South and Central Asia
Meru, or Sumeru, is the world mountain of Hindu mythology. The vertical axis of the universe, Mount Sumeru rises into the clouds like a gigantic Babylonian ziggurat, providing on its natural terraces delectable abodes for a host of gods, whose king is Indra. Around its majestic form the sun, moon, and stars revolve. Shiva's paradise is situated on Kailasa, a mountain in the Himalayas. Both the ranges of the Himalaya and the Vindhya Mountains have been long regarded as homes of the gods. The Vindhya range, which marks the northern extremity of the Deccan, was for the Aryans the place of sunrise, while the rivers flowing out of the folds of the Himalayas were the waters of life.