Jalalabad Afghanistan

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)
Location of Jalalabad Afghanistan

Jalalabad (जलालाबाद) (Persian: جلال آباد), formerly called Adina Pour (آدينه پور) or Adinapur is a city in eastern Afghanistan in Nangarhar Province. Xuanzang visited place called Na-ki-lo-ho or Nagarahara in 630 AD, which has been identified as Jalalabad by Alexander Cunningham[1]


Indus River and its tributaries

Jalalabad is abot midway on Kabul to Peshawar Road. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman Province, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.

Variants of name

Jat clans

  • Nahara - The Markandeya Purana mentions them as Niharas.263 Nahra and Nara are treated as different clans although they may be one. [2]


V S Agarwal [3] writes about Mountaineer Sanghas – A very important group of martial Sanghas comprised those occupying some parvata or mountainous region in north-west India.

[p.435] Evidently this parvata region must have been outside the plains of the Vahika Country, which brings us to the highlands of north-west as the homeland of the ayudhajivins. The Kashika mentions Hrdgoliyas Hridgola, probably Hi-lo of Yuan Chwang (modern Hidda south of Jalalabad); Andhakavartīyāḥ of Andhakavarta, perhaps Andkhui, a district in the north-east Afghanistan and Rohitagiriyas of Rohitagiri, which last is important as reminiscent of Roha, old name of Afghanistan. All this portion of the country is up to the present day peopled by hardy and warlike Mountaineers.The Markandeya Purana refers to mountain-dwellers of the west, including such names as Nihāras (Nigrahāra of Vayu, same as Nagarahāra or Jalalabad where Hṛidgola or Hiḍḍā is situated) and the Haṁsamārgas (modern Hunza in the north of Dardistan). Thus country of mountaineers extended from Kashmir to Afghanistan and most of the people settled in these mountains and their valleys were of the Ayudhajivin class. The Bhishmaparva specially mentions Girigahvaras (गिरिगह्वर) (VI.10.66), dwellers of mountain caves, as a people of the north-west (Bhishmaparva, 9.68, Udyogaparva, 30.24), and this epithet appropriately applies to the tribes of the north-west. They were the same as Sanghah girichāriṇaḥ and girigahvara-vasinah (Dronaparva, 93.48).

Arrian mentions these mountainous Indians as fighting in the army of Darius against Alexander at Arbela (Anabasis, III,8.3-6). It was these Parvatiya Ayudhajivin that offered stout resistance to Alexander in Bactria and Gandhara.

The approximate location of these Parvatiyas should be sought for in the region of the Hindukush on both sides of it. Roha, of medieval geographers, Rohitagiri of Panini, the ten Mandalas of Lohita (Sabhaparva, 24.16) and Rohitagiriyas of Kashika, all together point to the mountainous regions of the central and north-east Afghanistan as being the Parvata Country, which name survives in Kohistan.

Xuanzang pushed on to Adinapur[4] (later named Jalalabad) and Laghman, where he considered himself to have reached India. The year was 630.

H. W. Bellew[5] writes that In Nangrahar the old name of the present Jalalabad valley (a name still commonly in use and supposed to signify "the nine rivers," though there is not that number in it, and explained to be a combination of the Persian nuh="nine" and the Arabic nahar = "river," but which is in reality a word of much more ancient date and purely of Sanscrit derivation, Nau Vihara, "the nine monasteries," the valley having been a very flourishing seat of Budhism even so late as the time of Fa Hian's visit in the fifth century of our own era, and still Abounding in topes and the ruins of other Budhist buildings), the two tribes appear to have rested a while, and then to

[p.65]: have advanced by separate routes. The Yusufzai, or Handar, and Mali, as the two great divisions of the tribe are named, proceeded by the Khybar route to Peshawar, which at that time was called Purshor (after Porus, the Indian king, who opposed Alexander the Great), and encamped about the site of Bagram (the name of an ancient city the ruins of which extend over a large area to the west of the present city of Peshawar, and contain several topes and other Budhist relics, some of which are covered by the British cantonment at this place), between the present city of Peshawar and the Khybar pass.

Ch.1: Alexander at Nysa (p.265-266)

IN this country, lying between the rivers Cophen and Indus, which was traversed by Alexander, the city of Nysa1 is said to be situated. The report is, that its foundation was the work of Dionysus, who built it after he had subjugated the Indians.2 But it is impossible to determine who this Dionysus3 was, and at what time, or from what quarter he led an army against the Indians. For I am unable to decide whether the Theban Dionysus, starting from Thebes or from the Lydian Tmolus4 came into India at the head of an army, and after traversing the territories of so many warlike nations, unknown to the Greeks of that time, forcibly subjugated none of them except that of the Indians. But I do not think we ought to make a minute examination of the legends which were promulgated in ancient times about the deity; for things which are not credible to the man who examines them according to the rule of probability, do not appear to be wholly incredible, if one adds the divine agency to the story.

When Alexander came to Nysa the citizens sent out to him their president, whose name was Acuphis, accompanied by thirty of their most distinguished men as envoys, to entreat Alexander to leave their city free for the sake of the god. The envoys entered Alexander’s tent and found him seated in his armour still covered with dust from the journey, with his helmet on his head, and holding his spear in his hand. When they beheld the sight they were struck with astonishment, and falling to the earth remained silent a long time. But when Alexander caused them to rise, and bade them be of good courage, then at length Acuphis began thus to speak: “The Nysaeans beseech thee, 0 king, out of respect for Dionysus, to allow them to remain free and independent; for when Dionysus had subjugated the nation of the Indians, and was returning to the Grecian sea, he founded this city from the soldiers who had become unfit for military service, and were under his inspiration as Bacchanals, so that it might be a monument both of his wandering and of his victory to men of after times; just as thou also hast founded Alexandria near mount Caucasus, and another Alexandria in the country of the Egyptians. Many other cities thou hast already founded, and others thou wilt found hereafter, in the course of time, inasmuch as thou hast achieved more exploits than Dionysus. The god indeed called the city Nysa, and the land Nysaea after his nurse Nysa. The mountain also which is near the city he named Meros (i.e. thigh), because, according to the legend, he grew in the thigh of Zeus.’ From that time we inhabit Nysa, a free city, and we ourselves are independent, conducting our government with constitutional order. And let this be to thee a proof that our city owes its foundation to Dionysus; for ivy, which does not grow in the rest of the country of India, grows among us.”

1. This city was probably on the site of Jelalabad.

2. ὲπει τε. This is the only place where Arrian uses this Ionic form for the simple ὲπει.

3. The Indians worship a god Homa, the personification of the intoxicating soma juice. This deity corresponds to the Greek Dionysus or Bacchus.

4. The slopes of this mountain were covered with vines. See Ovid (Fasti, ii. 313; Metamorphoses, xi. 86); Vergil (Georgics, ii. 98); Pliny, xiv. 9.


नगर = जलालाबाद (अफ़ग़ानिस्तान)

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[6] ने लेख किया है ... नगर = 1. जलालाबाद (अफ़ग़ानिस्तान) (AS, p.475): चीनी यात्री युवानच्वांग की भारत यात्रा के समय (630-645 ई.) यह स्थान कपिश के अधीन था। इस समय यहाँ एक स्तूप था जो अशोक ने बनवाया था। इस स्तूप इसकी ऊँचाई 200 फुट थी। युवानच्वांग ने इस नगर के वर्णन में लिखा है, कि नगर में बौद्ध विद्वान् दीपंकर के स्मृति-चिह्न, गौतम बुद्ध की प्रकाशमान मूर्ति और उनकी उष्णीश की अस्थि विद्यमान थी। यहाँ से पुरातत्त्व विषयक अनेक अवशेष प्राप्त हुए हैं। 5वीं सदी में भारत आने वाले चीनी यात्री फ़ाह्यान ने जलालाबाद का एक विस्तृत देश के रूप में वर्णन किया था, जिसमें वर्तमान अफ़गानिस्तान तथा पश्चिमी पाकिस्तान के सीमावर्ती प्रदेश सम्मिलित थे।

जलालाबाद वर्तमान में अफ़गानिस्तान में क़ाबुल के पूर्व में दरिया-ए क़ाबुल नदी के तट पर अवस्थित महत्त्वपूर्ण ऐतिहासिक स्थल है। मध्यकाल में जलालाबाद अफ़गानिस्तान का सामरिक दृष्टि से महत्त्वपूर्ण केन्द्र था। अकबर ने जलालाबाद और क़ाबुल पर आक्रमण किया था। दोस्त मुहम्मद ने जलालाबाद और क़ाबुल पर अधिकार कर स्वयं को अमीर घोषित किया था। सन 1845 ई. में जलालाबाद पर अंग्रेज़ों का आधिपत्य हो गया। [7]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[8] ने लेख किया है ...1. गिरिव्रज (AS, p.288): गिरिव्रज रामायण काल में केकय देश की राजधानी थी। 'गिरिव्रज' का शाब्दिक अर्थ है- "पहाड़ियों का समूह"। इसे राजगृह भी कहा जाता था- ‘उभयौ भरतशत्रुघ्नौ केकयेषु परंतपौ, पुरे राजगृहे रम्ये मातामहनिवेशने’ वाल्मीकि रामायण, अयोध्या काण्ड 67, 7. ‘गिरिव्रजं पुरवरं शीघ्रमासेदुरंजसा’ वाल्मीकि रामायण, अयोध्या काण्ड 68, 22।

गिरिव्रज का अभिज्ञान जनरल कनिंघम ने झेलम नदी के तट पर बसे हुए 'गिरजाक' अथवा 'जलालपुर' नामक क़स्बा (जो अब पाकिस्तान में है) से किया है। जलालपुर का प्रचीन नाम 'नगरहार' भी था।

Visit by Xuanzang in 630 AD

Alexander Cunningham[9] writes about 5. Nagarahara, or Jalalabad : From Lamghan the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang proceeded for 100 li, or nearly 17 miles, to the south-east, and, after crossing a large river, reached the district of Nagarahara.

[p.44]: Both the bearing and distance point to the Nagara of Ptolemy, which was to the south of the Kabul river, and in the immediate vicinity of Jalalabad. Hwen Thsang writes the name Na-ki-lo-ho ; but M. Julien[10] has found the full transcript of the Sanskrit name in the annals of the Song dynasty, in which it is written Nang-go-lo-lio-lo. The Sanskrit name occurs in an inscription which was discovered by Major Kittoe in the ruined mound of Ghosrawa, in the district of Bihar.[11] Nagarahara is said to be 600 li, or 100 miles, in length from east to west, and upwards of 250 li, or 42 miles, in breadth from north to south. The natural boundaries of the district are the Jagdalak Pass on the west, and the Khaibar Pass on the east, with the Kabul river to the north, and the Safed Koh, or snowy mountains, to the south. Within these limits the direct measurements on the map are about 75 by 30 miles, which in actual road distance would be about the same as the numbers stated by Hwen Thsang.

The position of the capital would appear to have been at Begram, about 2 miles to the west of Jalalabad, and 5 or 6 miles to the W.N.W. of Hidda, which by the general consent of every inquirer has been identified with the Hi-lo of the Chinese pilgrims.

The town of Hilo was only 4 or 5 li, or about three-quarters of a mile, in circuit; but it was celebrated for its possession of the skull-bone of Buddha, which was deposited in a stupa, or solid round tower, and was only exhibited to pilgrims on payment of a piece of gold. Hidda is a small village, 5 miles to the

[p.45]: south of Jalalabad ; but it is well known for its large collection of Buddhist stupas, tumuli, and caves, which were so successfully explored by Masson. The presence of these important Buddhist remains, in the very position indicated by the Chinese pilgrims, affords the most satisfactory proof of the identity of Hidda with their Hilo. This is further confirmed by the absolute agreement of name, as Hi-lo is the closest approximation that could be made in Chinese syllables to the original Hiṛa or Hiḍa. The capital must, therefore, have been situated on the plain of Begram, which is described by Masson[12] as " literally covered with tumuli and mounds." "These," he adds, "are truly sepulchral monuments ; but, with the topes, sanction the inference that a very considerable city existed here, or that it was a place of renown for sanctity. It may have been both." I think it is just possible that Hidda may be only a transposition of Haddi, a bone, as the stupa of the skull-bone of Buddha is said in one passage[13] to have been in the town of Hilo, while in another passage it is located in the town of Fo-ting-ko-ching, which is only a Chinese translation of " Buddha's skull-bone town." During the course of this disquisition I shall have to notice the frequent occurrence of short descriptive names of places which were famous in the history of Buddha. I am, therefore, led to think that the place which contained the skull-bone of Buddha would most probably have been known by the familiar name of Asthipura amongst the learned, and of Haddipura, or " Bone-town " amongst the common people. Similarly the skull-necklace of Siva is called simply the asthimala, or ' bone-necklace.'

[p.46]: Nagarahara was long ago identified by Professor Lassen with the Nagara or Dionysopolis of Ptolemy, which was situated midway between Kabura and the Indus. The second name suggests the probability that it may be the same place as the Nysa of Arrian and Curtius. This name is perhaps also preserved in the Dinus or Dinuz of Abu Rihan,[14] as he places it about midway between Kabul and Parashawar. According to the tradition of the people, the old city was called Ajuna,[15] in which I think it possible to recognize the Greek Διον, as the river Yamuna or Jumna is rendered Diamuna by Ptolemy, and the Sanskrit yamas or jamas, the south, is rendered Diamasa by Pliny.[16] It is, however, much more likely that Ajuna, by transposition of the vowels may be only a corrupt form of the Pali Ujjana, and Sanskrit Udyana, " a garden," as M. Vivien de St. Martin states that Udyanapura was an old name of Nagarahara.[17] If this identification be correct the position of the capital must certainly have been at Begram, as I have already suggested. The name of Dionysopolis was no doubt the most usual appellation during the whole period of Greek dominion, as one of the commonest mint-monograms on the coins of the Greek kings of Ariana forms the letters ΔΙΟΝ, which will not suit the name of any Indian city recorded by ancient authors, save that of Dionysopolis. In the beginning of the fifth century it is called simply Na-kie or Nagara, by Fa Hian, who adds that it was then an independent State governed by its own king. In A.D. 630, at the time of Hwen Thsang's visit, it was without a king, and subject to Kapisene. After this

[p.47]: it most probably followed the fortunes of the sovereign State, and became successively a part of the Brahman kingdom of Kabul and of the Mahommedan empire of Ghazni.

External Links

Further reading

See also


  1. The Ancient Geography of India/Kabul,pp. 43-47
  2. Bhim Singh Dahiya,Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India p.288, S.No.114
  3. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.434-435
  4. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and monthly record (Great Britain) Volume 1, page 43 (Science) 1879.
  5. The Races of Afghanistan/Chapter VI,p.64-65
  6. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.475
  7. भारतकोश-जलालाबाद
  8. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.288-289
  9. The Ancient Geography of India/Kabul,pp. 43-47
  10. ' Hiouen Thsang,' ii. 96, note.
  11. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1848, pp. 490, 491.
  12. ' Travels,' ii. 164.
  13. 'Hiouen Thsang,' i. 77.
  14. Reiuaud's ' Fragments,' p. 114.
  15. Masson's ' Travels," ii. 164.
  16. Hist. Nat., vi. e. 22
  17. ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 305.

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