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Shambara (शम्बर) is one of the names of Shiva. It finds mention in Mahabharata (I.59.22), (I.65). [1]


The Rig Veda mentions the rivers which flow through Himachal Pradesh. The text also talks about Shambara, the powerful king of these hills before the advent of the Aryans, and his 99 strong forts in the region between the Beas and the Yamuna rivers. His war with the Aryan chief, Divodasa, lasted 12 long years, wherein the latter emerged victorious. The Puranas too, mention Himachal, calling it all sorts of nice names.

Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya[2] mentions that It was a result of these wars that the first migration of the Jats took place and from the Manda empire and from other parts of Central Asia they came to India. That is why Panini mentioned many cities of theirs in the heart of Punjab in the fifth century B.C. But memories die hard. Even today, we have our villages named after the cities lost in Iran. The names like Elam, Batana, Susana,

[P.135]: Baga, Kharkhoda (Manda Kurukada), etc., are still the names of Jat villages. It is these Jats whom Buddha Prakash calls, "exotic and outlandish people",. who came to India at the time of successors Of Cyrus, 6a and whom Jean Przyluski calls the Bahlikas from Iran and Central Asia. 7

In a very interesting article, H.C. Seth has compared many Rig Veda hymns with the history of this period, as given by Herodotus and other Greek writers. He has also quoted Dino (who wrote in fourth century B.C.) to say that the Magian priest of Ishtuvegu was named Angares (Skt. Angiras a family of fire worshippers). It was Angares who forecast the future of Cyrus and Ishtuvegu, and later on became the priest of Cyrus himself.8

Further, it was Ishtuvegu who led the armies that destroyed Nineveh in 606 B.C., perhaps under his father, Huva Kshatra, and it was Alyattes, the Lydian king who gave his daughter, Aryenis in marriage to Ishtuvegu and not vice versa. Nineveh itself has been compared with Ninyanve, i.e., ninety-nine, the city of Asura Sambara, destroyed by Ishtuvegu, with the help of 'Indra'.9

6a. SIH&C, p. 35.

7. JA, 1926, pp. 11-13.

8. ABORI, Vol. XXIII, p. 451.

9. Rig Veda, II, 19/6, VI, 47/2.

In Hindu mythology

Sambara is a character in Hindu mythology, married to Māyāvati. He abducted the infant Pradyumna, son of Krishna and Rukmini, but Pradyumna escaped, and after eventually growing up, killed Sambara and married his wife.

In Ramayana

Yuddha Kanda/Yuddha Kanda Sarga 7 mentions Shambara .....

23. Oh, king! Having been released by the orders of your grand father Brahma, Devendra who killed demons called Shambara and Vrita and who was adored by all celestials, went back to heaven.” [3]

In Mahabharata

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 59 gives Genealogy of Danavas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakshas, Rakshasas. Danu had forty sons, The eldest of them all was Viprachitti of great fame Samvara, and Namuchi and Pauloman; Asiloman, and Kesi and Durjaya;.....Shambara is mentioned in verse Mahabharata (I.59.22) [4]

In Vedas

He was also a demon in the Vedas whose 99 fortresses were destroyed by Indra in the ecstasy of Soma while giving aid to Divodasa Atithigva. Indra finished off the demon in the hundredth.

In Harivamsa

Harivamsa mentions in Viṣṇu parva in chapters 104-109 The legend of Pradyumna and the slaying of Sambara.

External links


  1. List of Mahabharata people and places
  2. Bhim Singh Dahiya:Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Mandas,p.134-135
  3. पीतामहनियोगाच्च मुक्तः शम्बरवृत्रहा । गतस्त्रिविष्टपम् राजन् सर्वदेवनमस्कृतः ॥६-७-२३॥
  4. शम्बरॊ नमुचिश चैव पुलॊमा चेति विश्रुतः, असि लॊमा च केशी च दुर्जयश चैव दानवः