One of the four Mahádípas, or great continents, which are included in the Cakkavála and are ruled by a Cakkavatti. They are grouped round Mount Sineru. In Jambudípa is Himavá with its eighty-four thousand peaks, its lakes, mountain ranges, etc. This continent derives its name from the Jambu-tree (also called Naga) which grows there, its trunk fifteen yojanas in girth, its outspreading branches fifty yojanas in length, its shade one hundred yojanas in extent and its height one hundred yojanas (Vin.i.30; SNA.ii.443; Vsm.i.205f; Sp.i.119, etc.). On account of this tree, Jambudípa is also known as Jambusanda (SN.vs.552; SNA.i.121). The continent is ten thousand yojanas in extent; of these ten thousand, four thousand are covered by the ocean, three thousand by the Himálaya mountains, while three thousand are inhabited by men (SNA.ii.437; UdA.300).
Sometimes in Jambudípa there are as many as eighty-four thousand cities; this number is sometimes reduced to sixty thousand, forty thousand, or even twenty thousand, but never to less (SNA.i.59; J.iv.84 says sixty-three thousand; PvA.111). In the time of Asoka there were eighty-four thousand cities, in each of which he built a monastery (Mhv.v.176; Vsm.201). In the Anguttara Nikáya (i.35) it is said that, in Jambudípa, trifling in number are the parks, groves, lakes, etc., more numerous the steep, precipitous places, unfordable rivers, inaccessible mountains, etc.
At the time of Metteyya Buddha's appearance on earth Jambudípa will be pervaded by mankind even as a jungle is by reeds and rushes. There will be eighty-four thousand cities with Ketumátí (Benares) at the head (D.iii.75).
The Buddha once declared that the people of Jambudípa excel those of both Uttarakuru and Távatimsa in three respects - courage, mindfulness and religious life (A.iv.396; Kvu.99).
Buddhas (and Cakkavattis) are born only in Jambudípa (BuA.48; MA.ii.917).
There were four sounds heard throughout Jambudípa:
When opposed to Síhaladípa or Tambapannidípa, Jambudípa indicates the continent of India (E.g., Mhv.v.13; xiv.8; Cv.xxxvii.216, 246).
For the purposes of cáriká, the monks divided their tours in Jambudípa into three circuits or mandalas - the Mahámandala which extended over nine hundred leagues, the Majjhima which extended over six hundred, and the Antima over three hundred. Those who wish to tour the first, start after the mahápavárana and complete their journey in nine months, for the Majjhimamandala they start after the Pavárana, on the full-moon day of Kattika, completing the tour in nine months, while for the Antimamandala they start on the first day of Phussa and return after seven months (Sp.i.197).
In each Cakkavála there is a Jambudípa (A.i.227). Mention is made in the Kákáti Játaka (J.iii.91) of a Jambudípa-samudda, beyond which was the river Kebuka.