Prof R K Gupta
If we refer to the early Rigvedic period, Jammu region was already part of Madra Kingdom extending from the Sutlej River to the Indus River. Many rivers like Devik?, Apag?, Chandrabh?g?, Parushni, Iravati, Tausi, Urddha and Vishvamitra flowed in this region. According to Vedic legends, King Vyushitashva (13400 BCE) of the Puru dynasty was ruling this region (Madradesha). He had seven sons, four Madras and three Shalvas. Seemingly, the kingdom of Vyushitashva was divided into seven parts. Traditionally, Sh?kala was the capital of Madras and Sialkot was the capital of Shalvas. Thereafter, probably, Shambaras, the Asura Kings of Hariyupiya (Harappa) controlled this region around 11500-11300 BCE. Indra (11325 BCE) uprooted Shambara and annexed his kingdom. Finally, Kuru-Panch?la Kings extended their kingdom up to Pir Panjal hills in the north. Thus, Shalva (Sialkot) and Jammu Kashmir region up to Neelum River became part of Kuru-Panchala kingdom. However after the establishment of Kashmir Kingdom, Nagas gained the support of Pishachas and emerged as political rivals to Kurus and Panchalas and finally acquired and allotted the Mount Ushiraka in the land of Darva (Jammu) to Sadulan?ga around 11200 BCE. Gradually son of Arjuna and N?ga Princess Chitrangada of Jaiminiya Ashvamedha era (11050 BCE) came to Jammu region and founded the city of Babhrupura (known as Babor). Seemingly, N?ga kings reigned over Jammu-Kashmir after 11000 BCE. We have no information of Naga kings reigned over Kashmir from 11000 BCE to 5000 BCE. However, modern history states that the foundation for Duggar Pradesh started around the 6th century which saw the rise of a number of hill states, some of which maintained their identity until recent years. For instance, states such as Champaka (Chamba), Durgara (jammu), Trigarta (jalandhar), Kuluta (Kulu), Kumaon and Garhwal. Among these states, the former three refer to Duggar Desh wherein the inception of Dogra rule started. The first written historical mention of the state, under the name of Du?gara, occurs on two Chamba Copper Plate of the eleventh century referring to this state.Though its existence was evident in the past when it ruled by its own local Rajput chief. The land they inhabit is called ‘Dugar’ and called as Dvigartdesh in Sanskrit. It includes the territory of Himachal, especially Kangra and Chamba and parts of Jammu & Kashmir as Kathua, Jammu, Reasi, Khistwar, Rajouri etc.The Dogras are an ancient group of people in ancient Persia and India, who spoke an Indo-European language are Aryans. The term “Aryan” is well mentioned in the Rig Veda who settled in the mountain, or rather, who settled in the lower hills. Dogra does not mean Hindu only but Muslims, Sikhs, and other communities living in Jammu region. There are similarities in physical appearance, culture and food habits among Dogras and people living in Persia or adjoining countries. Extracting the references from The Lords of Hills by G.C.smith, A history of the ruling family of Lahore by Ganesh Das Badehra., Gulabnama by Diwan Kirpa Ram., Rajadarshani by Ganesh dass., Ashtadhyayi, by Panini and Rajtarangini, one can find detail about: Pruntsa (Poonch), Lohara (Loran), Rajapuri (Rajouri), Kashtwata (Kishtwar), Vallapur (Billawar), Badravaksha (Bhadarwah) which can also be substantiated by Chinese pilgrim Huen trangs Travel Account, Tahqiqal hind by Alberuni., Malfuzt-i-timuri (Biography of timur), Akbarnama & Badshahnama., Tarikh-e-kishtwar by Sheoj Dhar., Tarikh-e-rajgan-i-jammu wa kashmir by Thakur kahu singh Balaria. and Tarikh-i-aqwam-i-poonch by Muhammad din fauq it can be concluded that Trigarta (Jullundhar-Multan-Kangra) was probably the oldest dogra Kingdom which later on was reshaped as Durgara region representing kingdom of Bahu, Barahumpura at present Bralumar including Chamba (Himachal Pradesh), Vallapura is the present day Billawar and Babbarpura is modern Babour, a small historical town situated on the Udhampur-Dhar Road in Majalta Tehsil of Udhampur District. Nevertheless, few areas of Sialkot and Jammu and Kashmir, presently in Pakistan, reflect Dogra heritage and culture as well. The Nagerkot was the oldest Kangra Hill Kingdom connected to Trigarta (Jullundhar) comprising present day Kathua ruled by Andotra clan who migrated 2000 year ago. Agnigarba is considered to be the first Dogra ruler whose forefather Agnigir had migrated to Trigarta (Kangra) and established the kingdom Nagarkot (Kangra) presently in Himachal Pradesh from Ayodya, where his elder brother Agnibarg was the first ruler. Being married to the daughter of Raja Nagarkot, he was given some villages as Jagir adjoining river Ravi to administer them independently. The son of Agnigir namely Vayusharv solemnised marriage with princess Erwan, the daughter of then Raja Parole Kathua. The princess died at a very early age. Vayusharv founded a village on her name as Erwan adjacent to Kathua in present Jammu and Kashmir and started ruling from this new kingdom. Raja Vayusharv extended his boundary up to the bank of river Ujh. He had 3 sons who established 3 Hamlet’s named Tajwal, Manjali, Bhajwal and their descendants are known as Tajwali, Bhajwali and Khanwali. Raja Bahulochan was his descendant who extended his boundary up to Bahu, the bank of river Tawi and started ruling from Bahu after the death of Raja Bahulochan his brother namely Jambulochan became the next ruler who shifted his kingdom from Bahu to Jammu and after constructing first fort of Dogra rulers in Jammu region. Durgara (Jammu region) across Ravi was also clubbed under Dogra rulers with Hill Kingdoms including Bhabore (Manwal/Majalta) Vallapur from vallapur (Billawar- Basohli-Ramkote-Krimchi) on the Dhar trade route towards Kashmir and Persia etc. Another Durgara region (outer plains) was spread from Lakhanpur to Sialkote through Erwan, Hira Nagar, Samba, Bahu etc. Eversince, the Dogra rule was established, many people settled around the trade routes for livelihood in different localities with about 22 Dogra principalities states.The eleven states were in the Jullundur circle and eleven in the Duggar circle .All these states were consolidated by Maharaja Ranjit Dev in 1773. His authority extended over the entire country from Jasrota to Kaluwal on the Chenab and from Roras to Mandikail in Gurdaspur. The Jammu Kingdom then included Chamba, Balawar (Basohli), Bhaddu, Mankot (Ramkot), Bandraltha (Ramnagar), Jasrota, Jammu, Bhuti, Chineni, Kishtwar and Bhadarwah. The rulers of Rajouri, Bhimber and Poonch are also known to have been in attendance at the Jammu court. This period of Ranjit Dev’s rule certainly forms the golden era of the history of Jammu. Not only for the large extent of the territory under one Dogra ruler, but also because of economic prosperity made possible by the security and stability that Jammu enjoyed during this period.(The author is from SKUAST, Jammu)
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