Ora

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Ora (ओरा)[1] Aura (औरा) Aure (औरे)[2] Ore (ओरे) Oda (ओड़ा)[3] is a gotra of Jats found in Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan. This clan has been mentioned by Megasthenes. Ora clan is found in Afghanistan.[4] In Alexander's campaign of through the desert of Gedrosia, he encountered with the Oritians, who are same as Ora. The largest village of the tribe Oritians was called Rambakia. Arrian[5] writes that Alexander had advanced towards the capital of the Gadrosians, which was named Pura ; and he arrived there in sixty days after starting from Ora.


Origin

  • They have probably descended from Varatya (वरात्य) of Mahabharata (VIII.51.16). Varteya (वार्तेय) was an ancient republic of Ayudhjivi Sangha known to Panini.
  • They are considered descendants of rishi Dirghattama (दीर्घत्तमा). [6]
  • Audaca was a city captured by Alexander in 327 BC which he got possession of by capitulation Arrian mentioned by Arrian.[7]. Audaca may be village of Aura/Ora Jat clan people.

History

V. S. Agrawala[8] mentions Ayudhjivi Sanghas in the Ganapatha under Yaudheyadi group, repeated twice in the Panini's Ashtadhyayi (IV.1.178) and (V.3.117) which includes - Vārteya – which may be identified with the Indian tribe Oreitai[9], settled to the west of the river Porali which now falls in to the Sonmiani Bay, west of Karachi. (cf. Saunamāneya in Subhrādi gana IV.1.123;IV.1.86). According to Curtius the tribe had long maintained its independence in those parts and it negotiated peace with Alexander through their leaders, which reflects its Sangha character.

On the east of river Arabis (old name of Porali) was another independent tribe which the Greeks called Arabitai, corresponding to Sanskrit Ārabhaṭa (the home of the Ārabhaṭi vritti), a word unknown in Paninian geography, but both of them as the Greeks noted, lay within the geographical limits of India.


Rajatarangini[10] tells .... King Durlabhavardhana's son Durlabhaka by queen Ananga then reigned. He assumed the name of Pratapaditya after the title of the dynasty of his maternal grandfather by whom he was adopted as his son. He had a rich minister named Oda, who built a village named Hanumata for the habitation of the Brahmanas. (IV,P.61)

Ch.21: Campaign against the Oritians (Nov 326 BC)

Gedrosia on Map showing the route of Alexander the Great
Alexander The Great campaign India 326 BC

Arrian[11] writes that ...The season of the year was then unfit for voyaging; for the periodical winds prevailed, which at that season do not blow there from the north, as with us, but from the Great Sea, in the direction of the south wind.[1] Moreover it was reported that there the sea was fit for navigation after the beginning of winter, from the setting of the Pleiades[2] until the winter solstice; for at that season mild breezes usually blow from the lands drenched as it has been with great rains; and these winds are convenient on a coasting voyage both for oars and sails. Nearclius, who had been placed in command of the fleet, waited for the coasting season; but Alexander, starting from Patala, advanced with all his army as far as the river Arabius.[3] He then took half of the shield-bearing guards and archers, the infantry regiments called foot Companions, the guard of the Companion cavalry, a squadron of each of the other cavalry regiments, and all the horse-bowmen, and turned away thence on the left towards the sea to dig wells, so that there might be abundance, of them for the fleet sailing along on the coasting voyage; and at the same time to make an unexpected attack upon the Oritians,[4] a tribe of the Indians in this region, which had long been independent. This he meditated doing because they had performed no friendly act either to himself or his army. He placed Hephaestion in command of the forces left behind. The Arabitians,[5] another independent tribe dwelling near the river Arabius, thinking that they could not cope with Alexander in battle, and yet being unwilling to submit to him, fled into the desert when they heard that he was approaching. But crossing the river Arabius, which was both narrow and shallow, and travelling by night through the greater part of the desert, he came near the inhabited country at daybreak. Then ordering the infantry to follow him in regular line, he took the cavalry with him, dividing it into squadrons, that it might occupy a very large part of the plain, and thus marched into the land of the Oritians. All those who turned to defend themselves were cut to pieces by the cavalry, and many of the others were taken prisoners. He then encamped near a small piece of water; but when Hephaestion formed a junction with him, he advanced farther. Arriving at the largest village of the tribe of the Oritians, which was called Rhambacia,[6] he commended the place and thought that if he colonized a city there it would become great and prosperous. He therefore left Hephaestion behind to carry out this project.[7]


1.These periodical winds are the southerly monsoon of the Indian Ocean. Cf. Arrian (Indica, 21).

2.This occurs at the beginning of November. The Romans called the Pleiads Vergiliae. Cf. Pliny (ii. 47, 125): Vergiliarum occasus hiemem inchoat, quod tempus in III. Idus Novembres incidere consuevit. Also Livy (xxi. 35, 6): Nivis etiam casus, occidente jam sidfere Vergiliarum, ingentem terrorem adjecit.

3.This river, which is now called the Purally, is about 120 miles west of the mouth of the Indus. It is called Arabia by Arrian (Indica, 21); and Arbis by Strabo (xv. 2).

4.These were a people of Gadrosia, inhabiting a coast district nearly 200 milles long in the present Beloochistan. Cf. Arrian {Indica, 22 and 25); Pliny, vi. 23.

5.The Arabitians dwelt between the Indus and the Arabius; the Oritians were west of the latter river.

6.Rhambacia was probably at or near Haur.

7.According to Diodorus (xvii. 104) the city was called Alexandria.

p.349-351

Ch 6.22: March of Alexander through the desert of Gadrosia.

Arrian[12] writes ...Again he took half of the shield-bearing guards and Agrianians, the guard of cavalry and the horse-bowmen, and marched forward to the confines of the Gadrosians and Oritians, where he was informed that the passage was narrow, and the Oritians were drawn up with the Gadrosians and were encamping in front of the pass, with the purpose of barring Alexander's passage. They had indeed marshalled themselves there; but when it was reported that he was already approaching, most of them fled from the pass, deserting their guard. The chiefs of the Oritians, however, came to him, offering to surrender both themselves and their nation. He instructed these to collect the multitude of their people together and send them to their own abodes, since they were not about to suffer any harm. Over these people he placed Apollophanes as viceroy, and with him he left Leonnatus the confidential body-guard in Ora,[1] at the head of all the Agrianians, some of the bowmen and cavalry, and the rest of the Grecian mercenary infantry and cavalry. He instructed him to wait until the fleet had sailed round the land, to colonize the city, and to regulate the affairs of the Oritians so that they might pay the greater respect to the viceroy. He himself, with the main body of the army (for Hephaestion had arrived at the head of the men who had been left behind), advanced into the land of the Gadrosians by a route most of which was desert. Aristobulus says that in this desert many myrrh-trees grew, larger than the ordinary kind; and that the Phoenicians, who accompanied the army for trafficking, gathered the gum of myrrh, and loading the beasts of burden, carried it away.[2] For there was a great quantity of it, inasmuch as it exuded from large stems and had never before been gathered. He also says that this desert produces many odoriferous roots of nard,[3] which the Phoenicians likewise gathered; but much of it was trampled down by the army, and a sweet perfume was diffused far and wide over the land by the trampling; so great was the abundance of it. In the desert there were also other kinds of trees, one of which had foliage like that of the bay-tree, and grew in places washed by the waves of the sea. These trees were on ground which was left dry by the ebb-tide; but when the water advanced they looked as if they had grown in the sea. Of others the roots were always washed by the sea, because they grew in hollow places, from which the water could not retire; and yet the trees were not destroyed by the sea. Some of these trees in this region were even thirty cubits high. At that season they happened to be in bloom; and the flower was very much like the white violet,[4] but the perfume was far superior to that of the latter. There was also another thorny stalk growing out of the earth, the thorn on which was so strong that, piercing the clothes of some men just riding past, it pulled the horseman down from his horse rather than be itself torn off the stalk. It is also said that when hares run past these bushes, the thorns cling to their fur; and thus these animals are caught, as birds are with bird-lime, or fish with hooks. However they were easily cut through with steel; and when the thorns are cut the stalk gives forth much juice, still more abundantly than fig-trees do in the springtime, and more pungent.[5]


1. Ora was the name of the district inhabited by the Oritians.

2. Cf. Pliny (Nat. Hist. xii. 33-35).

3. Cf. Strabo (xv. 2); Pliny (Nat. Hist. xii. 26).

4. Probably the snow-flake.

5. This is the well-known catechu, obtained chiefly from the Acacia Catechu. The liquid gum is called kuth or cutch in India.

p.351-353

Chapter xxiv. March of Alexander through Gadrosia.

Arrian[13] writes that ... HE then advanced towards the capital of the Gadrosians, which was named Pura ; and he arrived there in sixty days after starting from Ora. Most of the historians of Alexander’s reign assert that all the hardships which his army suffered in Asia were not worthy of comparison with the labours undergone here. They say that Alexander pursued this route, not from ignorance of the difficulty of the journey (Nearchus, indeed, alone says that he was ignorant of it), but because he heard that no one had ever hitherto passed that way with an army and emerged in safety, except Semiramis, when she fled from India. 1 The natives said that even she emerged with only twenty men of her army; and that Cyrus,. son of Cambyses, escaped with only seven of his men. For they say that Cyrus also marched into this region for the purpose of invading India, but that he did not effect his retreat before losing the greater part of his army, from the desert and the other difficulties of this route. When Alexander received this information he is said to have been seized with a desire of excelling Cyrus and Semiramis.2 Nearchus says that he turned his march this way, both for this reason and at the same time for the purpose of conveying provisions near the fleet. The scorching heat and lack of water destroyed a great part of the army, and especially the beasts of burden; most of which perished from thirst and some of them even from the depth and heat of the sand, because it had been thoroughly scorched by the sun. For they met with lofty ridges of deep sand, not closely pressed and hardened, but such as received those who stepped upon it just as if they were stepping into mud, or rather into untrodden snow. At the same time too the horses and mules suffered still more, both in going up and coming down the hills, from the unevenness of the road as well as from its instability. The length of the marches between the stages also exceedingly distressed the army; for the lack of water often compelled them to make the marches of unusual length.’ When they travelled by night on a journey which it was necessary to complete, and at daybreak came to water, they suffered no hardship at all; but if, while still on the march, on account of the length of the way, they were caught by the heat, the day advancing, then they did indeed suffer hardships from the blazing sun, being at the same time oppressed by unassuageable thirst.2

Ch.23:Battles (of Alexander) with the Aspasians

Arrian[14] writes....Alexander now took command of the shield-bearing guards, the Companion cavalry with the exception of those who had been joined with Hephaestion's division, the regiments of what were called foot-Companions, the archers, the Agrianians and thfe horse-lancers, and advanced with them into the land of the Aspasians, Guraeans and Assacenians.[1] Marching by a mountainous and rough road along the river called Choes,[2] which he crossed with difficulty, he ordered the main body of his infantry to follow at leisure; while he himself took all the cavalry, and 800 of the Macedonian infantry whom he mounted upon horses with their infantry shields, and made a forced march, because he had received information that the barbarians who inhabited that district had fled for safety into the mountains which extend through the land and into as many of their cities as were strong enough to resist attack. Assaulting the first of these cities which was situated on his route, he routed, at the first attack without any delay, the men whom he found drawn up in front of the city, and shut them up in it. He was himself wounded by a dart which penetrated through the breastplate into his shoulder; but the wound was only a slight one, for the breastplate prevented the dart from penetrating right through his shoulder. Leonnatus and Ptolemy, son of Lagus, were also wounded. Then he encamped near the city at the place where the wall seemed most easy to assault. At dawn on the following day the Macedonians easily forced their way through the first wall, as it had tiot been strongly built. The city had been surrounded with a double wall. At the second wall the barbarians stood their ground for a short time; but when the scaling ladders were now being fixed, and the defenders were being wounded with darts from all sides, they no longer stayed; but rushed through the gates out of the city towards the mountains. Some of them were killed in the flight and the Macedonians, being enraged because they had wounded Alexander, slew all whom they took prisoners. Most of them, however, escaped into the mountains, because they were not far from the city. Having levelled this city with the ground, he marched to another, named Audaca, which he got possession of by capitulation. He left Craterus there with the other commanders of the infantry to capture all the remaining cities which would not yield of their own accord, and to set the affairs of the whole country in such order as he should find most convenient under the circumstances.


1. These were tribes living in the north-west of the Punjab.

2. Probably the modern Kama, a tributary of the Cabul.

p.248-250

Distribution in Uttar Pradesh

Jats of this gotra are found in Distt Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.


Ora Villages in Rajsamand district

Distribution in Pakistan

According to 1911 census, the Aura were one of the principal Muslim Jat clan in :[15]

History

This clan has been mentioned by Megasthenes.

See also

References


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