ancient indian history

The Nabhakas

The Nabhakas and the Nabha-pamktis

The other self-governing peoples mentioned in Asokan edicts are the Nabhakas and the Nabha-pamktis. Their exact location is uncretain, since their name occurs in Rock Edict XIII list of self-governing peoples belonging both to the North as well as to the South. Dr. Barua suggests that the erstwhile eastern Panjab states of Nabha and Patiala (Panktipälah) still preserve the names of Asoka’s Nabhakas (Skt. Nabhāgas) and Nabhapaṁktis.
According to Jayaswal, the Nabha-paṁktis (‘Nabta lines’) were like the Agraśrenis, the three Yaudheyas and the three Śalankäyanas, i.e., a league of the Nabhas. edition of Asokan edicts they are called Nabhitina which The Ganapatha mentions may mean the Three-Nabhas. Nabhaka and Urmanabha along with Pitaka and Trikshäka. The Urna-Nabhas appear also in the republican group of the Rajanyas, Arjunayanas etc. The Nabhapaṁktis, who were evidently non-monarchical, were probably identical with the Urna-Nabhas, the Nabhas of the ‘woollen’ country. Gandhara was famous for wool, says Dr. Jayaswal. Hence his conclusion that they were either neighbours of the Gandhāras or some division thereof.89
Of all the tribes of the Panjab and its neighbourhood, Asoka mentions only five, the Yonas, the Kambojas, the Gandhäras, the Nabhakas and the Nabhapaṁktis, as self-governing within his vast empire, which extended beyond the Hindu Kush. We can safely conclude that no other tribe was self-governing at the time, though we have every reason to believe that most of the tribes of the Panjab and the North-West mentioned in Panini, Alexander’s itinerary, the Mahabharata and the Markandeya Purana were still occupying their old homes, Some of them reappear as independent states after the disintegration of the Mauryan and Sunga empires. But the majority of the old republican states had already vanished for ever from the political map of the Panjab before Chandragupta and Chanakya liberated this area from foreign yoke. Nābhaka is also the name of a small town situated in Uttarāpatha, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts.

There is no further literary evidence of the existence of the tribal republics. But about the first century before Christ there was a sudden outburst of minting activity of a number of the familiar tribes. Their coins are found scattered all over the eastern Panjab from the Ravi to the Jaipur the Yamuna. The find-spots extend through gap and Madhyamika right up to the Malava
country, around the city of Ujjayini. There are also a few stray, epigraphical references to the most important tribes. Rudradaman, refers to the proud Yaudheyas in his Junagarh inscription of 150 A. D and in the 4th century A. D. Samudragupta mentions some in his Allahabad Prasasti. But by this time these tribes had already migrated to Rajasthan.

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