- Panchala Kingdom
"This article is about the kingdom of Panchala during the epic-ages. For the historical kingdom, see
Panchala Kingdom extended from
Himalayasin the north to river Charmanwatiin the south during the period of Mahabharata. It had Kuru, Surasena and Matsya kingdoms to the west and the forest Naimisha to the east. Later, Panchala was divided into "Southern Panchala" (Panchala proper ruled by King Drupada, the father in law of Pandavas) and "Northern Panchala" (Ruled by Ashwathama, the son of Drona. Drona was Drupada's former friend who became his enemy later). The Ganges Riverseparated the two Panchalas.
Capital: Ahichatra :- Ruins near Ramnagar
Northern Panchala had Ahichatra as its capital. It is identified as an archeological site near Ramnagar town of
Uttarakhandstate. This kingdom extended from Himalayasto the river Ganga.
Capital: Kampilya :- Kampil,
Fatehgarh, Uttar Pradesh
Southern Panchala or Panchala-proper had Kampilya city as its capital, now a small town named Kampil near
Farrukhabadin Uttar Pradesh. This kingdom extended from the Ganges Riverto river Charmanwati.
References of Panchala in Mahabharata
People from Panchala
"In Mahabharata many figures were mentioned as the natives of Panchala"
Panchali: Wife of the Pandavas
Dhrishtadyumna: Commander-in-Chief of the Pandavas in Kurukshetra Warand brother of Panchali
Drupada: Father of Panchaliand Dhristadyumna
Shikhandi: Another son of Drupada(He married from Dasarna (See Dasarna Kingdom)
*Prishata : Father of
*Satyajit : Commander-in-chief of Panchala army under king
*Sage Dhaumya : Priest of the
*Aruni : A Brahmin boy from Panchala and a disciple of sage
Many other sons of Drupada (a total of 10) and other Panchala princes (like Yudhamanyu, Uttamaujas, Janamejaya (8,82) etc) were mentioned as battling in
Kurukshetra War, allied with the Pandavas.
Origin of Panchala Tribe
* Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 94: The lineage extending from
"The following passage from Mahabharata, that describes the
Purulineage of kings, shows the kinship of the Kurus and the Panchalas, both branched out from the same line."
Janamejayawished to hear the history of kings who were descended from Puru. Vaisampayananarrated the lineage of kings in Puru’s line.
Lineage of Puru Kings up to the branching of Panchala tribe
Puruhad by his wife Paushti three sons, Pravira, Iswara, and Raudraswa. Amongst them, Pravira was the perpetuator of the dynasty. Pravira had by his wife Suraseni a son named Manasyu. Manasyu had for his wife Sauviri. And he begat upon her three sons called Sakta, Sahana, and Vagmi. Raudraswa begat upon the Apsara Misrakesi ten sons. They all had sons. They are Richeyu, Kaksreyu Vrikeyu, Sthandileyu, Vaneyu, Jaleyu, Tejeyu, Satyeyu, Dharmeyu and Sannateyu the tenth.
Amongst them all, Richeyu became the sole monarch and was known by the name of Anadhrishti. Anadhristi had a son of the name of Matinara who became a famous and virtuous king and performed the
Rajasuyaand the Ashwamedha. Matinara had four sons viz., Tansu, Mahan, Atiratha, and Druhyu. (Amongst them, Tansu of great prowess became the perpetrator of Puru’s line). Tansu begat a son named Ilina. Ilina begat upon his wife Rathantara five sons with Dushmanta ( Dushyanta) at their head. They were Dushmanta, Sura, Bhima, Pravasu, and Vasu. The eldest of them, Dushmanta, became king. Dushmanta had by his wife Sakuntalaan intelligent son named Bharata who became king. Bharata gave his name to the race of which he was the founder. It is from him that the fame of that dynasty hath spread so wide. Bharata begat upon his three wives nine sons in all. But none of them were like their father and so Bharata was not at all pleased with them. Their mothers, therefore, became angry and slew them all. The procreation of children by Bharata, therefore, became vain.
The monarch then performed a great sacrifice and through the grace of Bharadwaja obtained a son named Bhumanyu. Then Bharata, the great descendant of
Puru, regarding himself as really possessing a son, installed that son as his heir-apparent. Bhumanyu begat upon his wife, Pushkarini six sons named Suhotra, Suhotri, Suhavih, Sujeya, Diviratha and Kichika. During the virtuous reign of Suhotra the surface of the whole earth was dotted all over with hundreds and thousands, of sacrificial stakes. Suhotra, begat, upon his wife Aikshaki three sons, viz., Ajamidha, Sumidha, and Purumidha. The eldest of them, Ajamidha, was the perpetuator of the royal line. And he begat six sons,--Riksha was born of the womb of his wife Dhumini; Dushmanta and Parameshthin, of his wife Nili; Jahnu, Jala and Rupina were born of his wife Kesini. Kushikas are the sons of Jahnu.
All the tribes of the Panchalas are descended from Dushmanta and Parameshthin, two sons of the second wife of
War between Panchalas and the forefathers of Kurus
"Continuous war between the Kurus and Panchalas led the defeated Kurus to be exiled from their kingdom. They lived in the forests on the banks of
Sindhu. Later the Kurus retook their capital."
Riksha who was older than both Jala and Rupina became king. Riksha begat
Samvarana, the perpetuator of the royal line. While Samvarana, the son of Riksha, was ruling, there happened a great loss of people from famine, pestilence, drought, and disease. The Bharata princes were beaten by the troops of enemies.
And the Panchalas setting out to invade the whole land with their four kinds of troops soon brought the whole land under their sway. And with their ten Akshauhinis the king of the Panchalas defeated the Bharata prince. Samvarana then with his wife and ministers, sons and relatives, fled in fear, and took shelter in the forest on the banks of the
Sindhuextending to the foot of the (western) mountains. There the Bharatas lived for a full thousand years (for a long period), within their fort. After they had lived there a long period, one day the sage Vasishthaapproached the exiled Bharatas.
It hath been heard that
Vasishtha(becoming the priest) then installed the Bharata prince in the sovereignty of all the Kshatriyas. The king retook the capital that had been taken away from him and once more made all monarchs pay tribute to him. The powerful Samvarana, was thus installed once more in the actual sovereignty of the whole land.
Samvarana begat upon his wife, Tapati (whose abode was on the banks of river Tapati (
Tapti, Maharashtra) , the daughter of Surya (a king of the Solar Dynasty), a son named Kuru. This Kuru was exceedingly virtuous, and therefore, he was installed on the throne by his people. It is after his name that the field called Kurujangala (eastern Hariyana) has become so famous in the world. Devoted to asceticism, he made that field Kurukshetrasacred by practising asceticism there. (He was the founder of the Kuru dynasty and the Kuru Kingdom.
"It seems that the Samvarana who retook the capital was another king in the line of the exiled king Samvarana. Another interesting fact is that sages in the line of
Vasistha, were the priests of Solar Dynastyof kings (especially the Ikshwakus) for many generations. This could be the reason why Samvarana, who took Vasistha as his priest, married from the Solar Dynasty. The history of Samvarana falling in love with Tapati, while he roamed in the vicinity of Tapati river ( Taptiriver Maharashtra) and Vasistha's help in getting the consent of king Surya, her father, to give her in marriage to Samvaran --all these are mentioned at (1-173,174,175,176)."
Drupada becomes the king of Panchala
*Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva, Chapter 131: The History of
There was a king named Prishata who was a great friend of
Bharadwaja. About this time Prishata had a son born unto him, named Drupada. Drupada, the son of Prishata, used every day to come to the hermitage of Bharadwaja to play with Dronaand study in his company. When Prishata was dead, this Drupada became the king of the Northern Panchalas. Once Drupada became the king, he forgot his friendship with Drona. Drupada insulted Drona by telling him that he desrved not to be his friend, because Drona was not a king, but a poor Brahmana.
The partition of the Panchala Kingdom
*Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva, Chapter 140:
Dronadefeated Drupada, by means of his disciple Arjuna, to settle his old scores. Drona spoke as follows to the captive Drupada:-"
Thou toldest me before that none who was not a king could be a king’s friend. Therefore is it, O Yajnasena (Drupada), that I retain half thy kingdom. Thou art the king of all the territory lying on the southern side of the Bhagirathi (Ganga), while I become king of all the territory on the north of that river. And, O Panchala, if it pleaseth thee, know me hence for thy friend.
On hearing these words, Drupada answered:-, Thou art of noble soul and great prowess. Therefore, O Brahmana, I am not surprised at what thou doest. I am very much gratified with thee, and I desire thy eternal friendship.
After this, Drona released the king of Panchala, and cheerfully performing the usual offices of regard, bestowed upon him half the kingdom. Thenceforth Drupada began to reside sorrowfully in the city of Kampilya within the province of Makandi on the banks of the Ganga filled with many towns and cities. And after his defeat by Drona, Drupada ruled the Southern Panchalas up to the bank of the
Charmanwatiriver. Meanwhile Drona continued to reside in Ahichatra. Thus was the territory of Ahicchatra full of towns and cities, obtained by Arjuna, and bestowed upon Drona. (Later, Drona gave the rulership of Northern Panchala kingdom to his son Ashwathamaand stayed at Hastinapurathe capital of Kuru Kingdom.)
The higher status of Panchalas and Kurus in ancient India
The Kuru-Panchala was considered as the foremost among the provinces in Bharata Varsha (anciet India) compraised of the Kuru and Panchala Kingdoms(6,9).
The Kurus and Panchalas were considered as foremost among the ruling tribes in ancient India, adhering close to the
Vedic religion. They were the proponents of the Vedic religion in its dogmatic and purest form. Other tribes imitated the practices of these tribes and thus got accepted into the Vedic religions.
Commencing with the Panchalas, the Kauravas, the Naimishas (a forest-country to the east of Panchala), the Matsyas, all these, know what religion is. The old men among the Northerners, the Angas, the Magadhas, without themselves knowing what virtue is follow the practices of the Kuru-Panchalas (8,45).
The Kurus and the Panchalas comprehend from a half-uttered speech; the Salwas cannot comprehend till the whole speech is uttered. The Magadhas are comprehenders of signs; the Koshalas comprehend from what they see. The Mountaineers, like the Sivis, are very stupid.The Yavanas are omniscient; the Suras are particularly so. The mlecchas are wedded to the creations of their own fancy that other peoples cannot understand (8,45).
The Panchalas observe the duties enjoined in the Vedas; the Kauravas observe truth; the Matsyas and the Surasenas perform sacrifices. Beginning with the Matsyas, the residents of the Kuru and the Panchala countries, the Naimishas as well and the other respectable peoples, the pious among all races are conversant with the eternal truths of religion. The Kauravas with the Panchalas, the Salwas, the Matsyas, the Naimishas, the Koshalas, the Kasapaundras, the Kalingas, the Magadhas, and the Chedis who are all highly blessed, know what the eternal religion is (8,45).
Territories and locations within the Panchala Kingdom
Kichaka the commander-in-chief of Matsya army
Kichaka Kingdom was a territory lying to the south of (southern) Panchala. It was ruled by Kichaka clan of kings. They belonged to the Suta caste (offsprings of
Kshatriyasupon Brahmanaladies) . One among the Kichakas was the commander-in-chief of the Matsya army under king Virata. He was slain by Pandava Bhimadue to his bad conduct towards the wife of Pandavas, viz Draupadi. Kichaka kingdom also lied to the east of the Matsya Kingdomunder the rule of king Virata. It seems that this territory was allied to both the Matsyas and Panchalas, with its own independent rulers. Its capital was mentioned to be Vetrakiya, on the banks of river Vetravati( Betwa) also known as Suktimati.
The town named Ekachakra
It is believed that the
Pandavaslived in a small town named Ekachakra, belonging to this territory, during their wanderings after Duryodhanaattempted to murder them at Varanavata (a Kuru city).
In the course of their wanderings the
Pandavassaw the countries of the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Panchalas and then of the Kichakas, and also many beautiful woods and lakes therein. They all had matted locks on their heads and were attired in barks of trees and the skins of animals. They attired in the garbs of ascetics. They uded to study the Rik and the other Vedasand also all the Vedangasas well as the sciences of morals and politics. Finally they met Vyasa. He told them:- "Not far off before you is a delightful town." Saying this he led them into the town of Ekachakra. on arriving at Ekachakra, the Pandavaslived for a short time in the abode of a Brahmana, leading an eleemosynary life. (1,159).
During this period,
Bhimaslew a Rakhsasa named Baka (Vaka), at Vetrakiya. He controlled the affairs of that kingdom (Kichaka Kingdom) making the king of the kingdom, a name-sake king. By slaying the Rakshasa, Bhima freed that kingdom from Baka's the reign of terror. (1-165-166).
Pandavas journey from Ekachakra to Kampilya
Pandavas proceeded towards Panchala with their mother, to attend the self-choic event of princess
Draupadi. In order to reach their destination, they proceeded in a due northerly direction, walking day and night till they reached a sacred shrine of Sivawith the crescent mark on his brow. Then those tigers among men, the sons of Pandu, arrived at the banks of the Ganga. It was a forest called Angaraparna. Here, they encountered a Gandharva named Angaraparna (See Gandharva Kingdom) (1,172). After that encounter they went to a place called Utkochaka, where they met sage Dhaumya. They appointed Dhaumya, the younger brother of Devala, as their priest (1,185). Then they proceeded towards the country of the southern Panchalas ruled over by the king Drupada They proceeded by slow stages staying for some time within those beautiful woods and by fine lakes that they beheld along their way and entered the capital of the Panchalas. Beholding the capital (Kampilya), as also the fort, they took up their quarters in the house of a potter. Desirous of beholding the Swayamvara (self-choice ceremony of the princess), the citizens, roaring like the sea, all took their seats on the platforms that were erected around the amphitheatre. The kings from diverse countries entered the grand amphitheatre by the north-eastern gate. And the amphitheatre which itself had been erected on an auspicious and level plain to the north-east of Drupada’s capital, was surrounded by beautiful mansions. And it was enclosed on all sides with high walls and a moat with arched doorways here and there. The Pandavas, too, entering that amphitheatre, sat with the Brahmanas and beheld the unequalled affluence of the king of the Panchalas (1,187).
Arjunawon the competition set for winning Draupadiin the self-choice ceremony (1,192)."
"This kingdom is identified to be the modern day
Kannaujdistrict of Uttar Pradesh. During the reign of King Drupada of southern Panchala, this territory formed a part of the southern Panchala"
Gadhi, born in the race of king Kusika and Gadhi's son
Viswamitra, were mentioned as the earlier rulers of this kingdom at (1, 176). Gadhi's daughter was married to Richika (could be related to the Rishikasin the north), belonging to the Bhargava clan. Richika's son was Jamadagni and Jamadagni's son was the celebrated Bhargava Rama. Gadhi mentiones to Richika about a custom followed by their race, that during marriage, that the bridegroom should give to the bride side a dower of 3000 fleet steeds with brown color. (This custom is similar to that of Madra Culture.) Richika get the horses from Varuna(Varuna is indicative of western cultures. Note that Arjunaalso got his excellent chariot, horses and bow from Varuna). The horses reached Kanyakubja capital, crossing the river Ganga. The spot where they crossed the river was known by the name horse's landing place (3,115).
Not far from Kanyakubja, a spot in the sacred bank of Ganga is still famous among men as Aswatirtha in consequence of the appearance of those horses at that place (13,4).
"Both the Kusikas and the Bhargava-Richikas seems to have links with the ancient western-cultures (See Also:
Bahlika Culture, Madra Culture, Rishika Kingdomand Rishikas). Viswamitra (Kusika's race) was born as a Kshatriyaand later became a Brahmana, much like what was common in Madra Cultures. Bhargava Rama ( Richika's race) was mentioned as an expert in the use of battle-axe, which he got from Kailasa region ( Kailasrange Tibet). The location of the Rishikatribe, who were experts in the use of battle-axes was not far away from this region. The custome of donating or accepting horses as dowry also indicate north-western culture. It seems that neither the Bhargavas (and Richikas or Rishikas) nor the Kusikas, maintained any distinctions such as Brahmanaand Kshatriyaupon themselves. However during the later periods, when the Vedic religionbecame rigid in its four-order caste-system, the Bhargavas were accepted as Brahmanasand the Kusikas as Kshatriyas"
Gadhi was mentioned as sovereign whose military force was exceedingly great (3,115). Viswamitra also was mentioned as possessing a large army and many animals and vehicles. Using those animals and vehilces he used to roam around in forests in search of deer (1,176). During his wanderings he met sage
Vasistha. He engaged in a dispute with this sage, on the matter of the wealth of cattle possessed by the sage. (Cattle wealth always caused dispute among ancient Indian kongdoms [See the dispute between Matsyas and Trigartas for the sake of cattle wealth; in Matsya Kingdom). Viswamitra had to encounter many local-armies to seize the cattle wealth. (See Dravidas, Keralas, Paundras and Kiratas, Pulindas). He was vanquished by the local-armies (1,177). After the defeat from Vasistha, Viswamitra adopted the life of an ascetic. Bhargava Ramaalso is mentioned to defeat many tribes like Heheyas and later adopting the life of an ascetic. Thus both the Kusikas and Bhargava-Richikas were warrior-tribes, who also were a priest-like class of people.
*In the country of Panchala, there is a forest called Utpala, where
Viswamitraof Kusika’s race had performed sacrifices with his son (3,87).
Pandavas's route from Dwiata lake to Matsya kingdom
Panchala was one among the countries considered by the
Pandavasto spend their 13th year of anonymity along with the kingdoms viz Chedi, Matsya, Surasena, Pattachchara, Dasarna, Navarashtra, Malla, Salva, Yugandhara, Saurashtra, Avanti, and the spacious Kuntirashtra (4,1). Pandavasselected the Matsya Kingdomfor their 13th year of anonymous life. Pandavasordered their chief servant Indrasena and the others to take with then the empty chariots and to speedily proceeded to Dwaravati. All the maid-servants of Draupadiwere orederd to go to the Panchala kingdom. After that the Pandavas left Dwaita lake in the "Dwaita forest" and proceeded to Matsya kingdom. Dhaumya, their priest, taking their sacred fires, set out for the Panchala Kingdom (4,4). Pandavas travelling eastwards, reached river Yamuna. Travelling along the southern banks of Yamuna, they passed through Yakrilloma, Surasena. Then they turned westwards (possibly to deceive the spies of Duryodhana, who might have following them), leaving behind, on their right (north side), the country of the Panchalas, and on their left (south side), that of the Dasarnas entered the Matsya Kingdom(4,5).
Impact of Magadha Kings on Panchala
Due to the power of Magadha king
Jarasandha, many ancient tribes had to shif their domains. Prominent among them were the Yadavas, who fled from Surasena Kingdomto south-west to Anarta Kingdom. The king of the Salwayana tribe with their brethren and followers, and the southern Panchalas and the eastern Kosalas also had to flee to the country of the Kuntis (which was south to these kingdoms) (2,14).
"Even though only king Jarasandha is mentioned, this situation could have arose due to many generations of powerful Magadha kings who were forefathers of Jarasandha. During the reign of Drupada, no shift in the location of southern Panchala is mentioned explicitly. If the situation was created by Jarasandha alone, and no other Magadha kings later or earlier to him, then this shift of southern-Panchala could be temporary."
Dispute of Panchalas with Dasarnas
"There arose a dispute between the
Dasarna Kingdomlying to the south, and the southern-Panchala king Drupada, upon the matter of the gender of prince Shikhandi, who was married to the princess of Dasarna."
Dasarna Kingdomfor more details.
Panchala's alliance with Pandava King Yudhisthira
Bhimaduring his military campaign to the east, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuyasacrifice, first visited the Panchala Kingdom after leaving his home city Indraprastha(2,28). only two tribes do not pay tribute unto Yudhisthira, viz., the Panchalas in consequence of their relationship by marriage, and the Andhakas and Vrishnis (Anarta Yadavas) in consequence of their friendship (2,51).
When the Pandavas were banished by
Duryodhanato the woods, by unrighteoulsy taking over their kingdom, both the Panchalas and Yadavasvisited them along with other cousines like Chedis and Kekeyas (3,12). Pandavas five son's by Draupadi, spent some of their life in Panchala and some in Dwaraka during the 13 year long exile of the Pandavas.
During their pilgrimage all around India, Yudhisthira asked the weak men among his followers to go to king
Dhritarashtraof Kuru Kingdomand if he didn't take care of them, then to king Drupadaof southern Panchala (3,92). Yudhishthiraand his followers, with Matsya king Virata, began to make preparations for war ( Kurukshetra War). Virata and his relatives sent word to all the monarchs, and Panchala king Drupadaalso did the same. And at the request of Pandavas, as also of the two kings of the Matsyas and the Panchalas, many kings gathered for their cause (5,5). Druupada sent his priest to Hastinapurafor the initial peace talks (5-19,20).
Drupada, the king of the Panchalas, surrounded by his ten heroic sons, Satyajit and other headed by
Dhrishtadyumna, and well-protected by Shikhandi, and having furnished his soldiers with necessary things, joined the Pandavaswith a full Akshauhini (5,57).
Panchalas in Kurukshetra War
Panchalas were the closest among all the allies of the
Pandavasin the Kurukshetra War. Panchala prince Dhristadyumnawas the commander-in-chief for the whole of the Pandava army. Many heroes from Panchala battled in the war. Most of them were alive till the end of the war. However all of them were slain by Ashwathamain an ambush, when they were asleep in their tents, on the last day of the war. Ashwathama was the ruler of half of the Panchala Kingdom viz the northern Panchala, under Kuru king Duryodhana. Northern Panchala was then reduced to the status of a province of the Kuru Kingdom. This could be the political factor that caused the Panchalas (southern Panchalas) to become kinsmen of the Pandavas, who were a rebel force in the Kuru Kingdom. By supporting the Pandavasin Kurukshetra Warthey might have sought to regain their lost Panchala territories.
At (1,140) Satyajit is mentioned as the commander-in-chief of the Panchala army under king Drupada who fought against
Arjunawho was then a desciple of Drona, the preceptor in warfare, in the Kuru Kingdom. He came to the Kurukshetra Warleading the one Akshouhini of Panchala army. The brave warriors among the Panchalas, viz., Jayanta, Amitaujas and the great car-warrior Satyajit were mentioned as great car-warriors (Maharathas) by Bhishma. (5,172)
The Panchala princes (5,57) Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas were protectors of
Arjuna's car-wheels (7-88,89), during the battle. Similary the Panchala prince Kumara is mentioned as one of the protectors of Yudhisthira's car-wheels, along with another hero Yugadhara (hailing from the city of Yugandhara, located somewhare to the west of Kurujangala (either in Hariyanaor Punjab). Kumara and Yugandhara was slain by Drona(7,16). Vyaghradatta was another Panchala prince slain by Drona along with Sinhasena (7,16).
Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandin, Janamejaya ( the son of Durmuksha), Chandrasen, Madrasen, Kritavarman, Dhruva, Dhara, Vasuchandra and Sutejana were mentioned as Panchala heroes, some of them being the sons of
Drupada(7,155). The 10 sons of Drupada were mentioned at (5,57) and his five sons were mentioned at (8,85) as participating in the Kurukshetra War. Suratha and Satrunjaya were mentioned as sons of Drupada slain by Ashwathama (7,153), (9,14). At (7,184) Drupada's three grandsons were also mentioned as battling in the war. Shikhandi's son Khsatradeva was mentioned as battling in the war at (7,23). Dhristadyumna's sons, tender in year, were mentioned as slain by Dronain the war at (11,22).
Valanika, Jayanika, Jaya, Prishdhra, and Chandrasena --these heroes were also is believed to be of Panchala, slain by Ashwathama (7,153).
The Somakas, Srinjayas and the Prabhadrakas
These three names were mentioned frequently in the narration
Kurukshetra Wareither as related to the Panchalas or as synonymous to the Panchalas. Srinjayas and Somakas were tribes allied to the Panchalas by kinship, born off from the various branches of the same royal lineage that brought forth the Panchala-tribe. They dwelled in the various provinces of the Panchala kingdom. Prabhadrakas seems to be an elite group of Panchala army, employed in Kurukshetra War.
Somaka seems to be a name used to denote all the tribes of Panchalas. The word Somaka, means the one who belonged to the
Lunar Dynasty. This name could have given by rulers of Solar Dynasty. The Kosala Kingdomruled by Solar Dynastyof kings lied to the east of Panchala. So this name could have coined by the Kosalas to denote the Panchalas. Thus the name could be collective to the whole of the Panchala tribes and specific to the tribes that lie close to Kosala, ie the tribes that dwell in the eastern parts of Panchala.
*Pancalas and Srinjayas were mentioned collectively as Somakas at (10,8).
*Somakas and Panchalas were mentioned as different tribes at (5-175),(6-72,89,99,120), (7- 83, 123, 124, 148, 156, 157, 162, *167, 171, 184), (8- 22, 89), (9- 6, 17, 18, 21).
*Somakas and Srinjayas were mentioned as different tribes at (6-15, 119), (8,92), (9,20)
*Somakas and Prabhadrakas were mentioned as different tribes at (9-11).
*The Srinjayas and the Panchalas, the Matsyas and the Somakas were mentioned as separate tribes at (7,158).
Dronaduring the war mentioned to Duryodhanathus:- I will not put off my armour without slaying all the Panchalas. O king, go and tell my son Ashwathamanot let the Somakas alone. (7,148).
Kurukshetra Warhero, viz Kshatradharman is mentioned as beloging to the Somaka tribe, where another hero Uttamaujas is mentioned as belonging to the Panchala tribe (7,83).
*A King Somaka is mentioned at (1-2,127,128) along with his son Jantu. King Somaka was the son of Sahadeva, and a most excellent maker of gifts and he performed a sacrifice on the banks of
Yamuna. King Somaka is listed among the great kings of ancient India (6,9) (13-76,115).
Somakas were mentioned as synonymous to Panchalas at many places. In some of these references Drupada is mentioned as a Somaka king and Dhristadyumna as a Somaka prince. "Refer (1- 123, 133), (5- 5, 22, 48, 50, 130, 141, 152, 161), (6- 1, 43, 52, 59, 75, 77, 90, 98, 104, 108, 109, 117, 119), (7- 7, 23, 92, 107, 115, 122, 143, 152, 161, 166, 170, 188, 191, 198), (8- 24, 74, 78, 82, 89, 90, 91), (9- 7, 8, 30, 56, 57, 59), (10- 8)."
Srinjaya king Hotravahana is mentioned as the maternal grandfather of Kasi princess Amba (Amva) (5 -178, 179). Amva, coming from Salwa stayed in the asylum of sage Saikhavatya (who dwelled on the banks of Saikavati river). Hotravahana met her grand-daughter there. He is mentioned as a friend of
At (1,140) the Panchalas and Srinjayas were mentioned as attacking
Arjunawhen he try to make Drupadacaptive for the sake of Drona.
*Uttamujas was mentioned as the great Srinjaya car-warrior at (8,75).
*Srinjayas and Panchalas were mentioned as separate tribes at many places. "Refer (1- 140), (5- 57), (6- 14, 89, 96, 116), (7- 21, 22, 38, 105, 108, 111, 119, 127, 153, 154, 157, 163, 171, 175, 181, 188, 197), (8- 3, 5, 10, 25, 32, 37, 47, 60, 96), (9- 13, 32, 55, 61), (10,8)."
*Chedis the Andhakas, the Vrishnis, the Bhojas, the Kukuras and the Srinjayas were mentioned as separate tribes at (5,28). Here the Andhakas, Vrishinis, Bhojas and the Kukuras were tribes belonging to the
*The Kasayas (Kasis) , the Chedis, the Matsyas, the Srinjayas, the Panchalas, and the Prabhadrakas were mentioned as separate tribes at (5,57).
*The Chedis, the Srinjayas, the Kasis and the Kosalas were mentioned as battling together for
*A Srinjaya king is mentioned as great amongst conquerors at (1- 1) . He is also mentioned at (2,8). At (7,53) Srinjaya is mentioned as the son of a king named Switya. Sinjaya's son named Suvarnashthivin was slain by some robber-tribes during his childhood. The sages
Naradaand Parvata (Narada's sister's son (12,30)) were Srinjaya's friends. Chapters (7- 53 to 69) describes a narration of Narada to Srinjaya, to console him in the death of his son. This is also mentioned at (12-29,30,31).
Srinjayas were mentioned as synonymous to Panchalas at many places. "Refer (3- 33,35), (5- 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 48, 71, 72, 82, 93, 127, 162, 163, 168), (6- 16, 45, 59, 60, 72, 73, 74, 75, 87, 91, 99, 108, 109, 110, 115, 116, 120), (7- 2, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 33, 76, 92, 94, 107, 122, 148, 151, 152, 180, 184, 190), (8- 21, 24, 31, 35, 51, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 66, 67, 73, 75, 79, 85, 93, 94), (9- 19, 29, 33, 34, 57, 59, 61), (10,8), (11,26)."
*A king named Srinjaya is mentioned as an ally of
Jayadrathaking of Sindhu Kingdom. (3,263).
"Prabhadrakas seems to be an elite army obtained by Panchalas from the Kambojas. They could also be a Panchala army-unit or a Panchala tribe, that got trained in cavelry warfare by the Kambojas".
At (7,23) the Prabhadrakas were mentioned as hailing from
Kamboja Kingdom[In MBH verse 7.23.43, as it can be seen from original Sanskrit text, the term "Prabhadraka" has been used as a "qualifier" before the Kambojas: :Yuktaih Paramakambojairjavanairhemamalibhih. :bhishayanto dvishatsainyan yama vaishravanopamah.||42||:prabhadrakastu kambojah shatsahasranyudayudhah. :nanavarnairhayashreshthairhemachitrarathadhvajah. ||43||:sharavratairvidhunvantah shatrunvitatakarmukah. :samanamrityavo bhutva dhrishtadyumnan samanvayuh.||44||:(MBH Gorakhpore Rec., 7.23.42-44)
Hence in this context, the term "Prabhadraka" definitely implies adjective and not "noun", and may not, therefore, be confused with the "Prabhadraka clan". As an adjective, the term "Prabhadraka/Prabhadrakastu" means "exceedingly handsome" (Check up "Prabhadraka" in Monier-William Dictionary [http://webapps.uni-koeln.de/tamil/] ). Researchers like Dr J. L. Kamboj, S Kirpal Singh etc have, therefore correctly taken the term "Prabhadraka" in the sense of an "adjective" rather than noun in the present context. Ganguli's translation is in error here. In fact, according to Sanskrit scholars, Ganguli's translation of MBH has numerous translations errors.] . (See also note 4 & 5 in:
Parama Kamboja Kingdom). They could be the army bought by Panchals from the Kambojas, since Kambojas were famous for lending their horses or cavalryto any party on payment basis:- The Prabhadrakas of the Kamvoja country, numbering 6000, with upraised weapons, with excellent steeds on their gold-decked cars, with stretched bows, supported Dhristadyumna(6, 19), (7,23). To distinguish them from the proper Panchala army or from other Prabhadrakas, they were mentioned as Prabhadraka-Panchalas (7,151). They were 6000 in numbers and mentioned as supporting Shikhandiat (7,151). They were an elite group in the Pandava army (5- 48, 199). This army is mentioned as battling on the side of Pandavasat (6,112), (7- 159, 182), (8- 12, 22, 30, 48, 49, 56, 67), (9- 7, 11, 15, 27). Karnaslew 770 foremost of warriors among the Prabhadrakas initially (8,48). He then slew 1700 of them (8, 67).
The Kasayas (Kasis) , the Chedis, the Matsyas, the Srinjayas, the Panchalas, and the Prabhadrakas were mentioned as separate armies at (5,57). Prabhadrakas and Panchalas were mentioned as separate armies at (5- 152, 172), (6- 19, 49, 56), (7- 23, 33, 181, 191), (8- 61) and (9,1).
Ashwathamaslaughtered the Panchalas in an ambush at night, when they were asleep, the Prabhadrakas headed by Shikhandiwoke up and tried to put up some resistance. But Ashwathama and his army slew them all including Shikhandi.
*Brahmadatta is menioned as a highly devout king of Panchala at (13,137). Here he is mentioned as donating a conch-shell. At (12,233) he is mentioned as donating two precious jewels called Nidhi and Sankha. He is mentioned at (12,342) also.
*A sage from Panchala is mentioned as Rishi-Panchala (also known as Galava, born in the Vabhravya race) at (12-342,347). He compiled the rules in respect of the division of syllables and words for reading the
Vedasand those about emphasis and accent in utterance, and shone as the first scholar who became conversant with those two subjects. He is mentioned to have acquired the science of Krama.
Kingdoms of Ancient India
Mahabharataof Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, translated to English by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
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