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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Map of Peshawar
Swat Valley Map

Peshāwar (Pashto: پښور; Urdu: پشاور;Hindi:पेशावर) is the capital of the North-West Frontier Province[1] and the administrative centre for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.[2] "Peshawar" literally means High Fort in Persian and is known as Pekhawar in Pashto. The city that would become Peshawar, called Purushapura (City of Flowers)

Variants of name


It was actually founded by the Kushan Jats.


In Mahavansa

Mahavansa/Chapter 5 tells that ....The sons of Kalasoka were ten brothers, twenty-two years did they reign in Magadha. Afterwards, the nine Nandas were kings in succession; they too reigned twenty-two years in Magadha. Then did the brahman Canakka anoint a glorious youth, known by the name Candagutta, as king over all Jambudipa, born of a noble clan, the Moriyas, when, filled with bitter hate, he had slain the ninth (Nanda) Dhanananda.

Twenty-four years he reigned, and his son Bindusära reigned twenty-eight. A hundred glorious sons and one had Bindusara; Asoka stood high above them all in valour, splendour, might, and wondrous powers. He, when he had slain his ninety-nine brothers born of different mothers, won the undivided sovereignty over all Jambudipa. Be it known, that two hundred and eighteen years had passed from the nibana of the Master unto Asoka's consecration.

Four years after the famous (Asoka) had won for himself the undivided sovereignty he consecrated himself as king in the city Pataliputta. Straightway after his consecration his command spread so far as a yojana (upward) into the air and downward into the (depths of the) earth.'

Mahavansa/Chapter 5 further tells that .... Nigrodha was the son of prince Sumana, the eldest brother of all the sons of Bindusara. When Bindusära had fallen sick Asoka left the government of Ujjeni conferred on him by his father, and came to Pupphapura, and when he had made himself master of the city, after his father's death, he caused his eldest brother to be slain and took on himself the sovereignty in the splendid city.

The consort of prince Sumana, who bore the same name (Sumana), being with child, fled straightway by the east gate and went to a candala village, and there the guardian god of a nigrodha-tree called her by her name, built a hut and gave it to her.


H. W. Bellew[3] 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.

In ancient times a major settlement called Pushpapura was established in the general area of Peshawar by the Central Asian Kushans. It was during the Mughal period that the current city was established by Akbar in the 16th century and received its name Peshawar. During much of its history, the city was one of the main trading centres on the ancient Silk Road and was a major crossroads for various cultures between South Asia and Central Asia and the Middle East. Located on the edge of the Khyber Pass near the Afghanistan border, Peshawar is the commercial, economic, political and cultural capital of the Pashtuns in Pakistan.

The area of the city has been ruled by numerous empires including the Persian, Greek, Mauryan , Scythian, Arab, Turk, Mongol, Mughal, Afghan, Jats and the British.

Peshawar is located in an area that was dominated by various tribal groups of Indo-Iranian origin. The region was affiliated with the ancient kingdom of Gandhara and had links to the Harappan civilization of the Indus River Valley and to Bactria and other ancient kingdoms based in Afghanistan. According to the historian Tertius Chandler, Peshawar had a population of 120,000 in the year 100 BCE, making it the seventh most populous city in the world.[4] Vedic mythology refers to an ancient settlement called Pushkalavati in the area, after Pushkal, the son of King Bharata in epic Ramayana [5], but this remains speculative and unverifiable.[6] In recorded history, the city that would become Peshawar, called Purushapura (City of Flowers), was actually founded by the Kushan Jats, a Central Asian tribe of Tocharian origin, over 2,000 years ago.[7] Prior to this period the region was affiliated with Gandhara, an ancient Indo-Iranian kingdom and was annexed first by the Persian Achaemenid empire and then by the Hellenic empire of Alexander the Great. The city passed into the rule of Alexander's successor, Seleucus I Nicator who ceded it to Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya empire in 305 BCE. Buddhism was introduced into the region at this time and may have claimed the majority of Peshawar's inhabitants before the coming of Islam.[8]

The area that Peshawar occupies was then seized by the Greco-Bactrian king, Eucratides (c. 170 - c. 159 BCE), and was controlled by a series of Greco-Bactrian kings who founded and ruled what is referred to as the Indo-Greek kingdom based in ancient Pakistan and North India. It was later held for some time by several Parthian and Indo-Parthian kings, another group of Iranian peoples invaders from Central Asia, the most famous of whom, Gondophares, ruled the city and its environs starting in circa 46 CE, and was briefly followed by two or three of his descendants before they were displaced by the first of the "Great Kushans", Kujula Kadphises, around the middle of the 1st century.

Peshawar formed the eastern capital of the empire of Gandhara under the Jat Kushan king Kanishka I, who reigned from at least 127 CE and, perhaps, for a few years prior to this. Peshawar also became a great centre of Buddhism learning. Kanishka built what may have been the tallest building in the world at the time, a giant stupa, to house the Buddha's relics, just outside the Ganj Gate of the old city of Peshawar.

Kanishka's stupa was said to be an imposing structure as one traveled down from the mountains of Afghanistan onto the Gandharan plains. The earliest account of the famous building is by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk, Faxian, who visited it in 400 and described it as being over 40 chang in height (probably about 120 m. or 394 ft) and adorned "with all precious substances". "Of all the stûpas and temples seen by the travellers, none can compare with this for beauty of form and strength." It was destroyed by lightning and repaired several times. It was still in existence at the time of Xuanzang's visit in 634. From the ruined base of this giant stupa there existed a jeweled casket containing relics of the Buddha, and an inscription identifying Kanishka as the donor, and was excavated from a chamber under the very centre of the stupa's base, by a team under Dr. D.B. Spooner in 1909. The stupa was roughly cruciform in shape with a diameter of 286 ft (87 m.) and heavily decorated around the sides with stucco scenes.

Sometime in the 1st millennium BCE, the group that now dominates Peshawar began to arrive from the Suleiman Mountains of southern Afghanistan to the southwest, the Pashtuns. Whether or not the Pashtuns existed in the region even earlier is debatable, as evidence is difficult to attain. Some writers such as Sir Olaf Caroe write that a group that may have been the Pakhtuns existed in the area and were called the Pactycians by Herodotus and the Greeks, which would place the Pakhtuns in the area of Peshawar much earlier along with other Aryan tribes. Ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Rig-Veda, speak of an Aryan tribe called the Pakht, living in the region. Regardless, over the centuries the Pakhtuns would come to dominate the region and Peshawar has emerged as an important center of Pakhtun culture along with Kandahar and Kabul as well as Quetta in more recent times. Muslim Arab and Turkic arrived and annexed the region before the beginning of the 2nd millennium. The Pakhtuns began to convert to Islam following early annexation by Arab empire from Khurasan (in what is today western Afghanistan and northeastern Iran).[9]

Sebük Tigin(Sebuktagin) dying in 997 was succeeded as governor of Khorasan by his son Mahmud of Ghazni, who throwing of all dependence on the Samani princes,assumed the title of Sultan in 999, and from this reign the Hindu religion in these parts may be said to have received a death blow . In the early reign of this celebrated invader of India the plains of Peshawar were again the scene of some great battles , the first of which was fought on the maira between Nowshera and the Indus , in the year 1001 . Mahumad was opposed by Jaipal , who had been constantly endevouring to recover the country wrested from him by Sebuktagin , still aided by some Pathans whose allegiance to the Muhammadan governor of Peshawar was not of long continuance . The battle took place on 27th November and the Hindus were one again routed , Jaipal himself being taken prisoner , who upon his subsequent release , resigned the crown to his son Anandpal . On this occasion Mahmud punished the Pathans who had sided with the enemy , and as they were now converted entirely to the Muhammadan faith , they were ever afterwards true to their new allegiance , and joined the Sultan in all his wars against the infidels . [10]

Peshawar was taken by Turkic Muslims in 988 and was incorporated into the larger Pakhtun domains by the 16th century. The founder of the Mughul dynasty that would conquer South Asia, Babur who hailed from what is today Uzbekistan, came to Peshawar and found a city called Begram and rebuilt the fort there, in 1530. His grandson, Akbar, formally named the city Peshawar which means "The Place at the Frontier" in Persian language and expanded the bazaars and fortifications. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in the Pashawar region.[11]

The city has been known both as the "City of Flowers" and the "City of Grain". In the days of the Kushan King, it was called the "Lotus Land".

The Pakhtun conqueror Sher Shah Suri, turned Peshawar's renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass and Peshawar. Thus the Mughals turned Peshawar into a "City of Flowers" by planting trees and laying out gardens similar to those found to the west in Persia. Khushal Khan Khattak, the Pakhtun/Afghan warrior poet, was born near Peshawar and his life was intimately tied to the city. He was also an implacable foe of the Mughal rulers, especially Aurangzeb. Khattak was an early Pakhtun nationalist, who agitated for an independent Afghanistan including Peshawar. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under Persian control during the reign of Nadir Shah by the 18th century.

Peshawar would also join, following a loya jirga as a Pakhtun region, the Afghan/Pakhtun empire of Ahmad Shah Durrani by 1747. Pakhtuns from Peshawar took part in incursions of South Asia during the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani and his successors. The Sikhs, who were oppressed under the Mughal rule then invaded and conquered Peshawar in 1834 after wresting it from Afghanistan. In the wars between to two nations, Peshawar's own Shalimar Gardens were destroyed, not to mention the dwindling of the city's population by almost half.

With the rapid collapse of the Sikh Empire caused by internal fighting after the Kings death and its defeat in the second Anglo-Sikh War, the British eventually occupied the city. They continued to rule from 1849 to 1947, when the city became part of the new nation of Pakistan.

Being among the most ancient cities of the region between Central, South, and West Asia, Peshawar has for centuries been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, and Central Asia as well as the Middle East. Its famed markets such as the Qissa Khawani Bazaar (market of story tellers) are emblematic of this mixture of cultures.

Peshawar emerged as a centre of both Hindko and Pakhtun intellectuals. Its dominant culture for much of British rule was that of the hindko speakers, also referred to as "Khaarian" ('city dwellers' in Pashto).[12]

Its unique culture, distinct from the surrounding Pashtun areas, led to the city being romanticized by Pashto singers, with songs like larsha Pekhwar tha (let us go to Peshawar) and more recently Pekhawar kho pekhawar dhay kana.

This culture has gradually disappeared with the massive influx of Afghan refugees and the increasing migration of Pashtuns into the city, its demographics have now changed and Pashto is now the dominant language of the city.

After the Soviet Uniont invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 Peshawar served as a political centre for anti-Soviet Union Mujahideen, and was surrounded by huge camps of Afghan refugees. Many of the refugees remained there through the civil war which broke out after the Soviets were defeated in 1989, antecedent to the rule of the Taliban, and the invasion by American and allied forces in late 2001. Peshawar would replace Kabul and Qandahar as the centre of Pakhtun cultural development during this tumultuous period. Additionally, Peshawar managed to assimilate many of the Pakhtun Afghan refugees with relative ease, while many other Afghan refugees remained in camps awaiting a possible return to Afghanistan.

Until the mid-fifties Peshawar was enclosed within a city wall and sixteen gates. Of the old city gates the most famous was the Kabuli Gate but only the name remains now. Peshawar has not grown as much in size or capacity as the population has. As a result it has become a polluted and overcrowded city.[13] However, despite turmoil in Pakistan and intense turmoil in Afghanistan, Peshawar has remained a relatively quiet and peaceful city, compared to the violence in Karachi or Balochistan, and the civil war in Afghanistan.

Peshawar continues to be a city that links Pakistan to Afghanistan as well as Central Asia and has emerged as an important regional city in Pakistan and remains a focal point for Pakhtun culture. The Bakhshali Manuscript used in the Methods of computing square roots and Bakhshali approximation was found here, and the book Peshawar Nights uses the city as its setting.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[14] ने लेख किया है .....पुरुषपुर (AS,p.566): वर्तमान पेशावर (प्राचीन 'पुरुषपुर') पाकिस्तान का एक प्रमुख शहर है। ऐतिहासिक परम्परा के अनुसार सम्राट कनिष्क ने 'पुरुषपुर' को द्वितीय शती ई. में बसाया था और सर्वप्रथम कनिष्क के बृहत साम्राज्य की राजधानी बनने का सौभाग्य भी इसी नगर को प्राप्त हुआ था।

कनिष्क ने बौद्ध धर्म की दीक्षा लेने के पश्चात् अपनी राजधानी पुरुषपुर में एक महान् स्तूप का निर्माण करवाया था, जिसमें लकड़ी का प्रचुरता से प्रयोग किया गया था। स्तूप के ऊपर जाने के लिए सीढ़ियां बनी थीं और ऊपर एक सुंदर काष्ठ मंडप था। इसमें तेरह मंजिलें थीं और पूरी ऊँचाई लगभग 500 हाथ थी। कहा जाता है कि यह स्तूप कनिष्क के पश्चात् कई बार जला और बना था। इस महास्तूप के पश्चिम की ओर कनिष्क ने एक सुंदर एवं विशाल विहार भी बनवाया था, जिसकी भीतरी मंज़िल पर कनिष्क के गुरु 'भदंतपार्श्व' रहते थे।

तृतीय बौद्ध संगीति कनिष्क के शासन काल में पुरुषपुर में ही हुई थी। जबकि कुछ विद्वानों के मत में यह बौद्ध संगीति कुंडलवन, कश्मीर में हुई थी। इसके सभापति आचार्य अश्वघोष थे, जिन्हें कनिष्क पाटलिपुत्र की विजय के पश्चात् अपने साथ पुरुषपुर ले आया था। बौद्ध धर्म के उद्भट विद्वान् और 'बुद्धचरित' और 'सौंदरानंद' नामक महाकाव्यों के विख्यात रचयिता पुरुषपुर में ही रहते थे। पुरुषपुर में बौद्ध महासभा के पश्चात् बौद्ध धर्म के दो विभाग हो गए थे- प्राचीन हीनयान और नवीन महायान.

अश्वघोष के अतिरिक्त जिन अन्य बौद्ध विद्वानों का संसर्ग पुरुषपुर से रहा था, वे थे वसुबंधु तथा उनके सहोदर भ्राता असंग और विरंचि। वसुबंधु, चंद्रगुप्त विक्रमादित्य (चतुर्थ शती ई.) की राजसभा में भी सम्मानित हुए थे। दिड्नांग इनके शिष्य थे। उनका रचित 'अभिधर्मकोश' बौद्ध साहित्य का प्रसिद्ध ग्रंथ है। इसकी रचना पुरुषपुर में ही हुई थी। वसुबंधु के गुरु आचार्य मनोरथ भी पुरुषपुर ही के रहने वाले थे। चंद्रगुप्त विक्रमादित्य इनका भी बहुत आदर करता था।

पुरुषपुर प्राचीन काल में गांधार मूर्तिकला का प्रसिद्ध केन्द्र था। यह कला भारतीय तथा यूनानी शैली के सम्मिश्रण से उत्पन्न हुई थी। हेवेल के अनुसार

[p.567]: गांधार की कला सर्वोच्च कोटि की कला नहीं थी और न इसमें भारतीय परम्परा तथा आदर्शवाद के तत्व ही निहित थे। वे इसे यांत्रिक तथा आत्मा से रहित कला मानते हैं। इस कला का मुख्य सौंदर्य शारीरिक रूपरेखा का कुशल अंकन माना जाता है। गांधार कला में प्रथम बार बुद्ध की मूर्ति का निर्माण हुआ था। 100 ई. पू. से पहले बुद्ध की मूर्तियाँ नहीं बनाई जाती थीं और उपयुक्त प्रतीकों द्वारा ही तथागत का अंकन किया जाता था। गांधार कला में प्राय: काली मिट्टी, जो स्वात के प्रदेश में मिलती थी, मूर्ति निर्माण के लिए प्रयोग में लाई जाती थी। इन मूर्तियों की शरीर रचना तथा गठन सौंदर्यपूर्ण और यथार्थ है। वस्त्रों, विशेषकर उत्तरीय का अंकन उभरी हुई धारियों से किया गया है।

परवर्ती काल में पुरुषपुर या पेशावर भारत पर उत्तर-पश्चिम से आक्रमण करने वाले आक्रांताओं के कारण इतिहास प्रसिद्ध रहा। 1001 ई. में महमूद ग़ज़नवी और भारतीय नरेश जयपाल में पेशावर के मैदान में घोर युद्ध हुआ, जिसमें जयपाल को भारी क्षति उठानी पड़ी। जयपाल इस युद्ध में पराजयजनित अपमान तथा अनुताप को न सहते हुए जीवित ही अग्नि में कूदकर स्वर्ग सिधार गया।

मुग़लों के समय पेशावर में मुग़लों का सेनापति रहता था, जो तत्कालीन अफ़ग़ान तथा सीमांत स्थित 'फिरकों' (यूसुफ़जाई वगैरह) से भारतीय साम्राज्य की रक्षा करता था।

महाराज रणजीतसिंह का पेशावर पर कब्जा

ठाकुर देशराज ने लिखा है - काबुल का अमीर दोस्तमुहम्मद जो कि शुजा की हुकूमत को काबुल में न बैठने देने के लिए प्राण-पण से चेष्टा कर रहा था, चाहता था कि पेशावर महाराज रणजीतसिंह के अधीन न रहकर काबुल के आधीन रहे। इसलिए उसने छेड़छाड़ आरम्भ कर दी। उसी का इशारा पाकर सन् 1834 में दिलासाखां ने बन्नू के इलाके में विद्रोह कर दिया। उसके विद्रोह को दबाने के लिए सरदार शामसिंह और बख्शी तारासिंह ने उसे गडही में जा दबाया। किन्तु रात के समय पठानों ने सोते हुए सिक्खों पर हमला कर दिया। इस अचानक हमले में कई सौ सिक्ख मारे गए। सिक्ख लोग घेरे को उठा चुके थे। किन्तु राजा सुचितसिंह मदद को पहुंच गए और विद्रोह को दबा दिया गया। अब महाराज ने पेशावर को कतई अपने

जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-271

राज्य में मिलाने का निश्चय कर लिया, क्योंकि उन्हें अन्देशा था कि शायद पेशावर के मुसलमान शासक मिल कर पेशावर को काबुल के आधीन न कर दें। इन दिनों सरदार हरीसिंह नलुआ यूसुफजई के सूबेदार थे। उन्हें आज्ञा दी गई कि वे कुंवर नौनिहाल के साथ मिलकर पेशावर पर पूरा कब्जा कर लें। अप्रैल के महीने में ये सेनायें पेशावर पहुंच गईं। बहुत सा खिराज और घोड़े जो सुलतान महमूद ने भेजे, कुंवर नौनिहालसिंह ने रख लिए किन्तु नजराने में आए हुए घोड़े वापस कर दिए जिससे पठान समझ गए कि अब की बार खैर नहीं है। अतः उन्होंने अपने परिवार काबुल की ओर भेज दिए। सरदार हरीसिंह नलुआ ने सुलतान महमूद से कहला भेजा कि कुंवर साहब शहर का निरीक्षण करना चाहते हैं। सुलतान महमूद मतलब को समझ गया और रात के समय किले को खाली करके पहाड़ों में भाग गया। दूसरे दिन सिक्ख सेना ने पेशावर पर बिना ही रक्त बहाये अधिकार कर लिया।

लेकिन महाराज निश्चिन्त न थे। वे बराबर पेशावर के लिए फौजें भेजते रहे और खुद भी पेशावर को चल पड़े। क्योंकि वे जानते थे कि पठान धोखे से, स्पष्टता से जैसे भी उनसे बनेगा, पूरा उपद्रव करेंगे। सहज ही पेशावर पर कब्जा न होने देंगे। उधर दोस्तमुहम्मद को जब यह खबर लगी कि पेशावर पठानों के हाथ से निकल गया है तो वह बड़ा चिन्तित हुआ और उसने अंग्रेजों को लिखा कि वे रणजीतसिंह से यह इलाका वापस करा दें। लेकिन अंग्रेज सरकार ने टका सा 'इनकारी का' जवाब दे दिया। दोस्तमुहम्मद अंग्रेजों की इनकारी से निराश नहीं हुआ। उसने जबरखां को ईरान भेजा ताकि वह वहां से मदद लाये। वह खुद सेना लेकर जलालाबाद आ गया और वहां से फौज लेकर पेशावर की ओर रवाना हुआ। अलीबागान मुकाम पर पहुंचकर ईद की कुर्बानी की और खुदा से दुआ मांगी कि -

“या खुदा, मुझ मक्खी को जाट हाथी रणजीतसिंह से लड़ने की ताकत दे! चूंकि तेरे पास बहुत ताकत है।”

रास्ते में उसके साथ और भी पठान मिल गए। खैबर के सरदार भी सिखों का साथ छोड़कर दीन के नाम पर उसके साथी बन गए। खैबर को पार करके सिक्खान नामक स्थान में आकर डेरा लगाये। उधर महाराज रणजीतसिंह भी पेशावर आ पहुंचे थे। किन्तु वे चाहते थे कि लड़ाई से पहले उनकी फौज ढ़ंग से लग जाए। इसलिए दोस्तमुहम्मद से यों ही राजीनामे के लिए लिखा-पढ़ी करने लगे। अर्ध-व्यूह की सूरत में सेना को पांच कैम्पों में विभाजित किया। सामने रिसाला, पीछे पलटन, उसके पीछे फिर रिसाला खड़े किए और अजीजुद्दीन और मि० हारमैन को दोस्तमुहम्मद के पार्श्व में नियुक्त किया ताकि वे उसे हटाने में शक्ति लगायें। दोस्तमुहम्मद को भी पता लग गया कि सिख-सेना ने उसे चारों ओर से घेर लिया है। वह घबरा गया और भागने का यत्न सोचने लगा। उसे एक उपाय सूझा। उसने अपने भाई सुलतानमहमूद से कहा

जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-272

कि फकीर अजीजुद्दीन और मि० हारमैन को बुलाकर धोखे से कैद कर लो। निदान उन्हें सन्धि के बहाने बुलाकर गिरफ्तार कर लिया और अपने भाई के सुपुर्द करके भाग गया। उसने अजीजुद्दीन से कहा था कि सिख काफिर हैं, अतः उनके साथ दगा करना पाप नहीं है। इसलिए नीति के विरुद्ध मैंने तुम्हें गिरफ्तार किया है। लेकिन जब उसने सुना कि फकीर अजीजुद्दीन और हारमैन दोनों छुड़ा लिए गए, तो उसने अपनी इस हार पर बड़ी शर्म आई। दोस्तमुहम्मद के भाग जाने के बाद महाराज ने पेशावर के किले की मरम्मत कराई और फिर लाहौर को लौट गए।

सन् 1837 ई० की सर्दियों में सरदार नलुआ ने पेशावर से आगे बढ़कर जमसद पर कब्जा कर लिया। इस खबर को सुनकर दोस्तमुहम्मद घबरा गया। उसने अपने वजीर को अपने पांचों बेटों और खैबर के इलाकेदारों के साथ सेना देकर हरीसिंह के मुकाबिले को भेजा। पठानों ने जमसद पहुंचकर हमला किया। दो दिन की लड़ाई के बाद किले के बाहरी हिस्से पर कब्जा कर लिया। इस छोटी सी जीत के लिए पठान खुशी मना रहे थे कि 20 अप्रैल सन् 1837 को हरीसिंह ने उन पर ऐसा आक्रमण किया कि बचारों को लेने के देने पड़ गए। जान बचाकर भागने लगे और सरदार हरीसिंह ने मुहम्मद अफजल और अमीर के बेटों को खैबर तक खदेड़ा। उनकी 14 तोपें छीन लीं। सिख पठानों का पीछा कर रहे थे और पठान अपने ही देश में घर की ओर भाग रहे थे। इसी समय पठानों की मदद के लिए शमसुद्दीन फौज लेकर आ गया। इससे पठान फिर खेत में अड़े। लड़ाई बड़ी डटकर हुई। पठानों को भागते ही बना। किन्तु सरदार हरीसिंह इतने घायल हुए कि वे बच न सके। सिखों का दिल टूट गया और वे जमरूद वापस आ गए। महाराज ने जब स० हरीसिंह के मारे जाने का समाचार सुना तो वे रो पड़े और् खुद पेशावर के लिए फौज लेकर चल पड़े। राजा ध्यानसिंह ने जमरूद पहुंचकर किले की मरम्मत कराई और पेशावर में पैंतीस हजार सिख सेना नियत कर दी जिससे अफगानों के हौंसले पस्त हो गए।

जाटों का विदेशों में जाना

ठाकुर देशराज[15] ने लिखा है .... उत्तरोत्तर संख्या वृद्धि के साथ ही वंश (कुल) वृद्धि भी होती गई और प्राचीन जातियां मे से एक-एक के सैंकड़ों वंश हो गए। साम्राज्य की लपेट से बचने के लिए कृष्ण ने इनके सामने भी यही प्रस्ताव रखा कि कुल राज्यों की बजाए ज्ञाति राज्य कायम का डालो।

सारे यदुओं का एक राष्ट्र हो चाहे वे भोज, शूर, अंधक, वृष्णि, दशार्ण आदि कुछ भी कहलाते हों। इसी तरह सारे कुरुओं का एक जाति राष्ट्र हो; पांचाल, पौरव, गांधार, मद्र, पांडव सब मिलकर एक संघ कायम कर लें। किन्तु इसको कोई क्या कहे कि कम्बखत कुरु लोग और यादव लोग आपस में ही लड़कर नष्ट हो गए। यदि वेदो के पंचजना:, कहे जाने वाले, यदु, कुरु, पुरू, आदि संगठित हो जाते तो आज सारे संसार में वैदिक धर्मी ही दिखाई देते। किंतु ये तो लड़े, खूब लड़े। एक दो वर्ष नहीं, सदियों तक लड़े। यही कारण हुआ कि अनेकों समूहों को देश छोड़ विदेशों में भटकना पड़ा। कौनसा खानदान भारत से बाहर (उस बृहतर भारत से बाहर जिसमें काबुल, कंधार, उद्यान और मानसरोवर

[पृ.148]: आ जाते हैं) कब गया, यह तो हम 'जाट शाही' अथवा विदेशों में जाट साम्राज्य नामक पुस्तक में बताएंगे। यहां तो थोड़े से खानदानों का ही जिक्र करना है।

द्वारिका के जाट-राष्ट्र पर हम दो विपत्तियों का आक्रमण एक साथ देख कर प्रभास क्षेत्र में यादवों का आपसी महायुद्ध और द्वारिका का जल में डूब जाना। अतः स्वभावतः शेष बचे जाटों को दूसरी जगह तलाश करने के लिए बढ़ना पड़ा। वज्र को तो पांडवों ने ले जाकर मथुरा का राजा बना दिया। लेकिन स्वयं भगवान श्रीकृष्ण के आठ पटरानियों से 17 पुत्र थे। पुराण अन्य रनियों से 80800 पुत्र बताते हैं। खैर हम 17 को ही सही मान कर चलते हैं। इनमें से दो चार तो बच्चे ही होंगे। ये लोग पूर्व-दक्षिण की ओर तो बढ़ नहीं सकते थे। क्योंकि साम्राज्य का हौआ दक्षिण से ही बढ़ रहा था। दूसरे उधर आबादी भी काफी थी। अतः पश्चिम उत्तर की ओर बढ़े।

उधर पांडवों में भी परीक्षित को इंद्रप्रस्थ का राज्य देने के बाद भीम, नकुल, सहदेव के कई पुत्र शेष रह जाते हैं। स्वयं युधिष्ठिर के भी यौधेयी रानी से पैदा होने वाले यौधेय बाकी थे। अतः उन्हें भी नए देश खोजने के लिए उत्तर पश्चिम की ओर बढ़ना पड़ा। यदि हम हरिवंश, यादव दिग्विजय और महाभारत तथा पुराणों के वर्णन में से सच्चाई को छांट लेने की कोशिश करें तो हमें ज्ञात होता है कि पेशावर से ऊपर उद्यान

[पृ.149]: में जहां तख्तेवाही अथवा भीम का तख्त है वहां भीम के पुत्र आबाद कर दिए गए। और मुगलों के आने तक वे लोग वहां पर आनंद से पीढ़ी-दर-पीढ़ी आबाद रहे। भीम का गल जाना वहीं माना जाता है। कहा जाता है कि युधिष्ठिर नहीं गले थे। इस तरह युधिष्ठिर के साथी कैस्पियन सागर के किनारे तक पहुंच जाते हैं।वे यौधेय ही धेय, धे और यूनानी लेखकों की भाषा में (Dahae) ढे और ढहाये हैं। कुछ लोग ऐसे ही जेन्थोई कहने लगे। यह शब्द जाट यौधेय का अपभ्रंश है, जो केवल भाषा भेद से जेन्थोई हो गया है। इन ढे लोगों को लेकर ही स्ट्रेबो और हेरोडोटस आदि ने भारतीय जाटों को विदेशी समझा है। इस्लाम के जोर के समय इनका एक समूह है भारत में आकर फिर आबाद हो गया जो आजकल ढे नाम से प्रसिद्ध है। यौधेयों का एक समूह आरंभ में पंजाब में ही रह गया था जो आजकल जोहिया कहलाता है।

शिविओं का एक समूह उद्यान को छोड़कर चीन की पूर्वी हद पर पहुंच गया, जो वहां की भाषा में श्यूची कहलाने लगा। कुशान लोग ही श्यूची (शिविची) लोगों की एक शाखा थे जो कि तुर्क देश में बसने के कारण तुरक नाम से भी याद किए हैं। वास्तव में यह वैसे ही तुरक थे जैसे मुंबई के रहने वाले पारसी, हिंदुस्तानी हैं। अर्थात रक्त से तुरक नहीं थे हालांकि पुराणों के कथनानुसार तुरक (तुरुष्क) यदुवंशी की संतान हैं।

[पृ.150]: ईसा की पहली शताब्दी में फिर ये भारत में आ गए और पुरुषपुर अथवा पेशावर को अपनी राजधानी बनाया।

यदुवंश में एक गज हुआ है। जैन पुराणों के अनुसार गज कृष्ण का ही पुत्र था। उसके साथियों ने गजनी को आबाद किया। भाटी, गढ़वाल, कुहाड़, मान, दलाल वगैरह जाटों के कई खानदान गढ गजनी से लौटे हुए हैं।

Visit of Peshawar by Fahian

James Legge[16] writes that Going southwards from Gandhara, (the travellers) in four days arrived at the kingdom of Purushapura.1 Formerly, when Buddha was travelling in this country with his disciples, he said to Ananda,2 “After my pari-nirvana,3 there will be a king named Kanishka,4 who shall on this spot build a tope.” This Kanishka was afterwards born into the world; and (once), when he had gone forth to look about him, Sakra, Ruler of Devas, wishing to excite the idea in his mind, assumed the appearance of a little herd-boy, and was making a tope right in the way (of the king), who asked what sort of thing he was making. The boy said, “I am making a tope for Buddha.” The king said, “Very good;” and immediately, right over the boy’s tope, he (proceeded to) rear another, which was more than four hundred cubits high, and adorned with layers of all the precious substances. Of all the topes and temples which (the travellers) saw in their journeyings, there was not one comparable to this in solemn beauty and majestic grandeur. There is a current saying that this is the finest tope in Jambudvipa.5 When the king’s tope was completed, the little tope (of the boy) came out from its side on the south, rather more than three cubits in height.

Buddha’s alms-bowl is in this country. Formerly, a king of Yueh-she6 raised a large force and invaded this country, wishing to carry the bowl away. Having subdued the kingdom, as he and his captains were sincere believers in the Law of Buddha, and wished to carry off the bowl, they proceeded to present their offerings on a great scale. When they had done so to the Three Precious Ones, he made a large elephant be grandly caparisoned, and placed the bowl upon it. But the elephant knelt down on the ground, and was unable to go forward. Again he caused a four-wheeled waggon to be prepared in which the bowl was put to be conveyed away. Eight elephants were then yoked to it, and dragged it with their united strength; but neither were they able to go forward. The king knew that the time for an association between himself and the bowl had not yet arrived,7 and was sad and deeply ashamed of himself. Forthwith he built a tope at the place and a monastery, and left a guard to watch (the bowl), making all sorts of contributions.

There may be there more than seven hundred monks. When it is near midday, they bring out the bowl, and, along with the common people,8 make their various offerings to it, after which they take their midday meal. In the evening, at the time of incense, they bring the bowl out again.9 It may contain rather more than two pecks, and is of various colours, black predominating, with the seams that show its fourfold composition distinctly marked.10 Its thickness is about the fifth of an inch, and it has a bright and glossy lustre. When poor people throw into it a few flowers, it becomes immediately full, while some very rich people, wishing to make offering of many flowers, might not stop till they had thrown in hundreds, thousands, and myriads of bushels, and yet would not be able to fill it.11

Pao-yun and Sang-king here merely made their offerings to the alms-bowl, and (then resolved to) go back. Hwuy-king, Hwuy-tah, and Tao-ching had gone on before the rest to Negara,12 to make their offerings at (the places of) Buddha’s shadow, tooth, and theflat-bone of his skull. (There) Hwuy-king fell ill, and Tao-ching remained to look after him, while Hwuy-tah came alone to Purushapura, and saw the others, and (then) he with Pao-yun and Sang-king took their way back to the land of Ts’in. Hwuy-king13 came to his end14 in the monastery of Buddha’s alms-bowl, and on this Fa-hien went forward alone towards the place of the flat-bone of Buddha’s skull.

1 The modern Peshawur, lat. 34d 8s N., lon. 71d 30s E.

2 A first cousin of Sakyamuni, and born at the moment when he attained to Buddhaship. Under Buddha’s teaching, Ananda became an Arhat, and is famous for his strong and accurate memory; and he played an important part at the first council for the formation of the Buddhist canon. The friendship between Sakyamuni and Ananda was very close and tender; and it is impossible to read much of what the dying Buddha said to him and of him, as related in the Maha-pari-nirvana Sutra, without being moved almost to tears. Ananda is to reappear on earth as Buddha in another Kalpa. See E. H., p. 9, and the Sacred Books of the East, vol. xi.

3 On his attaining to nirvana, Sakyamuni became the Buddha, and had no longer to mourn his being within the circle of transmigration, and could rejoice in an absolute freedom from passion, and a perfect purity. Still he continued to live on for forty-five years, till he attained to pari-nirvana, and had done with all the life of sense and society, and had no more exercise of thought. He died; but whether he absolutely and entirely /ceased/ to be, in any sense of the word /being/, it would be difficult to say. Probably he himself would not and could not have spoken definitely on the point. So far as our use of language is concerned, apart from any assured faith in and hope of immortality, his pari-nirvana was his death.

4 Kanishka appeared, and began to reign, early in our first century, about A.D. 10. He was the last of three brothers, whose original seat was in Yueh-she, immediately mentioned, or Tukhara. Converted by the sudden appearance of a saint, he became a zealous Buddhist, and patronised the system as liberally as Asoka had done. The finest topes in the north-west of India are ascribed to him; he was certainly a great man and a magnificent sovereign.

5 Jambudvipa is one of the four great continents of the universe, representing the inhabited world as fancied by the Buddhists, and so called because it resembles in shape the leaves of the jambu tree. It is south of mount Meru, and divided among four fabulous kings (E. H., p. 36). It is often used, as here perhaps, merely as the Buddhist name for India.

6 This king was perhaps Kanishka himself, Fa-hien mixing up, in an inartistic way, different legends about him. Eitel suggests that a relic of the old name of the country may still exist in that of the Jats or Juts of the present day. A more common name for it is Tukhara, and he observes that the people were the Indo-Scythians of the Greeks, and the Tartars of Chinese writers, who, driven on by the Huns (180 B.C.), conquered Transoxiana, destroyed the Bactrian kingdom (126 B.C.), and finally conquered the Punjab, Cashmere, and great part of India, their greatest king being Kanishak (E. H., p. 152).

7 Watters, clearly understanding the thought of the author in this sentence, renders —“his destiny did not extend to a connexion with the bowl;” but the term “destiny” suggests a controlling or directing power without. The king thought that his virtue in the past was not yet sufficient to give him possession of the bowl.

8 The text is simply “those in white clothes.” This may mean “the laity,” or the “upasakas;” but it is better to take the characters in their common Chinese acceptation, as meaning “commoners,” “men who have no rank.” See in Williams’ Dictionary under {.}.

9 I do not wonder that Remusat should give for this —“et s’en retournent apres.” But Fa-hien’s use of {.} in the sense of “in the same way” is uniform throughout the narrative.

10 Hardy’s M. B., p. 183, says:—“The alms-bowl, given by Mahabrahma, having vanished (about the time that Gotama became Buddha), each of the four guardian deities brought him an alms-bowl of emerald, but he did not accept them. They then brought four bowls made of stone, of the colour of the mung fruit; and when each entreated that his own bowl might be accepted, Buddha caused them to appear as if formed into a single bowl, appearing at the upper rim as if placed one within the other.” See the account more correctly given in the “Buddhist Birth Stories,” p. 110.

11 Compare the narrative in Luke’s Gospel, xxi. 1-4.

12 See chapter viii.

13 This, no doubt, should be Hwuy-ying. King was at this time ill in Nagara, and indeed afterwards he dies in crossing the Little Snowy Mountains; but all the texts make him die twice. The confounding of the two names has been pointed out by Chinese critics.

14 “Came to his end;” i.e., according to the text, “proved the impermanence and uncertainty,” namely, of human life. See Williams’ Dictionary under {.}. The phraseology is wholly Buddhistic.

Visit of Gandhara by Xuanzang in 630 AD

Alexander Cunningham[17] writes about 6. Gandhara or Parashawar: The district of Gandhara is not mentioned by Alexander's professed historians ; but it is correctly described by Strabo, under the name of Gandaritis, as lying along the river Kophes, between the Choaspes and the Indus. In the same position Ptolemy places the Gandarae, whose country included both banks of the Kophes immediately above its junction with the Indus. This is the Kien-to-lo, or Gandhara of all the Chinese pilgrims, who are unanimous in placing it to the west of the Indus. The capital, which they call Pu-lu-sha-pulo or Parashapura is stated to be three or four days' journey from the Indus, and near the south bank of a large river. This is an exact description of the position of Peshawar, which down to the time of Akbar still bore its old name of Parashawar, under which form it is mentioned by Abul Fazl and Baber, and still earlier by Abu Rihan and the Arab geographers of the tenth century. According to Fa Hian, who calls it simply Fo-lu-sha or Parasha, the capital was 16 yojans, or about 112 miles, distant from Nagarahara. Hwen Thsang, however, makes the distance only 500 li, or 83 miles, which is certainly a mistake, as the measurement by perambulator between Jalalabad and Peshawar is 103 miles, to which must be added 2 miles more for the position of Begram to the west of Jalalabad.

The actual boundaries of the district are not de-

[p.48]: scribed, but its size is given as 1000 li, or 166 miles, from east to west, and 800 li, or 133 miles, from north to south. This is, perhaps, nearly correct, as the extreme length, whether taken from the source of the Bara river to Torbela, or from the Kunar river to Torbela, is 120 miles, measured on the map direct, or about 150 miles by road. The extreme breadth, measured in the same way, from Bazar, on the border of the Bunir hills, to the southern boundary of Kohat, is 100 miles direct, or about 125 miles by road. The boundaries of Gandhara, as deduced from these measurements, may be described as Lamghan and Jalalabad on the west, the hills of Swat and Bunir on the north, the Indus on the east, and the hills of Kalabagh on the south. Within these limits stood several of the most renowned places of ancient India; some celebrated in the stirring history of Alexander's exploits, and others famous in the miraculous legends of Buddha, and in the subsequent history of Buddhism under the Indo-Scythian prince Kanishka.

The only towns of the Gandarae named by Ptolemy are Naulibe, Embolima, and the capital called Proklais. All of these were to the north of the Kophes ; and so also were Ora, Bazaria, and Aornos, which are mentioned by Alexander's historians. Parashawar alone was to the south of the Kophes. Of Naulibe and Ora I am not able to offer any account, as they have not yet been identified. It is probable, however, that Naulibe is Nilab, an important town, which gave its name to the Indus river; but if so, it is wrongly placed by Ptolemy, as Nilab is to the south of the Kophes. The positions of the other towns I

[p.49]: will now proceed to investigate, including with them some minor places visited by the Chinese pilgrims.

Visit of Peshawar by Xuanzang in 630 AD

Alexander Cunningham[18] writes about Parashawara or Peshawar:

[p.78]:The great city now called Peshawar is first mentioned by Fa-Hian, in A.D. 400, under the name of Fo-leu-sha.[19] It is next noticed by Sung-Yun in A.D. 502(? 520AD), at which time the king of Gandhara was at war with the king of Kipin, or Kophene, that is Kabul and Ghazni, and the surrounding districts. Sung-Yun does not name the city, but he calls it the capital, and his description of its great stupa of king Kia-ni-sse-kia, or Kanishka, is quite sufficient to establish its identity.[20] At the period of Hwen Thsang's visit, in A.D. 630, the royal family had become extinct, and the kingdom of Gandhara was a dependency of Kapisa or Kabul. But the capital which Hwen Thsang calls Pu-lu-sha-pu-lo, or Parashawara, was still a great city of 40 li, or 6⅔ miles, in extent.[21] It is next mentioned by Masudi and Abu Rihan, in the tenth and eleventh

[p.79]: centuries, under the name of Parashawar, and again by Baber, in the sixteenth century, it is always called by the same name throughout his commentaries. Its present name we owe to Akbar, whose fondness for innovation led him to change the ancient Parashawar, of which he did not know the meaning, to Peshawar, or the " frontier town." Abul Fazl gives both names.[22] The great object of veneration at Parashawar, in the first centuries of the Christian era, was the begging pot of "Buddha, which has already been noticed. Another famous site was the holy Pipal tree, at 8 or 9 li, or 1½ mile, to the south-east of the city. The tree was about 100 feet in height, with wide spreading branches, which, according to the tradition, had formerly given shade to Sakya Buddha when he predicted the future appearance of the great king Kanishka. The tree is not noticed by Fa-Hian, but it is mentioned by Sun-Yung as the Pho-thi, or Bodhi tree, whose " branches spread out on all sides, and whose foliage shuts out the sight of the sky." Beneath it there were four seated statues of the four previous Buddhas. Sung-Yun further states that the tree was planted by Kanishka over the spot where he had buried a copper vase containing the pearl tissue lattice of the great stupa, which he was afraid might be abstracted from the tope after his death. This same tree would appear to have been seen by the Emperor Baber in A.D. 1505, who describes it as the "stupendous tree " of Begram, which he " immediately rode out to see."[23] It must then have been not less than 1500 years old, and as it is not mentioned in

[p.80]: A.D. 1594 by Abul Fazl,[24] in his account of the Gor-Katri at Peshawar, I conclude that it had previously disappeared through simple old age and decay.

The enormous stupa of Kanishka, which stood close to the holy tree on its south side, is described by all the pilgrims. In A.D. 500 Fa-Hian says that it was about 400 feet high, and " adorned with all manner of precious things," and that fame reported it as superior to all other topes in India. One hundred years later, Sung-Yun declares that "amongst the topes of western countries this is the first." Lastly, in A.D. 630, Hwen Thsang describes it as upwards of 400 feet in height and 1½ li, or just one quarter of a mile, in circumference. It contained a large quantity of the relics of Buddha. No remains of this great stupa now exist.

To the west of the stupa there was an old monastery, also built by Kanishka, which had become celebrated amongst the Buddhists through the fame of Arya-Parswika, Manorhita, and Vasu-bandhu, three of the great leaders and teachers of Buddhism about the beginning of the Christian era. The towers and pavilions of the monastery were two stories in height, but the building was already much ruined at the time of Hwen Thsang's visit. It was, however, inhabited by a small number of monks, who professed the " Lesser vehicle " or exoteric doctrines of Buddhism. It was still flourishing as a place of Buddhist education in the ninth or tenth century[25] when Vira Deva of Magadha was sent to the " great Vihara of Kanishka where the best of teachers were to be found, and which was famous for the quietism of its frequenters," I be-

[p.81]:lieve that this great monastery was still existing in the times of Baber and Akbar under the name of Gor-Katri, or the Baniya's house.

The former says, " I had heard of the fame of Gurh-Katri, which is one of the holy places of the Jogis of the Hindus, who come from great distances to cut off their hair and shave their beards at this Gurh-Katri." Abul Fazl's account is still more brief. Speaking of Peshawur he says, "here is a temple, called Gor-Katri, a place of religious resort, particularly for Jogis." According to Erskine, the grand caravansara of Peshawur was built on the site of the Gor-Katri.

Kushan Jats and Peshawar

Kushan was a group of Yuezhi people in China. They are considered to be Kaswan Jats of India by various authors.

The clan of Kanishka, Kushan, has been identified to be the present Kaswan clan of Jats.[26] [27] Jat historian Thakur Deshraj writes that Kushans were the people from Krishnavanshi who moved with Pandavas in the great migration after Mahabharata. There is no doubt that Kushan word is derived from Sanskrit word karshneya and karshnik. The word is not 'Kushan' but Kaswan clan found in Jats. [28] The Taxila Ladle Copper inscription bears this as 'Kaswin' word. In Mahabharata there is a word Khawakasha which becomes 'Kashwa' when 'Kh' is changed to 'x' and tellies with the word 'kasuwa' of "Panchtar inscription". The word 'Kaswan' is in fact 'XWN' word of Tokharian language which means 'King'. In Mahabharata also there is mention of a country named 'Kuswan' which was situated in the north of Mansarovar lake. [29] [30]

Raja Kharwel in Orissa has mentioned in an article about the rule of Kaswan in 2nd century of Vikram samvat - ‘Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions’ (page 24) in Sanskrit as under: “Kusawanam Kshetriyanam cha Sahayyatavatan prapt masik nagaram”. This means that the city of 'Masik' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswa' Kshatriyas [31]

According to Sadananda Agrawal interpretation of the city as Masikanagara is not well-supported. Kanhavemṇā is commonly equated with the river Krishna coastal flowing in Andhra Pradesh. However, Krishna lies much to the south of Kalinga, and not west as averred in the epigraph (Devanagari: पछिमदिसं). But there is another stream flowing to the west of Kalinga in Vidarbha and known locally at present as Kanhan which flows about 17 km northwest of Nagpur and joins the river Vena (Wainganga), and it is the combined flow of these two streams that is spoken as Kanhavemṇā in our records. [32]

The recent find of a sealing belonging to the Asikajanapada in course of intensive archaeological excavations at Adam (Nagpur district) has solved also the problem of locating Asikanagara whose king or and people became frightful at the arrival of Kharavela's army at Kanhavemṇā. In view of the evidence of a highly prosperous city unearthed at Adam, Prof AM Shastri is of the opinion that Adam itself represents the Asikanagara of Hathigumpha inscription. It is worth noting in the present context that a terracotta sealing having a legend, has been discovered from Adam, situated on the right bank of the river Wainganga, which reads Asakajanapadasa (Devanagari: असकजनपदस). [33]

The township of Asikanagara to the west of Nagpur indicates the township of Asiagh or Siyak jats. This is also supported by Thakur Deshraj that Asiagh Jats moved from Asirgarh in Malwa to Rajasthan. This must have been migration to Rajasthan of these people when their rule came to an end. After this period their rule is recorded in Jangladesh by the Historians James Tod and Thakur Deshraj.

According to historian Bhim Singh Dahiya the correct name for Kushans in India is Kasuan, the present Kaswan clan of Jats of Rajasthan and Haryana. This title remains in use by Jat clan indicates their possibility of ancestral lineage from Kushans. [34]

James Legge mentions in chapter XII about the rule of Kanishka in foot note-4 that “Kanishka appeared, and began to reign, early in our first century, about A.D. 10. He was the last of three brothers, whose original seat was in Yueh-she, immediately mentioned, or Tukhara.” [35]

James Legge further mentions in footnote-6 (chapter XII) that

“This king was perhaps Kanishka himself, Fa-hien mixing up, in an inartistic way, different legends about him. Eitel suggests that a relic of the old name of the country may still exist in that of the Jats or Juts of the present day. A more common name for it is Tukhara, and he observes that the people were the Indo-Scythians of the Greeks, and the Tartars of Chinese writers, who, driven on by the Huns (180B.C.), conquered Transoxiana, destroyed the Bactrian kingdom (126 B.C.), and finally conquered the Punjab, Cashmere, and great part of India, their greatest king being Kanishak (E. H., p. 152).”[36]

According to Thakur Deshraj Yuezhi people lived in north-west China. in 165 BCE there was a war of these people with with Hignu people in which Yuezhi were defeated and they moved to west in search of new lands. One of the groups of Yuezhi people was Kushan. Kadphises united all the five branches of Yuezhi and hence forth they were called Kushan. Thakur Deshraj says that Kushans were the people from Krishnavanshi, who moved with Pandavas in the great migration to north. The word Kushan has been derived from the sanskrit word 'Karshney' or 'Karshnik'. Kushan is nothing but Kaswan gotra found in Jats.

Other Jat clans and Peshawar

Other Jat clans associated with Peshawar are mentioned below:

Lichhavi Dynasty of Nepal

The Lichhavi Period is the first documented period in the history of Nepal. The Lichhavi, having lost their political fortune in India, came to Nepal and attacked and defeated the last Kirati king, Gasti. Lichhavi Dynasty (I to 340 AD) was a Jat dynasty according to historian Ram Swarup Joon. Dr. K. P. Jaiswal has mentioned, on the basis of some stone tablets unearthed earlier, and with reference to the Puranas that Patliputra and Magadha were the capitals of Lichhavi Bharshiva Jats. According to a rock edict of Raja Jai Dev, found in Nepal, his ancestors had ruled on Patliputra in the first century AD, for 100 years after having come from the Punjab. The Lichhavi Dynasty originated in Peshawar. They ascended and relinquished the throne of Magadha many a time.

Mundas rulers of Magadha

Bhim Singh Dahiya has mentioned about the rule of Munda people in Magadha. The inscriptional evidences show that Jat rulers and tribes in north India from Kabul to Cuttack, in the period following the disintegration of Kushanas empire. Particularly Magadha area was under the rule of people who had the title, Murunda. They are admitted to be Sakas or Scythians. [37]

The Geographike of Ptolemy says that in 140 AD, the Murundas were established in the valley of the river Sarabos or Sarayu. [38] Half a century later, Oppien mentions the "Muruandien" as a Gangetic people. [39] S R Goyal quotes several other Jain authorities to show that Patliputra in particular, as well as Kanyakubja were ruled by Murundas/Sakas. The Jain ascetic, Padlipta Suri, cured the Murunda ruler of Patliputra of terrible headache and converted him to Jainism. [40] During the reign of Wu dynasty (220 - 227 AD) Fan Chen, the King of Kambodia, according to PC Bagchi sent his relative as ambassador to the Indian King of Patliputra. The ambassador was heartily welcomed and the gesture was returned by the Indian king who sent two men as ambassador as well as four horses of the Yue-chi i.e. the Jat country, as presents to the King of Kambodia. According to this account Buddhism was in prosperous state at that time in Magadha and the title of the king was Meouloun. This title has been identified with Murunda and this shows that in the middle of third century AD the Murundas were still ruling over Patliputra. [41] These Murunda rulers of Patliputra had special relations with Peshawar. It was but natural, for, after all Murundas and Kushanas both belonged to the same Scithian stock. [42]

Jats the original race of Sind valley

According to Dr. Raza, Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar.[43]Traditionally Jats of Sind consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modern Rawalpindi) as their original abode.[44] Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab.[45] The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River. By the fourth century region of Multan was under their control.[43]Then they rose to the sovereign power and their ruler Jit Salindra, who promoted the renown of his race, started the Jat colonisation in Punjab and fortified the town Salpur/Sorpur, near Multan.[46]

Hari Singh Nalwa

Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa (1791-1837?), the great Utpal gotra Jat warrior, the Commander-in-chief of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who was most famous of the great Sikh generals had the opportunity to conquest Peshawar in 1827. He held Kashmir and Peshawar as its governor in 1834. Nalwa was the only person whose name was minted on the currency of Punjab; today the Hari Singh rupee can be found in museums in India.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab)

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab) took the title of Maharaja on April 12 1801 (to coincide with Baisakhi day). A descendant of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, conducted the coronation ceremony [47]. Lahore served as his capital from 1799. In 1802 he took the holy city of Amritsar. He then spent the following years fighting the Afghans, driving them out of western Punjab. He also captured Pashtun territory including Peshawar. This was the first time that Pashtuns were ruled by non-Muslims. In a historical perspective, this event was very important. For more than a thousand years invaders had come down from the Khyber Pass and ruled eastern lands. Ranjit Singh reversed this trend. When the Sikh empire finally fell to the English, they were able to retain this province. He captured the province of Multan which encompassed the southern parts of Punjab, Peshawar (1818), Jammu and Kashmir (1819) and the hill states north of Anandpur, the largest of which was Kangra.

External Links

Peshawar at Wikipedia

Peshawar travel guide


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  38. P C Bagchi, op. cit., p.133
  39. S. Chatopadhyaya, Ethnic History of North India, p.117
  40. S R Goyal, A history of Imperial Guptas, p. 57
  41. PC Bagchi, op. cit., p. 134
  42. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats: The Ancient Rulers, p.189
  43. 43.0 43.1 Dr S.Jabir Raza, The Jats - Their Role and Contribution to the Socio-Economic Life and Polity of North and North West India. Vol I, 2004, Ed Dr Vir Singh
  44. Elliot, op. cit., Vol.I, p.133
  45. Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah Firista, Gulsan-i-Ibrahimi, commonly known as Tarikh-i-Firishta, Nawal Kishore edition, (Kanpur, 1865), Vol.I, p.35
  46. Inscription No.1, Tod, op.cit., Vol.II, Appendix pp. 914-917.

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