|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)|
Variants of name
- Kunduja (कुंदुज) (AS (p.198)
- Drapsaka (Buddhist)
- Drapsaca (Arrian, Anab.3.29)
Kunduz is located in the historical Tokharistan in the region of Bactria. It is linked by highways with Mazar-e Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Sher Khan Bandar to the north. Kunduz is located at an elevation of 391 meters above sea level.
The name of the city is derived from Persian compound, kuhan/quhan diz, "old/ancient fort" or from Turkic konak/konut ("residence, palace, court, housing, established dwelling area, city, town, village"), from Proto-Turkic *kon-, "to settle down/to perch." Alternative derivations also include Turkic kündüz ("day, daylight"), from Proto-Turkic kün, "day/sun".
Interestingly, until the 1960s, the city served as the capital to the now-defunct province of Qataqan, itself meaning "Old/Ancient city" (from Turkic kata ("old/ancient') and Eastern Iranian (Sogdian) kand or Common Turkic kent, "fort", "town".
Visit by Xuanzang in 630 AD
Further east he passed through Kunduz, where he stayed for some time to witness the funeral rites of Prince Tardu, who had been poisoned. Here he met the monk Dharmasimha, and on the advice of the late Tardu made the trip westward to Balkh (modern Afghanistan), to see the Buddhist sites and relics, especially the Nava Vihara, which he described as the westernmost vihara in the world. Here Xuanzang also found over 3000 non-Mahayana monks, including Prajnakara, a monk with whom Xuanzang studied early Buddhist scriptures. He acquired the important text of the Mahāvibhāṣa here, which he later translated into Chinese.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...कुंदुज (AS (p.198) निवासियों को महाभारत, सभा पर्व 52 में कुंदमान कहा गया है. यह देश संभवत है जैसा कि प्रसंग से इंगित होता है अफगानिस्तान की उत्तरी सीमा पर रहा होगा (देखें डॉ.मोतीचंद्र: उपायन पर्व- ए स्टूडी)
Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 48 describes Kings who presented tributes to Yudhishthira. Kundamana (कुन्दमान) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.48.13)..... the Kashmiras, the Kundamanas, the Paurakas, the Hansakayanas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Yauddheyas, the Rajanyas, Madras and the Kaikeyas,....
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