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Malaya – Mountain In Mahabharata

Malaya is one of the seven chief mountains mentioned in the Mahabharata. The others are Mahendra, Sahya, Shaktimana, Rkshaparvata, Vindhya and Pariyatra. The name of the seven mountains are found in the Bhishma Parva (9, 11) of Mahabharata.

Malaya was famous for Chandana (sandalwood). The Pandya and Chola kings are said to have prepared sandal paste essence from Malaya ad presented it in golden pots to Yudhisthira.

The southern cool breeze coming from the Malaya is described by Sanskrit poets as an excitant for lovers.

The monkeys who went in search of Mata Sita in the Ramayana are said to have crossed this mountain.

The sovereign deity of the Malaya Mountain serves Kubera, God of wealth. He has a position in the assembly of Kubera. Mrityu, the God of death, is believed to have performed a penance on this mountain.

In the Mahabharata, there is a description of another Malaya besides this mountain of southern India. This Malaya is said to be situated somewhere above Mount Kailasa and serves as a dancing place for the celestial damsels Urvashi and Vipracitti. In the Drona Parva of the Mahabharata, it is indicated that in Tripura Dahana, Shiva used this mountain as his flagstaff.

The term Malaya might have been derived from the Dravidian malai, meaning a mountain; in Sanskrit, the term Malaya (coming from Malaya) is often used (ungrammatically) to refer to sandal.

There are also other connotations to the word Malaya. It refers to a son of King Rishabhadeva belonging to the Priyavrata dynasty (as per Bhagavata Purana). It is also the name of son of Garuda in the Mahabharata.