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Gonanda (गॊनन्द) (Gonand) was a King mentioned in Mahabharata (IX.44.60). Gonanda I reigned in Kashmir in 2448 BC.[1]

Jat clans from Gonanda


Rajatarangini of Kalhana has mentioned about the rule of three Gonandas:Gonanda I (2448 BC), Gonanda II and Gonanda II (1182-1147 BC).[4]

Rajatarangini (I.59) of Kalhana lists Gonanda I as the first king of Kashmir, a relative of Jarasandha of Magadha.

Rajatarangini[5] tells us that the history of Kashmir then presents a blank till the reign of Gonanda I at the beginning of the Kaliyuga. This powerful king was contemporary with Yudhisthira and a friend of his enemy Jarasandha. Gonanda I, who ruled in Kashmira, where the Ganges flows cheering the mount Kailasa on her way, was invited by Jarasindhu to help him in his invasion of Mathura, the capital of Krishna. With a large army they invested that city and encamped on the banks of the Yamuna to the great terror of their foes. On one occasion the army of Krishna was defeated in a battle, but Balarama not only retrieved the confusion of his army, but made a vigorous attack on the allied force. For a long time victory remained doubtful, till at last Gonanda I, pierced with wounds fell dead on the field, and the army of Krishna was victorious.

Rajatarangini[6] tells that In due course the queen Yasabati gave birth to an auspicious male child, and it was a sapling of a family which had well-nigh become extinct. The ceremonies of his birth and coronation were performed by Brahmans, and he grew up and was named Gonanda II after his grandfather. Two nurses were employed for him, one, his mother, to give him milk, and the other to do all other work. His father's ministers would bestow wealth on those on whom he would smile, though the smile of a child is meaningless. If they could not understand his lisping words they left ashamed. They would often

[p.7]: set him upon his father's throne, his feet not reaching the footstool, and while his hair waved in tho breeze of the chamara, they would administer justice to his subjects in his presence. It was at this time that the great battle of Kuru-Pandava was fought, but he was then an infant, and was not therefore asked to help either of the parties.

Rajatarangini[7] writes that Then came Gonanda III to the throne, and established the rites of the Nagas according to the Nilapurana, and the Buddhists ceased to be oppressed. He was a good and powerful king, and infused new life into the kingdom. He was the greatest of his line as Rama was in his. It is owing to the virtues of the people that good kings are born, and then the parts of the kingdom long dismembered are reacquired. Those who oppress their subjects perish with their dynasties, while those who relieve the oppressed flourish. From a study of the history of this king, the wise will be able to know the signs of prosperity or adversity with regard to future kings. He reigned for thirty-five years.

According to Bhim Singh Dahiya they are the people who were known in the history of Kashmir by the name Gonand. Their history is well known. They ruled over Kashmir for centuries. The name, Gonad, became Gonadal and was Sanskritised into Gonanda. It is worth noting that the Nand Jats (pre-Mauryan) are now called Nandal/Nander.[8]

According to Bhim Singh Dahiya[9] the Gondal clan represents the “Go-nanda” dynasty of Kashmir, the Lohar jats are the descendants of the Lohar kings of Kashmir, just as the Lalli, the Sahi, the Balhara, the Bring, the Takhar, the Dhonchak, the Samil, the Kular, and so on represent the people mentioned in the Rajatarangini of Kalhana.

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes about an important inscription of a scion of this clan requires special mention. This is the Manikiala silver plate inscription of Gomana Karavaka. Here the person named Karavaka is definitely from the Gomana or Ghumana clan. [10] Pargiter compares the name Gomana with Godhara and Gonanda. Both these are clan names, nowadays called Godara and Gondal, respectively. Similarly Goman is also a clan name. The fact that the clan name comes before the personal name is not of any significance because this was the practice in those days. The Gusur Simhabala and Saka Moda of the inscription have the clan name or the tribal name before the personal name. [11]

In Mahabharata

Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 44 mentions about the ceremony for investing Kartikeya with the status of generalissimo (सेनागणाध्यक्ष), the diverse gods, various clans who joined it. Gonanda finds mention in Mahabharata (IX.44.60).

प्रियकश चैव नन्दश च गॊनन्द च परतापवान
आनन्दश च प्रमॊदश च सवस्तिकॊ ध्रुवकस तदा Mahabharata (IX.44.60)


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