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Lake Urmia

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Location of Lake Urmia

Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Turkey.


  • Persian: دریاچه ارومیه Daryacheh-ye Orumieh;
  • Kurdish: زه ریاچه ی ورمێ;
  • Azerbaijani: ارومیه گولو , ارومیه گولی;
  • Ancient name: Lake Matiene


The lake is between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake inside Iran, and the second largest salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km² (2,000 mile²). At its maximum extent, it is about 140 km (87 miles) long, and 55 km (34 miles) wide. Its deepest point is approximately 16 m (52 ft) deep.


The lake is named after the provincial capital city of Urmia, originally a Syriac name meaning city of water. It was called Lake Rezaiyeh (Persian: دریاچه رضائیه) in the early 1930s after Reza Shah Pahlavi, but the lake was renamed 'Urmia' in the late 1970s. Its ancient Persian name was Chichast (meaning, "glittering"--a reference to its glittering mineral particles suspended in the lake water and its shores). In the medieval times it came to be known as Lake Kabuda, or "azure," in Persian, (Gabod in Armenian).

Lake Matianus (Latin: Lacus Matianus) is an old name for Lake Urmia. It was known as the Lower Nairi Sea (Lake Van was the Upper Nairi Sea) during the Armenian Nairi-Urartu period and as the Lower Armenian Sea during the Kingdom of Armenia. It was the center of the Mannaean Kingdom, a potential Mannaean settlement represented by the ruin mound of Hasanlu was on the south side of Lake Matianus. Mannae was overrun by a people who were called Matiani or Matieni, an Iranic people variously identified as Scythian, Saka, Sarmatian, or Cimmerian. It is not clear whether the lake took its name from the people or the people from the lake, but the country came to be called Matiene or Matiane.

The lake is a major barrier between two of the most important cities in West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces, Urmia and Tabriz.

Bhim Singh Dahiya[1] writes that Raja Ben/Ven Chakravarti, (the Chakwa Ben of the legends) is famous in India from Punjab to Bengal, though he is not allotted any place in the present history. It was known that the Vens had played an important role in the history of Central Asia from very ancient times. One of their principal cities was Ardinis (the city of the Sungod) also called Musasir, Menuas (810 B.C.), the grandson of Sarduris I, then subjugated the other Jat clans. "Parsuas (present Parsvals) had already been attacked by Ispuinis, and Menuas now proceeded to subdue the Manna, farther east, on the southern side of Lake Urmia". [2] He brought the Diaus, the Dia or Dayaeni of the Assyrians (present Dahiya clan) under control on the banks of Euphrates, which was made the western boundary of the kingdom. Menuas built many canals through the mountains which were cut open, and one of the canals is now called Shamiram Suo. He built the city of Menuasgert (Melazgert). His son, Argistis I, annexed the territories of the Etius and the Dayaeni. Mileds (Mardii of Herodotus) were brought under control. Sarduris II, his son fought many wars with the Assyrians and won them. He proclaimed his victory over Ashur Nirari V (754-745 B.C.). Later on under Tiglath Pilesar III Assyria avenged the defeats and Sargon of Assyria claims to have destroyed a city of Sarduris, named Riar.

जाटों का विदेशों में जाना

ठाकुर देशराज[3] 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। ....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। .... उत्तर प्रदेश के जिन गदर जाटों को आजकल हम मामूली सी हालत में देखते हैं, वे उशना (शुक्राचार्य) के प्रदेश उशनेई के पास बहने वाली गदर नदी के किनारे बहुत दिन रह चुके हैं।

Lake Urmia islands

The lake is marked by more than a hundred small rocky islands, which are stopover points in the migrations of various kinds of wild bird life (including flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, ibises, storks, shelducks, avocets, stilts, and gulls). The second largest island, Kaboudi, is the burial place of Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan and the sacker of Baghdad. Lake Urmia has 102 islands. Their names are :

Aram, Arash, Ardeshir, Arezu, Ashk (Asiagh), Ashksar (Asiagh), Ashku (Asiagh), Atash, Azar (Ajra), Azin, Bahram (Baram), Bard (Barad, Bardak), Bardak (Bardak), Bardin (Bardak), Bastvar (Bast, Basatia), Bon (Beniwal), Bon-Ashk (Beniwal/Asiagh), Borz (Burzia), Borzin, Borzu (Burzia), Chak-Tappeh, Cheshmeh-Kenar (Sheshma), Day (Dahiya), Espir, Espirak, Espiro, Garivak (Garwa), Giv, Golgun (Golyan , Gordeh (Godhe), Gorz, Iran-Nezhad, Jodarreh (Jodia), Jovin (Joon), Jowzar (Jhojhar ), Kabudan (Kudan), Kafchehnok. Kakayi-e Bala, Kakayi-e Pain, Kakayi-ye Miyaneh, Kalsang (Kalasman ), Kam, Kaman, Kameh, Kariveh (Karvir), Karkas (Karkala), Kaveh, Kenarak, Khersak, Kuchek-Tappeh, Magh, Mahdis, Mahvar, Markid, Mehr (Mehria), Mehran (Mehria),, Mehrdad (Mehria), Meshkin, Meydan (Manda), Miyaneh (Mann), Nadid, Nahan (Nain), Nahid (Nahar), Nahoft, Nakhoda, Navi, Naviyan (Nain), Omid, Panah (Pannu), Penhan, Pishva, Sahran (Saharan), Samani, Sangan (Sangwan), Sangu (Sangwan), Sarijeh, Sepid (Sepat), Shabdiz, Shahi (Eslami), Shahin, Shamshiran, Shurtappeh, Shush-Tappeh, Siyah (Shivi), Siyah-Sang, Siyavash (Siwach), Sorkh, Sorush, Tak (Taank), Takht, Takhtan Takhar), Tanjak (Tandi), Tanjeh (Tandi), Tappeh, Tashbal, Tir, Tus, Zagh (Jangoo), Zarkaman, Zarkanak, Zartappeh (Jat), Zirabeh,

These names indicate the place of origin of various Jat clans near Lake Urmia. The probable equivalent Jat clans are given in brackets.

The abode of Jats

Bhim Singh Dahiya[4] writes that the most solid example of the existence of the Jats is found in the records of the Van kingdom of Armenia. Every single name of that kingdom, whether it is of cities or of the various clans, can-only be identified with the name Jat or its various clans. After this ninth century B.C. king of the Yen/Ben (present Beniwal clan) we come across the next kingdom of the Maan clan called the Mannai kingdom on the Lake Urumiya. This Lake Urumiya was the Centre of the Jats in the ninth century B.C. and earlier; and it was from here that Moika, the Urumiy scion of Kushana inscriptions came to India in the first century A.D. This Lake Urumiya is situated in the western part of Iran, or bordering Turkey. It was the reputed birth place of Zoroaster. [5] This 'Maan kingdom' on the Lake Urumiya, as well as the earlier Venwal kingdom on the Lake Ven, were later merged in the seventh century B.C. in the kingdom of Manda clan, under Huvakshatra (Cyaxeres of the Greeks). This empire of the Mandas was superseded by Cyrus the Great and at that time , many Jats, who refused to accept the change of government, went into various directions. Many of them came to India and some of them spread into Europe where they were called Gots or Goths. Those who remained there and accepted the change of dynasty by expressing their loyalty to Darius, were called Euer Gatae, meaning the "benefactor" Jats, obviously benefactors to the Persians and not to the Jats' cause.

Bhim Singh Dahiya[6] writes that in the last quarter of the eighth century B.C., the area of Azerbaijan to the south of Lake Urumiya was inhabited, as always, by various Jat clans. The two clans whose names had come down in history are called the Mannai and the Mandas. These two clans nowadays called in India as the Manns and the Mandas. In 720 B.C. or so, the Assyrian king, Sargon II, attacked these people and the Assyrians captured their chief called Dayaukku. He was a Manda chief and perhaps nature took a hand in saving his life, because contrary to the Assyrian custom, his life was not only spared but he was sent, alongwith his fami1y to Hamath. Thus it seems that before the last decade of the eighth century B.C. they were acknowledging the suzerainty of Assyria and it is mentioned that 22 of their chiefs swore the oath of allegiance before Sargon II. The name of their chief if given as Deiokes, son of Phraortes by Herodotus and other Greek writers. As per History of Persia, he was the same as the chief named by the Assyrians as Dayaukku. His name may well be Devaka because the suffix 's' or 'us' is generally added to personal names by the Greeks. It was Devaka, who established the first empire of the Manda Jats in about 700 B.C. The later Achaemenian empire was an offshoot of Manda empire, because Cyrus the Great, was son of Mandani, a daughter of the last Manda emperor, Ishtuvegu. The name the queen was Aryenis (Skt. Aryani). [7]

The ancient Mandas are even now a clan of the Jats in India. It is they who gave the first historical empire of the Jats in the western plateau of Iran. They are named in the Puranas also. The Vishnu Purana mentions them as Mandakas. By removing the suffix 'ka' the name appears in its old and present form. A country called Mandavya is mentioned in the Agni Purana.1 Sankhyana Aranyaka, too mentions these people and so does Varahamihira, who, in his Samhita, locates them in the north, as well as the northwest of India. Mādaiya is their Persian name. [8]

Basin rivers

External links


  1. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Antiquity of the Jats,p.297
  2. Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. IlI, p. 174.
  3. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Navam Parichhed,pp.147-152
  4. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Antiquity of the Jats, p.304
  5. P. Sykes, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 23,
  6. See- Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Mandas
  7. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study), Book by Bhim Singh Dahiya, IRS, First Edition 1980, Publisher: Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd, AB/9 Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi-110064, pp.126-127
  8. See- Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Mandas

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