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Makran (Hindi:मकरान ,Persian: مکران) is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.


Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire.


The word Maka later became Makran as it is common in closely related ancient Avestan and Old Persian languages to use "an" and "ran" at the end of plurals.[1] The Babylonians had also made voyages using Maka to communicate with India. [2] After Cyrus' death Darius I of Persia succeeded his throne. According to Greek historian Herodotus, Darius wanted to know more about Asia.

Further evidence in the Chachnama makes perfectly clear that many areas of Makran as of Sindh had a largely Buddhist population . When Chach marched to Armabil , this town is described as having been in the hands of a Buddhist Samani (Samani Budda) a descendant of the agents of Rai Sahiras who had been elevated for their loyalty and devotion, but who later made themselves independent. The Buddhist chief offered his allegiance to Chach when the latter was on his way to Kirman in 631 .The same chiefdom of Armadil is referred to by Huen Tsang 0-Tien -p-o-chi-lo, located at the high road running through Makran , and he also describes it as predominantly Buddhist , thinly populated though it was , it had no less than 80 Buddhist convents with about 5000 monks . In effect at eighteen km north west of Las Bela at Gandakahar , near the ruins of an ancient town are the caves of Gondrani , and as their constructions show these caves were undoubtedly Buddhist .Traveling through the Kij valley further west (then under the government of Persia) Huien Tsang saw some 100 Buddhist monasteries and 6000 priests . He also saw several hundred Deva temples in this part of Makran , and in the town of Su-nu li-chi-shi-fa-lo-which is probably Qasrqand- he saw a temple of Maheshvara Deva , richly adorned and sculptured . There is thus very wide extension of Indian cultural forms in Makran in the seventh century , even in the period when it fell under Persian sovereignty . By comparison in more recent times the last place of Hindu pilgrimage in Makran was Hinglaj, 256 km west of present day Karachi in Las Bela.[3]

The Historian Andre Wink has recorded Hiuen Tsang's noting on the language and script in use in Makran .

“ Hiuen Tsang considered the script which was in use in Makran to be 'much the same as India', but the spoken language 'differed a little from that of India[4]

External links


  1. "Iranians and Turanians in Avesta". Ali A. Jafarey
  2. The history of antiquity". Max Duncker.
  3. Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th-11th centuries By André Wink page 135
  4. Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th-11th centuries By André Wink Page 137

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