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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Hasti (हस्ति) was a Chandravanshi king son of Dhritarashtra and was founder of Hastinapur[1]. Greek records write him as Astes/Astakenoi of Strabo.

Variants of name

Jat Gotras Namesake

  • Harchatwal (हरचतवाल) gotra of Jats are descendants of Samrat Hasti (हस्ति). [3]

Genealogy of Hasti

Ram Sarup Joon[4] provides us Genealogy of Hasti...

The second branch of Yayati
Hasti (Founder of Hastinapur)

Genealogy Second Branch of Yayati: Ram Swarup Joon[5] provides genealogy of Second Branch of Yayati (Puru) dynasty in branch of Hasti (Founder of Hastinapur):

Hasti (Founder of Hastinapur) → YanaAkshayaVilaksha → → SambhaVishwamitraDevratInkaAksanSamoranKuruBarak-ShatgerJhanuSorataSorabhumJatusonWadikaAnyo-VayoDalipShantanu (From wife Satyavati) → Vichitra Virya

Association with present Jat gotras

Ram Sarup Joon[6] writes ... Many names in the Genealogical tables of Yayati are associated with present Jat gotras. Some examples are Ushinar, Shishu Bhadra, Tak or Takshak, Satoti, Krishan or Kushana from the Yadhu branch; Dushyanta, Bharat, Bhardwaja, Hasti, Ajmirh, Kaushik, Gadh and Vishwamitra of Puru branch; Seth, Arh, Gandhi, Gaindhu and Gandhar of the Ardas branch.

Mention by Panini

Hastin (हस्तिन्) is name of a place mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Pakshadi (पक्षादि) ( group. [7]

Hāstika (हास्तिक) is name of a place mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Kashyadi (काश्यादि) (4.2.116) group. [8]

Hasti ayama (हस्ति आयाम) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [9]

Hastighna (हस्तिघ्न) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [10]

Hastin (हस्तिन), naga (नाग), kunjara (कुंजर), is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [11]

Hastinayana (हस्तिनायन) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [12]

Hastividha (हस्तिविधा) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [13]

Hastika (हास्तिक) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [14]


V S Agarwal [15] 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 - Hāstināyana, Āśvāyana, Āśvakāyana. The first is mentioned in Sutra VI.4.174, the second in IV.1.110, and the third in Naḍadi gana (IV.1.99)

[p.454]: While describing Alexander’s campaign from Kapisa towards the Indus through Gandhara, the Greek historians mention three warlike peoples, viz., Astakenoi, with capital at Peukelaotis, the Aspasioi in the valley of Kunar or Chitral River and the Assakenoi settled between the Swat and the Panjkora rivers, with the capital at Massaga, and more especially in the mountainous regions of the Swat. The Paninian evidence throws light on these three names for the first time:

The Asvayanas and the Asvakayanas were the bravest fighters of all, being strongly entrenched in their mountainous fortresses. Alexander himself directed the operations against them. The Ashvakayana capital at Massaga or Masakavati is given in Bhashya as the name of a river (IV.2.71), that should be looked for in that portion of the Suvastu in its lower reaches where Mazaga or Massanagar is situated on it at a distance of 24 miles from Bajaur in the Yusufzai country. In times of danger the Asvakayanas withdrew into the impregnable defences of their hilly fortress which the Greeks have named Aornous. It appears to be same as Varaṇā of the Ashtadhyayi (see ante, p.69, for its identification with modern Uṇrā on the Indus). The Greeks also mention another of their towns, viz., Arigaeon, which commanded the road between the Kunar and Panjkira valleys, and is comparable with Ārjunāva of the Kashika (ṛijunāvām nivāso deshaḥ, IV.2.69).

ठाकुर देशराज लिखते हैं कि राजा हस्ति निश्चय ही जाट था जो कि सिंध नदी के किनारे पर एक छोटे से भू-भाग का शासक था। सिंध के एक जाट गोत्र की जो वंशावली हमें जाटों से प्राप्त हुई है, उसमें राजा हस्ती का नाम आता है। वह सिंध जाटों का सरदार था। [16]

H. W. Bellew [17] writes that Pushkalavati the ancient capital of Gandhara, and situated on the East bank of the Swat or Landi river near its junction with the Kabul stream), towards the river Indus, the prince of which was called Astes (chieftain probably of the Astakenoi of Strabo, and governor of their capital city, now represented by the modern Charsada, commonly called Hashtnagar, indicating a former name of the sort, most likely Hastinagar, " City of the Hasti"; for Hashtnagar is a compound Persian and Hindi word meaning " eight cities," and has hence been vulgarly applied to as many villages along this river, and to the district in which they are situated).

Astes was slain in the defence of a city (not named) into which he had fled ; Hephaistion took this city after a siege of thirty days, and then gave the government of it to Sangaius (perhaps of the Sangu clan of the Shinwari tribe, now inhabiting the Nazian valley of Nangrihar district west of the Khybar Pass). Alexander, after dividing his forces as above stated, then himself marched with a detachment against the Aspioi (Isap) the Thyraioi (Tirahi) and Arasakoi (Orakzi)....

Rajatarangini[18] writes that [p.172]: Trilochanapala the Shahi having asked for help against his enemy, the king of Kashmira sent Tungga to his country in the month of Mārgashirsha. He was accompanied by a large and powerful army with feudatory chiefs and ministers and Rajpoots. The Shahi welcomed them to his country, and advanced to meet them ; and they spent five or six days in pleasure and congratulation. Shahi saw their want of discipline and told them that since they did not mean to fight with the Turushkas, they might remain at ease at the flank of a hill. But Tungga did not accept this good advice and he as well as his army was anxious for the battle. The Kashmirians crossed the river Tonshi, and destroyed the detachment of soldiers sent Hammira to reconnoiter. But though the Kashmiriaus were eager for the fight, the wise Shahi repeatedly advised them to take shelter behind the rock, but Tungga disregarded the advice, for all advice is vain, when one is doomed to destruction. The General of the Turks was well versed in the tactics of war and brought out his army early in the morning. On this the army of Tungga immediately dispersed, but the troops of the Shahi fought for a while. When these latter fled, three persons were still seen in the field, gallantly fighting against the cavalry of the enemy. They were Jayāsinlri (?), Shrivardhana and Vibhramārka the Damara. And there too was the valiant Trilochanapala, whose valor passes description and who, though Overwhelmed by unequal numbers remained unconquered.

[p.173]: His body bled, and he looked, like Mahadeva wrapt in the flames of the last fire with which the world is to be destroyed. After facing his numerous foes clad in mail, he at last retreated, and the enemy overran a large tract of the country. Hammira though victorious in the field felt himself ill at ease on witnessing the super-human heroism of Trilochanapala. The Shahi took shelter in Hāstika and made great efforts to retrieve his fortune.

Ram Swarup Joon[19] writes that Pliny has written that during a conflict between KhanKesh, a province in Turkey, and Babylonia, they sent for the Sindhu Jats from Sindh. These soldiers wore cotton uniforms and were experts in naval warfare. On return from Turkey they settled down in Syria. They belonged to Hasti dynasty. Asiagh Jats ruled Alexandria in Egypt. Their title was Asii


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[20] ने लेख किया है ...अस्थि=हड्डी=हिद्दा (AS, p.54): अस्थि वर्तमान जलालाबाद या प्राचीन नगरहार से 5 मील दक्षिण में है। बौद्धकाल में यह प्रसिद्ध तीर्थ था। फाह्यान तथा युवानच्वांग दोनों ने ही यहां के स्तूपों तथा गगनचुंबी विहारों का वर्णन किया है। यहां कई स्तूप थे जिनमें बुद्ध का दांत, तथा शरीर की अस्थियों के कई अंश निहित थे। जिस स्तूप में बुद्ध के सिर की अस्थि रखी थी उसके दर्शन करने वालों से एक स्वर्ण मुद्रा ली जाती थी फिर भी यहां यात्रियों का मेला-सा लगा रहता था। नगर 3-4 मील के घेरे में एक पहाड़ी के ऊपर स्थित था। पहाड़ी पर एक सुंदर उद्यान के भीतर एक दुमंजिला धातुभवन था जिसमें किंवदंती के अनुसार बुद्ध की उष्णीष-अस्थि, शिरकंकाल, एक नेत्र, क्षत्र-दंड और संघटी निहित थी। धातुभवन के उत्तर में एक पत्थर का स्तूप था। जनश्रुति के अनुसार यह स्तूप ऐसे अद्भुत पाषाण का बना था कि उंगली के छूने से ही हिलने लगता था। हिद्दा में फ्रांसीसी पुरातत्त्वज्ञों ने एक प्राचीन स्तूप को खोज निकाला है जिसे पश्तो में खायस्ता या विशाल स्तूप कहते हैं यह अभी तक अच्छी दशा में है।

Ch.22: Alexander reaches the River Cabul, and Receives the Homage of Taxiles

Arrian[21] After performing this exploit, Alexander himself went to Bactra; but sent Craterus with 600 of the cavalry Gompanions and his own brigade of infantry as well those of Polysperchon, Attalus, and Alcetas, against Catanes and Austanes, who were the only rebels still remaining in the land of the Paraetacenians.[1] A sharp battle was fought with them in which Craterus was victorious; Catanes being killed there while fighting, and Austanes being captured and brought to Alexander. Of the barbarians with them 120 horsemen and about 1,500 foot soldiers were killed. When Craterus had done this, he also went to Bactra, where the tragedy in reference to Callisthenes and the pages befell Alexander. As the spring was now over, he took the army and advanced from Bactra towards India,[2] leaving Amyntas in the land of the Bactrians with 3,500 horses and 10,000 foot. He crossed the Caucasus[3] in ten days and arrived at the city of Alexandria, which had been founded in the land of the Parapamisadae when he made his first expedition to Bactra. He dismissed from office the governor whom he had then placed over the city, because he thought he was not ruling well. He also settled in Alexandria others from the neighbouring tribes and the soldiers who were now unfit for service in addition to the first settlers, and commanded Nicanor, one of the Companions, to regulate the affairs of the city itself. Moreover he appointed Tyriaspes viceroy of the land of the Parapamisadae and of the rest of the country as far as the river Cophen.[4] Arriving at the city of Nicaea, he offered sacrifice to Athena and then advanced towards the Cophen, sending a herald forward to Taxiles[5] and the otter chiefs on this side the river Indus, to bid them come and meet him as each might find it convenient. Taxiles and the other chiefs accordingly did come to meet him, bringing the gifts which are reckoned of most value among the Indians. They said that they would also present to him the elephants which they had with them, twenty-five in number. There he divided his army, and sent Hephaestion and Perdiccas away into the land of Peucelaotis,[6] towards the river Indus, with the brigades of Gorgias, Clitus,[7] and Meleager, half of the Companion cavalry, and all the cavalry of the Grecian mercenaries. He gave them instructions either to capture the places on their route by force, or to bring them over on terms of capitulation; and when they reached the river Indus, to make the necessary preparations for the passage of the army. With them Taxiles and the other chiefs also marched. When they reached the river Indus they carried out all Alexander's orders. But Astes, the ruler of the land of Peucelaotis, effected a revolt, which both ruined himself and brought ruin also upon the city into which he had fled for refuge. For Hephaestion captured it after a siege of thirty days, and Astes himself was killed. Sangaeus, who had some time before fled from Astes and deserted to Taxiles, was appointed to take charge of the city. This desertion was a pledge to Alexander of his fidelity.

1. This term is a Persian word meaning mountaineers. The tribe mentioned here lived between the rivers Oxus and Jaxartes, on the borders of Bactria and Sogdiana.

2. Curtius (viii. 17) says Alexander took with him 30,000 select troops from all the conquered provinces, and that the army which he led against the Indians numbered 120,000 men.

3. This is the Indian Caucasus, or mount Parapamisus, now called Hindu-Koosh.

4. The Cophen is now called Cabul. Nicaea was probably on the same site as the city of Cabul. Others say it is Beghram. The Greek word Satrapes denotes a Persian viceroy. It is a corruption of a word meaning court-guardian, in the Behistun Inscriptions written Khshatrapa. See Rawlinson's Herod., i. 192.

5. Curtius (viii. 43) says that Taxiles was the title which the king of this district received. His name was Omphis.

6. A district between the rivers Indus and Attock. Its capital, Peucela, is the modern Pekheli.

7. The brigade of Clitus still bore the name of its commander after his death. Cf. Arrian, vii. 14 infra.


Visit by Xuanzang in 630 AD

Alexander Cunningham[22] writes about Pushkalavati or Peukelaotis: The ancient capital of Gandhara was Pushkalavati, which is said to have been founded by Pushkara, the son of Bharata, and the nephew of Rama.[23] Its antiquity is undoubted, as it was the capital of the province at the time of Alexander's expedition. The Greek name of Peukelaotis, or Peucolaitis, was immediately derived from Pukkalaoti, which is the Pali, or spoken form of the Sanskrit Pushkalavati. It is also called Peukelas by Arrian, and the people are named Peukalei by Dionysius Periegetes, which are both close transcripts of the Pali Pukkala. The form of Proklais, which is found in Arrian's ' Periplus of the Erythraean Sea,' and also in Ptolemy's ' Geography,' is perhaps only an attempt to give the Hindi name of Pokhar instead of the Sanskrit Pushkara.

According to Arrian, Peukelas was a very large and populous city, seated not far from the river Indus.[24] It was the capital of a chief named Astes,[25] perhaps Hasti, who was killed in the defence of one of his strongholds, after a siege of thirty days, by Hephsestion. Upon the death of Astes the city of Peukelaotis was delivered up to Alexander on his march towards the Indus. Its position is vaguely described by Strabo and Arrian as "near the Indus." But the geographer Ptolemy is more exact, as he fixes it on the eastern bank of the river of Suastene, that is, the Panjkora or Swat river, which is the very

[p.50]: locality indicated by Hwen Thsang. On leaving Parashawar the Chinese pilgrim travelled towards the north-east for 100 li, or nearly 17 miles; and, crossing a great river, reached Pu-se-kia-lo-fa-ti, or Pushkalavati. The river here mentioned is the Kophes, or river of Kabul; and the bearing and distance from Peshawar point to the two large towns of Parang and Charsada, which form part of the well-known Hasht-nagar, or "Eight Cities," that are seated close together on the eastern bank of the lower Swat river.

These towns are Tangi, Shirpao, Umrzai, Turangzai, Usmanzai, Rajur, Charsada, and Parang. They extend over a distance of fifteen miles ; but the last two are seated close together in a bend of the river, and might originally have been portions of one large town. The fort of Hisar stands on a mound above the ruins of the old town of Hashtnagar, which General Court places on an island, nearly opposite Rajur.[26] "All the suburbs," he says, " are scattered over with vast ruins."[27] The eight cities are shown in No. iv. Map. It seems to me not improbable that the modern name of Hashtnagar may be only a slight alteration of the old name of Hastinagara, or " city of Hasti," which might have been applied to the capital of Astes, the Prince of Peukelaotis. It was a common practice of the Greeks to call the Indian rulers by the names of their cities, as Taxiles, Assakanus, and others. It was also a prevailing custom amongst Indian princes to designate any additions or alterations made to their capitals by their own names. Of this last custom we have a notable instance in the famous city of Delhi ; which, besides its ancient

[p.51]: appellations of Indraprastha and Dilli, was also known by the names of its successive aggrandizers as Kot-Pithora, Kila-Alai, Tughlakabad, Firuzabad, and Shabjahanabad. It is true that the people themselves refer the name of Hashtnagar to the " eight towns " which are now seated close together along the lower course of the Swat river ; but it seems to me very probable that in this case the wish was father to the thought, and that the original name of Hastinagar, or whatever it may have been, was slightly twisted to Hashtnagar, to give it a plausible meaning amongst a Persianized Muhammadan population, to whom the Sanskrit Hastinagara was unintelligible. To the same cause I would attribute the slight change made in the name of Nagarahara, which the people now call Nang-nihar,[28] or the "Nine Streams."

In later times Pushkalavati was famous for a large stupa, or solid tower, which was erected on the spot where Buddha was said to have made an alms-offering of his eyes. In the period of Hwen Thsang's visit, it was asserted that the " eyes gift " had been made one thousand different times, in as many previous existences : but only a single gift is mentioned by the two earlier pilgrims, Fa-Hian in the fifth century, and Sung-Yun in the sixth century.

In Mahabharata

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 89 verse 51 tells us that Dhritarashtra had eight sons, viz., Kundika, Hasti, Vitarka, Kratha, Havihsravas, Indrabha, and Bhumanyu. [29]

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 90 gives the lineage of Hasti as under:

And he begat upon her a son Suhotra who married Suvarna, the daughter of Ikshvaku. To her was born a son named Hasti who founded this city, which has, therefore, been called Hastinapura. And Hasti married Yasodhara, the princess of Trigarta. And of her was born a son named Vikunthana who took for a wife Sudeva, the princess of Dasarha."
सुहॊत्रः खल्व इक्ष्वाकुकन्याम उपयेमे सुवर्णां नाम
तस्याम अस्य जज्ञे हस्ती
य इदं हास्तिनपुरं मापयाम आस
एतद अस्य हास्तिनपुरत्वम (Mahabharata:I.90.36)
हस्ती खलु त्रैगर्तीम उपयेमे यशॊधरां नाम
तस्याम अस्य जज्ञे विकुण्ठनः (Mahabharata:I.90.37)

External links


  1. Mahabharata:I.89.51)
  2. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 p. 285
  3. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 p. 285
  4. History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 22-28
  5. Ram Swarup Joon:History_of_the_Jats/Chapter_II, p.22-28
  6. History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 28
  7. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.504
  8. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.508
  9. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.257
  10. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.129, 219
  11. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 218, 256
  12. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 453, 454
  13. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 219
  14. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.218
  15. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.453-454
  16. जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठ-200
  17. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.68
  18. Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book VII,pp.172-173
  19. Ram Sarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter III, p.40-41
  20. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.54
  21. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/4b, Ch.22
  22. The Ancient Geography of India/Gandhara, p. 49-51
  23. Wilson's ' Vishnu Purana,' edited by Hall, b. iv. c. 4.
  24. Arrian, - 'Indica,' i.
  25. Arrian, ' Anabasis,' It. 22.
  26. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1836, p. 479.
  27. ibid 1836, p. 394.
  28. Baber's ' Memoirs,' p. 141. — Wood's ' Journey to the Source of the Oxus,' p. 167. — Macgregor's 'Greography of Jalalabad,' in Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, xi. 117, and xiii. 867.
  29. :धृतराष्ट्रॊ ऽथ राजासीत तस्य पुत्रॊ ऽथ कुण्डिकः
    हस्ती वितर्कः क्राथश च कुण्डलश चापि पञ्चमः
    हविः श्रवास तथेन्द्राभः सुमन्युश चापराजितः (Mahabharata:I.89.51)

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