapa of Uruvela was near at hand, and since he saw that this latter would fain have him away, he, the victorious over enemies, went to seek alms among the Northern Kurus ; and when he had eaten his meal at evening time near the lake Anotatta, the Conqueror, in the ninth month of his buddhahood, at the full moon of Phussa, himself set forth for the isle of Lañkä, to win Lanka for the faith. For Lanka was known to the Conqueror as a place where his doctrine should (thereafter) shine in glory; and (he knew that) from Lañkä, filled with the Yakkhas, the Yakkhas must (first) be driven forth.

Mahavansa/Chapter 5 states ...Four years after the famous (Asoka) had won for himself the undivided sovereignty he consecrated himself as king in the city Pataliputta. Straightway after his consecration his command spread so far as a yojana (upward) into the air and downward into the (depths of the) earth.' Day by day did the devas bring eight men's loads of water of (the lake) Anotatta; the king dealt it out to his people.

Mahavansa/Chapter 11 mentions about 'The Consecrating of Devanampiya Tissa' (307 BC to 267 BC) who was one of the earliest kings of Sri Lanka based at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura. .... unguent brought by the nagas, red-coloured earth, water from the lake Anotatta and also water from the Ganges,....


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[6] ने लेख किया है ...अनोत्तत (AS, p.23): अनोत्तत हिमालय पर्वत पर स्थित एक सरोवर, जिससे गंगा, वंक्षु, सिंधु और सीता नदियों का उद्गम माना गया है। बौद्ध एवं जैन साहित्य तथा चीनी ग्रंथों में इसका उल्लेख है। इसका मूल नाम संभवत: अनवतप्त था। श्री बी. सी. लाँ के मत में यह सरोवर वर्तमान में रावणहृद है। यह भी संभव है कि मानसरोवर ही हो। बौद्ध एवं जैन साहित्य में अनोत्तत-सरोवर कहा गया हो।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[7] ने लेख किया है .... रावणहृद (AS, p.796): मानसरोवर (तिब्बत) के निकट पश्चिम की ओर एक झील जिससे सतलज नदी निकलती है.


  1. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.23
  2. "Higham, C., 2001, The Civilization of Angkor, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 9781842125847,p. 125
  3. Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1. p. 174
  4. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/An Historico-Somatometrical study bearing on the origin of the Jats, p.171,f.n.216
  5. Tripāṭhī, Śrīdhara, ed. (2008). Encyclopaedia of Pali Literature: The Pali canon. 1. Anmol. p. 117. ISBN 9788126135608.
  6. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.23
  7. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.796