ancient indian history

The Gandharas

The Yaunas, Kambojas and Gandhäras are grouped together as typical peoples of the Uttarapatha in the Mahabharata. The first two are treated as the border peoples of the West, i.e. North-West in the Pali Assalayana Sutta. The territories of all the three tribes were therefore contiguous. Dr. Barua takes the term aparanta in the sense of western’, but explains, “It must be also with reference to the western or north-western and of the Uttarapatha Asoka North-Western Road, or represented the Yaunas, Kambojas, Gandharas, Nabhakas Näbhapamktis and others as aparantas or Westerns, in as much as their territories were situated near about it.

Gandhara was an Aryan civilization of northwest India. Gandhara, means “land of fragrance”
The Gandharas
According to the Ramayana the territory of the Gändbaras or Gandharvas of the Uttarapatha lay on both sides of the Indus. The principal city of their transIndus territories was Pusbkalavatı or Utpalävat, which is now represented by Prang and Charsadda, 17 miles northeast of Peshawar on the Swat river. Taksbasila near Rawalpindi was the main city of their hinter-Indus territory. Gandhara or Gandharva was the collective designation of numerous peoples inhabiting the Gandhāra country, e.g., the Apritas, the Madhumantas, the Aśvakas and the highly cultured people of the Takshasila region. Afridis are the descendants of the Apritas. Their country Triravatika (modern Afridi Tira) is demarcated on three sides by the rivers Kabul, Indus and Kurram. The country of the Madhumantas called Tryakshayaṇa (modern Tar Khan) lies between the rivers Kunar and Panjkora. Now known as Mohmands, they continue to occupy their old homes. The Aśvakas lived in the Swat valley and their coins, with the Brahmi legend Vatasvaka, are found from this district. Also known as the Aśvaganas, they have given their name to the whole of Afghanistan.
In Asoka’s time only the northern portion of the Gandhara territory, on either side of the Indus above Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra, formed the semi-independent tribal states, the rest being under his direct rule.

1. हतेषु तेषु सर्वेषु भरतः कैकयीसुतः । निवेशयामास तदा समृद्धे द्वे पुरोत्तमे ।। तक्षं तक्षशिलायां तु पुष्कलं पुष्कलावते । गंधर्वदेशे रुचिरे गांधारविषये च सः ॥

2. उत्तरापथजन्मानः कार्तयिष्यामि तानपि । यौन-काम्बोज – गांधारा: किराता बबरैः सह ॥

3. सिन्धोरुभयतः पाश्र्व देश: परमशोभनः ।
तं च रक्षन्ति गंधर्वाः सायुधा युद्धकोविदा ॥

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