Kukara (कुकर) was a very ancient northwestern Mahabharata tribe. Kukura was a Chandravanshi Kingdom during Mahabharata period. It is identified with eastern Rajasthan. Kukura is also mentioned as a Nagavanshi King in Mahabharata. Varahamihira has mentioned Kukuradesha in Brihatsamhita (14,4). Probably Kukuras were related with Shakas and considered to be Anaryas. Khokhars or Gakkars who killed Muhammad Ghori while returning from India to Ghazni were descendants of Kukuras.
The Gakhars (also Gakkhar or Ghakhar or Ghakkar) are a Jat clan found predominantly on the Potohar plateau in the northern part of Pakistan's Punjab province. In the 1990s, Gakhars who professed Islam were reported to be most prevalent in Hazara district and in northern districts of Punjab such as Rawalpindi district. Hindu Gakhars have also been recorded, historically in areas such as the Punjab where a Gakhar ruled in the time of Babur.
Medieval Gakhars: The Gakhars had engaged in a long-running battle for sovereignty over the Salt Range. Gakhars were renowned for their skill in building forts and fortified cities, such as the Rawat Fort.
- The history of this region (the Salt Range) from the thirteenth century onward had been a sickening record of wars between Various clans inlcuding the Janjuhas, Gakkhars, Thathals and Bhattis for political ascendancy.
H.A. Rose writes that The first settlement of the Gakkhar tribe in this district is generally admitted to be Abriām in Sultānpur, under the Lehri hills : thence they spread over the Khuddar, southwards towards the river, and as far as Landi Patti to the west, being constantly opposed by the Janjuas who were almost invariably defeated and ejected : in his first invasion of India Babar took the part of the Janjuas, and with them defeated Hati Khan, the great Gakkhar chief of Pharwala, but in a subsequent invasion made friends with the Gakkhars and procured from them an auxiliary force. When Babar's son, Humayun, was in A. D. 1542 ousted by Sher Shah, the principal Gakkhar chiefs took the side of the exile: to bridle their pride Sher Shah built the huge fort of Rohtas, about ten miles from Jhelum : and in the constant warfare that followed the Gakkhar country was terribly harried, but the tribe was never subdued, and on Humayun's return to power began to grow powerful.
Pharwala Fort of Gakhars
Fharwala Fort located in Potohar, Pakistan is the most unassailable fort in South Asia. The fort has long been associated with the fearless clan of Gakhar Jatts. Pharwala Fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. (For details see Pharwala Fort)
Mahmud Ghazni (977-1030) and Gakkhar Jats
Mahmud Ghazni was a Turk. The original rulers of Turkistan were Jats. Then the Mongols ousted them and Turk tribes were gradually compelled to leave Turkistan. Mahmood's ancestors had thus come and settled in Zabulistan and Afghanistan. Alptigin of this tribe established his kingdom in Ghazni. Sabuktigin (977-997), who was born in the third generation of Alptigin, invaded India many times but was vigorously repulsed by the Jat King, Jai Pal, at Frontier Provinces. His son Sultan Mahmud was aware of his father's battles with Raja Jaipal and India's weaknesses.
It has been mentioned in Indian History that Mahmud Ghazni had given a vow to the Khalifa to invade India every year, demolish the idols they worshipped and spread Islam. Every time he came like a hurricane looted, and returned but only to create a large Army with that wealth, and invade again. Two of his invasions were purely against Jats and these proved the costliest.
In 1001 AD Mahmud of Ghazni defeated Jay Pal and occupied the state of Bhatis, Bhatinda. He captured Multan and levied tax on acts of worship. Anand Pal, son of Jay Pal, took with him the rulers of Kannauj and Jujhauti and attacked Mahmud. In this war Gakkhar Jats were also with Anand Pal. Mahmud had come this time with a huge army and camped for 40 days. At last the army of Gakkhars attacked Mahmud at place called Chhachh near Atak. The Turk army could not sustain war before Gakkhars. Mahmud was about to withdraw from the war, But unfortunately at the same time the elephant of Anand Pal got angry, which sent the signals as a defeat and the army got demoralized. This led to the victory of Mahmud. (Dr Natthan Singh, 123-124)
The Rajput kings of those days did not offer any appreciable resistance against his invasions. Once it was rumored that an attack on Somnath temple was imminent and it would be looted and devastated. All the Rajput Kings assembled there to save Somnath temple from this anticipated disaster, but had no mutual confidence among themselves. They had no heart to fight, but presented themselves only as a matter of prestige. The Head priest of this temple, however, assured them that there was no need to fight as the idol of Somnath would curse the devils to blindness, and they would perish moaning and screaming.
The rumor came true. The Muslim force laid siege of the temple and the battle ensued. At that time a dance of beautiful girls (devdasis) was going on in temple to appease the idol and all Rajput chiefs who had come to defend the temple were busy in enjoying the function. When the Muslim invaders attacked, the Rajputs took to their heels. The priests, however, fought bravely and were killed in large numbers at the altar. Sultan Mahmood demolished the idol of Somnath and started towards Ghazni with a Caravan of Camels laden with gold, silver and precious jewels.
It is mentioned in Todd's Rajasthan that while the Army of Mahmood Ghazni with the booty was passing through the Jat territory of Multan, they were ambushed by Jats in 1025 AD, and all the wealth was recovered.
Sultan Mahmood Ghazni collected the remnants of his force, and managed to slip away with it. This was the first occasion when he met defeat in India.
कुकुर = कुक्कुर = कौकुर
प्राचीन साहित्य तथा अभिलेखों में कुकुर-निवासियों और कुकुरदेश का अनेक बार उल्लेख आया है-- 'शौण्डिकाः कुक्कुराश चैव शकाश चैव विशां पते, अङ्गा वङ्गाश च पुण्ड्राश च शाणवत्या गयास्तदा' (II.48.15) (महाभारत सभापर्व 52,16) तथा 'जठराः कुक्कुराश चैव सुदशार्णाश च भारत' (VI.10.41) (महाभारत भीष्म पर्व 9,42); 'यादवा: कुकुरा भोजा: सर्वे चांधकवृष्णय:' शांतिपर्व 81,29.
रुद्रदामन् के गिरनार अभिलेख (द्वितीय सदी ईस्वी) में इस इस प्रदेश की गणना रुद्रदामन् द्वारा जीते गए प्रदेशों में की गई है.-- 'स्ववीर्यार्जितानामनुरक्त सर्वप्रकृतीनां पूर्वापराकरा वन्त्यनूपनी वृदानर्त सुराष्ट्र श्वभ्रभरुकच्छ सिंधु सौवीर कुकुरापरान्त निषादादीनां...'
इस प्रदेश को गौतमीबलश्री के नासिक अभिलेख (द्वितीय शती ई.) में उसके पुत्र सातवाहन गौतमीपुत्र के राज्य में सम्मिलित बताया गया है.
वाराहमिहिर की बृहतसंहिता 14,4 में भी कुकुरदेश का उल्लेख है. प्राप्त साक्ष्य के आधार पर कहा जा सकता है कि संभवत: कुकुर लोग शकों से संबंधित थे तथा उनकी गणना अनार्य जातियों में की जाती थी. (12 वीं सदी में सिंध और पश्चिमी पंजाब में खोखर या घक्कर नामक एक जाति का निवास था. इन्होंने मुहम्मद गौरी का, जब भारत से गजनी लौट रहा था, वध कर दिया था. संभव है खोखर और कुकुर एक ही हों. प्राचीन काल में कुकुर देश की स्थिति पारियात्र या विंध्याचल के पश्चिमी भाग तथा राजस्थान या गुजरात के पूर्वी भाग में रही होगी. रुद्रदामन् के समय कुकुर शायद सिंध और अपरांत देश के बीच में बसे हुए थे.
- Van Donzel, E. J., ed. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. p. 106. ISBN 978-9-00409-738-4.
- Chandra, Satish (2006). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals. 2 (Revised, 2nd ed.). Har-Anand Publications. p. 45. ISBN 978-8-12411-066-9.
- Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Volume 54, Issues 1-2. Pakistan Historical Society. 2006.
- Bakshi, S. R. (1995). Advanced History of Medieval India. Anmol Publ. p. 142. ISBN 9788174880284.
- A glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose Vol II/G,p.276
- The Ancient Geography of India,p.131
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.199