|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Darad (दरद) Darada (दरद)/Darar (दराड) is one of The Mahabharata Tribes and a Kingdom. This kingdom is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. Kabul city in Afghanistan was founded by Darad gotra Jats.Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mentioned it as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia. 
- Gurez/Gurej (गुरेज) = दे. दरद (AS, p.292)
- Darada दरद = Dardistan (दर्दिस्तान) (AS, p.426)
- Darata दरत = Darada (दरद) (AS, p.426)
- Daratapuri (दरतपुरी) = Gurez (गुरेज) (AS, p.426)
- Daratpura (दरतपुर) = Gurez (गुरेज) (AS, p.426)
Origin of name
Jat Gotras from Darada
- Darad (दरद) - Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mentioned Darad Jat clan as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia.
- 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. 
- Daar (दार) Dar (दार) Diyar (दियार) gotra of Jats originated from country named Darad (दरद), the place of origin of Sindhu River. 
Mention by Panini
Tej Ram Sharma writes that the term Sindhu was corrupted to Hindu in the old Persian inscriptions of Darius I (516-485 B. C.), and to Indus by the Ionian (=Panini's Yavana) Greeks. The word 'India' is derived from the river Sindhu or the Indus. Taking its rise from the snows of Western Kailasa in Tibet, the Sindhu first flows north-west of Kashmir and South of little Pamir, and then takes a southward course along which lay some of the important cities of north India. Emerging from the Darad high-lands, the river (Daradi Sindhuh) enters the Gandhara country until it receives its most important western tributary the Kabul river at Ohind, a few miles north of Attock.
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).
Ram Swarup Joon writes about Draihayu, Drada, Dorewal : Draihau was the fourth son of Yayati. Their descendants are found in Jammu and Kashmir. In the Chandravanshi genealogical tables the Draihavu branch is not well known. To the North of Sialkot in the hilly regions are found people belonging to Daiyu, Drahaihayu, Dadraihayu, Sadhne and Drada, gotras. Most of them are now Muslims.
Panini's Ashtadhyayi refers to Dradi Sindhu which means the River Sindhu which emerges from the country of Drada-s which indicates the area North of Kashmir. According to "Ptolemy" Dradas were the rulers of Afghanistan in the era of Mahabharat. In Drona Parva Shloka 17-58 it is mentioned that Lord Krishna and Arjun conquered the Dradas who were the rulers of Afghanistan and forced them to join their Rajasuya Yagya.
King Drupada said that Shaks, Palius and Dradas should be invited to join them in war. According to "Bhisham Parva", Dradas joined the Pandu's and fought well. The Dradas also took part in their Yagya (Sacrifice). A region adjoining Kashmir is called Dradis-Stan and a tribe in Kashmir is called Drada. In Punjab Sikh Jats belonging to this gotra are found in large numbers. Sadhan, Sajra, Sadhie and Sadhnana are branches of this gotra.
Ram Sarup Joon writes that ....There is a story in Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 23 of the Mahabharata that when Dron Acharya was killed in action, Karna was appointed Commander in Chief of Kaurava Army. He chose Raja Shalya of Sialkot as his charioteer. He was a Madrak Jat and a brother of Madri, mother of the Pandavas. When they were driving to the battle field Karan said, “0, Shalya, there is none equal to me in archery in the Pandava army. They will flee before my arrows”. Shalya was frank and said “No, my people don’t acknowledge your prowess with the bow and arrow as being superior to that of Arjuna.” Karan felt offended and remarked caustically’ “0 Shalya, what do you Jartikas living in the land of five rivers, know about archery and bravery. All your people, Arh, Gandhar, Darad, Chima, Tusar, Malhia, Madrak, Sindhaw, Reshtri, Kukat, Bahik and Kekay eat onion and garlic..... The gotras mentioned above are all Jats and are not found in any other community. However ungraceful the remark, it does prove the existence of Jats in that period and that people of Punjab were called Jatika or Jartika.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...दरद = दर्दिस्तान (AS, p.426): महाभारत में दरदनिवासियों का काम्बोजों के साथ उल्लेख से ज्ञात होता है के इनके देश परस्पर सन्न्निकट होगे- 'गृहीत्वा तु बलं फाल्गुन: पांडुनंदन: दरदान् सह काम्बौजैरजयत् पाकशासिनि:।' महाभारत, सभापर्व, 27,23. दरद देश पर महाभारत के अनुसार अर्जुन ने दिग्विजय यात्रा के प्रसंग में विजय प्राप्त की थी।
दरद का उल्लेख विष्णु पुराण में भी है और टॉलमी तथा स्ट्रेबो ने भी दरदों का वर्णन किया है। दरद का अभिज्ञान 'दर्दिस्तान' के प्रदेश से किया गया है जिसमें गिलगित और यासीन का इलाक़ा शामिल है। यह प्रदेश उत्तरी कश्मीर और दक्षिणी रूस के सीमांत पर स्थित है। विल्सन के अनुसार दरद लोगों का इलाक़ा आज भी वहीं है, विष्णु पुराण, टॉलमी और स्ट्रेबो के समय था, अर्थात् सिंध नदी द्वारा संचित वह प्रदेश जो हिमालय की उपत्यकाओं में स्थित है। दरतपुरी दरद की राजधानी थी। (मार्कंडेय पुराण,57) इसका अभिज्ञान डॉ. स्टाइन ने गुरेज से किया है। संस्कृत साहित्य में 'दरद' और 'दरत' दोनों ही रूप मिलते हैं। कुछ विद्वानों का मत है कि संस्कृत का शब्द 'दरिद्र' 'दरद' से ही व्युत्पन्न है और मौलिक रूप में यह शब्द दरदवासियों की हीनदशा का द्योतक था.
Daritai by H. W. Bellew
H. W. Bellew writes about Daritai - The last of the nations mentioned by Herodotus as composing the eleventh satrapy of the empire of Darius Hystaspes, is the Daritai. They are the Darada of Manu and the Purans, the Derdai of Strabo, the Dardai of Pliny, the Daradrai of Ptolemy, and the Dardu of the natives of our day; a people regarding whom the researches of Professor W. G. Leitner have furnished us with much interesting and instructive information.
[Page-148]: The country of the ancient Daritai may be described as comprising all that cluster of lofty mountains lying directly to the south of the junction of the Tsungling portion of the Himalaya and the Hindu Kush in the great Taghdumbash (Taghnungbash) or " Head of the Mountains," glacier region ; and extending as far south as the watershed range of the Panjkora and Swat rivers, and of the Kanra-Ghorband valleys north of Boner, on the west of the Indus, and to the Pakli district and watershed ridge of the Kishanganga river on its east bank. On the west it includes the Mastoch Valley in the highest part of Kashkar ; and on the east it is bounded by Baltistan, or Little Tibat, if it did not formerly include this tract also. The Dard country, or Dardistan, thus curves round the northern borders of the region we have previously assigned to the Gandarioi of the seventh satrapy, and, crossing the Indus, borders upon Kashmir and Baltistan on the south and north banks respectively of the western course of the Indus, before its bend to the south near Bunji. The country thus defined contains, in its northern half, the districts of Mastoch, Yasin, Ponyal, and Gilgit, together with the Kanjud country of Hunza and Nagar ; all which, along with Baltistan further to the eastward, constitute the Bolor country. In its southern half, it contains the subordinate valleys of Gor, Darel, Tangir, Kandya, etc., on the west bank of the Indus south of Gilgit, and the Chilas, Astor, Kaghan, and Shinkari district of Pakli on the opposite east bank ; all which tract constitutes the Kohistan, or Shinkari territory of the Dard, part of which, on the west bank of the Indus, still retains its independence as a free country. Formerly the whole of the Pakli country seems to have been included in Dardistan ; its southern frontier corresponds to the Darvabhisara of the Rajatarangini, that is to the Dorh and Abhisara districts. From this Abhisara (the country of the Abissares mentioned by Arrian) is derived the modern Hazara, which includes Chach and Pakli.
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 :
- The Vayu Purana, Brahmanda Purana and Vamana Purana mention the Daradas with the Kambojas, Chinas, Tusharas and the Bahlikas etc. The Bhuvankosha of the Puranas locates the Daradas, Kambojas, Barbaras, Bahlikas, Lampakas etc in the Uttarapatha division of ancient India. e.g.:
- ete desha udichyastu
- Kambojah Daradashchaiva Barbarashcha Angalaukikah ||
- Chinashchaiva Tusharashcha Pahlavadhayata narah |
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. They are also mentioned with the Abhisaras in the same text as living on the borders of Kashmir.
Daradas in Tibetan chronicles:
Daradas in Ramayana - Kishkindha Kanda Sarga 43 mentions that Sugreeva sends troops to north in search of Sita. He gives an account of the snowy regions and provinces of northern side and asks them to search in the places of Yavana, Kuru, and Daradas etc., civilizations.
- 11, 12. "There in the north, the provinces of Mlecchas, Pulindas, that way Shurashenas - Prasthalas - Bharatas - Kurus - Madrakas - Kambojas - Yavanas shall be scrutinized along with the cities of Shaka and Darada, and then search in Himalayas. [4-43-11,12]
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 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. Then Lalitaditiya meets the Bhauttas in Baltistan in western Tibet north of Kashmir, then the Dardas in Karakorum/Himalaya, the Valukambudhi and then he encounters Strirajya, the Uttarakurus 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, Vidhyadhara Shahi during the reign of Harsha, 1089-1101 A.D., Jagaddala during the reign of Uccala, A.D. 1101 to A.D. 1111, Manidhara during the reign of Sussala, A.D. 1112 to A.D. 1120), and Yasodhara during the reign of Jayasimha, A.D. 1128 to A.D. 1149.
Rajatarangini tells....When Manidhara, lord of Darad, came to see the king, the king went out to visit him and at the same time ordered Garga to be killed by his servants. After living for two or three months in prison, he and his three sons were violently killed at night by means of ropes tied round their necks. In the same way that the royal servants killed Garga, Vimbamukha tied a rope round his own neck and with his son threw himself into the water, and thus obtained fame. In the year 94, in the month of Bhadra, the king killed Garga to make his path easy, but he had to suffer misery, for he had to meet a great rebellion. (p.52)
Rajatarangini tells.... At one time Yashodhara, king of Darad, a place where good counsel did not prevail, was during Jayasimha's life time reduced to poverty. Though his kingdom was situated next to that of the king of Kashmira, yet he had become the favourite of the king of Kashmira by rendering great service in time of danger. His son was overpowered by the ministers and his condition was pitiable. For, his own minister Viḍḍasimha snatched the kingdom from him, violated his queen and gave the kingdom to his minor son. (p.219-220)
Rajatarangini writes: In Karṇāṭa and in many other places through which he was seen to pass, some rose in rebellion and some became friendly. He planned to enter (the capital of Darad?). Though he made grand preparations yet he artfully made his progress slow, and the king of Darad, inactive through indolence, overlooked him. The king of the world [Kashmira] sent Udaya, lord of Dvara, with men. He brought riches to the peaceful and tumults to the turbulent. (p.223)
Rajatarangini writes: Defeat of the army of Darat: The proud soldiers of Darad, eager for battle, rode on horses, bore golden armours, and descended from the mountain caverns. The people feared that the countries attacked by the Turashkas would be subjected to them and believed that the whole world would be overspread by the Mlechchhas.* Dhanya, lord of Dvara, marched out without any help, except his sword, on which rested his courage, and obstructed the enemy's troops who shone brightly in their golden armour, even as a hill with waterfalls arrests the course of the forest fire accompanied with cloud like flames. The soldier of Darad, proud of their number, bent back Jayachandra and others who had been preventing their march to the front, and descended into the battle field. The son of Garga [Dhanya] with twenty [thousand] horse speedily went and opposed, their thirty thousand cavalry and defeatcd them.
* The army of Darad as stated before, consisted mostly of the Mahomedans. Their power had already speared all about Kashmira and the people of that country now began to fear of losing their independence.
Rajatarangini tells... He [the lord of Darad] suppressed, the meeting of those who were determined to rebel and resolved against all persuasion to die at the bridge on the rood. When his soldiers saw him, with servants mostly youths, about to die, they were afraid and became distressed. An offshoot of the River Balaharī had destroyed the road, and seemed to speak in disparagement of the soldiers of Darad by the noise of its dashing waves.
Viddasimha was put to shame by the ladies of his household, by the jealous Mlechchha kings and by the undaunted soldiers, and he deserted the lord of Darad. Then the advanced guards broke the bridge and drove the enemy's soldiers to the other side of the river. Viddasimha arrived among the latter with the sound of trumpet which pierced all sides. [VIII (ii),p.264-265]
Rajataranginitells.... The danger over, king Uchchala had other minor difficulties which arose and passed away. Bhimadeva set up Bhoja, son of the late king Kalasha, and brought Jagaddala, king of Darad, to help them. Sahla, a son of Harsha and Sanjapala, brother of Darshanapala, were in the party. The king of Darad came out to attack Uchchala but the wise king induced him, by friendly words to return to his own country. Sahla privately followed the king of Darad. Bhoja retired to his country, but his servant having accepted a bribe betrayed his master, and Bhoja soon received from the king the punishment befitting a robber. (p.19)
List of Kings of Darad
- Achalamangala, during the reign of Ananta of Kashmir, A.D. 1028 to A.D. 1063
- Jagaddala, during the reign of Uccala, A.D. 1101 to A.D. 1111
- Manidhara, during the reign of Sussala, A.D. 1112 to A.D. 1120
- Vidhyadhara Shahi during the reign of Harsha of Kashmir, 1089-1101 A.D
- Yashodhara, during the reign of Jayasimha, A.D. 1128 to A.D. 1149
Epigraphic References to Daradas
- 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".
- 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.
Visit by Fahian
James Legge writes about the travel of Fahian: From this (the travellers) went westwards towards North India, and after being on the way for a month, they succeeded in getting across and through the range of the Onion mountains. The snow rests on them both winter and summer. There are also among them venomous dragons, which, when provoked, spit forth poisonous winds, and cause showers of snow and storms of sand and gravel. Not one in ten thousand of those who encounter these dangers escapes with his life. The people of the country call the range by the name of “The Snow mountains.” When (the travellers) had got through them, they were in North India, and immediately on entering its borders, found themselves in a small kingdom called T’o-leih,1 where also there were many monks, all students of the hinayana.
1 T’o-leih: Eitel and others identify this with Darada, the country of the ancient Dardae, the region near Dardus; lat. 30d 11s N., lon. 73d 54s E. See E. H. p. 30. I am myself in more than doubt on the point. Cunningham (“Ancient Geography of India,” p. 82) says “Darel is a valley on the right or western bank of the Indus, now occupied by Dardus or Dards, from whom it received its name.” But as I read our narrative, Fa-hien is here on the eastern bank of the Indus, and only crosses to the western bank as described in the next chapter. 
Darada (दरद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.24.22), (II.48.12),(III.48.20),(III.174.12),(VI.10.66), (VI.46.49),(VI.47.16),(VI.112.109), (VIII.51.18),
Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 48 describes Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira attended by the chiefs of many islands and countries. Darada (दरद) is mentioned in Mahabharata verse (III.48.20). 
Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 174 mentions about journey of Pandavas to the Kingdom of Suvahu... Darada (दरद) is mentioned in verse (III.174.12). ...."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.
Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 10 describes geography and provinces of Bharatavarsha. Darada (दरद) is mentioned in Mahabharata in the list of other provinces to the south in verse (VI.10.66).
Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 46 describes the Pandavas who look the war arrangement and wait for battle. Darada (दरद) is mentioned in verse (VI.46.49)..... And Yudhishthira, O king, with the Patachcharas, the Hunas, the Pauravakas and the Nishadas, became its two wings, so also the Pisachas, with the Kundavishas, and the Mandakas, Madaka, Kadaka and Tanganas other Tanganas, Balhikas, Tittiras, and Cholas Pandya.
Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 51 mentions them fighting and destroyed in Mahabharata War on seventeenth day for Kurus in verse VIII.51.18)  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,....
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