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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Afridi (अफरीदी)[1] is gotra of Jats from Sindh. Aparytai, Apardai and Afridi clan in Afghanistan.[2] Afridai is the singular of Afridi.

Variants of name


  • In the Persian Afrida means " a created being." From this circumstance the tribe received the name of Afridi. [5]
  • The Afridi (or Afridai in the singular) are without doubt the present representatives of the Aparytae of Herodotus, Both the names and the positions are identically the same. [6]
19. Immediately beyond come deserts extending for 250 miles. These being passed, We come to the Organagae, Abaortae (Afridi), Sibarae (Sibia/Sagari), Suertae (Suriara)

Mention by Panini

Aparita (अपरीत) people are mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [8]

Aprita (आप्रीत) people are mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [9]

Apritaka (आप्रीतक), people are mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [10]


V S Agarwal [11] writes that We may thus locate the Puga type of Sanghas organized under Garamani leaders in the tribal area to the west of the Indus. Panini names some of these war like tribes of the north-west frontier, e.g. Aśani (V.3.117), Shinwāris with their parent stock of the Kārshbuns, to be identified with Kārshāpaṇas in the same Gana, the Āprītas or Aparītas (IV.2.53) , same as Greek Aparytai, modern Afridis.

V S Agarwal [12] writes names of some important tribes in the Ganapatha, which deserve to be mentioned as being of considerable importance. We are indebted to the Greek historians of Alexander for the information that most of these were republics. These tribes include - Āprīta (Rajanyadi Gana) – These are to be identified with Apartytai of Herodotus, the ancestors of Afridis, whose own pronunciation of the name Āprīdī. Their country is called Āprīdī-Tīrāh.

H. W. Bellew[13] writes that Aparytai, by the well known Apardai and Afridi of the Khybar Pass. In the time of Darius Hystaspes all these nations were accounted Indians, and held much the same tracts of country as those in which their posterity are now found. From its composition this satrapy must have comprised the whole of the Indus border from the mountains of Boner on the north to those of the Bolan Pass on the south, and from the river Indus to the watershed of the Suleman and Khybar ranges bounding its valley on the west.

H. W. Bellew[14] writes that The Afridi (or Afridai in the singular) are without doubt the present representatives of the Aparytae of Herodotus, Both the names and the positions are identically the same.

The extent of the ancient country and the character of its people appear to have undergone a considerable change, but still not so great as to mar identity. The original limits of the Afridi (or Afreedee, as the name is often spelt) country, probably, comprised the whole of the Sufed Koh range and the country at the base of it on the north and south sides to the Kabul and Kurram rivers respectively whilst its extent from east to west was from the Pewar ridge, or the head waters of the Kurram further west, to the Indus; between the points of junction with it of the Kabul and Kurram rivers, in the former direction.

With the Afridi of the present day are now reckoned as kindred tribes the Orakzai and Bangash, of whose origin very little is known, though they are, perhaps, of Scythic descent, and came into their present positions with the Scythic irruption before alluded to.

H. W. Bellew[15] writes Adjoining to the south is the country of the ancient Aparytai the modern Afridi. For the purpose of this inquiry we may consider this country as comprising the whole of the eastern spurs and southern slopes of Sufed Koh, and that portion of the eastern slopes of the Suleman range which is drained by the Kuram river. Towards the east it is bounded by the Indus in that portion of its course included between the junctions with it of the Kabul and Kuram rivers ; and it is separated from the country of the Gandarioi by the Kabul river eastwards of the Khybar range. The tract thus defined includes the Kuram valley and its tributaries, and the Banu, Kohat, and Peshawar districts in British territory. In this extensive area, the Aparytai of Herodotus, a tribe which I have identified as the Afridi of the Khybar hills, were, we may take it, the nation responsible for the payment of tribute to Darius, and were at that period the dominant tribe in this part of the satrapy.

H. W. Bellew[16] Afridi, or Apartoai, the Aparytai of Herodotus, anciently occupied, we may take it, all the country south of the Kabul river from the Khybar range inclusive to the Indus, and as far south as Kalabagh and Bahadur-khel salt mines. At the present day they are confined to the hills about Peshawar city — to the western half of the Charhat (Cherat) range, the Kohat and Khybar passes, and the hills north of the Mulaghar spur of the Rajgal peak of Sufed Koh, and are reckoned at about thirty thousand families. In the Afghan genealogies the Afridi are

[Page-90]: classed in the Kaki division of the Karai, Kararai, Kararani, or Karalanri branch of the Ghurghushti Afghan, along with the Khattak, Jadran, Utman, Khugiani, Shitak, Suleman, etc. The Karalanri is the same as the Turklanri, and comprises the two divisions of Kodi and Kaki ; of which the Kaki (perhaps the same as Kuki, a Naga tribe to be presently noticed), comprises the tribes above named ; and Kodi comprises the Dalahzak, Orakzi, Musa, Mangal, Tori, Hanni, Wardak, etc. The Afridi are said, by native accounts, to have been driven out of the plain country by the Dalahzak tribe, which was formerly very numerous and powerful, and the first tribe which penetrated from Kabul through the Khybar Pass into the Peshawar district, at that time called Bagram, after the name of its capital (the site of which is now covered by the British cantonment at Peshawar), which they seized from the Raja of Lahore, together with all the country up to the Indus, crossing which river they extended their conquests far to its eastward. They sent a strong contingent of their clans- men with the army of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in his expedition against Somnath, At the time of the Dalazak invasion, this part of eastern Afghanistan, the Peshawar valley and both banks of the Indus, was occupied by the Sur Kafir, or Surkh Kafir " the Red Infidels," supposed to be descendants of the Greeks who formerly held the whole country from Kabul to the river Jelam, or Jhelam, but probably including Surya or Surajbansi Rajput as well. These the Dalazak, who are said to be a Turk tribe in the following of Mahmud Ghaznavi, or of his father the celebrated Sabaktakin (but more likely a clan of the Jata Skythians, who dispossessed the Greeks), gradually forced out of the plain country up into the hills around, and mainly into the highlands of Swat and Boner, and the Khybar hills. The Dalahzak maintained their prosperity and renown to the time of Mikza Ulugh Beg, governor of Kabul — 1620-1545 A.D. — when they were dispossessed and expelled the country to the east bank of the Indus, to Chach and Pakli, by the Yusufzi and Ghorya tribes, as before described. In these parts (Chach Hazarah) the Dalazak having revolted against the Mughal government of Delhi, the Emperor Jahangir, 1646 A.D., sent an army to reduce them ; and the greater part of the tribe which survived the campaign, was deported to Hindustan, and dispersed in various parts of Central India and the Dakhan. There is a small colony of the descendants of these Dalazak in the Dholpur Rajput State ; and small clusters of the tribe are found also scattered all over the Chach, Hazarah, and Pakli districts, as well as in the Boner hills, and in Peshawar itself.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[17] ने लेख किया है ...अपरान्त (AS, p.26): अपरांत महाराष्ट्र के अंतर्गत उत्तर कोंकण (गोवा आदि का इलाका) में स्थित है। अपरांत का प्राचीन साहित्य में अनेक स्थानों पर उल्लेख है- 'तत: शूर्पारकं देशं सागरस्तस्य निर्ममे, सहसा जामदग्न्यस्य सोऽपरान्तमहीतलम्'। (शान्ति पर्व महाभारत 49, 66-67)

'तथापरान्ता: सौराष्ट्रा: शूराभीरास्तथार्बुदा:'। (विष्णु पुराण 2,3,16)

[p.27]: 'तस्यानीकैर्विसर्पदिभरपरान्तजयोद्यतै:'। रघुवंश महाकाव्य 4,53.

कालिदास ने रघु की दिग्विजय-यात्रा के प्रसंग में पश्चिमी देशों के निवासियों को अपरांत नाम से अभिहित किया है और इसी प्रकार कोशकार यादव ने भी 'अपरान्तास्तु पाश्चात्यास्ते' कहा है। रघुवंश (4,58) में भी '|अपरांत' के राजाओं का उल्लेख है। इस प्रकार 'अपरांत' नाम सामान्य रूप से 'पश्चिमी देशों' का व्यंजक था किंतु विशेष रूप से (जैसे महाभारत के उपर्युक्त उद्धरण में) इस नाम से उत्तर कोंकण का बोध होता था।

महावंश (महावंश 12,4) के उल्लेख के अनुसार अशोक के शासनकाल में यवन धर्मरक्षित को अपरांत में बौद्ध धर्म के प्रचार के लिए भेजा गया था। इस संदर्भ में भी 'अपरांत' से पश्चिम के देशों का ही अर्थ ग्रहण करना चाहिए।

महाभारत शान्ति पर्व (49,66-67) से सूचित होता है कि शूर्पारक नामक देश को जो 'अपरांत भूमि' में स्थित था, परशुराम के लिए सागर ने छोड़ दिया था। ('तत: शूर्पारकं देश सागरस्तस्य निर्ममे, सहसा जामदग्नस्य सोपरान्तमहीतलम')। महाभारत सभा पर्व (51,28) से सूचित होता है कि अपरांत देश में जो परशुराम की भूमि थी तीक्ष्ण फरसे (परशु) बनाए जाते थे- ('अपरांत समुदभूतांस्तथैव परशूञ्छितान्')

गिरनार - स्थित रुद्रदामन् के प्रसिद्ध अभिलेख में अपरांत का रुद्रदामन द्वारा जीते जाने का उल्लेख है- स्ववीर्यार्जितानामनुरक्त सर्वप्रकृतीनां पूर्वापराकरा वन्त्यनूपनी वृदानर्त सुराष्ट्र श्वभ्रभरुकच्छ सिंधु सौवीर कुकुरापरान्त निषादादीनां..- यहां अपरांत कोंकण का ही पर्याय जान पड़ता है।

विष्णुपुराण में 'अपरांत' का उत्तर के देशों के साथ उल्लेख है। वायुपुराण में अपरांत को अपरित कहा गया है।

भारतवर्ष की पश्चिम दिशा का देशविशेष। 'अपरांत' (अपर-अंत) का अर्थ है- 'पश्चिम का अंत'। आजकल यह कोंकण प्रदेश माना जाता है। टॉल्मी नामक भूगोलवेत्ता ने इस प्रदेश को, जिसे उसने 'अरिआके' या 'अबरातिके' के नाम से पुकारा, चार भागों मे विभक्त बतलाया है।

जूनागढ़ अभिलेख से ज्ञात होता है कि यहाँ अशोक ने सुदर्शन झील को पुननिर्मित कराया था, जैसा रुद्रदामन के जूनागढ़ अभिलेख से ज्ञात होता है। 'प्रांतपति तुहशाष्म' को वहाँ के देखरेख करने का भार सौंपा था। इसी क्षेत्र के लिए 'अपरांत' (पश्चिमी समुद्री तट) शब्द अभिलेखों में प्रयुक्त है। [18]

रुद्रदामा के जूनागढ़ अभिलेख में 'अपरान्त' (पश्चिम भारत) में अशोक के गवर्नर के रूप में यवनराज तुफ़ास्क का नाम मिलता है। जो स्पष्टतः एक ईरानी नाम है।

Aparanta in Mahabharata

Aparanta is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.10.46), (XII.49.59)

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Aparanta is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.10.46).[19]...the Aparantas, the Shudras, the Pahalvas, the Charmakhandikas; the Atavis, Shabaras, Marubhaumas, Marishas....

Avabhriti in Vishnu Purana

Vishnu Purana - Mundas have been mentioned as Marúńd́as as rulers of Magadha in Vishnu_Purana/Book_IV:Chapter_XXIV[20] along with Sarúńd́as and Purúńd́as. Vishnu Purana[21] gives list of Kings who ruled Magadha. ...After these, various races will reign, as seven Ábhíras, ten Garddhabas, sixteen Śakas, eight Yavanas, fourteen Tusháras, thirteen Mundas, eleven Maunas, altogether seventy-nine princes , who will be sovereigns of the earth for one thousand three hundred and ninety years.

Total--85 kings, Váyu; 89, Matsya; 76, and 1399 years, Bhág.

Afridi Clans

The Afridi Tribe is sub classified into eight sub tribes listed below.

All Afridi clans have their own areas in the Tirah Valley, and most of them extend down into the Khyber Pass over which they have always exercised the right of toll. The Malikdin Khel live in the centre of the Tirah and hold Bagh, the traditional meeting place of Afridi jirgas or assemblies. The Aka Khel are scattered in the hills south of Jamrud. All of this area is included in the Khyber Agency. The Adam Khel live in the hills between Peshawar and Kohat. The Burki live in Kanigoram Valley, Waziristan and Peshawar. Their preserve is the Kohat Pass in which several of the most important Afridi gun factories are located.


The is a Pashtun tribe present in Pakistan, with substantial numbers in Afghanistan. The Afridis are most dominant in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, inhabiting about 3000 km² of rough hilly area in the eastern Spin Ghar range west of Peshawar, covering most of Khyber Agency, FR Peshawar and FR Kohat.[22] Their territory includes the Khyber Pass and Maidan in Tirah. Afridi migrants are also found in India, mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.[23]

Notable persons


  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. अ-42
  2. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan,H. W. Bellew, p.63
  3. "The History of Herodotus Chapter 3, Verse 91; Written 440 B.C.E, Translated by G. C. Macaulay".
  4. Caroe, Olaf (1957). The Pathans. Oxford University Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-19-577221-0.
  5. H. W. Bellew: The Races of Afghanistan/Chapter VIII,p.84
  6. H. W. Bellew: An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, p.77
  7. Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p.219,s.n. 7
  8. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.438
  9. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.36, 453
  10. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.36
  11. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.438
  12. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.453
  13. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.63
  14. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.77
  15. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.89
  16. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.89-90
  17. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.26
  18. सहाय, डॉ. शिव स्वरूप भारतीय पुरालेखों का अध्ययन (हिंदी), 144।
  19. अपरन्ध्राश च शूद्राश च पह्लवाश चर्म खण्डिकाः, अटवी शबराश चैव मरु भौमाश च मारिष (VI.10.46)
  20. The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840, p. 475
  21. Vishnu Purana/Book IV:Chapter XXIV pp.474-476
  22. Afridi demographics in FATA and FR Kohat
  23. Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India by Safia Haleem, Publishing Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

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