Indraprastha

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Indraprastha (इन्द्रप्रस्थ), meaning the seat of Indra, was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata (I.221.25), (II.27.28).

History

V. S. Agrawala[1] writes that Panini mentions in category of villages ending Vaha (IV.2.122). To this Kasika adds: Indra-prastha. In Pali text Prastha denotes a place outside the grama, a waste land not used by men either for ploughing or sowing. It may be noted that places ending with the Prastha (Hindi=pat) are confined mostly to Kuru Country, such as Panipat, Sonipat, Baghpat, Tilpat etc. and to the region of Himalayas watered by Ganges.


Ram Sarup Joon[2] 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.


Indraprastha is referenced in the Mahabharata, a Sanskrit Indian text compiled over a period of 800 years from around 400BCE. Primarily a story, it does nonetheless describe events that may in fact have happened. The Mahabharata records Indraprastha as being home to the Pandavas, whose wars with the Kauravas it describes.

The location of Indraprastha is uncertain but Purana Qila in present-day New Delhi is frequently cited and has been noted as such in texts as old as the 14th-century CE. Purana Qila is certainly an ancient settlement but archaeological studies performed at there since the 1950s[3] have failed to reveal structures and artefacts that would confirm the architectural grandeur and rich lives in the period that the Mahabharata describes. The historian Upinder Singh notes that despite academic debate, "Ultimately, there is no way of conclusively proving or disproving whether the Pandavas or Kauravas ever lived ...".[4]

D. C. Sircar, an epigraphist, believes Indraprastha was a significant city in the Mauryan period, based on analysis of a stone carving found in the Delhi area at Srinivaspuri which records the reign of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. Singh has cast doubt on this interpretation because the inscription does not actually refer to Indraprastha and although "... a place of importance must certainly have been located in the vicinity of the rock edit, exactly which one it was and what it was known as, is uncertain." Similarly, remains, such as an iron pillar, that have been associated with Ashoka are not indubitably so: their composition is atypical and the inscriptions are vague.[5]

In Mahabharata

It was one of five villages demanded by Pandavas. Mahabharata tells that When Pandavas were defeated in chausar they were forced to leave the state for 13 years. During most of this time, they lived at place called Varnavata (modern Bairat) in Jaipur district in Rajasthan. Having lived there for pretty long time, the Pandawas sent a message to the Kauravas that they won't lay their claim to the throne if they were given just five villages. These 5 villages were :

  1. Indraprastha (इन्द्रप्रस्थ) (Purana Qila) - Delhi
  2. Panaprastha (पणप्रस्थ) (Panipat) - Haryana
  3. Sonaprastha (सोणप्रस्थ) (Sonipat) - Haryana
  4. Tilaprastha (तिलप्रस्थ) (Tilpat) - Haryana
  5. Vyaghraprastha (व्याग्रप्रस्थ) (Bagpat) - Uttar Pradesh

If you study the population of people who lived in all these areas mentioned in Mahabharata it is is found to be the homeland of Jats.

Migration of Yadus

James Tod[6] writes that the tide of Yadu migration during the lapse of thirty centuries, traces them, from Indraprastha, Surapura, Mathura, Prayaga, Dwarica, Jadu Ka Dang (the mountains of Jud), Behera, Ghazni in Zabulistan ; and again refluent into India, at Salivahanpura or Salpura in the Punjab. Tannot, Derawal, Lodorva in the desert, and finally Jaisalmer, founded in S. 1212, or A.D. 1156.

External links

References

  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.67
  2. History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 31-32
  3. Archaeological surveys were carried out in 1954-1955 and between 1969 and 1973
  4. Singh, Upinder, ed. (2006). Delhi: Ancient History. Berghahn Books. pp. xvii–xxi, 53–56. ISBN 9788187358299.
  5. Singh, Upinder, ed. (2006). Delhi: Ancient History. Berghahn Books. pp. xvii–xxi, 53–56. ISBN 9788187358299.
  6. James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II, Annals of Jaisalmer, p.194-195