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Manikiala-Stupa 27 km from Rawalpindi city

Manikiala (मणिकियाला) is a village in Pakistan. It was a historical village of undivided India and is known for its Buddhist memorial shrines.



Manikiala is 27 km from Rawalpindi city in Pakistan.

Origin of name

According to Alexander Cunningham The name is said to have been derived from Raja Man or Manik,[1] who erected the great stupa. [2]

Jat clans


Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Appendices/Appendix III (p.337) mentions that an important inscription of a scion of Ghuman clan requires special mention. This is the Manikiala silver plate inscription of Gomana Karavaka.

Mention by Chinese pilgrims

Alexander Cunningham[3] writes that -

[p.121]: The great stupa or Buddhist monument of Manikyala, was first made known by the journey of Elphinstone,1 and has since been explored by Generals Ventura and Court. The name is said to have been derived from Raja Man or Manik,2 who erected the great stupa. This tradition is probably correct, as I discovered a coin and relic deposit of the Satrap Jihoniya, or Zeionises, the son of Manigal, in a small tope to the east of the village. The old town, which is usually called Manikpur, or Maniknagar, is the scene of the curious legend of Rasalu, who expelled the Rakshasas, or Demons, and delivered the people from the tyranny of 'Sir-kap, the " decapitator," and his brothers.

The name of Manikyala is not mentioned by any of the Chinese pilgrims, although every one of them has described the situation of the place. Fa-Hian merely states that at two days' journey to the east of Taxila is the spot where Buddha " gave his body to feed a starving tiger."3 But Sung-yun fixes the scene

1 ' Cabul,' i. 106. Stupa is the Sanskrit term for a mound or barrow, either of masonry or of earth ; see Colebroke, ' Amara Kosha,' in voce. The Pali form is Thupo ; see Turnour ' Mahawanso,' and also Thupa, or Thuva, in the early Arian inscriptions from the Punjab. The term now used is Thup for a tolerably perfect building, and Thupi for a ruined mound. It is, therefore, very much to be regretted that we should have adopted the word Tope, which preserves neither the spelling nor the pronunciation of the native word.

2 Moorcroft, 'Travels,' ii. 311.

3 Beal's translation of ' Fa-Hian,' c. xi. p. 32.

[p.122]: of this exploit at eight days' journey to the south-east of the capital of Gandhara,1 which is a very exact description of the bearing and distance of Manikyala, either from Peshawar or from Hashtnagar. Lastly, Hwen Thsang places the site of the " Body-offering " at 200 li, or nearly 34 miles, to the south-east of Taxila,2 which are the exact bearing and distance of Manikyala from Shah-dheri ; but his statement that he crossed the Sin-tu, or Indus, is a simple mistake for the Suhan or Suan river, which flows between the two places.3

The great stupa of the "Body-offering" I have identified with the monument that was opened by General Court,4 which, according to the inscription found inside, was built in the year 20, during the reign of the great Indo-Scythian prince Kanishka, shortly before the beginning of the Christian era. Manikyala was, therefore, one of the most famous places in the Panjab at a very early period ; but I think that it must have been the site of a number of large religious establishments rather than that of a great city. General Abbott, when he examined the ruins around the Manikyala tope in 1853, could "not see any evidence of the existence of a city. The area occupied by submerged ruins would not have comprised a very considerable village, while the comparatively large number of wrought stones denotes some costly structure which might have occupied the entire site. "5 In 1834, General Court described "the ruins

1 Beal's translation of 'Sung-yun," p. 193.

2 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang;,' ii. 164.

3 See Maps Nos. V. and VI..

4 Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1834, p. 562.

5 Ibid.,1853, p. 570.

[p.123]: of the town itself as of very considerable extent, massive walls of stone and lime being met with every-where, besides a great number of wells." After a careful examination of the site, I have come to the same conclusion as General Abbott, that there are no traces of a large city ; and I am quite satisfied that all the massive walls of cut stone, which General Court truly describes as being met with everywhere, must have belonged to costly monasteries and other large religious edifices. Doubtless, a few private houses might be built of squared stones even in a village, but these massive edifices, with their thickly gilded roofs, which still repay the labour of disinterment, are, I think, too numerous, too large, and too scattered to be the remains of private buildings even of a great city. The people point to the high ground immediately to the west of the great tope, as the site of the Raja Man's palace, because pieces of plaster are found there only, and not in other parts of the ruins. Here it is probable that the satraps of Taxila may have taken up their residence when they came to pay their respects at the famous shrine of the " Body-gift " of Buddha. Here, also, there may have been a small town of about 1500 or 2000 houses, which extended to the northward, and occupied the whole of the rising ground on which the village of Manikyala now stands. I estimate the entire circuit of the space that may have been occupied by the town as about one mile and a half, which, at 500 square feet per man, would give a population of 12,500 persons, or just six persons to each house.

The people are unanimous in their statements that the city was destroyed by fire ; and this belief, whether

[p.124]: based on tradition or conviction, is corroborated by the quantities of charcoal and ashes which are found amongst all the ruined buildings. It was also amply confirmed by the excavations which I made in the great monastery to the north of General Court's Tope. I found the plaster of the walls blackened by fire, and the wrought blocks of kankar limestone turned into quicklime. The pine timbers of the roofs also were easily recognized by their charred fragments and ashes. Unfortunately, I discovered nothing during my researches that offered any clue to the probable period of the destruction of these buildings, but as this part of the country had fallen into the power of the Kashmirian kings, even before the time of Hwen Thsang, I am inclined to attribute their destruction rather to Brahmanical malignity than to Muhammadan intolerance.

Manikiala silver plate inscription of Gomana Karavaka

Here the person named Karavaka is definitely from the Gomana or Ghumana clan. [EI, Vol. XII, p. 301] Pargiter compares the name Gomana with Godhara and Gonanda. Both these are clan names, nowadays called Godara and Gondal, respectively. Similarly Goman is also a clan name. The fact that the clan name comes before the personal name is not of any significance because this was the practice in those days. The Gusur Simhabala and Saka Moda of the inscription have the clan name or the tribal name before the personal name.


मनिकियाला (AS, p.694) या मणिकियाला (AS, p.710): जिला रावलपिंडी, पाकिस्तान, में स्थित है. यह स्थान कनिष्क कालीन है । यहां के बोद्धस्तूप के भग्नावशेषो मे एक चांदी के वर्तुल पट्टक पर कुषाण सम्राट कनिष्क के शासनकाल (लगभग 120 ईस्वी) का एक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुआ है जिससे इस प्रदेश मे उसकी प्रभुता का विस्तार प्रमाणित होता है । यहां के स्तूप की खोज 1830 ईस्वी मे जनरल वेंटुरा (Ventura) और कोर्ट (Court) ने की थी । इसमें से कनिष्क के सिक्के भी प्राप्त हुये थे । बरजेस का मत है कि मौलिक स्तूप (जो कनिष्क - कालीन है) पर 25 फुट मोटा बाह्यावरण है जो शायद 8 वी शती में बना था ।


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