Kaikan province

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Kikan (कीकान) Kaikan (केकन) (Kikanan) was a province in Sind, Pakistan. Kikania is the name of a mountain.


According to Alexander Cunningham[1] the name of Kikan, or Kaikan, may have been derived from Khaka tribe.

Variants of name


Kikan was a state in the hilly region around Bolan Pass and is referred to in his travel accounts by the Hiuan Tsang.[2]

Jat clan


When the Arab invaders first time came to Kaikan mountains, the Jats repelled them. K.R.Kanungo[3] writes that when Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sind, Kaikan country was in independent possession of Jats.

The country of Kaikan was supposed to be in south-eastern Afghanistan [4], which was conquered from Jats by the Arab general Amran Bin Musa in the reign of the Khalifa Al-Mutasim-bi-llah, (833-88] AD)[5]. During the same reign another expedition was sent against the Jats who had seized upon the roads of Hajar (?)...and spread terror over the roads and planted posts in all directions towards the desert. They were overcome after a bloody conflict of twenty five days. 27000 of them were led in captivity to grace the triumph of victor. It was a custom among these people to blow their horns when Marshalled for battle.[6], [7],[8]

Visit by Xuanzang in 644 AD

Alexander Cunningham[9] writes about Falana or Banu, a District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. The name of Fa-la-na is mentioned only by Hwen Thsang, who places the country to the south-east of Ghazni, and at fifteen days' journey to the south of Lamghan.[10]

[p.86]:Hwen Thsang mentions a district on the western frontier of Falana, named Ki-kiang-na, the position of which has not yet been fixed. M. Vivien de St. Martin and Sir H. Elliot have identified it with the Kaikanan, or Kikan, of the Arab historians of Sindh ;[11] but unfortunately the position of Kaikanan itself is still undetermined. It is, however, described as lying to the north or north-east of Kachh Gandava, and as Kikiangna was to the west of Falana or Banu, it appears probable that the district intended must be somewhere in the vicinity of Pishin and Kwetta ; and as Hwen Thsang describes it as situated in a valley under a high mountain, I am inclined to identify it with the valley of Pishin itself, which lies between the Khoja Amran hills on the north, and the lofty Mount Takatu on the south. This position agrees with that of Kaikan, <arabic> given by Biladuri,[12] who says that it formed part of Sindh in the direction of Khorasan. This is further confirmed by the statement that Kaikan was on the road from Multan to Kabul, as the usual route between these places lies over the

[p.87]: Sakhi Sarwar Pass in the Sulimani mountains, and across the Pishin valley to Kandahar. A shorter, but more difficult, route is by the valley of the Gomal river to Ghazni. But as the valley of the Gomal belonged to Falana, it follows that the district of Kikiangna must have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of Pishin; and as this valley is now inhabited by the tribe of Khakas, it is not improbable that the name of Kikan, or Kaikan, may have been derived from them.

Elliot and Dowson on Kaikan

Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson (1867)[13] write about Kaikánán-Kaikán-Kákars: This name appears under the various aspects of Kaikánán, Kíkán, Kaikán, Kízkánan, Kabarkánán and Kírkáyán,-the first being of most frequent occurrence. Though so often mentioned, we can form but a very general idea of its position.

The Chach-náma tells us that, under the Ráí dynasty, the Sindian territory extended "as far to the north as the mountains of Kirdán1 and Kaikánán" (p. 138). Again, the Arabs "marched in A.H. 38 to Kaikánán, by way of Bahraj and Koh-páya," where, after some partial successes, their progress was intercepted by the mountaineers in their difficult defiles, and in the end the Arabs sustained a complete defeat. One of the objects of these expeditions to Kaikánán, which lasted for about twenty years, was to obtain horses from that province, as they are represented to have been celebrated for their strength and proportions. The tract of Budh was reached during one of these incursions, and we find one of the Arab armies returning from another incursion by way of Síwistán.

Biládurí also mentions these expeditions, with some slight variations in the details; and is the only author who adopts the spelling of the Arabic káf, and omits the last syllable,-representing the name as "Kíkán," or "Kaikán" (p. 116),-whereas the Chach-náma prefers Kaikánán (p. 138). He says "it forms a portion of Sind in the direction of Khurásán," and he speaks of "Turks" as its inhabitants. In an important expedition directed against a tract of country lying between Multán and Kábul, in A.H. 44, "Turks are encountered in the country of Kaikán." In another, 'Abd-ulla sends to Muá'wiya the "horses of Kaikán" (p. 117), which he had

[p.382]: taken amongst other spoil. In another, Asad attacks the Meds, after warring against Kaikán (p. 117). In the year 221 H. Biládurí speaks of a portion of Kaikán as occupied by Jats, whom 'Amrán defeated, and then established within their country the military colony of Baizá (p. 128). On this occasion, the country was attacked from the side of Sind, not from Makrán, which will account for the mention of the "Jats," instead of "Turks."

It may also be doubted if the Kabákánán (p. 39) or Kízkánán of Ibn Haukal refers to this tract,-and yet it would be more difficult to account for its total omission, if it do not. According to them, Kaikánán was in the district of Túrán, and a city in which the governor of Kusdár resided. This apparent discrepancy can only be reconciled by supposing that there was both a province and town of that name. They give us no further indication of its position, except that the district of Atal is said to lie between Kaikánán and Kandábel,-which, of itself, attributes to it a much greater extension to the north, than if it were a mere portion of Túrán.

The later Arab geographers follow these authorities, and add nothing further to our information.

Abú-l Fazl Baihakí mentions Kaikahán amongst the other provinces under the authority of Mas'úd, the Ghaznivide; and as Hind, Sind, Nímroz, Zábulistán, Kasdár, Makrán, and Dánistán are noticed separately, it shows that Kaikáhán was then considered a distinct jurisdiction.

In Hwen Tsang's travels we have mention of the country of Kikan, situated to the south of Kábul, which is evidently no other than the province of which we are treating.

From this time forward, we lose sight of the name, and are left to conjecture where Kaikánán was. Under all the circumstances of the case, we may be justified in considering it so far to the east as to include the Sulaimání range, which had not, up to a comparatively late period, been dignified with that name. As with respect to Asia, and many other names of countries, so with respect to Kaikánán, the boundaries seem to have receded with the progress of discovery; and though, on its first mention, it does not appear to have extended

[p.383]: beyond Shál and Mustúng, yet, by the time of the Ghaznivides, we are authorised to conclude that it reached, on the east, to the frontier of Multán, and, on the south, to the hilly tract of Síwistán, above the plains of Sind.

Under the present condition of Afghanistan it may be considered, in general terms, as including the whole of the country occupied by the Kákars. The expedition of A.H. 44 to the country between Multán and Kábul certainly shows that Kaikánán must have comprised the Sulaimání range to the south of the Gúmal; and the celebrity of its horses would appear to point to a tract further to the west, including Saháráwán and Múshkí, where horses, especially those used on the plain of Mangachar, are still in great demand, and whence they are often sent for shipment to the coast.

There is no place extant which recalls the name of the old province, except it be Káhán, which was perhaps included within its south-eastern frontier. It is barely possible, also, that there may be some connection between the name of the Kákars and that of the ancient province which they occupy. It will be observed above, that Baihakí mentions a district of Dánistán, and the order in which it occurs is "Kusdár, and Makrán, and Dánistán, and Kaikáhán." This implies contiguity between the several places thus named, and it is, therefore, worthy of remark, that Dání is entered in all the genealogical lists of the Afgháns as the eldest son of Gharghasht, the son of their great progenitor, Kais 'Abdu-r Rashíd Pathán; and that Kákar, from whom the powerful tribe of that name is descended, was himself the eldest son of Dání. Names change in the course of ages, especially among people in a low stage of civilization; and it may perhaps be conceded that "Kákarán" and "Kaikáhán" would, under such circumstances, be no very violent and improbable metathesis.

Mangal Sen Jindal writes

Mangal Sen Jindal writes:[14] "During the Caliphat of Ali, a great expedition was sent against India in A.D. 660. The Muslim Army advanced up to Kikan or Kikanan. Kikan was a state in the hilly region

History of Origin of Some Clans in India:End of p.75

around Bolan Pass and is referred by the Hiuan Tsang as a Kingdom whose people had a pastoral lives amid the great mountains and valleys in separate clans without any ruling chief." History & Culture of Indian People, Vol. Ill, page 169.

"Muhammad-bin-Qasim, the Commander on behalf of Hajjaj (near about 708 A.D.) was re-inforced by two thousand select horse sent by Hajjaj and 4000 warlike Jats from Siwistan (Sehwan) in India .... after conquering a few more stronghold, he besieged Multan" History & Culture of Indian People Vol. III, page 172.

Between 724 to 738 A.D., "It would thus appear that the Arabs advanced through Rajasthan and proceeded as far as Malwa in the East and Broach in the South." ..... History & Culture of Indian People, Vol. Ill, page 172.

There were four routes to enter India from West viz., (l) by sea, (2) Khybar Pass, (3) Bolan Pass, (4) Makran Coast. "The Khybar Pass was guarded by Kabul and Zahull while the Bolan Pass was protected by the brave 'Jats' of Kikan or Kikanan." History & Culture of Indian People, Vol. III, page 174.

(In A.D. 786-809), "The Muslim army from Caliph Al-Mahdi, had also to fight with the hardy 'Jaths' of Kikanan who are known to have resisted the Arabs as back as A.D. 662." History & Culture of Indian People. Vol. IV. page 127.

External links


  1. The Ancient Geography of India/Udyana, p. 87
  2. Mangal Sen Jindal: History of Origin of Some Clans in India, p.75-76
  3. K.R.Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. dr Vir Singh, 2003, p.17
  4. Elliot, I, 383
  5. Elliot, I, 448
  6. Elliot, II, 247
  7. Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992 page 702.
  8. Sindh Ka Itihas, p.30
  9. The Ancient Geography of India/Udyana, pp. 84-87
  10. H. Th., i. 265.
  11. ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 185 ; Dowson's edition of Sir H. Elliot's ' Muhammadan Historians,' i. 381.
  12. Reinaud's 'Fragments Arabes, etc.,' p. 184.
  13. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/Note (A).- Geographical,pp.381-383
  14. History of Origin of Some Clans in India/Jat From Jutland, pp.75-76

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