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Darad (दरद) Darada (दरद)/Darar (दराड)[1][2] is one of The Mahabharata Tribes. Kabul city in Afghanistan was founded by Darad gotra Jats.[3]Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mentioned it as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia. [4]


Jat clans as described by Megasthenes includes it:

6. Next - The Dardae (Darad), the Setae (Set), Gold is very abundant among the Dardae (Darad), and silver among the Setae (Set).

Jat Gotras from Darada

  • Darad (दरद) - Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mentioned Darad Jat clan as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia.[5]
  • Daral (दराल) Drall (दराल) Darad (दरद) is the surname of Jats living in the outskirts of Delhi are Chandravanshi Jats descendants of Druhyu (द्रुह्यु) son of Yayati. [6]
  • Daar (दार) Dar (दार) Diyar (दियार) gotra of Jats originated from country named Darad (दरद), the place of origin of Sindhu River. [7]

Darada the ancient people

Daradas were a people who lived north and north-east to the Kashmir valley. This kingdom is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. They are often spoken along with the Kambojas. The Pandava hero Arjuna had visited this country of Daradas during his northern military campaign to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.

Location of Daradas :

ete desha udichyastu
Kambojah Daradashchaiva Barbarashcha Angalaukikah ||
Chinashchaiva Tusharashcha Pahlavadhayata narah |[8]
  • Puranas also refer to river Sindhu as watering the lands of Daradas, Gandharas and the Aurasas (Ursas).
  • Brhatsamhita groups the Daradas with the Abhisaras and the Tanganas.
  • Mahabharata locates the country of Daradas in the Himavata-Pradesa.
  • Herodotus refers to the Daradas as Dadicae and groups them with the Gandharas and the Aparytae (Afridis?). Herodotus and Strabo also connect the Daradas with the gold producing area located in the west of Tibet. There is an evidence that the Daradas, in ancient times, had their colonies located in Baltistan and Leh also.

All the above references locate the Daradas in Uttarapatha as neighbors to Kambojas of Kashmir-Nuristan.

Fight with Arjuna :

Sabha Parva of Mahabharata attests that Arjuna had led a digvijaya expedition against the Kashmiras, Ursas, Abhisaras, Sinhapuras, Suhmas, Daradas, Kambojas, Bahlikas, Lohas, Rishikas and Parama Kambojas etc.[10]

Fight with Krishna :

Drona Parva of Mahabharata attests that Krishna had vanquished the Daradas along with Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Vatsa, Garga, Karusha, Pundra, Avanti, Daserka, Kashmira, Ursa, Madugalas, Kambojas, Pisachas, Cholas, Malavas, Sakas, Yavanas etc.[11]

Daradas in Yudhishtra's Rajasuya ceremony:

The Daradas along with numerous other tribes from northwest had including the Bahlikas, Kiratas, Pahlavas, Paradas, Kambojas, Shakas, Yavanas, Trigartas, Kshudrakas, Malavas, Angas, Vangas etc had joined Yudhishtra at his Rajasuya ceremony and brought him numerous gifts.[12]

Daradas in Kurukshetra war:

Daradas had also participated in the Kurukshetra war fought between the Kauravas and Pandavas. They are variously listed with Sauviras, Bahlikas, Shakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, Paradas, Kekayas, Kambojas, Madras, Mlechcvhas, northern and westerner tribes etc[13]

Horses of Daradas: Brahmanda Purana refers to the horses from Darada country.[14]

Kashmiri Dar Clan is abbreviation of Ancient Daradas of Mahabharta and are a branch of ancient Kambojas of Sanskrit.

Daradas in Brahatsamhita of Varahamihira:

The Daradas are mentioned with the Shakas, Yavanas, Paradas and the Kambojas in 6th c AD Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira.[15] They are also mentioned with the Abhisaras in the same text as living on the borders of Kashmir.[16]

Daradas in Tibetan chronicles:

The Daradas are mentioned in the Tibetan chronicle Dpag-bsam-ljon-bzah (The Excellent Kalpa-Vrksa), along people like the Yavanas, Kambojas, Tukharas, Hunas, Khasas etc.[17]

Rajatrangini references to Daradas: According to ancient text Rajatarangini of Kalhana, a Sanskrit text from the north, king Lalitaditya Muktapida of Kashmir undertakes to reduce his neighbing countries. He launches war expedition onto the region of north from Kashmir and first he fights with the Kambojas[18] and deprives them of their horses. Immediately after the Kambojas, he meets the Tukharas. Tukharas do not give him fight, but run away even abandoning their horses in the field.[19] Then Lalitaditiya meets the Bhauttas in Baltistan in western Tibet north of Kashmir,[20] then the Dardas in Karakorum/Himalaya,[21] the Valukambudhi[22] and then he encounters Strirajya,[23] the Uttarakurus[24] and the Kamarupa (Pragjyotisha respectively.

Kalhana names several Darada rulers: Acalamangala, during the reign of Ananta of Kashmir, A.D. 1028 to A.D. 1063,[25] Vidhyadhara Shahi during the reign of Harsha, 1089-1101 A.D.,[26] Jagaddala during the reign of Uccala, A.D. 1101 to A.D. 1111,[27] Manidhara during the reign of Sussala, A.D. 1112 to A.D. 1120[28]), and Yasodhara during the reign of Jayasimha, A.D. 1128 to A.D. 1149.[29]

Epigraphic References to Daradas

Three inscriptions on rocks along the Indus and Gilgit Rivers in the southern reaches of the Karakoram provide the earliest epigraphic references to Darada kings.

  • The first inscription is found on rocks where the present-day road between Gilgit and Skardu crosses the Gilgit River, over a bridge known as the Alam bridge, now called the Farhad bridge. The inscription is in poor Kharoshthi, and Fussman has read "daradaraya", meaning "King of the Daradas".[30]
  • The second inscription is found at Chilas Terrace, near to Chilas village along the Indus River, south of the junction of the Gilgit River and the Indus River. It is in Brahmi script. Hinuber has published a transliteration srir daranmaharajavaisrava, which he interprets as daran-maharaja "great king of the Daradas" (1989:57-8).
  • A third inscription is immediately below the Thalpan bridge over the Indus River on the Thalpan side of the bridge. It is also in Brahmi script. Hinuber publishes a transliteration of daratsu maharaja sri vaisravanasena ssatrudamanah, which he translates as "The glorious Vaisravanasena, the subduer of enemies, great King in the land of the Daradas" (1989:59). Hinuber has interpreted these Brāhmī script inscriptions as referring to the same king Vaiaravanasena, and dates them to the 4th or 5th centuries A.D. He remarks that this king "is the second oldest king of the Daradas known by name, preceded only by the daradaraya mentioned at Alam bridge in a Kharoshthi inscription" (1989:59). These inscriptions appear to be the only known self-reference to a Darada people.

In Mahabharata

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 174 mentions about journey of Pandavas:

Then all those warriors having in due course happily lived at Badari for one month, proceeded towards the realm of Suvahu, king of the Kiratas, by following the same track by which they had come.And crossing the difficult Himalayan regions, and the countries of China, Tukhara, Darada and all the climes of Kulinda, rich in heaps of jewels, those warlike men reached the capital of Suvahu.
विहृत्य मासं सुखिनॊ बथर्यां; किरात राज्ञॊ विषयं सुबाहॊः
चीनांस तुखारान दरदान सथार्वान; थेशान कुणिन्थस्य च भूरि रत्नान Mahabharata (3.174.12)

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 mentions Darada in the list of countries:

शूद्राभीराद दरदाः काश्मीराः पशुभिः सह
खशिकाश च तुखाराश च पल्लवा गिरिगह्वराः Mahabharata (6.10.66)

Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 51 mentions them fighting Mahabharata War on seventeenth day are for Kurus along with:

Tusharas, the Yavanas, the Khasas, the Darvabhisaras, the Daradas, the Sakas, the Kamathas, the Ramathas, the Tanganas the Andhrakas, the Pulindas, the Kiratas of fierce prowess,....
उग्राश च करूरकर्माणस तुखारा यवनाः खशाः
थार्वाभिसारा दरदा: शका रमठ तङ्गणाः Mahabharata 8.51.18


  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. द-81
  2. O.S.Tugania:Jat Samuday ke Pramukh Adhar Bindu,p.44,s.n. 1189
  3. Ram Swarup Joon:History of the Jats/Chapter III
  4. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter IV, pp.341-342
  5. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter IV, pp.341-342
  6. Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p.255
  7. Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p.255
  8. Kirfel's text of the Uttarapatha Countries of Bhuvanakosha, based on the Puranas.
  9. Mahabharata II.27.20-23
  10. Mahabharata II.27.18-25.
  11. MBH 7.13.15-18.
  12. Mahabharata 2.51-2.53; 3.51
  13. Mahabharata 6.51, 6.118, 7.20, 7.90, 7.116, 7.118, 8.73 etc
  14. Brahmanda Purana, III, Upodghata -pada 16-17
  15. Brhatasamhita verse 13.09
  16. Brhatsamhita verse 14.29.
  17. Tho-gar yul dań yabana dań Kambodza dań Khasa dań Huna dań Darta dań...(See: Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang (1908), I.9, Sarat Chandra Das; Ancient Kamboja, 1971, p 66, H. W. Bailey.
  18. Rajatrangini: 4.164- 4.165
  19. Rajatrangini 4.166.
  20. Rajatrangini 4.168
  21. Rajatrangini 4.169, 4.171
  22. Rajatrangini 4.172
  23. Rajatrangini 4.173-174
  24. Rajatrangini 4.175
  25. Rajatrangini VII, 167
  26. Rajatrangini VII, 913
  27. Rajatrangini VIII, 209
  28. Rajatrangini VIII, 614
  29. Rajatrangini VIII, 2454
  30. Fussman 1978:1-6.

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