I was researching on the river Aswa (as varaali had mentioned that this was the river Karna was let float in) and its path hoping to find the location of Kunti Bhoja's kingdom.
This is what I've been able to gather. I have pieced together the info I got from various sites.
The river Aswa or Aswanadi was known as Pushpawati earlier and is currently known as Pahuj. It joins the Chambal River (known as Charmanvati in the earlier ages) which in turn flows into the river Sind and then to Yamuna, finally joining the Ganga.
Charmanvati River was the southern border of the Panchala Kingdom.
Kunti Bhoja is supposed to be Surasena's brother. Krishna refers to Kunti as Aunt and the stories say Kunti Bhoja adopted on of his brother's daughters as his own. I don't know if Surasena was Kunti Bhoja's own brother or cousin. It could be that their forefathers were brothers and the kingdom got divided between them. Otherwise, I didn't understand why one was called Bhoja and the other a Vrishni Yadhava (Krishna is addressed as Varshneya by Arjuna but could refer to the descendents of Vrishni in general). Probably we have to trace them back to Yadu's sons.
This opens a new set of doubts for me - if Vasudeva was Kunti Bhoja's bother, why didn't he come to Vasudeva's rescue when Kamsa imprisoned his brother and his wife. Probably Kamsa's prowess kept him at bay, still... The epics do portray Kunti Bhoja in a cowardly fashion. Sending his daughter to Rishi Durvasa instead of meeting the sage himself.
Let's get back to the Kunti Kingdom.
What I meant to say is that Surasena's and Ugrasena's Kingdom should have been near Kamanti Bhojpur. Since the Charmanvati river flowed into Avanti Kingdom as well, Avanti should have been a neighbour too.
So, that puts the kingdom somewhere in Madhya Pradesh - Rajasthan Border region. I hope I got the place right.
Some sites refer to the capital city of Kunthi Bhoja's kingdom as Kamanti Bhojpur. Kunti Bhoja and his family must have lived here. Some stories say Sage Durvasa came to Kunti Bhoja's palace and Kunti served him in the palace. Some other stories say, Sage Durvasa came to perform Puja in a shrine in Kamanti Bhojpur. There must have been a Shrine (Lord Shiva's, probably) where Sage Durvasa offered prayers and Kunti served him. Karna must have been born in this place or the surrounding forests. No idea if a shrine still exists in this place. If it does, it must be a very old temple or it could be in ruins.
Archaeological findings in Kutwar, (Morena Dist., M.P., 25 km, North of Gwalior) found around 1996 A.D., considered to be ancient India's Kamanti Bhojpur, has been dated around 5th or 6th Century B.C.
Karna could have been found by Adiratha and Radha somewhere downstream of Pahuj River. I don't know where exactly he grew up. It is possible that he could have heard of the competition and traveled from his home to Hastinapur. It was common to travel long distances to participate in competitions and celebrations those days.
It is also said that this place was one of the capitals of Nagas (Capitals? I think it could have been one of the gateways to the Nagas' Abode). Also, in the Mahabharat, when Bheema was poisoned and thrown into a river, he was taken away to the Naga Kingdom where he met Vasuki and his maternal grandfather Aryaka ( again, I have to research further as to how Aryaka was Bheema's grandfather - from Kunti's side).
That is all I could fathom. I haven't been to the North except for trip or two. Hence, the places are still unkown to me. I could only suggest the location based on the maps available.
I think I put forth more questions than answers this time...
Edited by Vibhishna - 18 May 2012 at 8:34am