Jatapura

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Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क

Jatapur (जटापुर) is the name of an ancient city whioch means 'the city of Jats' near Avanti and after it is situated Sindhu River.

Jats in Ramayana

Jat People find mention in Ramayana period. In Sarg 42 of Kishkindha Kanda in Ramayana - Directions to Westward Party in search of Sita are given as under:

Then Sugriva went to his father-in-law and Tara's father Sushena. He greeted him and said to the great sage Maareech's son Archismaan who is like Indra and Garud in valor and the other son of Sage Maareech Archishmaalyaa - "You take 200,000 (2 lakh) Vanar under the leadership of Sushena and go to search Vaidehee in west, Sauraashtra and Chandrachitraa (present day Mathura) Desh. Search for Her in Kukshi Desh where beetle nut, Bakul and Uddaalk trees grow. There you will search Her in dry lands, waters, forests, mountains etc.
Further, you will find a sea (Arabian Sea) in which many sharks and crocodiles live in. Near that sea, you will find a forest where Ketakee, Tamaal, Kaarikel (coconut) trees grow. After that you will find Murachee and Jatapura cities. Next you go to Avanti (this Avantee is another Avantee), Anglepaa and Alakshitaa.
After this you will arrive at the mouth of River Indus (Sindhu). Near it is Hem Giri Parvat (Som Giri Parvat) which has numerous summits and on which there are many huge tall trees. Here live flying lions who take Timi named Matsya (fish or sharks) and elephant seals on the trees. You will search this mountain thoroughly.

Here we find mention of Jatapur city means 'the city of Jats' near Avanti and after it is situated Sindhu River.


किष्किन्धाकाण्डे द्विचत्वारिंशः सर्गः ॥४-४२॥ in Ramayana mentions Jat in Sanskrit as under:

वेलातल निवेष्टेषु पर्वतेषु वनेषु च ।
मुरची पत्तनम् चैव रम्यम् चैव जटा पुरम् ॥४-४२-१३॥
कपयो विहरिष्यन्ति नारिकेल वनेषु च ।
तत्र सीताम् च मार्गध्वम् निलयम् रावणस्य च ॥४-४२-१२॥
अवंतीम् अंगलेपाम् च तथा च अलक्षितम् वनम् ।
राष्ट्राणि च विशालानि पत्तनानि ततः ततः ॥४-४२-१४॥
सिंधु सागरयोः चैव संगमे तत्र पर्वतः ।
महान् हेम गिरिः नाम शत शृंगो महाद्रुमः ॥४-४२-१५॥

Identification of Jatapura

Shorkot, ancient name Sibipura, town is located in the Jhang district of Punjab, Pakistan. As per Diodorus [1], Arrian [2] and Strabo [3], the area surrounding Sibipura was occupied by a people called Sibi, during the time of Alexander's invasion of Punjab.

Professor Eggermont [4] said, "J. Ph. Vogel showed that the mound of Shorkot (Jhang district, between Chenab, Indus, and Ravi rivers) represents the site of Sibipura, the town (pura) of the Sibis, which is mentioned in a Shorkot inscription". Even today Sibi or Sibia is a well known Jat clan in Punjab. Furthermore, Professor Eggermont [5] said, "However, I cannot possibly pass over in silence that in the very Vessantara Jataka the town over which Sanjaya, king of Sibi, ruled is called Jettuttara and not Aritta-pura. It is probably more likely the word Jetuttara is Jetupura or Jatupura which means the place where Jats live. The word "pura" in Sanskrit means "place".

Vijayendra Kumar Mathur identifies the city of Jatapura situated near Murchipattan in Kerala. [6]

References

  1. Diodorus (first century B.C.), Diodorus of Sicilly, translated by C.B. Welles, Vol. 8, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1946, pp. 397, 401, 405
  2. Arrian (95-175 A.D.), Anabasis of Alexander, translated by E.I. Robson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1966, pp. 37, 59, 69-72, 131-139 (Vol. II).
  3. Strabo (first century A.D.), The Geography of Strabo, translated by H.L. Jones, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1954, pp. 57-58 (Vol. VIII).
  4. Eggermont, P.H.L., Alexander's Campaign in Gandhara and Ptolemy's List of Indo- Scythian Towns, Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica I, 1970, pp. 89, 86.
  5. Eggermont, P.H.L., Alexander's Campaign in Gandhara and Ptolemy's List of Indo- Scythian Towns, Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica I, 1970, pp. 89, 86.
  6. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.353