Bhāratas were a tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. Scholars believe the Bharatas to be a Vedic tribe around river Ravi in the second millennium B.C.E.[1][2] In the "river hymn" RV 3.33, the entire Bharata rulers are described as crossing a river Yamuna. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni (literally, "to be maintained", viz. the fire having to be kept alive by the care of men), and as a name of Rudra in RV 2.36.8.[3]

Mandala 7 (7.18 etc.) mentions the Bharatas as taking part in the Battle of the Ten Kings, where they are on the winning side. Due to the victory of the Bharata chieftain Sudas in this battle, the Bharata rulers were able to settle in the Kurukshetra area.[4] They appear to have been successful in the early power-struggles between the various Vedic tribes so that in post-Vedic (Epic) tradition, the Mahābhārata, the eponymous ancestor becomes Emperor Bharata, the ancient conqueror of all of India, and his ruler and kingdom is called Bhārata.[5] The Bharata ruler later allied and merged with the Puru ruler, to form the Kuru ruler.[6] "Bhārata" today is an official name of the Republic of India.[7]


  1. ^ Scharfe, Hartmut E. (2006), "Bharat", in Stanley Wolpert, Encyclopedia of India, 1 (A-D), Thomson Gale, pp. 143–144, ISBN 0-684-31512-2 
  2. ^ Thapar, Romila (2002), The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, Allen Lane; Penguin Press (published 2003), p. 114, ISBN 0141937424 
  3. ^ Pāṇini; Katre, Sumitra Mangesh (1989-01-01). Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 9788120805217. 
  4. ^ ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE KURU STATE by Michael Witzel, Harvard University [1]
  5. ^ Julius Lipner (2010) "Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices.", p.23
  6. ^ National Council of Educational Research and Training, History Text Book, Part 1, India
  7. ^ Article 1 of the English version of the Constitution of India: "India that is Bharat shall be a Union of States."