Ancient Jat history

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Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क

Some Jat historians and other writers claim that ancient Jat kingdoms include those of following rulers with relevant references with each:

Ancient Jat Kings

List of Ancient Jat Kingdoms







  • Raja Jiwan (राजा जीवन) (481 BC-455 BC)

Ancient Jat clans

Prof. Maheswari Prasad of Banaras Hindu University has written that one reason for non – occurrence of word Jat as such in ancient literature may be that they were formerly known by other names i.e. their clan names. Change of nomenclature is a part of the historical process. With the branching of community, its several branches known by different names and when one of them is distinguished by its achievement, other groups also take its name as a general designation. It is therefore quite expected that descendants of many old communities are still present among Jats. A study of Jat gotra names reveals that Jat is a general term for number of cognate clans formerly known by different names. [36]

Admitting that all gotra names may not be original and gotra list grew to different factors such as personal names of some important members of family, marriage, adoption on certain conditions, impact of gurus or religious teachers, assimilation of new entrants, borrowing or analogy formations etc. Some old names belonging to different strata can certainly been recognized in Jat gotra list. Such names as Jathu, Jadu, Jadav, Turvas, Puruwar remind us of Yadu, Turvasu and Puru, people of Rigveda period. They were the part of Pancha janas, a group of five people, other being Druhyu and Anu. [37] In the Puranas Yayati is said to have five sons with these names, [38] who were supposed to be the originators of five people. From Yadu arose Yadavas and from them several of Sattvatas remained in and Chedis migrated to south i.e. modern Madhya Pradesh. The names of Sattvata and Chedi occur in the Jat gotra list. Anu and his family has a large share in the Jat community. From Anu arose Anavas (descendents of Anu) who got divided into two branches under his two sons Ushinara and Titukshu, The former branch established various kingdoms in the Punjab and latter founded ruling families in the east e.g. Videha, Licchavi, Vanga, Pundra and others. Therefore such gotra names among Jats as Videha, Licchavi, Vanga, Pundir need not surprise us because the tradition shows the eastward migration of descendants of Anu. Ushinao’s posterity is given in nine Puranas. Among several descendants of Ushinara the Mahabharata and the Puranas make frequent references to Shivi, Ambashtha, Yaudheya, Kekaya, Madra. They can be recognized in such Jat gotra names as Saibal, Bath, Yahiya, Kaik, Madra, Maderna, Sovar, Sovariya. [39]

The Shivis, Ambashthas and Yaudheyas were in prosperous conditions on the eve of Alexander’s invasion in India. [40]

The Shivis (शिवि)

The classical writers locate Shivis (Siboi) at the confluence of Beas and Chenab. [41] Later they migrated to Rajasthan in the area of Madhyamika near Chittor from their coins bearing the legend Shibi janapadas have been found. [42] The Shivis tribe is known by several variants-Shiva in the Rigveda as one of the tribes defeated by the Bharata king Sudas; Sivi in the Aitreya Brahmana (VIII.23.10), Mahabharata (II.48.13), Sibi in Mahabharata (II. 48.13) Sibi in Mahabhashya on Panini (IV.2.52) where as Shaiba or Shaibayah as vishaya has been mentioned. Classical writers call them Siboi (Diodous 3, XVIII, 96; Strabo XV,1; Curtius IX,41)[43]

The Yaudheyas (यौधेय)

Alexander had heard about a very powerful people beyond the river Beas. Arrian describes them as gallant fighters, good agriculturists and having constitutional government. [Ibid.] Though they have not been specifically named, there is little doubt in their being Yaudheyas. [44], [45] It is said in the Adi Parva of Mahabharata that Yaudheya was son of Yudhishthira by his Shivi wife. [46] They find mention in the Sabhaparva of the Mahabharata under different name -Mattamayura (मत्तमयूरः). It is said that starting from Khandavapratha, Nakul marched towards west and reached Rohitika (रोहितिका) - beautiful, prosperous and rich in cattle and horses and dear to Kartikeya. He also captured Marubhumi and Bahudhanya. Because these three places had been the chief centres of Yaudheyas and also because Kartikeya finds depiction on the Yaudheya coins, Mattamayura is merely another name for the Yaudheyas. This ancient name is preserved in Jat gotra as Mori, Maur, Mor. [47]

It appears that the political power of the Yaudheyas was eclipsed under the Mauryas. But after their decline, the Yaudheyas again became politically dominant and had their heydays up to the rise of the Guptas. [48]

During the glorious period of the Yaudheyas their neighbours in Rajasthan were Malavas (Jaipur, Tonk, Ajmer), Shivis (Chittor), Matsya (Alwar) and Maukharis (Kota). The Yaudheyas probably formed a confederacy with these and others and, as Atlekar suggests, gave a final blow to the tottering Kushan Kingdom.[49] The Yaudheya chiefs who bore the titles Maharaja Senapati appear to have been chosen for this purpose by Yaudheya gana. During this period they might have developed some contacts with the Vakatakas, Bharashivas and other Naga families, under the subjugation of the Guptas, they must have developed closure toes with the Guptas. It is probably during these centuries that they absorbed some elements of their neighbours. The Jat Gotra names Malava, Mokhar, Makhar, Machchar, Bharshiv, Nag, Dharan may be understood against this back ground. [50]

Very closely associated with the Yaudheyas were the Trigartas. We are told that in the Mahabharata that having defeated Mattamayuras, Nakula proceeded towards Shibis, Trigartas, Ambashthas and Malavas. [51] Trigartas are said to have gone to the sabha of Yudhishthira to pay tributes at the time of his Rajasuya. [52]In the connection they are mentioned in compound with [[Sibi]s and [[Yaudheya[[s. Others who joined them are Rajanya, Madra, Kekaya, Ambashtha etc. Later the Trigartas joined the side of the Kauravas. In the Dronaparva, the Trigarta army has been described as including Mavellaka, Lalittha and Madraka which may be recognized in such Jat gotra names as Mavata, Mall, Littha,Lathar, Madra and Maderna. [53]

The Trigartas (त्रिगर्ता)

In different section of the Mahabharata the number of the Trigarta brothers goes on increasing from one to five and then to six. It appears that at the time of the final redaction of the Mahabharata the tradition of the six important clans of the Trigartās was well established. It is carious to note that in connection with the application of a suffix Panini makes a reference to the Damini group and the six Trigartas (दामन्यादि त्रिगर्तसष्टाच्छ: v.3.116). On the basis of an ancient verse the Kasika commentary names these as Kauṇḍoparastha (कौण्डोपरस्थ) , Dāṇḍakī (दाण्डकी) Krauṣṭakī (क्रौष्टकी), Jālamāni, Brahmagupta, and Jānaki. These communities mentioned in the grammatical literature can be identified with such Jat Gotra names as (1) Damal , Damara, Damas, (2) Kundu, Kadwasra, Kandoki, Kont, (3) Dangi, (4) Khandaya, Khodiwal, (5) Jali, (6) [Brahman]] and (7) Janar, Janvar.[54]


The Trigartas have been variously located which shows that they had several settlements. The puranas call them the inhabitants of hills (Parvatāśrayinaḥ) (पर्वताश्रयिनः). The Bṛhatsamhitā locates them in the uttārapatha [55]. According to the Abhidhānachintāmaṇi, Trigarta corresponds to Jālandhara (जालन्धरास्त्रिगर्ताःस्युः). The description of the Virat parva makes us believe that they were the northern neighbours of the Matsya Janapada (i.e. Bairat) and must have been living somewhere in modern Hissar. Reference to them are found in such later works as the Sarasvatīkaṇṭhābharaṇa (IV. 2.87) Goṇaratnamahodadhi (v.144) and Abhidhāna Chinatāmaṇi (p.382) [56]

Trigarta literally means three pits, valleys or settlements and also the people living there. In ancient period people were named after areas and areas also got the names of people. Therefore the word garta (गर्त) is significant and requires examination. The normal Prakrit formation from garta would be gatla or gaṭṭa but jarta or Jaṭṭa is also possible. The philologists are of the view that the Indo-European language had a frontal ee which change to ē in greek and a in Sanskrit and due to this change k and g got changed in sanskrit to their corresponding palatals e.g. Greek Genos, sanskrit Jana. This phenomena is called the Law of palatals. The change form K and g to C and J can also be seen in such Sanskrit words as Cakāra, Jagāma. One may therefore presume two formations garta and Jarta existing side by side. Whereas garta is available in the Rigveda and later Sanskrit works Jarta existed in dialect. One should not think that the emergence of dialects is a late phenomenon. The philologists opine that already in the Indo-European period the parent language was divided people in dialects. [57]

The Trigartas were an ancient people closely associated with the Sibis, Yaudheyas and other groups and belonged to the Āyudhajīvī Samgha at the time of Panini. Their location in Hissar as suggested be the Virat Parva is pointer to the fact that they were the part of the people among whom the Yaudheya clan had excelled. When the political centres are destroyed by the powerful adversaries, new leadership springs up form the masses and with them come up new names for leadership. In such a situation , the word Jarta, an oblique form of gart, appears to have come in prominence. From Jarta ot Jaṭṭa and then, under the Law of Moves', Jāṭ is a normal linguistic formation. [58]

To sum up the results of the present study, it must be stressed that the Jats belong to the proto-vedic Aryan stock. But being on the periphery of the Mdahyadesa, the cradle of vedic culture, they did not undergo the social transformation on the line of varna system and monarchical political organization. The power of decision making remained with elders and clan organizations described in literature as Jeṣṭha Vṛiddha, Samsad or Sabha. A few ancestors of Jats have been named in this study and others are waiting for a comprehensive study. [59]

Kota inscription of Shalinder

After the fall of Kushan Empire country was divided in to small states. There is no information of any important Jat state in a period of two centuries following Kushan rule. In the beginning of fifth century we find Jat ruler Maharaja Shalinder with his rule extending from Punjab to Malwa and Rajasthan. This is proved from the Pali inscription obtained from village Kanwas in Kota state in year 1820 AD. We get following information from this inscription: [60]


Shalinder was the ruler Shalpuri, known in the present by the name Sialkot. He established this state on his own power, which indicates that he was a monarch evolved from chieftainship of a republic state. He had a powerful army full of strong warriors amongst whom he felt proud of glory of his caste. He had many small states under him and a rich treasury. He was a Kashyapvanshi (Suryavanshi) Taxak clan Jat. He had left Buddhism and adopted puranic religion and started vedic culture like performing yagyas etc. [61]


He married with a lady of other caste as he has been mentioned as having a dogla issue from him. His descendent Degali had married with daughters of Yaduvanshi. One of these queens gave birth to Veer Narendra. The chronology derived from this inscription is as under: Maharaja Shalinder, Dogla, Sambuk, [Degali]], Veer Narendra.[62]

In samvat 597 (540 AD) a temple was built on the bank of river Taveli in Kota state and a close relative of Jit Shalinder in his memory had written the inscription. Probably the writer of the inscription was Shalichandra (son of Veerchandra and grandson of Veer Narendra), who left Shalivahanpur in samvat 597 (540 AD) due to attack of Huns and came to Malwa.[63]

Maharaja Shalinder had probably sought the help of his own clan ruler Maharaja Yashodharma of Malwa. In the first attempt of combined Jat power, they defeated Huns and repulsed them from Punjab which is clear from the Chandra’s grammar ‘Ajaya jarto Hunan’. [64]

Bundi inscription

James Todd obtained a Pali inscription about Jit or Jat tribe at village Ramchandrapura 3 kos east of Bundi state. He sent this inscription to Asiatic Society London. The inscription reveals that there was a king Thot (थोत) born in Uti(यूती) vansha. His son was Raja Chandrasain, a powerful and beloved of his subject. The son of Chandrasain was Kartik, renowned for his prowess. His wife was Gunaniwas (गुण निवास), who gave birth to two sons Mukund(मुकुन्द) and Daruk (दारुक). Daruk produced son named Kuhal (कुहल). Kuhal produced son named Dhunak (धुनक), who achieved great works. He had war with pahari Meena tribes and defeated and destroyed them. He along with his brother Dok (दोक) worshipped gods and brahmanas. They founded a temple. Kuhal had founded this temple and a Maheshwar temple in east. The popularity of this was spread by Achal son of Mahabali Maharaja Yashovarma. [65], [66]

The period of war of this dynasty with pahari Meenas is difficult to asses. If we assume that Jat ruler Kartik had war with Minander then the period of this comes about 150 BC. Minander had attacked areas up to Chittor. It is very likely that Kartik had a war with Minander. This way the period of his descendent becomes the first century. If we look into the period of Achal who made this temple popular it comes around third or fourth century or beyond it, as ruler Yashovarma was in Maukhari vansha in eighth century in Kannauj. He had sent a delegation to China in 731 AD. [67]] Lack of records and history prior to sixth century prevents prom determining the exact period of the rule of Kartik and his descendents. We can presume their rule from fourth to sixth century. [68]

Jat clans in Mahabharata

Most of Jat historians write that we do not find mention of Jat word in our epics. All historians quote the example of Jats and Meds in Sindh during the time of Mahabharata to show antiquity of the word Jat.

We can find examples of Jat clans from Mahabharata in Shala Parva which is available on line. Here is the link -

From the above links we find that In Book 9 Section 45 of Shalya Parva we have its English text. And in Book 9 Chapter 44 we have its Sanskrit text and the English transliteration. We have taken these on Jatland Wiki and given links to some of Gods and the combatants who appeared in the installation ceremony of Kartikeya, the son of Ganesha. Here are the links of Jatland Wiki. You may see here

In these the words provided links with Jat gotras are seen blue. The following gods and the combatants have similar name in Jat gotra list

In Mahabharata – in Jat Gotras

AchalaAchra, AiravatAhlawat, AjodaraAjdolia, AtriAtri, DamvaraDhama, DhatriDhatarwal, DhumraDhama, GajasirasGajraj, GandharvasGandhar, GayanaGaina, GhasaGhasal,Ghanghas HariHari, JataJat, JatadharaJat, JatharaJat, JatiJat, JavanaJoon, JwalajibhaJewlia, Kalakaksha - Kala, Kalkal, KalakanthaKala, Kalkal, KanchanaKanchap, KasyapaKashyap, Kharvaktra - Kharb, KokanadaKok, KokonadaKukana, KrishnakesaKrishnia, KrishnaujasKrishnia, KunadikaKundarwal, KundaKundu, KusumaKaswan, LohajvaktraLohchab, MadhuraMadhur, MajjalaManju, Mani – Maan, MundagrivaMund, PanduraPandu, Pundir, PunyanamanPuniya, SankukarnaSankhunia, [Sinivali]] – Sinsinwal ThakaraTakhar, TuharaToor, ValaBal, Balhara, VanaBana, Vasuki – Vasuki,

Gupta inscriptions

See for details the chapter - Gupta inscriptions

References

  1. The Mauryas: Their Identity, Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, Vol. (1979), p.112-133.- by B.S. Dehiya.
  2. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats, The Ancient Rulers
  3. Dr Natthan Singh: Jat - Itihas (Hindi), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad Gwalior, 2004, Pages-111,113,116
  4. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967
  5. A K Mittal, 'Political and Cultural history of India', page 126
  6. Rahul Sankrityan, 'Bauddha darshan', page 19
  7. Dr Atul Singh Khokhar, 'Jāton kī utpati evaṃ vistār (Jart tarangiṇī)(Origin and expansion of Jats), page 113
  8. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, Pages 68-72
  9. The Mauryas: Their Identity, Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, Vol. (1979), p.112-133.- by B.S. Dehiya.
  10. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats, The Ancient Rulers
  11. Dr Natthan Singh: Jat - Itihas (Hindi), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad Gwalior, 2004, Pages-111,113,116
  12. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967
  13. A K Mittal, 'Political and Cultural history of India', page 126
  14. Rahul Sankrityan, 'Bauddha darshan', page 19
  15. Dr Atul Singh Khokhar, 'Jāton kī utpati evaṃ vistār (Jart tarangiṇī)(Origin and expansion of Jats), page 113
  16. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, Pages 68-72
  17. K P Jayaswal,An Imperial history of India C 700 BC – C 770 AD
  18. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats, The Ancient Rulers
  19. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967
  20. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, Pages 81-86
  21. K P Jayaswal,An Imperial history of India C 700 BC – C 770 AD
  22. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats, The Ancient Rulers
  23. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967
  24. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, Pages 81-86
  25. James Legge,A RECORD OF BUDDHISTIC KINGDOMS, ch. XII, footnote-6
  26. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats, The Ancient Rulers
  27. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, Pages 79-81, 110
  28. CV Vaidya, History of Medieval Hindu India
  29. Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 254
  30. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992 (Page 707)
  31. Bijayagadh Stone Pillar Inscription of Vishnuvardhana
  32. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study) clan study in the Pre Islamic period, 1982, Sterling Publishers New Delhi
  33. Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992 page 87-88
  34. Dilip Singh Ahlawat, Jat Viron Ka Itihas
  35. , Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005, P. 100
  36. Maheswari Prasad, Jats in Ancient India, Jats, I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 21
  37. [George Erdosy, The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Culture and Ethnicity, Delhi, 1997 pp. 237-238
  38. F.E. Pargiter, Ancient Indian Historical tradition. Reprint Delhi 1962, p.87-88
  39. Maheswari Prasad, Jats in Ancient India, Jats, I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 22
  40. Maheswari Prasad, Jats in Ancient India, Jats, I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 22
  41. K.P.Jayaswal, Hindu Rajtantra (Hindi translation of his Hindu polity) Khanda I, Prakarana 5, 4th ed. Varansi 1977
  42. Maheswari Prasad, Jats in Ancient India, Jats, I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 22
  43. Maheswari Prasad, Jats in Ancient India, Jats, I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 28, f.n. 5
  44. Brahma Purana, Ch. 13
  45. Harivansha, Ch. 32
  46. Mahabharata ch. 95, 76
  47. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 23
  48. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 23
  49. A.S. Atlekar and R.C. Majumdar, The Vakataka Gupta Age, p.27
  50. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 25
  51. Mahabharata, Crit.ed. II, 296
  52. Mahabharata, Crit.ed. II. 48.13cd., 14ab
  53. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 25
  54. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 26
  55. Bṛhatsamhitā XIV. 25
  56. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 26
  57. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 27
  58. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 27
  59. Maheswari Prasad, “Jats in Ancient India”:The Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Vol.I, p. 27
  60. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, p.208
  61. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, p.210
  62. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, p.210
  63. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, p.210
  64. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, p.211
  65. James Todd, Appedix 1], [Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas, p.588-589
  66. Jat History Thakur Deshraj/Chapter IX, p.589
  67. Bharat Ke Prachin Rajvansh, II
  68. Jat History Thakur Deshraj/Chapter IX, p.590

Author लेखक: Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क


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