Jambudveep's Blog

September 12, 2010

Kabul Shahi-The Hindu Kings of Kabul & Zabul

Filed under: History — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 5:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have updated the map with more cities in Kashmir and the major rivers of Punjab.

The above map shows the  extent of the Hindu kingdoms of Kabul and Zabul in the period of 600-700 CE.I was spurred to create the map as I wanted to a graphical representation of what area came under these two ruling houses.it is a different matter reading on paper that Kabul ruled this area and that,and a completely different aspect seeing it highlighted on a map.

I will keep updating the map with more cities in Sindh,Punjab and Kashmir.Plus will do more maps for the later periods of the Shahi rule where there kingdom shrunk considerably,till this glorious dynasty was extinguished while fighting against Mohammed Ghazni in 1026 CE.

I  first came to know of the Hindu Shahi kings of Kapisa (later on their capital moved to Kabul) an article in India Today more than a decade back.

My curiosity was aroused as I never knew that there  ever existed a Hindu ruling house in Afghanistan,let alone two powerful Hindu kingdoms.Later on I found more references to the ferocious resistance these two Hindu dynasties offered to the Islamic invaders.Sri Sita Ram Goels books on Voice of India website were an excellent source of information.

The first Islamic invasion of the Arabs which lasted for almost three hundred years broke apart on these two formidable break waters.It was the Turk invasion starting somewhere around 900 AD which proved to be the undoing of these two great Kingdoms.

The 12th Century historian of Kashmir kalhana eloquently describes the ruling house of Kabul as below,

“Where is the Shahi dynasty with its ministers, its kings & its great grandeur…The very name of the splendour of the Shahi kings has vanished. What is not seen in a dream, what even our imagination cannot conceive, that dynasty accomplished with ease.”

Kalhana’s Rajatarangini

Thus were the great defenders of the gates of India, the kings of Kabul and Zabul, whose name has been all but forgotten by an ungrateful people. These were men of peerless courage and a soul of steel forged in the fire of war. They were the sword arm of Dharma, defending the land of the Bharatas against those who would seek to defile it by their touch.

It is not surprising that most of us have never heard of them,our “secularised” education system makes sure we never come to know that there was any kind of resistance offered by our ancestors.It is a part of the social engineering programme to brain wash entire generations with the completely bogus message of “tolerance” and “turning the other cheek”!!

These glorious names have not been forgotten by history, but only pushed into the shadows by those who would seek to rewrite history of Sanatana Dharma to suit their own ends.

Map References:

The primary reference i have used is ALexander Cunningham’s “Geography of Ancient India”.It is availaible for free download from Internet archive.

A secondary reference has been the excellent  ” Digital South Asia Library” series of maps.

The base map used for to trace the above was sourced from the Perry Castaneda collection. (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/pakistan.html)


  1. Good job. Keep up the good work. My question is why is this is not taught to our youngsters in school and what is it thatr we can do to make this happen

    Comment by Kaushal — January 28, 2011 @ 4:25 am | Reply

    • Kaushal garu,many thanks for your kind comment.

      the problem from the eyes of the Indian establishment is that if you start teaching what the Hindu dharmarakshaks like Kabul shahi stood for ,you also need to explain what the followers of Islam were doing at that time.Doing that would directly go against everthing that the “secular” establishment stands for.
      But i think more and more awareness is rapidly spreading thanks to the internet etc.I am also working to translate some of my key posts (ie Battle of Raichur,Famine in british times etc) into 2-3 Indic languages i know to ensure more spread.

      Comment by Yogeshwar Shastri — January 28, 2011 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  2. Shastri-gaaru – A few points I would like to add – extract from a post I am working on.

    1. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the last ruler of Afghanistan from India. Only after his death, could the British could lay their hands on Punjab, North-West India (later and now called Pakistan). That is around 1840.

    2. Earlier, in many battles of the Anglo-Sikh Wars, the British had failed. India was a constant and major conflict zone from 1757-1860. Tens of lakhs of Indians died, resisting this conquest. British conquest of India was not easy, simple or passive as made out in school texts.

    3. After annexing most of North-West India, they tried conquering Afghanistan. A series of wars followed – and the British failed miserably.

    4. Without Afghanistan, they could not proclaim British conquest of India to the world. This proclamation was important because, it would been the first real conquest of India by a foreign power. After, Semiramis, Alexander and Genghis Khan had failed. Hence, they distorted history and made out that as though India lost Afghanistan centuries ago.Untrue.

    4. Between the 14th-16th century, Indo-Afghan alliances ruled over Delhi. Khiljais, Tughlaks, Lodis – and lastly Mughals. Afghan-Indians had a major advantage over the
    Plainsmen Indians. Cheap access to horses. Khiljais, Tughlaks, Lodis were all horse traders. In medieval India, horse trade was the source of power and wealth.

    5. Even after the British lost Afghanistan, Indians did not lose Afghanistan. Remember Kabuliwala – Tagore’s short story. Made into a film in the late 60’s. Indians loved Kandahari kishmish, anaar, munakha – which were available in plenty till 1973.

    6. What the British could not do, the Pakistanis achieved. With US assistance.

    7. First was the overthrow of Afghan King Zahir Shah. Pakistan then shut down the overland trade route through Pakistan between India-Afghanistan. That shutdown by Pakistan, destroyed Afghan agriculture – which was built over centuries. Instead sprang the menace of drug trade.

    8. Then came Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. If that was not bad enough, came the US-Pakistani monster – the Taliban.

    9. A creation of the Hollywood numbskull, Ronald Reagan, the Taliban were given millions in military assistance. Routed through ISI. Taliban co-opted the Afghan landowners into the drug trade, in which the ISI was also covertly involved.

    10. That is when I would say, you and I, really lost Afghanistan. Some 40 years ago. Not when some raider-plundere-looter came calling.

    Comment by Anuraag Sanghi — February 9, 2011 @ 3:10 am | Reply

    • Anuragji,
      I can see what you are saying.I have some photos of the coins of the Kabul shahis ( ill put them on my blog shortly,you can use them if you want in your upcoming article).

      I agree when you use the term Afghan-indians,but i would put it as “islamised Indians”.The thing is once afghanistan was converted to Islam the role of the Afghans underwent a change from the defenders of India to predatory raiders.This is when we really lost afghanistan.The physical loss of territory could have been nullified by agressive recoquest etc but what hurt us in the long term was mass conversion to Islam.This was what I would call the “civilisational break” from mainland India.
      While the indigenous Afghans would have had rivaliries with their co religionsits in India such as the Turks, Islamised Mongols,new converts etc ..they were as fanatic as any when it came to fighting Hindus.

      Comment by Yogeshwar Shastri — February 10, 2011 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  3. To #5 I must all add how Subhash Bose escaped from British prison in India, through Afghan mountains and Tibetan highlands, reached Germany.

    Comment by Anuraag Sanghi — February 9, 2011 @ 3:57 am | Reply

  4. Let me take another shot at this Islamic-religious-persecution model of history by using a more up-to-date and modern model.

    After WWII, as British, French and Dutch colonialists were being thrown out of Asia, in country after country, the West was in real danger of losing markets and raw material sources. What did you think they did – wring hands and moan?

    1. A new power, USA, took the place of old powers – Britain, France and the Dutch.

    2. Instead of the old system of directly running the governments in these Asian countries, the US simply destroyed these economies by war. The USA, then instituted the innovative USCAP Program and ‘helped’ these countries.

    3. These countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, et al) were now ruled by overtly independent regimes – but covertly, client states of the USA.

    4. Instead of British, French and Dutch companies, US multinationals and home-grown oligarchs (keiretsus, chaebols, etc.) took over the economy.

    5. To impose this economic model,
    nearly 50 lakh Asians were killed by US armies.

    Now do you think US told everybody what its strategy and objectives were? Obviously not. Instead the US: –

    Made a new enemy – communism and the domino theory. (After the defeat’ of Communism, the new campaign is Islamic Demonization).

    The West then created a religion with new idols for this campaign.

    The new religion is Westernization – and the new idols installed in our minds were democracy, progress, elections, capitalism, free-markets, planned economies, etc.

    Now, the 50 lakh Asians were killed in the name of this new religion – and these new idols.

    Did these nearly 1 million Western soldiers kill 5 million Asians for: –

    1. Creating a market for dominant US companies?

    2. For ‘democracy’, ‘capitalism’ ‘human rights’ etc.?

    3. For any cause at all?

    These 1 million soldiers killed because they were paid, trained and equipped to kill. These soldiers obeyed orders – and killed people.

    Why assume that Islamic soldiers were significantly different?

    Whether it is Christian Crusades or Islamic conquests, modern jihads and US Anti-Communism campaign of 40 years, WWI and WWII – all were fought for political and economic benefit of the rulers. Religion was a red-herring for the people and soldiers – who paid for these wars, with money and lives.

    Just like we have accepted this new religion of Westernization now, people accepted Islam – and killed millions for the ‘spread’ of Islam. Just like millions are being killed even today for ‘democracy’ ‘progress’ ‘free-markets’.

    Any difference!

    Comment by Anuraag Sanghi — February 14, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  5. Good job! You may also include the following in your map:
    1) Mulasthanapura (also known as Sambapura) i.e modern day Multan
    2) Syal i.e modern day Sialkot
    3) Atyugrapura i.e modern day Agror village in NWFP

    Also, please correct the name Utakhanda to Udabhandapura.

    Thanks for the good effort.

    Comment by Prabhakara Rao — August 30, 2012 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  6. Sita Ram Goel as a source is a red herring. I have found a lot of self-glorification in their books when I compare this with other experts who have researched History outside India or even within India.

    But in any case, Centra Asia has a long connection with India. The Sanskrit speaking lingusitic origins go over there. Even the Vedas when describing the society, race and geography mirror very close the Central Asian landscape. The words stans used by most central Asian countries indicate this Sanskrit legacy. The Kushan empire again was a Buddhist empire that ruled most of present day Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Even the Mahabharta talks about Central Asian groups coming down the slopes and fighting with the plainsmen. Wether it be the Vedas, Buddhists, or Muslims, the Central Asian ethnic groups have regularly come down and demolished civilisations in the plains. And I do pay attention to your history class. CBSE History books do talk about Kushan empire which does cover Afghanistan as well as the Hindu Shahi Kingdoms.

    Comment by Anita Rathod — May 15, 2013 @ 4:42 am | Reply

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