To the north of Bharata, there is the
Himalayan mountain-range. It is the highest in the world and occupies thousands
of miles from east to west.
From ancient times it has been a choice
abode for the meditation of the sages. Baratiyas believe that it is the
pleasure- haunt of the higher order of beings like the angels, the Gandharvas,
the Yakshas and the Kinnaras. It is the home of different types of precious
stones and rare plants like Jyotirmati which gives light. For thousands
of years it has been believed that Lord Shivas realm of Kailasa is also
there. In the plains below the Himalayas there flows the river Ganga with
its clear and holy waters. It is lined on both sides with the hermitages
of sages. Nearby was the hallowed town of Oushadhiprastha ruled by king
Parvataraja. Being the chief of all the Himalayas, he was called 'Himavantha.
He was a devotee of Shiva. With great
respect for good men, saints and sages, he looked after Ns people justly
and virtuously. He was also called Giriraja and Shailaraja. His wife was
Menadevi. She was truthful and calm, devoted to her husband. After a while,
they had a son by name Mainaka.