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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Phalana (फलन) is name of Varnu or Bannu as mentioned by Xuanzang. [1]




Visit by Xuanzang in 644 AD

Alexander Cunningham[2] writes about 9. Falana or Banu: The name of Fa-la-na is mentioned only by Hwen Thsang, who places the country to the south-east of Ghazni, and at fifteen days' journey to the south of Lamghan.[3] It was 4000 li, or 666 miles, in circuit, and was chiefly composed of mountains and forests. It was subject to Kapisene, and the language of the people had a slight resemblance to that of Central India. Prom the bearing and distance, there is no doubt that Banu was the district visited by Hwen Thsang, from which it may be inferred that its original name was Varana, or Barna. This is confirmed by Fa-Hian, who calls the country by the shorter verrnacular name of Po-na, or Bana, which he reached in thirteen days from Nagarahara in going towards the south. Pona also is said to be three days' journey to the west of the Indus, which completes the proof of its identity with Banu, or the lower half of the

[p.85]: valley of the Kuram river. In the time of Fa-Hian the kingdom of Banu was limited to this small tract, as he makes the upper part of the Kuram valley a separate district, called Lo-i, or Roh.[4] But in the time of Hwen Thsang, when it had a circuit of more than 600 miles, its boundaries must have included the whole of the two large valleys of the Kuram and Gomal rivers, extending from the Safed Koh, or " Little Snowy Mountains " of Fa-Hian, to Sivastan on the south, and from the frontiers of Ghazni and Kandahar on the west to the Indus on the east.

I think it not improbable that the full name of this district, Falana or Barana, may have some connection with that of the great division of the Ghilji tribe named Buran, as the upper valleys of both the Kuram and Gomal rivers, between Ghazni and the Sulimani mountains, are now occupied by the numerous clans of the Sulimani Khel, or eldest branch of the Burgins. Iryub, the elder son of Buran, and the father of Suliman, is said to have given his name to the district of Haryub or Irydb, which is the upper valley of the Kuram river.

M. Vivien de St. Martin[5] identifies Falana with Vaneh, or Wanneh, of Elphinstone.[6] But Vana, or Wana, as the Afghans call it, is only a petty little tract with a small population, whereas Banu is one of the largest, richest, and most populous districts to the west of the Indus. Vana lies to the south-south-east, and Banu to the east-south-east of Ghazni, so that either of them will tally very well with the south-east direction noted by Hwen Thsang ; but Vana is from

[p.86]: 20 to 25 days' journey to the south of Lamghan, while Banu is just 15 days' journey as noted by the pilgrim. As Fa-Hian's notice of Banu dates as high as the beginning of the fifth century, I think that it may he identified with the Banagara of Ptolemy, which he places in the extreme north of Indo-Scythia, and to the south-south-east of Nagara or Jalalabad. A second town in the same direction, which he names Andrapana, is probably Draband or Deraband, near Dera Ismail Khan.

Hwen Thsang mentions a district on the western frontier of Falana, named Ki-kiang-na, the position of which has not yet been fixed. M. Vivien de St. Martin and Sir H. Elliot have identified it with the Kaikanan, or Kikan, of the Arab historians of Sindh ;[7] but unfortunately the position of Kaikanan itself is still undetermined. It is, however, described as lying to the north or north-east of Kachh Gandava, and as Kikiangna was to the west of Falana or Banu, it appears probable that the district intended must be somewhere in the vicinity of Pishin and Kwetta ; and as Hwen Thsang describes it as situated in a valley under a high mountain, I am inclined to identify it with the valley of Pishin itself, which lies between the Khoja Amran hills on the north, and the lofty Mount Takatu on the south. This position agrees with that of Kaikan, <arabic> given by Biladuri,[8] who says that it formed part of Sindh in the direction of Khorasan. This is further confirmed by the statement that Kaikan was on the road from Multan to Kabul, as the usual route between these places lies over the

[p.87]: Sakhi Sarwar Pass in the Sulimani mountains, and across the Pishin valley to Kandahar. A shorter, but more difficult, route is by the valley of the Gomal river to Ghazni. But as the valley of the Gomal belonged to Falana, it follows that the district of Kikiangna must have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of Pishin; and as this valley is now inhabited by the tribe of Khakas, it is not improbable that the name of Kikan, or Kaikan, may have been derived from them.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[9] ने लेख किया है .....फलन (AS, p.597): वर्णु या बन्नू को युवानच्वांग ने पालन नाम से अभिहित किया है.

External links


  1. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.597
  2. The Ancient Geography of India/Udyana, pp. 84-87
  3. H. Th., i. 265.
  4. Seal's Translation, c. 14, p. 50.
  5. ' Hiouen Thsang,' appendice iii.
  6. Elphinstone's ' Kabul,' ii. 156, 158.
  7. ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 185 ; Dowson's edition of Sir H. Elliot's ' Muhammadan Historians,' i. 381.
  8. Reinaud's 'Fragments Arabes, etc.,' p. 184.
  9. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.597