Tashkent

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Map of Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Tashkent (Uzbek: Toshkent, Тошкент, Russian: Ташкент) is the capital of Uzbekistan and also of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2006 was 2.1 million. According to unofficial data, the population is more than 3 million.

Location

Tashkent is located at 41°18′N, 69°16′E in a well watered plain to the west of the last Altai mountains on the road between Chimkent and Samarkhand.

Founders

It was founded by Taxak Jats.

Ancient History

Ram Sarup Joon[1] writes....One branch of Shavi Gotra is Takshak. Before the Mahabharat, they ruled the area of present Delhi, which was then known as Khanduban. Their capital was known as Khand Prastha. When Dharat Rashtra divided his kingdom into two, Yudhishtra selected Khand Prastha as his capital, named it Indraprastha and started constructing palaces and forts. Takshaks opposed this project, refused to vacate the area and tried to demolish the buildings at night. This led to war. Pandavas defeated the Takshaks, destroyed their villages and drove them out of this area. Consequent upon this incident in the Mahabharat, Takshaks joined Duryodhana’s army and fought against the


History of the Jats, End of Page-30


Pandavas. A Takshak warrior killed king Parikshit, a grandson of Yudhishtra. These facts are mentioned in Adi Parva of Mahabharat.

At present, there are five villages of Takshak Jats in this area viz. Mohammed Pur, Manirka, Shahpura, Haus Khas and Katwaria.

On being driven out of Khanduban, the Takshaks drifted North west and made their new capital at Takshala or Taxila, This view is confirmed in ‘A Guide to Taxila’. The Takshaks also founded Takshkand later known as Tashkand or Tashkent and Takshasthan later known as Turkistan. The Takshaks of Taxila later adopted the abbreviated title of Taki and are still found in that area as Muslim Jats of Taki Gotra or clan. When Madrak Raja Subhagsen of Ghazni was driven east by the Iranians, he also had to fight a battle with Takis of Taxila.

The rulers of Magdha of the Shesh Nag Dynasty were Takshak Jats. Todd writes that they ruled Mugdha for six hundred years.

Todd writes that Chittor, then known as Jattor was the capital of Mori branch of Takshaks. Gehlot Jats later occupied it.


Ram Swarup Joon[2] writes with reference to the Greek historian Strabo that the Takshaks, A Jat clan, named Kardastan as Takshakstan. Later the name was changed to Turkistan and consequently, the inhabitants began to be called -Turks. The capital of this country was originally known as Takshkhand, which changed to Tashkand or Tashkent.



Ram Swarup Joon[3] writes about Takshak, It is mentioned in the "Vishnu Purana' that before the Pandavas, the Takshaks ruled the earth. Takshaks belong to the Shavi dynasty. In the 29th generation of king Shavi, one of the six sons of king Sototi was Takshak. According to genealogical tables of the Yayati dynasty King Satoti is considered by the Tartars to be their ancestor. Takshak, Bachak etc. are also called the Nags. There are ample references to these people in local and foreign histories. According to Mahabharata 'Adi Parva', before the Pandavas, Khandoban (Indraprastha) was the capital of the Takshak rulers. They created obstacles in the way of construction of the capital by Pandavas. Finally, these people were defeated, rendered homeless and driven out.

They went and settled down in Taxila (Taksila). In the battle of Mahabharata they joined the Kauravas and killed king Parikshit. They founded Takshakkhad (Tashkand) and Takshaksthan (Turkistan).

At present Takshal and Tokas gotras are found among the Jats in five villages near Delhi. The Takshak Jats is found spread all over Northern India, Pakistan and Central Asia. ( Tokas is found also in Romania)

Medieval History

In medieval times the town and the province were known as "Chach". Later, the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning "Chach City." (Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud--all meaning a city, are derived from the Old Persian, kanda, meaning a town or a city. They are found in city names like Samarkand, Yarkand, Penjikent etc.).


Tashkent started as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the Golestan Mountains. In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy.[4]

The principality of Chach, whose main town had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC.

Hsien-tsang (Xuanzang) mentioned the name of the city as Che-shih. The Chinese chronicles Sujshu, Bejshu and Tanshu mention a possession called Shi or Chzheshi with a capital with the same name since the V c. AD [5].

Under the Samanid dynasty, the city came to be known as Binkath. However, the Arabs retained the old name of Chach for the surrounding region, pronouncing it al-Shash instead. The modern Turkic name of Tashkent (City of Stone) comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century.

Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes

ताशकन्दी - ताशकन्दी के रहने वाले ताशकन्दी कहलाते हैं। ताशकन्दी अपभ्रंश है तक्षखण्डा का। तात्पर्य है भरत जी के ज्येष्ठपुत्र तक्ष के उत्तराधिकारियों से। तक्ष की राजधानी तक्षशिला थी। पेशावर के निवासी पेशावरी कहलाते हैं। पेशावर अपभ्रंश है पुष्कलावरी का। तात्पर्य है भरत जी के द्वितीय पुत्र पुष्कल के उत्तराधिकारियों से। पुष्कल की राजधानी पुष्कलावती थी जिसको अब पेशावर कहते हैं जो कि अपभ्रंश है पुष्कलावत का। (देखो वा० रा० उत्तरकाण्ड, सर्ग 101)। इससे सिद्ध हुआ है कि तक्ष के पुत्र ताशकन्दी और पुष्कल के पुत्र पेशावरी कहलाते हैं।[6]

Mangal Sen Jindal on Jats

Mangal Sen Jindal writes:[7] "The first Bands of Jats, at least, respected my Kha Khan's commission when I offered no resistance and insisted that I was defending one of Tugluk's cities against Tatar attackers." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 104.

"Timur, my son, prince of Samarkand, the Kha-Khan droned. You have served me well and brought rich gifts. You stand high in my favour. And we continued our formal conversation for an hour. Tugluk reminded me again that I was of the house of Kayouli and my duty was to protect his son, of the house of Kabul. We reviewed the fine service I had rendered and vowed eternal friendship and loyalty. But when the Kha-Khan left, I found that the Jat General Bikijuk was the new protector and I was left with Shehri-Sebz, a steel tablet, and whatever army I could raise and support. But I still had my valley, Trampled and devastated though it might be." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 106.

"Bikijuk pillaged, ravaged and raped from the very start. Whether the tribal chieftains paid tribute or not, the Jat protector came and took all. During the king maker's life time the protectorship had been a two way arrangement- protection of and against the puppet of Samarkand. Under Bikijuk there was no protection against the spoiled prince." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 107.

"The crimes now are against Allah. The Jats have robbed mosques and defiled the green turbans of Sayyids, Said Zain- ad-din, Allah's wrath is aroused. You are His servant. You must rise against Bikijuk." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 107.

"Zain-ad-din and his corps of priests had put everyone of my warriors on edge-I was all Good, Bikijuk all Evil-so I led three thousand madmen north. I led them madly on beyond Samerkand under the cover of night. I bad learned of the Jat strongholds at Tashkand and Otrar where captives were

Jats, Their Settlements and Strongholds in Eurasia

Mangal Sen Jindal[8] quotes Professor Cothburn Oneal in his work “Conquests of Tamerlane” published by Avon Publications Inc. 575 Madison Avenue – New York 22. This book mentions following cities as ‘Jat Strongholds’ in Russia and near about:

1. Almalyk (Alma – Ata): Pages 97, 232

2. Bokhara: Page 125,

3. Khojend (Khokand) now Ferghana, page 125,

4. Karshi (now BekBudi): Page 125,

5. Samarkand: Pages 103, 104, 106

6. Tashkant: Pages 108, 110

7. Otrar: Page 108

Jats who were residing there in strongholds in large numbers and were a source of permanent trouble to Timur-lung settled Uzbekistan.


History of Origin of Some Clans in India:End of p.50


held. It was toward these that I headed my crusade for Allah." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 108.

"Otrar fell to our holy Zeal. Again following the lead of our God who had taken our enemy chief, we slew all the Jats and set free our own people. And we paused to give thanks. For a week we celebrated inside the walls of Otrar. We refitted our men with the loot of the Jats-new clothing, new weapons, new mounts and new spirit. Then we crossed the Syr-Darya toward the Kirghis Steppe, where Mongol nomads held more of our people. We made quick work of the dull, stupid wanderers and then turned east and met the Samar-Kand corps, reinforced by Tugluk's army, We met in the late afternoon with the sun our backs. As a beheld the drab garb and the awkward big wheeled Kankalis of the northerners, I took pride in the colourful force Allah had given me. I was sure that the Mangols were amazed in their sleepy eyed way at the splendid warriors they faced-the heavenly host of Allah's own guard. We drew up in a line and camped for the night, eager to dazzle and defeat the hateful Jats in the next bright sun rise.... All night and all day it rained. Another day and another night and the slow-moving Jats drew up in a battle line. From the combersome Kankalis, high above the mud on their eight-foot wheels, the Mangols had taken dry horse blankets, dry weapons and shovels with which to derain their camp grounds so they faced us in comfort and superior strength." Conquests of Tamerlane, page 108.

References

  1. History of the Jats/Chapter II,p. 30-31
  2. History of the Jats/Chapter III, p.36
  3. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter V, p. 104
  4. Pulleyblank, Edwin G. 1963. "The consonantal system of Old Chinese." Asia Major 9 (1963), p. 94.
  5. Bichurin, 1950. v. II
  6. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter IV (Page 334)
  7. History of Origin of Some Clans in India/Jat From Jutland, pp.50-51
  8. History of Origin of Some Clans in India: p.47-48

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