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Ancient Indian Kingdoms

Ancient Indian Kingdoms

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Published by: Javed Hussen on Feb 27, 2012
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Ancient Indian Kingdoms
Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 10 Jan 2010, 15:20 GMT+0600 and updated at 18 Sep 2010, 11:28GMT+0600The following table shows the various kingdoms, provinces and tribes mentioned in theepicMahabharata. As kingdoms they represent a geographical region that existed in ancient Indiawhich was then known as theBharatavarshaand as theJamvudvipa(the continent of the Jamvu tree). As tribes they existed at some geographical region at some point of time and moved toother regions or spread into multiple regions at different points of time.Gandhara
ArattaLohaRishikaChina TusharaStrirajyaAswakaRomanaHuna ParasikaYavanaMlecchaDaradaSaka An important passage in theMahabharatauseful for anybody studying about the ancientkingdoms and tribes of Bharatavarsha is found at MBh 6.9 (Mahabharata, Bhishma Parva(volume 6), chapter 9).Sanjayatold toDhritarashtra:- Listen to the names of the provinces as I mention them. They are theKuru-Panchalas,theSalwas, theMadreyas, theJangalas, theSurasena, theKalingas, theVodhas, theMalas,theMatsyas, theSauvalyas, theKuntalas,theKasi-kosalas, theChedis,  theKarushas, theBhojas,theSindhus, thePulindakas, theUttamas, theDasarnas, theMekalas, theUtkalas; thePanchalas, theKausijas,the Nikarprishthas,Dhurandharas; theSodhas, theMadrabhujingas, theKasis, and the further-Kasis; theJatharas, theKukuras, OBharata; theKuntis, theAvantis,and the further-Kuntis; theGomantas, theMandakas, theShandas, theVidarbhas,theRupavahikas; theAswakas, thePansurashtras, theGoparashtras, and theKarityas; theAdhirjayas, theKuladyas, theMallarashtras, theKeralas, theVaratrasyas, theApavahas, theChakras,theVakratapas, theSakas; theVidehas, theMagadhas, theSwakshas, theMalayas,theVijayas, theAngas, theVangas,theKalingas,theYakrillomans; theMallas, theSuddellas, thePranradas, theMahikas, theSasikas; theValhikas,theVatadhanas,theAbhiras, theKalajoshakas; theAparantas,theParantas,thePahnabhas,theCharmamandalas;  theAtavisikharas, theMahabhutas,O sire; theUpavrittas,theAnupavrittas, theSurashatras,Kekayas; theKutas, theMaheyas,theKakshas,theSamudranishkutas; theAndhras,and, O king, many hilly tribes, and many tribes residing on lands laying at the footof the hills, and theAngamalajas, and theManavanjakas; thePravisheyas,and theBhargavas, O king; thePundras, theBhargas, theKiratas,theSudeshnas,and theYamunas,theSakas, the Nishadhas, theAnartas, the Nairitas,theDurgalas, thePratimasyas, theKuntalas, and theKusalas; theTiragrahas, theIjakas, theKanyakagunas, theTilabharas, theSamiras, theMadhumattas,theSukandakas; theKasmiras, theSindhusauviras, theGandharvas,and theDarsakas; theAbhisaras, theUtulas,theSaivalas, and theValhikas; theDarvis,  theVanavadarvas,theVatagas, theAmarathas, and theUragas; theVahuvadhas,theKauravyas, theSudamanas,theSumalikas; theVadhras,theKarishakas, theKalindas, and theUpatyakas; theVatayanas, theRomanas, and theKusavindas; theKacchas, theGopalkacchas, theKuruvarnakas; theKiratas, theVarvasas, theSiddhas, theVaidehas,and theTamraliptas; theAundras,thePaundras, theSaisikatas,and theParvatiyas,O sire. There are other kingdoms, O bull of Bharata'srace, in the south. They are theDravidas, theKeralas, thePrachyas,theMushikas, and theVanavashikas; theKaranatakas, theMahishakas, theVikalpas,and also theMushakas; theJhillikas,theKuntalas,theSaunridas, and the Nalakananas; theKankutakas,theCholas, and theMalavayakas; theSamangas, theKanakas,  theKukkuras, and theAngara-marishas; theSamangas, theKarakas, theKukuras, theAngaras,  theMarishas: theDhwajinis, theUtsavas, theSanketas,theTrigartas, and theSalwasena; theVakas, theKokarakas,thePashtris, and theLamavegavasas;theVindhyachulakas, thePulindas, and theValkalas; theMalavas,theVallavas,the further-Vallavas, theKulindas, theKalavas, theKuntaukas,and theKaratas; theMrishakas,theTanavalas,theSaniyas; theAlidas, thePasivatas, theTanayas, and theSulanyas; theRishikas, theVidarbhas, theKakas, theTanganas,and the further-Tanganas. Among the tribes of the north are theMlecchas, and theKruras, O best of theBharatas; theYavanas,theChinas, theKamvojas, theDarunas,and manyMlecchatribes; theSukritvahas,theKulatthas, theHunas, and theParasikas; theRamanas,
and theDasamalikas.These countries are, besides, the abodes of manyKshatriya, Vaisya,  andSudratribes. Then again there are theSudra-abhiras,theDardas, theKasmiras,and thePattis; theKhasiras; theAtreyas, theBharadwajas,theStanaposhikas, thePoshakas, theKalingas,and diverse tribes of Kiratas; theTomaras, theHansamargas, and theKaramanjakas.These and other  kingdoms are on the east and on the north.
Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 12 Jan 2010, 22:30 GMT+06 and updated at 6 Jun 2010, 15:52 GMT+06
is a kingdom grouped among the western kingdoms in the epicMahabharata.The epicRamayana  also mentions it as a western kingdom. Gandhara princeSakuniwas the root of all the conspiracies of Duryodhanaagainst thePandavas,which finally resulted in theKurukshetra War . Sakuni's sister was the wife of  theKurukingDhritarashtraand was known asGandhari. A Gandhara kingdom (western Gandhara) existed in Kandahar province of Afghanistan.The eastern Gandhara was in modern Pakistan.Puskalavati, 
(Taxila) and
(Peshawar)were cities in this Gandhara kingdom. Takshasila was founded byRaghava Rama's brother Bharata. Bharata's descendants ruled this kingdom afterwards. During epic period it was ruled by Sakuni's father 
, Sakuni and Sakuni's son.Arjunadefeated Sakuni's son during his post-war military campaign for Yudhisthira'sAswamedhaYagna. Janamejaya,a Kuru king in Arjuna's line, conquered Takshasila, probably then ruled by the NagaTakshaka.He conducted a massacre called
Sarpa Satra
meaning the slaughter of the snakes, in which theNagarace was nearlyexterminated. This massacre was stopped by aBrahminnamedAstika,whose mother was a Naga. Nagas were considered as a super human tribe, inPuranas.Naga literally means aSerpentor a serpent-god. The Nagas could  be a group of people who inhabited India during epic periods who worshiped snakes.It is speculated that another super human tribe called theGandharvaswere originally inhabitants of the Gandharakingdom. Gandharvas were well versed in music and art. This explains why there is much Gandhara influence inIndian Classical Music. Gandhara form of sculpturing is also famous (very close toGreek sculpturing).The Yadavachief Bala Ramasaw many Gandharva settlements on the banks of Saraswati River , not far from Gandhara, during his pilgrimage over Saraswati river basin. The Gandharva
, probably were princes from Gandhara. The last twoYugas(prehistoric periods) were named after them. Kuru KingDhritarashtra's wife was from Gandhara (a Gandharvi) well known by the nameGandhari. There was a Gandhrava also by the name Dhritarashtra. (SeeGandharva Kingdom
References in Mahabharata
Gandhara, a kingdom in Ancient India (Bharata Varsha)
Gandhara is mentioned as a hilly country at (5,30).Yavanas, Kamvojas,Gandharas, Kiratas and Barbaras were mentioned together as foreigners at (12,206). In the
Krita age
, they were nowhere on earth (meaning AncientIndia). It is from the
Treta age
that they have had their origin and began to multiply. When the terrible periodcame, joining Treta and the Dwapara, theKshatriyas,approaching one another, engaged themselves in battle.
 Another group comprising Andrakas,Guhas, Pulindas, Savaras, Chuchukas,Madrakaswere also mentioned  along with the first group.
Gandhara King Suvala
Suvala (1,110) was a king of Gandhara during theMahabharata period. His sons wereSakuni,Sauvala, Achala, Vrishaka and Vrihadvala (1,188). All of them were Gandhara chiefs. Sakuni lived in the court of Kurus, as acouncillor of kingDuryodhana.His sister Gandhariwas the mother of Duryodhana.Suvala was present in the self-choice event of Draupadiand in the Rajasuya sacrifice of PandavakingYudhisthira.Sakuni was a skilled dice-player. (2,57). Gaya, Gavaksha, Vrishava, Charmavat, Arjava, and Suka were mentioned as brothors of Sakuni, all of them being the wariors inKurukshetra War (6,91)
Other Gandhara Kings
Gandhara King Nagnajit and his sons were conquered byVasudeva Krishnato liberate king Sudarsanafrom their confinement(5,48) (16,6)

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