Hastinapura

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Location of Hastinapura in north-eastof Mawana in Meerut district

Hastinapura (हस्‍तिनापुर) or Hastinapur is a town in Mawana tahsil in Meerut district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Population details

There are two towns of this name in Mawana tahsil of Meerut district:

  • 1.Hastinapur Kaurwan - The total geographical area of this village is 954.57 hectares. Hastinapur Kaurwan has a total population of 35 peoples. There are about 9 houses in Hastinapur Kaurwan village.[1]
  • 2.Hastinapur Pandwan - The total geographical area of this village is 954.57 hectares. Hastinapur Pandwan has a total population of 726 peoples. There are about 136 houses in this village.[2]

History

V. S. Agrawala[3] writes that Panini mentions Pura (IV.2.122) ending names of towns like Hastinapura - the well known town of epic in Meerut district.


V. S. Agrawala[4] writes that Ashtadhyayi of Panini mentions janapada Kuru (कुरु) (IV.1.172) - It was known to Panini as a janapada and a Kingdom. Hastinapura (VI.2.101) was its capital. The region between triangle of Thanesar, Hisar and Hastinapur was known by three different names. Kururashtra proper between Ganga River and Yamuna with its capital Hastinapur; Kurujangala equal to Rohtak, Hansi, Hisar; and Kurukshetra to the north with its centres at Thaneswar, Kaithal, Karnal.


In the line of Bharata, the son of Shakuntala, there was a king named Hasti who founded this city, which has, therefore, been called Hastinapura. Hasti married Yasodhara, the princess of Trigarta.[5]

Hastinapura was the capital of the kingdom of the Kauravas, belonging to the Kuru dynasty of kings. The throne of this city was the prize over which the Kurukshetra War of the epic Mahabharata was fought. All incidents in the epic Mahabharata have taken place in this city of Hastinapura. The first reference to Hastinapur in Hindu mythology comes as the capital of Emperor Bharata.

History of this place begins from the period of Mahabharata. It is also described as Gajpur, Hastinapur, Nagpur, Asandivat, Brahmasthal, Shanti Nagar and Kunjarpur etc. in Shashtras. Grandson of Samrat Ashoka, king Samprati had built many temples here during his empire. The ancient temple & the stoops are not present today since this city has come across through many ups & downs like the Mughal Invasion which destroyed and devastated most of the Hindu religious places. Hastinapur city was located on the earlier course of the of holy river Ganga.

Excavation at Hastinapur was carried out in early 1950s, by B.B. Lal, of the Archaeological Survey of India. Although the main aim of this excavation, mentioned by Lal himself, "was to find out the stratigraphic position of the Painted Grey Ware with reference to other known ceramic industries of the early historical period"[6], Lal could not resist attempting a correlation between Mahabharata, the text, and the material remains that he uncovered at Hastinapur. This exercise led him to historicize some of the traditions mentioned in the text, as well as link the appearance of the Painted Grey Ware with the arrival of the "Aryans" in upper Ganga basin areas.

Hastinapura described by James Tod

According to James Todd[7] Hastinapura was built by Hastin a name celebrated in the Lunar dynasties. The name of this city is still preserved on the Ganges, about forty miles south of Hardwar, where the Ganges breaks through the Siwalik mountains and enters the plains of India. This mighty stream, rolling its masses of waters from the glaciers of the Himalaya, and joined by many auxiliary streams, frequently carries destruction before it. In one night a column of thirty feet in perpendicular height has been known to bear away all within its sweep, and to such an occurrence the capital of Hastin is said to have owed its ruin. [8] As it existed, however, long after the Mahabharata, it is surprising it is not mentioned by the historians of Alexander, who invaded India probably about eight centuries after that event. In this abode of the sons of Puru resided Porus, one of the two princes of that name, opponents of Alexander, and probably Bindusara the son of Chandragupta, surmised to be the Abisares [9] and Sandrakottos of Grecian authorities. Of the two princes named Porus mentioned by Alexander's historians, one resided in the very cradle of the Puru dynasties ; the abode of the other bordered on the Panjab : warranting an assertion that the Pori of Alexander were of the Lunar race, and destroying all the claims various authors [10] have advanced on behalf of the princes of Mewar.

Hastin sent forth three grand branches, Ajamidha, Dvimidha, and Purumidha. Of the two last we lose sight altogether ; but Ajamidha's progeny spread over all the northern parts of India, in the Panjab and across the Indus. The period, probably one thousand six hundred years before Christ.


[p.50]: From Ajamidha1 in the fourth generation, was Bajaswa, who obtained possessions towards the Indus, and whose five sons gave their name, Panchala, to the Panjab, or space watered by the five rivers. The capital founded by the younger brother, Kampila, was named Kampilnagara. 2

The descendants of Ajamidha by his second "wife, Kesini, founded another kingdom and dynasty, celebrated in the heroic history of Northern India. This is the Kausika dynasty.

In Mahabharata

Ram Sarup Joon[11] writes....According to the Puranas and Mahabharata, King Yayati chose his second son Puru as heir to the throne. This branch, therefore, continued to stay in the same area and ruled Hardwar, Hastinapur and Delhi. King Hasti made Hastinapur and Pandavas Indraprastha as their capital. Porus who fought Alexander belonged to this branch, Poruswal, Phalaswal, Mirhan, Mudgil, Gill and a number of other Jat gotras are of the Puru branch.

Present day location

In the present day Hastinapura is a small town in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, called Hastinapur, 37 km from Meerut and 110 km from Delhi. Geographical Details: Situated at 29 degree 09'31.50 degree North & 77 degree 59'19.46" East. Hastinapur is 120 KM North-East of Delhi on Delhi-Meerut-Bijnore Highway. You need to take a turn to Bijnore highway from Meerut from where Hastinapur is approx 39 KM away. Hastinapur is a small town. Population is approx. 20,000. Regular buses are available from 7 AM to 9 PM from Meerut which is the nearest Railway station (42km). Nearest Airport: New Delhi. (120 km)

The antiquity of the present location of Hastinapur is testified by the existence of ancient Shiva-lingas worshipped by the venerable Best of Munis, Sage Ved Vyas, by the Pandavas, by Draupadi, and Guru Dronacharya.

Parikshitgarh (परीक्षितगढ़)

Presence of the township of Parikshitgarh, close by at a distance of 10 miles, further solidifies the definite geographical location of Hastinapur. The town of Parikshitgarh is named after Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna, who became king of Hastinapur when the five brothers renounced the world and went into the Himalayas. Both the towns are similarly located on small hillocks which were the original fortresses at these locations. A massive inundation about 3000 years ago during a great flood in the Ganges totally drowned the cities and left them choked with silt up to roof level.

References

  1. https://villageinfo.in/uttar-pradesh/meerut/mawana/hastinapur-kaurwan.html
  2. https://villageinfo.in/uttar-pradesh/meerut/mawana/hastinapur-pandwan.html
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.64
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.54
  5. Adi Parva, Mahabharata
  6. B.B. Lal, ' Excavation at Hastinapur and other explorations in the Upper Ganga and Sutlej Basins 1950-52', Ancient India, No. 10&11, 1954 & 1955, ASI, New Delhi.
  7. James Todd Annals/Chapter 4 Foundations of States and Cities by the different tribes,p.49-50
  8. Wilford says this event is mentioned in two Puranas as occurring in the sixth or eighth generation of the Great War. Those who have travelled in the Duab must have remarked where both the Ganges and Jumna have shifted their beds.
  9. Abisares is Abhisara in the modern Kashmir State (Smith, EHI, 59).
  10. Sir Thomas Roe ; Sir Thomas Herbert ; the Holstein ambassador (by Olearius) ; Delia Valle ; Churchill, in his collection : and borrowing from these, D'Anville, Bayer, Orme, Rennell, etc.
  11. History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 31-32

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