The Pulindas (Sanskrit: पुलिंद) were an ancient tribe of India, likely resident in the environs of the Vindhya Range of Central India. The Rock Edicts of Ashoka (269 BCE - 231 BCE) mention the Pulindas, their capital Pulinda-nagara, and their neighboring tribes, based on which their capital is sometimes located in present-day Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh state. Basak identifies them with the hill tribes of the Vindhya and Satpura ranges, more specifically the Bhils. Though debated, it has been hypothesized that Pulinda may have been the word from which modern-day Bundelkhand derives its name. At the time of Alexander the great and the empire of the Maurya king Chandragupta, the word Pulindas was also sometimes used as a name for the Greeks in general.
Though clearly associated with the Vindhyan region, the Pulindas are sometimes believed to have had multiple tribal branches that ranged up to the Himalayan region and Assam. In the Himalayan region, ancient Indian literature often mentions them in conjunction with the Kiratas.
In addition to the Pulindas of Vindhya, the Asokan inscriptions might have also labelled a South Indian people called Paladas as "Pulindas". Historian Sathianathaier has postulated that the name of Pallavas was derived from Paladas.
- Hemchandra Raychaudhuri (1953), Political history of ancient India: from the accession of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta dynasty, University of Calcutta, retrieved 6 May 2010,
... Pulindas who are invariably associated with the Nerbudda (Reva) and the Vindhyan region ...
- Devadatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar (2000), Aśoka, Asian Educational Services, ISBN 81-206-1333-3, retrieved 6 May 2010,
... in Rock Edict XIII ... we have to place them somewhere to the north or the north-east of the Andhras ... In the Vayu-Purana, the southern branch of the Pulindas has been placed side by side with the Vindhya-muliyas ... their capital is mentioned as Pulinda-nagara and their kingdom as contiguous with the Chedi country ... the Jubbulpur District ...
- Radhagovinda Basak, AŚOKAN INSCRIPTIONS, Calcutta, 1959, pp. 75
- D.C. Sircar (1990), Studies in the geography of ancient and medieval India, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 81-208-0690-5, retrieved 6 May 2010,
... The Pulindas were a hill tribe usually connected with the Vindhyan range. Partiger notices several branches of the Pulinda tribe, viz. (1) a western branch, (2) a Himalayan branch related to the Kiratas and Tanganas, and (3) a southern branch ...
- Sathianathaier, R. (1970) [first published 1954], "Dynasties of South India", in Majumdar, R. C.; Pusalkar, A. D. (eds.), The Classical Age, History and Culture of Indian People (Third ed.), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, pp. 256–257
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