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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Mandei were a race of people in India mentioned in ancient accounts of Pliny [1] and Megasthenes.[2].


Jat Gotras Namesake


Mention by Pliny

Pliny[4] mentions 'The Nations of India.'.... The nations whom it may be not altogether inopportune to mention, after passing the Emodian Mountains, a cross range of which is called "Imaus," a word which, in the language of the natives, signifies "snowy,"27 are the Isari, the Cosyri, the Izi, and, upon the chain of mountains, the Chisiotosagi, with numerous peoples, which have the surname of Brachmanæ,28 among whom are the Maccocalingæ. There are also the rivers Prinas and Cainas,29 which last flows into the Ganges, both of them navigable streams. The nation of the Calingæ30 comes nearest to the sea, and above them are the Mandei and the Malli.31 In the territory of the last-named people is a mountain called Mallus: the boundary of this region is the river Ganges.

27 The Sanscrit for "snowy" is "himrarat." The name of Emodus, combined with Imaiis, seems here to be a description of the knot of mountains formed by the intersections of the Himalaya, the Hindoo Koosh, and the Bolor range; the latter having been for many ages the boundary between the empires of China and Turkistan. It is pretty clear, that, like Ptolemy, Pliny imagined that the Imaiis ran from south to north; but it seems hardly necessary, in this instance at least, to give to the word "promontorium" the meaning attached to our word "promontory," and to suppose that he implies that the range of the Imaüs runs down to the verge of the eastern ocean.

28 A name evidently given to numerous tribes of India, from the circumstance that Alexander and his followers found it borne by the Brahmins or priestly caste of the Hindoos.

29 Still called the Cane, a navigable river of India within the Ganges, falling into the Ganges, according to Arrian as well as Pliny, though in reality it falls into the Jumna.

30 The Calingæ, who are further mentioned in the next Chapter, probably dwelt in the vicinity of the promontory of Calingon, upon which was the town of Dandaguda, mentioned in c. 23 of the present Book. This promontory and city are usually identified with those of Calinapatnam, about half-way between the Mahanadi River and Godavari; and the territory of the Calingæ seems to correspond pretty nearly to the district of Circars, lying along the coast of Orissa.

31 By the Malli, Parisot is of opinion that the people of Moultan are meant.

Jat clans mentioned by Megasthenes

Megasthenes also described India's caste system and a number of clans out of these some have been identified with Jat clans by the Jat historians. Megasthenes has mentioned a large number of Jat clans. It seems that the Greeks added 'i' to names which had an 'i' ending. Identified probable Jat clans have been provided with active link within brackets.

Jat clans as described by Megasthenes
Location Jat clans Information
3. Ganges The Mandei (Munda/Manda), and the Malli (Malli), the Gangarides (Ghangas+Rad), the Calingae (Kalinga), the Prasii (Magadha), the Modogalingae The tribes called Calingae (Kalinga) are nearest the sea, and higher up are the Mandei (Munda/Manda), and the Malli in whose, country is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that district being the Ganges.

The royal city of the Calingae (Kalinga) is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, 1,000 horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war. There is a very large island in the Ganges which is inhabited by a single tribe Modogalingae

External links