The year 980 C.E. marks the beginning of the Muslim invasion into India proper when Sabuktagin attacked Raja Jaya Pal in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is today a Muslim country separated from India by another Muslim country Pakistan. But in 980 C.E. Afghanistan was also a place where the people were Hindus and Buddhists.
The name “Afghanistan” comes from “Upa-Gana-stan” which means in Sanskrit “the place inhabited by allied tribes”.
This was the place from where Gandhari of the Mahabharat came from, Gandhar whose king was Shakuni. Today the city of Gandhar is known as Kandahar. The Pakthoons are descendants of the Paktha tribe mentioned in Vedic literature. Till the year 980 C.E., this area was a Hindu majority area, till Sabuktagin from Ghazni invaded it and displaced the ruling Hindu king – Jaya Pal Shahi.
Shiva worship was widespread in Afghanistan
There was a time when the entire region was replete with hundreds of Shiva temples celebrating Shiva – Parvati worship and abuzz with Shiv chants, prayers, legends and worship. Archaeological excavations in this region conducted by Sir Estine (an East India Company official) led to the recovery of uncountable shrines and inscriptions. He has authored four books on that topic featuring photos of icons, icons and inscriptions discovered. The photos show a sun temple and a Ganesha statue too. An Islamabad University professor Abdul Rehman has authored two books on those finds recalling the glory and prosperity of those times. Regimes of two Hindu rulers “Kusham” and “Kidara” lasted for fairly long periods.
During their rule a number of Shiva temples were not only in Afghanistan but in other West Asian regions too. Uzbekistan and Takzikistan formed part of the Afghan kingdom in those times. Tashkent has one of those ancient Shiva temples standing even today. Professor Abdul Rehman states that Bukhara region Was known as “Shah Vihar” in ancient times. It was ruled by an Hindu king. When Arabs invaded that kingdom its queen traveled to Kashmir to seek military help. Arab chronicles mention her as ‘Khatoon’, meaning ’Woman’. “Kalhan“, the ancient Hindu historian of Kashmir has mentioned that the army of the then Hindu ruler of Kashmir had a battle with a vast army of the Arab Khalifa Mamoon whose headquarters was Baghdad. At that time Bukhara had been under Muslim rule. He had invited a number of leading Hindu experts to Baghdad. An Ayurvedic practitioner of Varansi (alias Benares) had treated the Khalifa for some ailment afflicting the latter. In those days it was Hindu Ayurvedic practitioners who were eagerly sought by Arab patients. A number of Arabs had translated Sanskrit Ayurvedic texts into Arabic. A list of those translated Sanskrit texts appears in a Volume known as al “Frisht“.
Baku (capital of the Azerbaijan region) known for its underground petroleum yields has still an ancient Hindu temple of the Divine Flame generated by the subterranean petrol and gas). During the Czar regimes in Russia a Punjabi priest officiated at that temple. The walls display some religious stanzas written in Punjabi Gurumakhi script. The market there also had Hindu merchants. Nearby was a locality too of Hindu inhabitants. Baku in Azerbaijani language actually signifies a Goddess. Therefore obviously Baku derives its name from a very ancient Vedic Goddess temple there.
Kenduj a province of Afghanistan, ruled by a king that had a Hindu prime minister. This is mentioned in history books. Albirruni’s travel account contains details of ancient Hindu Afghanistan, He mentions a Hindu king, Khingla whose coins bore the imprint of Shiva. The first ruler of that dynasty was Viahitagni. History mentions a Shiva temple in Gardej township, which was plundered by Arab invaders. That dynasty ruled the region from 666 to 843 A.D. From 843 to 850 A.D. a Brahmin Minister ruled the region. The Kalkaa community of Brahmins had ancquired promince in those times. They were later known as Kallers. A township of that name exists in Punjab. Prominent among them who find a mention in later history are Samantdev, Bheemdev, Jaipaldev, Anandpal and Trilochan. Jaipaldev suffered a defeat in 1002 when Mohammed Ganzavi invaded India. Unable to bear that defeat Jaipaldev committed suicide.
When Hsüan-tsang visited the region early in the 7th century CE, the Kabul valley region was ruled by a Hindu Kshatriya king, who is identified as the Shahi Khingal, and whose name has been found in an inscription found in Gardez.
The Hindu Shahi kings of Kabul and Gandhara may have had links to some ruling families in neighboring Kashmir and other areas to the east.
The place where Kabul’s main mosque stands today was the site of an ancient Hindu temple and the story of its capture is kept alive in Islamic Afghan legend which describes the Islamic hero Sabuktagin who fought with a sword in every hand to defeat the Hindus and destroy their temple to put up a Mosque in its place.
The victory of Sabuktagin pushed the frontiers of the Hindu kingdom of the Shahis from Kabul to behind the Hindu Kush mountains Hindu Kush is literally “killer of Hindus” – a name given by Mahmud Ghazni to describe the number of Hindus who died on their way into Afghanistan to a life of captivity . After this setback, the Shahis shifted their capital from Kubha (Kabul) to Udbhandapura (modern Und in NWFP). Sabuktagin’s son Mahmud Ghazni, kept up the attacks on the Shahis and captured Und. Subsequently, the Shahis moved their capital to Lahore and later to Kangra in Himachal.
The recovery and significance of the inscription, telling a story of the Hindu ruler Veka and his devotion to lord ‘Siva’, was told by leading epigraphist and archaeologist Prof Ahmad Hasan Dani of the Quaid-E-Azam University of Islamabad at the ongoing Indian History Congress here.
“The date of 138 of present inscription, should be equal to 959 AD which falls during the reign of Bhimapala”, Dani said in a paper “Mazar-i Sharif inscription of the time of the Shahi ruler Veka, dated the year 138”.
The inscription, with eleven lines written in “western Sarada” style of Sanskrit of 10th century AD, had several spelling mistakes. “As the stone is slightly broken at the top left corner, the first letter `OM’ is missing”, he said.
According to the inscription, “the ruler Veka occupied by eight-fold forces, the earth, the markets and the forts. It is during his reign that a temple of Siva in the embrace with Uma was built at Maityasya by Parimaha (great) Maitya for the benefit of himself and his son”.
Dani said “the inscription gives the name of the king as Shahi Veka Raja and bestows on him the qualification of `Iryatumatu Ksanginanka’…. and (he) appears to be the same king who bears the name of Khingila or Khinkhila who should be accepted as a Shahi ruler”.
Dani further said “he may be an ancestor of Veka deva. As his coins are found in Afghanistan and he is mentioned by the Arab ruler Yaqubi, he may be an immediate predecessor of Veka deva… Both the evidences of inscription and coins suggest that Veka or Vaka should be accepted as an independent ruler of northern Afghanistan.
“Thus we find another branch of the Shahi ruler in northern part of Afghanistan beyond the Hindukush. Veka is said to have conquered the earth, the markets and the forts by his eight-fold forces, suggesting that he must have himself gained success against the Arab rulers of southern Afghanistan”.
Dani observed that going by the findings it seemed that during the rule of the Hindu Shahi ruler Bhimapala there was a break in the dynasty – one branch, headed by Jayapala, ruled in Lamaghan and Punjab, and another branch, headed by Veka, ruled in northern part of Afghanistan.
“The northern branch must have come to an end by the conquest of Alptigin in the second half of tenth century AD”, he said.
India has developed a highly constructive, imaginative reconstruction strategy for Afghanistan that is designed to please every sector of Afghan society, give India a high profile with the Afghan people, gain the maximum political advantage with the Afghan government, increase its influence with its Northern Alliance friends and turn its image from that of a country that supported the Soviet invasion and the communist regime in the 1980s to an indispensable ally and friend of the Afghan people in the new century.
Very useful and informative article.
I read this history. This is awesome. I am sure Muslims will never believe on it. I am thankful you shared this beautiful history. Thank you once again.
Thanks for good and useful historic information.
This is indeed a very good article and explains the history of Hindu Kings in Afghanistan. It is necessary to add this into the history books of Indian schools. Appreciate the author to compile this history.
THERE ARE SO MANY HISTORICAL INCIDENTS HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN ANCIENT INDIA. INDIA IS NOT ONLY AN CULTURAL BUT WITH HERITAGE. WHEN ALL OUR YOUNG INDIANS WILL FOLLOW THIS. THEY KNOW ONLY NEHRU, INDIRA GANDHI, RAJIV GANDHI, SONIA GANDHI AND SUPER STAR RAHUL GANDHI !!! YOUNGSTERS , PLEASE AWAKE KNOW THE RICH CULTURE AND HERITAGE OUR INDIA !!!!
Thanks for the nice details, about us.
Really nice and informative.
Really informative. Kudos
We are thanking to you for this precious information which shows Hindu was very patiently face in past and this is our greatness
I am a Afghani Hindu, Thanks for Historyic Information
This should be taught in our schools, as our 5000 years long history.
The dammed sicularists, led by Nehru, has led to a bastardized version being taught to our children. How will they take pride in being Indians, if they have no idea about where they came from?
This is great information put together by the author. Highly appreciate it! Was a wonderful read. Thank you.
Excellent work on compiling the history and brought it to the light!. India never invaded any other country in the history so far and in turn Muslims have so many times invaded and looted our country. Hereafter our young generation should know about our rich history and our government should not keep quiet from the Muslim threat.
The Indus valley shone with greatness of Hinduism ,until the muslims invaded and destroyed al the artifact. The reason for the destruction was to promote a religion “islam” which was born out of spite.
Then we had others who further allowed this religion to grow unchecked , like Mahatma Ghandi , He should not have given the muslim thee northern Indian. See the results today.
Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information on hindunism, I love to learn more and more on ancient hindu history, infact I was always curious to learn what could had been the hindu history in Afghanistan, I love you website and will definately share this with others
Great Article… Its time to make amends for the mistake of the past of Gandhi and alike.. Start doing things for a Better India…. Good Luck..
IT IS LEARNT THAT IN THE SCHOOLS OF PAKISTAN IT IS BEING TOUGHT THAT MIR KASIM INVADED THE REGION OF PAKISTAN AND A MAJORITY OF THE REGEONS OF EXISTING INDIA LIKE JAMMU AND KASHMIR, RAJASTHAN, GUJARAT, UP, MP ETC AND DESTROYED ALL THE PEOPLE (KAFIRS) LEAVING THERE AND BROUGHT ALTOGETHER NEW POPULATION OF MUSLIMS AS SUCH IT IS A RIGHT OF ONLY MUSLIMS TO STAY THERE AND ALL OTHERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. AS SUCH IT BECOMES THE AIM OF PAKISTAN TO TAKE BACK ALL THE REGIONS BY HOOK OR CROOK.
IF THE HISTORIAN HAD SUBMITTED HIS RECORD OF HINDU KINGDOM IN NORTH WESR AREA THEN WHY NOT PAKISTAN CHANGES THEIR SCHOOL BOOKS AND NOT SPOILING THE UNDEVELOPED MIND OF INNOCENT CHILDREN?
INDEED FINE & TRUE HISTORICAL EVENTS ABOUT GREATNESS OF HINDUISM & AND ITS SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTON BY ISLAMIC INVADERS. MUCH SHOULD BE LEARNT BY THE PRESENT GENERATION OF HINDUS WHO ARE BLINDLY FOLLOWING THE WESTERN CULTURE.
Ancient Indian history is very interesting with it’s rich heritage and culture.
I think the young generation need to know, understand and be educated if not in depth, atleast a special Chapter in History at school level.
I recall studying this during my post graduation at the University of Bombay.
It is said united we stand and divided we fall. So we have to decide, what we want. Our own country you cannot call your country?
that sanatana dharma was expansive from Afghanistan to Thailand is true. selfseeking politicians and historianof european origin distorted truth. Anyway Bharath under new regime should correct the untruths shoved down our throats by vested interests. Let history be written in new light. Let’s pride our heritage of being a Hindu. Thanks for the eye opener.. JAI BAHRAT – JAI BHARATHI
We need to learn from History. In a period of 1000 years Hindus got kicked out of Afghanistan, Pakistan & Bangladesh. In a another 100 years am sure we will be the largest minority.
Regardless of how great the ancient past was and how poor the recent past has been, India needs to be more aware of the present, move away from apathy, greed, violence, discrimination towards women. Take action, I hope that Modi will take the first steps towards this.
Thank u very much…
pls if possible tell us about more history of us and grt Acharya’s of our’s like Ramanuja Acharya….
thank u very much…
amazing news.now, we can say that all world people are 1st Hindu then Muslim, and others. Jalpaiguri, west Bengal.
The events of the last thousand years have dimmed what happened in the previous era. What should we believe in: the immediately preceding thousand years or the era before that? History is useful as long as we learn from it. It becomes a quagmire in which we sink easily if we mistake it to be true. The past does not exist and neither the future. But in the flux of time the past shaped our present just as our today shapes our tomorrow. Thus history teaches us that we grow in strength only when we are united and we have to grow in strength militarily, economically, culturally through education drawing the best and the latest from all civilizations around us. Strength is the best preservative.
Having learned good history,we need to be integrated for peaceful existance help and not troule innocent people
Stephen Knapp’s books give a good account of the extent of the Vedic civilization http://www.stephen-k…l_existence.htm
Feel sad as to how poor and weak Hindus are when at war.
Very proud of OUR INDIA.Good historic news.Thank you.
This is very old history and very good to know, but we can’t rely on this and call ourselves great. This belonged to a time, where India was not a united country, but bunch of kingdoms ruled by Hindu kings. Although the whole division into India and Pakistan is completely this generation, Gandhi and Nehru’s fault, current India is the only united country most of the Indians alive are aware off, so ppl shoul focus on that more. It’s good to know where we come from and also learn from history, but that doesn’t show greatness, actions do. Hope modi does the same!
Incredible writeup. Congratulations to the author for good documentation. How to contact the authors? Is their email mentioned?…
There is nothing to be proud about getiing routed in the wars, losing afghanistan, pakistan and so on. What and whom would you blame for this? The invaders or the hindus’ who could not withstand the onslaught? One should introspect and understand the failures of religion and culture that led to this fate where Somnath was also ransacked a couple of hundred years later.
So my friends, blame lies on the vanquished for being vanquished – blame is on the medival and mediocre culture that has not rejuvenated for eons. Blame is when a culture reacts on instinct rather than ideas. The hindu culture that used to formally subjugate a majority of its own population does not deserve to be saved. One should understand and move over to self belief and ideas and progress.
This is really great information, put together by the author. Its Highly appreciated,I am very sure by all INDIANS! It is wonderful to read. Thank you,from all indians.”JAI HIND”
Everything in creation, has a phase of birth,glory, decay and oblivion……we are witnesses and part of this……The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire seems to be a very small micro level work, compared to what is coming to knowledge, unearthed from so many points of information…and what we all are living through…..The Sanathana Dharma is eternal and goes through phases of glory and modification….at one point of time SD alone will be the shining truth….Om Nama Shivaya….
It makes me proud to be an indian when I read this article !
Kudos to the article writer.
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE THE TRUTH SOME TIMES,
BUT TRUTH IS TRUTH FOR EVER.
NO ONE CAN HIDE THE SUNRISE WITH HANDS.
AT LEAST IF THE BLIND BELIEVERS START REALIZING THAT,
IT IS PROUD TO BE SUCH A HINDU COUNTRY (INDIA) AND SHOULD FEEL
PROUD TO BE PART OF RICH CULTURE AND HISTORY.
The article is good, informative. Could please mention some bibliography to verify further. It is very unfortunate that we have to take references from other countries like UK, USA … The forefathers of Lovers-of-Indian-great-heritage have not left any history for us except some tell-tales.
It makes me proud that i am in sanathana dharma
that is how the hindus were decimated from afghanistan and then now from pakistan……….kashmir is a going on issue ………. not long before hinduism is on the verge of a wipe out……and other religions grow in numbers………..so …is it right to have a poilicy of non-violence in such an atmosphere ? ? ? ? any answers……….i do not want to propagate violence , but history, as of, afghanistan is teaching us the ill effects of being non-violent.
i am afraid hindus in coming centuries will be minority even in india
Even now, in Kabul, there is a Devi(Mata Ashamayee) and Shiva temple which is called Koh-i-Asamayee (which in Persian means Mountain of Asha mayee). There is a lamp in the temple, which is believed to be burning since 600 years. This temple is about 1/2 Km from the tomb of Mughal emperor Babur, which is called Babur gardens.
Very nice and excellent.
Every Hindu must read this article.
Bind together Hindus and promote scientific research based on vedic knowledge, teach Hindu morality to children, and make it a cultural duty to spread tenets of Hinduism in society. Socially boycott those Hindus who don’t commit. Bonds between Hindus will strengthen and our lost grounds will be recovered.
Don’t look at the govt. to do anything. They are just reflections of our corrupt selves. Rather, be prepared to walk alone !
One main observation – The Baku Ganesh Temple is not pre-Islamic. It was built during the Mughal rule by a Hindu Merchant during those days when borders were open between India and Persia. Another point of worth to add is that Ghori(the ones who founded Muslim rule in India) is one of the last Hindu outposts in all Afghanistan. It was occupied by Ghazni.
This article was well written and researched. Thank you for your time and
Its interesting information
THERE IS NO MENTION OF MIR KASIM WHO INVADED NDIA FROM WESTERN SIDE AS IS BEING TAUGHT IN PAKISTAN’S SCHOOLS TO DAY.
WELL…….NO AFAGHNI WILL ACCEPT THIS……AS IT IS WELL KNOWN TRUTH THAT NO MUSLIM WANTS TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH…………… AS THEY ALL KNOWS VERY WELL THAT IF THEY DO SO.THEY WILL BE NO WHERE……………….I WAS IN GULF COUNTRY FOR LONG TIME,AND I MET AS MANY AS THREE HINDU PATHANS…….!!!.
It is really nice to know this. Proud to be Indian.
Salam & Namaskar to everyone,
I am a Muslim Afghan and I am proud of Afghanistan’s Pre-Islamic heritage which is still embedded in someway in our everyday life. Our language, tradition and folklore has kept many old practices. Personally, I have the at-most respect for Hindu religion. It is peaceful, rich and very tolerant.
GOOD REAL INFORMATION ON INVASION OF MUSLIMS ON HINDU KINGDOMS IN Afganistan and destruction of Old culture of Hindus. This happened every where in india. still it is going on. Many hindus got converted into muslims forcefully. But this truth is not accepted by the FUNDAMENTALISTS OF MUSLIM RELIGION.
It is very interesting to read about Afghanistan, In fact, one should read it with The Mahabharata. King Yayati, crowns his younger son Puru and drives out his elder sons, and one of them establishes a Kingdom, beyond Sindhu (Indus) river and that is Afghanistan and adjoining areas. We should have a very knowledgeable and unbiased, at the time proud of oue Ancient country, team of Historians to do research on the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranas to cull out truth and establish the past glories of Hinduism and its influence.
Religon vs tradition. Taditions related to sect, to a region reflect their life style over thousands of years. Religion intended to give solace to humans from earthy problems and to satisfy ones internal strugles. Both are separate, and a cultured human race has to respect it. The problem lies with propagation of Islam by Arab people by force and it turn outs to be visious circle. Morover, they forced their barbaric culture on defeated nations who previously are a matured lot. This way, in the name of religion, Arabs, from them, newly converted sects from west of Iran onwards made halocast of not only humans but also their cultures.
Going down through this nice and excellent piece of History of Hinduism in Afghanistan overwhelms me. We in India do not read this glorious past of Hindu rulers in Afganistan and NWFP of now Pakistan. This should be included.
Heartiest thanks and gratefulness to Prof Ahmad Hasan Dani of Pakistan for his breathtaking research on ancient Hindu rulers in Hindu Kush and the author Dr. Kapoor for his brilliant compilation