Prabhasa, Prabhāsa, Prabhasha: 27 definitions


Prabhasa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—A holy place near Dvārakā where the fratricide of the Yadu dynasty took place.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Prabhasa in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—A son born to Dharmadeva of his wife Prabhātā. This Prabhāsa is considered to be one of the aṣṭavasus. Prabhāsa’s wife was the sister of Bṛhaspati, a widely travelled virtuous woman of renowned chastity and great yogic attainments. (Śloka 17, Chapter 66, Ādi Parva; Chapter 15, Aṃ a 1, Viṣṇu Purāṇa).

2) Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—The sacred place called Prabhāsatīrtha. This place of Purāṇic importance is situated in Saurāṣṭra on the west coast. This is called Somatīrtha also. Some facts about this tīrtha from the Purāṇas are given below:

2) (i) During the pilgrimage of Arjuna he did penance for a thousand divine years standing on one foot at Prabhāsa, Śloka 15, Chapter 12, Vana Parva).

2) (ii) Agnideva resides in this place. One who bathes in the holy pond there would get the benefit of doing Agniṣṭomayajña. (Śloka 58, Chapter 82, Vana Parva).

2) (iii) Once Yudhiṣṭhira along with his brothers came and did penance here. (Śloka 15, Chapter 118, Vana Parva).

2) (iv) Prabhāsatīrtha is dear to Indra. (Śloka 7, Chapter 130, Vana Parva).

2) (v) Those who bathe in the holy pond in Prabhāsa are taken to heaven in Vimānas and they then by songs of praise wake up the celestial maidens there. (Śloka 9, Chapter 25, Anuśāsana Parva).

2) (vi) It was at this Prabhāsatīrtha that the Yādavas fought against one another and destroyed themselves. (Śloka 10, Chapter 3, Mausala Parva).

2) (vii) Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma merged with the Supreme spirit at this place. (Chapter 4, Mausala Parva).

2) (viii) The son of sage Sāndīpani was kidnapped by Pañcajana while the former was bathing at this tīrtha. (10th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

2) (ix) It was while standing on the shore of the Prabhāsa pond that Arjuna first heard about Subhadrā. (10th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—A tīrtha sacred to Hari and famous for the west flowing Saravatī.1 Sages of this place visited Dvārakā.2 During his pilgrimage tour Arjuna went to this;3 was visited by Balarāma and revisited by him;4 here the Moon God who was struck with consumption (yakṣma) by the curse of Dakṣa got rid of his disease.5 Here Sāndipāni's son was drowned, and Vidura cast off his body.6 To this came once the Vṛṣṇis, Bhojas, and Andhakas for sacred ablution when they had been cursed by some munis, and gave gifts of gold, silver and bed to Brahmanas.7 On Kṛṣṇa's suggestion the Yadus left Dvārakā for good and went to this place, where they drank heavily induced by Kṛṣṇa, and fighting with one another, all of them died.8 Sacred to Puṣkarāvati9 the intervening space between the cheek and neck of the personified Veda.10

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 14. 31; XI. 30. 6; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 40; Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 215; 77. 40.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 90. 28 [5].
  • 3) Ib. X. 86. 2.
  • 4) Ib. X. 78. 18; 79. 21.
  • 5) Ib. XI. 6. 35-8.
  • 6) Ib. X. 45. 37-8; III. 1. 20; I. 15. 49; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 21. 25.
  • 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III 3. 25-8.
  • 8) Ib. XI. 30. 10-19. Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 37. 30, 38-9.
  • 9) M 13. 43.
  • 10) Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 78.

1b) One of the twenty Sutapa gaṇas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 14; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 15.

1c) Mountain covering the foot of the śilā of Gayāsura; ety. that which shines bright; from the little finger of the śilā came out Īśa; in Gayā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 108. 13-4; 109. 14.

1d) A Vasu; married the sister of Bṛhaspati. Father of Viśvakarman.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 110, 118-19.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.17) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Prabhāsa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) refers to one of the eight Vasus who are the sons of Vasu, according to one account of Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, the ten wives of Dharma are [viz., Vasu]. The Vasus were born from Vasu. The eight Vasus are Āpa, Nala, Soma, Dhruva, Anila, Anala, Pratyuṣa and Prabhāsa. Viśvakarman is the Son of Prabhāsa.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Prabhāsa) is named Śaśibhūṣaṇa. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Prabhāsanṛsiṃha or Prabhāsanarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Prabhasa in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is the son of one of the ministers of king Candraprabha, appointed to his son, Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 44. Accordingly, as Vajraprabha said to Naravāhanadatta: “... and then, when he [Sūryaprabha] was sixteen years old, and captivated the subjects by his virtues, his father, Candraprabha, appointed him Crown Prince, and he gave him the sons of his own ministers, many in number, Bhāsa, Prabhāsa, Siddhārtha, Prahasta and others”.

According to chapter 46, Prabhāsa is the incarnation of Prabala (who is in turn the incarnation of Namuci): “when he [Prabala] heard that, he gave them his own body, although they were his enemies; noble men do not turn their backs on a suppliant, but bestow on him even their lives. Then that Dānava Prabala was cut to pieces by the gods, and he has been again born in the world of men with the body of Prabhāsa”.

In chapter 47, Prabhāsa is a general and considered a leader of hosts of chiefs of hosts of great warriors (mahāratha) in Sunītha and Sūryaprabha’s army. Accordingly, as the Asura Maya explained the arrangement of warriors in Sunītha’s army: “... and this Prabhāsa, the general of the army, who is equal to Sūryaprabha, and this son of Sumeru, Kuñjarakumāra—these two are leaders of hosts of chiefs of hosts of great warriors”.

The story of Prabhāsa was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Prabhāsa, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) refers to the town of Somanātha, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 16) (“On the planets—graha-bhaktiyoga”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “Saturn presides over the countries of Ānarta, Arbuda, Puṣkara, Saurāṣṭra, Abhīra, Śūdra, Raivataka, countries through which the river Sarasvatī passes as an underground stream and the western countries; over the natives of Kurukṣetra, the town of Somanātha [e.g., prabhāsa], and persons born on the banks of the Vidiśā, the Vedasmṛti and the Mahī; over wicked men, uncleanly men and men of the lowest class; over oil-mongers, weak men and persons not possessing virility”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is another name for Prayāsadeva—one of the Sixteen Siddhas according to the Kubjikānityāhnikatilaka: a derative text drawing from Tantras and other sources such as the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā.—These sixteen spiritual teachers represent the disciples of the Nine Nāthas who propagated the Western Transmission noted in the Kubjikā Tantras.—Prayāsadeva is the Caryā name of this Nātha (i.e., the public name the Siddha uses when living as a wandering renouncer). He is alternatively known as Prabhāsa or Prayāga according to the Kulakaulinīmata.

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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Prabhasa (प्रभास): The Vasu who seized Vasishtha's divine cow.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is the name of the present Buddha in one of his earlier lives according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter VI). Accordingly, “In one of his earlier lives, the present Buddha Śākyamuni was a potter (kumbhakāra) called Prabhāsa. At that time, there was a Buddha called Śākyamuni; his disciples were called Śāriputra, Maudalyāyana and Ānanda. The Buddha and his disciples went to the house of the potter to spend the night. On that occasion, the potter gave three things: a seat made of straw (tṛṇāsana), a lamp (dīpa) and honey syrup (madhu-maireya) and he made a gift of them to the Buddha and the community of monks (bhikṣu-saṃgha). Then he made the following vow (praṇidhi): ‘Later, after five unfortunate generations of old age (jarā), sickness (vyādhi) and death (maraṇa), I will be Buddha. I will be called Śākyamuni like the present Buddha and my disciples will bear the names of the present disciples of the Buddha’.”.

According to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XX).—“Thus, when the Buddha Śākyamuni produced the bodhi mind for the first time, he was a great king called Kouang ming (Prabhāsa) – seeking Buddhahood, he practiced generosity more or less. – When he took on a new existence, he was the master-potter (kumbhakāra) who gave bath utensils and honey syrup to another Buddha Śākyamuni and his saṃgha. – Then when he was reborn, he was the wife of a great merchant (mahāśreṣṭhi-bhāryā), who offered a lamp to the Buddha Kiao tch’en jo (Kauṇḍinya). Various deeds of this kind are called lesser gifts of the Bodhisattva”.

Source: Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara

After the future Buddha left the celestial realm, he took rebirth among humans as the son of a poor potter with the name Prabhāsa [snang byed].

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) or Prabhāsatīrtha refers to an ancient region, as mentioned in chapter 1.4 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.


“[...] Like another Prācīnabarhis in strength, the Cakrin [i.e., king Bharata] went to the west toward Prabhāsa, following the cakra. Filling the space between heaven and earth with solid dust raised by the soldiers, in a few marches he arrived at the western ocean. Then he placed his camp on the western ocean’s bank covered with a forest of areca-nut trees, betel-vines, and cocoa-nut trees. Then the King made the four days’ fast with reference to the Lord of Prabhāsa, and observed pauṣadha in the pauṣadha-house as before”.

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) is the name of the eleventh gaṇadhara (group-leader) of Mahāvīra.—Prabhāsa was a resident of Rājagṛha and a Brahmin of Kauṇḍinya-gotra. His mother’s name was Atibhadrā and his father’s name was Bala. Mahāvīra replied to his question on liberation in such a manner that he became Mahāvīra’s disciple along with his 300 students. At that time, Prabhāsa was only 16 years old. After 8 years, he attained pure knowledge and thereafter, remaining a kevalī for 16 years. At the age of 40 observing a month-long fast, he attained nirvāṇa at Guṇaśīla-caitya. Prabhāsa is the only gaṇadhara who took initiation at such a young age and attained pure knowledge.

All these gaṇadharas (for example, Prabhāsa) were Brahmins by caste and Vedic scholars. After taking initiation, they all studied the 11 Aṅgas. Hence, all of them had the knowledge of the 14 pūrvas and possessed special attainments (labdhis).

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) refers to Prabhāsa-tīrtha or Pabhāsa-tīrtha, which is mentioned in one of the Karle cave inscriptions. The name is given as Prabhāsatīrtha in Nasik cave inscription of the time of Nahapāna. The latter inscription records the donations given to the Brāhmaṇas by Usavadāta at this holy place. The place is the same as Prabhāsa or Somanātha-pattana in Kathiawar, where the epic legend locates the death of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It is frequently mentioned in the Purāṇas.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

prabhāsa (प्रभास).—m S A place of pilgrimage near Dwarka.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

prabhāsa (प्रभास).—m A place of pilgrimage near Dwarka.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—

1) Splendour, beauty, lustre.

-saḥ, -sam 1 Name of a well-known place of pilgrimage near Dvārakā.

2) Name of one of the eight Vasus.

3) Name of one of the Jaina Gaṇādhipa.

4) Name of one of the Devagaṇas in the eighth Manvantara.

Derivable forms: prabhāsaḥ (प्रभासः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—m.

(-saḥ) 1. A place of pilgrimage near Dwaraka in the west of India. 2. One of the eight Vasus. 3. One of the Ganadhipas of the Jainas. 4. Splendour, beauty. E. pra before, bhās to shine, aff. ac .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास).—[masculine] [Name] of [several] gods & men, also of a celebrated place of pilgrimage.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Prabhāṣa (प्रभाष):—[=pra-bhāṣa] [from pra-bhāṣ] m. declaration, doctrine, [Harivaṃśa] ([Nīlakaṇṭha])

2) [v.s. ...] [wrong reading] for -bhāsa.

3) Prabhāsa (प्रभास):—[=pra-bhāsa] [from pra-bhās] m. ‘splendour’, ‘beauty’, Name of a Vasu, [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] of a being attendant on Skanda, [ib.]

5) [v.s. ...] of a deity under the 8th Manu, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

6) [v.s. ...] (with Jainas) of one of the 11 Gaṇādhipas, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] of a son of a minister of Candraprabha king of Madra, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

8) [v.s. ...] ([plural]) Name of a race of Ṛṣis, [Mahābhārata]

9) [v.s. ...] mn. Name of a celebrated place of pilgrimage on the west coast of the Dekhan near Dvārakā, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature etc.] (also -kṣetra n. -kṣetra-tīrtha n. -deśa m.)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास):—[pra-bhāsa] (saḥ) 1. m. A place of pilgrimage in the west of India; one of the 8 Vasus; a Jaina Ganādhipa.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Prabhāsa (प्रभास) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Pabhāsa, Pabhāsā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Prabhasa in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Nepali dictionary

[«previous next»] — Prabhasa in Nepali glossary
Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Prabhāsa (प्रभास):—n. splendor; beauty; luster; 2. a place of in Palpa district;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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