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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Taxakeshwar temple in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh
Shesh Shaiya Statue at Bandhavgarh Fort

Nagavansh (नागवंश) or Nagavansha (नागवंश) or Nagavanshi (नागवंशी) or Naga Vansh (नागवंश) are very ancient and aboriginal kshatriyas. Nagavanshi were tribes which, had serpent as their totem. They worshipped serpents and considered them to be their protector deities. They were in origin indigenous Kshatriyas. They ruled all over India during historic and pre historic times. [1]Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mentioned it as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia. [2]

Naga traditions

The Nagas, like most of the other Native tribes had serpent as their totem. They also used to worship serpent and consider them to be their protective deity. They also used to wear artificial hoods of cobra on their heads at certain occasions. [3]

The tradition of Naga worship or totem was in prevalence in Babylonia, Assyria, Palestine and Iran from m ancient time and it was brought to India along with migration of Sumerians and Assyrians and Dravidian race.[4]

Nagavanshi Jat clans

Many Jat Gotras find their origin from Nagavansh, which have been listed here. This article also makes it clear why many Jat clans are named after animals and trees. The Brahmanical rishis, author of Mahabharata and later authors and historians have taken the serpent worshippers i.e. nagas as real serpents. Likewise, concocted myths have been added to them and their origin. [5] The Aryans had wars with the aboriginal tribes the names which are found in many Jat clans of today. These Jat clans also show their antiquity as they find mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Most of the historians trace their origin in India from Taxila, from where they spread up in other parts of India. Their original seat was Taxila which was also the metropolis of serpent worship and the spot whence it spread all over India. [6][7]

Some Jat clans developed their Vamsha according to their system of worship such as Devas and Nāgas. In Devas the worshippers of Indra were known as Aindra, worshippers of Varun as Vārun, worshippers of Mitra as Maitreya or Mitrā, worshippers of Shiva as Shivi or Shaivya, worshippers of Marut as Mārut, worshippers of Gandharva as Gāndharva, worshippers of Shesha as Sheshma, worshippers of Karka as Karkotaka, worshippers of Nāga as Nāgā or Nāgil.

Jat clans of Nagavanshi or Nāgas were originated from Kashyapa. The Nāgvanshis acquired the status of Devas due to their excellent qualities, behavior and actions. Puranas mention Nāgas along with devas. Purānas mention of many Nāga Kingdoms. In ancient times Nāgas were the rulers of entire India. During their peak period of rule they had sent armies to other countries also conquered them. In many places Indian Nāgas have been mentioned as ruling dynasties such as Tāk, Taxak, Tānak, Tushta etc. Apart from these there were many branches of Nāgas such as Karkotaka Vanshi, Shesha Vanshi, Vāsuki Vanshi, Ahi Vanshi, Manibhadra Vanshi etc. These branches further developed as sub branches such as Sind Vansh, Kushan Vansh, Vaish Vansh and Saindhav Vansh etc.

According to historian Ram Swarup Joon, The Naga dynasty belonged to Madrak Jat gotra of Yadav Vansh and was devotees of Shiva. They had a number of ruling dynasties such as Takshak Nag, Bachak Nag, Kilkil Nag, Karkotaka, Kaliramna etc all of which are Jat gotras. Mathura, Padmavati and Kantipur were capitals of Naga dynasty. Nagas of Padmavati were called Taank, which is also a Jat gotra, and are found in 24 villages near Sonipat.

In chapter 29 of "India of the Dark Ages" the ancestor of Tanks is mentioned as Raja Gajvkatra. In chapter 42 of the same book it is mentioned that Malla Jat Republic extended from Eastern Punjab to the Ganga and Yaudheya republic extended into Rajasthan. Nagpur belonged to the Nagas. Nagar Brahmins also originated from there.

The Pauranic prejudice in the story is understandable. The Jats who followed Buddhism were considered renegades and those who adopted Vaishnavism became staunch Hindus.

Naga gotra (clan) of Jats are found in Nagaur and Sikar districts of Rajasthan and Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. The villages inhabited by Naga Jats in Sikar district are - Dujod, Kanwarpura, Rampura, Sikar. In Madhya Pradesh Naga Jats are found in Indore, MHOW, Ratlam, Harda, Ujjain, Khandwa, Dewas, Shajapur, Pachor, Gwalior, Tarana, Jabalpur, Katni, Narsinghpur, Badwah and Khargone.

Some of the Nagavansh Jat clans are [8][9][10]

Nagavanshis in Rajasthan

डॉ पेमाराम[11]लिखते हैं कि सिंध और पंजाब से समय-समय पर ज्यों-ज्यों जाट राजस्थान में आते गये, मरूस्थलीय प्रदेशों में बसने के साथ ही उन्होने प्रजातन्त्रीय तरीके से अपने छोटे-छोटे गणराज्य बना लिये थे जो अपनी सुरक्षा की व्यवस्था स्वयं करते थे तथा मिल-बैठकर अपने आपसी विवाद सुलझा लेते थे । ऐसे गणराज्य तीसरी सदी से लेकर सोलहवीं सदी तक चलते रहे । जैसे ईसा की तीसरी शताब्दी तक यौधेयों का जांगल प्रदेश पर अधिकार था । उसके बाद नागों ने उन्हें हरा कर जांगल प्रदेश (वर्तमान बिकानेर एवं नागौर जिला) पर अधिकार कर लिया । यौधेयों को हराने वाले पद्मावती के भारशिव नाग थे, जिन्होने चौथी शताब्दी से लेकर छठी शताब्दी तक बिकानेर, नागौर, जोधपुर तथा जालोर के जसवन्तपुरा तक शासन किया । जांगल प्रदेश में नागों के अधीन जो क्षेत्र था, उसकी राजधानी अहिच्छत्रपुर (नागौर) थी । यही वजह है कि नागौर के आस-पास चारों ओर अनेक नागवंशी मिसलों के नाम पर अनेक गांव बसे हुये हैं जैसे काला मिसल के नाम पर काल्यास, फ़िरड़ोदा का फिड़ोद, इनाणियां का इनाणा, भाकल का भाखरोद, बानों का भदाणा, भरणा का भरणगांव / भरनांवा / भरनाई, गोरा का डेह तथा धोला का खड़नाल आदि ।

छठी शताब्दी बाद नागौर पर दौसौ साल तक गूजरों ने राज किया परन्तु आठवीं शताब्दी बाद पुनः काला नागों ने गूजरों को हराकर अपना आधिपत्य कायम किया ।

दसवीं सदी के अन्त में प्रतिहारों ने नागों से नागौर छीन लिया । इस समय प्रतिहारों ने काला नागों का पूर्णतया सफ़ाया कर दिया । थोड़े से नाग बचे वे बलाया गांव में बसे और फिर वहां से अन्यत्र गये ।

Khichi people of Jayal, Nagaur

Jayal (Nagaur) was centre of Khichi Chauhans. Tejaji's ancestors were Khichi, who came from Khilchipur and ruled for about 1000 years. Manakrao (Khinchwal) is considered to be the epi-person of Khichi Chauhans. Manakrao was son of Asaraja (1110-1122 AD) of Nadol. [12]

Manakrao came to Jayal in 1111 AD. [13]

The genealogy of Khichis is maintained by Ram Singh Khichi of Jayal, bard of Khichis. Here is the family tree of Khichis as per records of Ram Singh Khichi:[14]

1. Manak Rao (1111 AD), 2. Ajay Rao, 3. Chandra Rao, 4. Lakhan Rao, 5. Govind Rao, 6. Ramdev Rao, 7. Maan Rao 8. Gundal Rao, 9. Someshwar Rao, 10. Lakhan Rao, 11. Lal Singh Rao, 12. Laxmi Chand Rao 13. Bhom Chand Rao, 14. Benn Rao, 15. Jodhraj

Gundal Rao was contemporary of Prithvi Raj Chauhan (1149–1192 CE). [15]

Tejaji's ancestors were Nagavanshi descendant of Shvetanaga, who had five kingdoms in Central India, namely - 1. Khilchipur, 2. Raghaugarh, 3. Dharnawad, 4. Garhkila (Kilkila), and 5. Khairagarh [16]

In Jayal Udayaraja developed differences with Kala clan people which led to a war in which Kala Jats of Jayal were defeated. But left Jayal and settled at Dholi Deh. Udayaraja occupied Kharnal from Khoja-Khokhar people and made his capital in V.S. 1021 (964 AD). Earlier name of Kharnal was Karnal but linguistic difference changed it to Kharnal. These facts are recorded in the Bahi of Bhairu Ram Bhat of Degana (Badwa of Dhaulya clan). [17]

Kala Jats had 27 villages around Jayal. Kalas were descendant of Kalanaga/Asitanaga. They were settled in Jayal since ancient times. They were known as Kalas of Jayal. [18]


Chandravanshi King Ayu had a king named Elakha in nineth generation, whose son was Nagas, from whom started Nagavansh. Prajapati Daksha's daughter was Sarma, who was wife of Suryavanshi king Kashyapa, who gave birth to son of Naga clan from whom started the Nagavansh. [19] According to a myth of Mahabharata[20], Nagas are offshoot of Kadru, the earth mother goddess, daughter of Prajapati from Rishi Kashyapa. [21] Dilip Singh Ahlawat has mention it as one of the ruling Jat clans in Central Asia. [22] The Nagavansha was a part of greater Jat Sangha as explained below in Hindi language.

The Vanshas included in Jat Sangha

जाट संघ में शामिल वंश

श्री कृष्ण के वंश का नाम भी जाट था. इस जाट संघ का समर्थन पांडव वंशीय सम्राट युधिस्ठिर तथा उनके भाइयों ने भी किया. आज की जाट जाति में पांडव वंश पंजाब के शहर गुजरांवाला में पाया जाता है. समकालीन राजवंश गांधार, यादव, सिंधु, नाग, लावा, कुशमा, बन्दर, नर्देय आदि वंश ने कृष्ण के प्रस्ताव को स्वीकार किया तथा जाट संघ में शामिल हो गए. गांधार गोत्र के जाट रघुनाथपुर जिला बदायूं में तथा अलीगढ़ में और यादव वंश के जाट क्षत्रिय धर्मपुर जिला बदायूं में अब भी हैं. सिंधु गोत्र तो प्रसिद्ध गोत्र है. इसी के नाम पर सिंधु नदी तथा प्रान्त का नाम सिंध पड़ा. पंजाब की कलसिया रियासत इसी गोत्र की थी. नाग गोत्र के जाट खुदागंज तथा रमपुरिया ग्राम जिला बदायूं में हैं. इसी प्रकार वानर/बन्दर गोत्र जिसके हनुमान थे वे पंजाब और हरयाणा के जाटों में पाये जाते हैं. नर्देय गोत्र भी कांट जिला मुरादाबाद के जाट क्षेत्र में है. [23]

पुरातन काल में नाग क्षत्रिय समस्त भारत में शासक थे. नाग शासकों में सबसे महत्वपूर्ण और संघर्षमय इतिहास तक्षकों का और फ़िर शेषनागों का है. एक समय समस्त कश्मीर और पश्चिमी पंचनद नाग लोगों से आच्छादित था. इसमें कश्मीर के कर्कोटक और अनंत नागों का बड़ा दबदबा था. पंचनद (पंजाब) में तक्षक लोग अधिक प्रसिद्ध थे. कर्कोटक नागों का समूह विन्ध्य की और बढ़ गया और यहीं से सारे मध्य भारत में छा गया. यह स्मरणीय है कि मध्य भारत के समस्त नाग एक लंबे समय के पश्चात बौद्ध काल के अंत में पनपने वाले ब्रह्मण धर्म में दीक्षित हो गए. बाद में ये भारशिव और नए नागों के रूप में प्रकट हुए. इन्हीं लोगों के वंशज खैरागढ़, कवर्धाm ग्वालियर आदि के नरेश थे. ये अब राजपूत और मराठे कहलाने लगे. तक्षक लोगों का समूह तीन चौथाई भाग से भी ज्यादा जाट संघ में सामिल हो गए थे. वे आज टोकस और तक्षक जाटों के रूप में जाने जाते हैं. शेष नाग वंश पूर्ण रूप से जाट संघ में सामिल हो गया जो आज शेषमा कहलाते हैं. वासुकि नाग भी मारवाड़ में पहुंचे. इनके अतिरिक्त नागों के कई वंश मारवाड़ में विद्यमान हैं. जो सब जाट जाति में सामिल हैं.[24]

History of Nagas

Nagas were a group of Mongoloid people spread throughout India during the period of the epic Mahabharata. The demi-god tribe called Suparnas (in which Garuda belonged) were arch-rivals of the Nagas. However, the Nagas near Kashmir seems to be the original abode of all of them. Places like Anantnag attests this theory.

  1. Naga Ananta was the first among all the Naga kings.
  2. The second Naga chief Vasuki had the kingdom near Kailasa (hence the connection of Vasuki with lord Siva).
  3. The third chief Takshaka, in Takshasila both not far from Anantnag.
  4. The kingdoms of other Nagas like Karkotaka and Airavata (near river Iravati (Ravi, one among the five rivers of Punjab) were also not far away.
  5. According to Dr Naval Viyogi, Rajasthan was sometimes the greatest centre of nagavanshi ruler. Present Tonk town was centre of naga rulers and is called in the Chauhan Chronicles Takatpur after the name of Takshak Naga.[25][26]
  6. Nagas had kingdoms in Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh. Arjuna's wife Ulupi was from one of such Naga kingdom (in Gangetic Plain) Arjuna's another wife Chitrangada who also was known to Ulupi was from Manipuri (location uncertain). She was probably from a Dravidian tribe. There are now many Naga worshiping places in South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  7. Naga race was almost exterminated by Janamejaya, the Kuru king in Arjuna's line, who conducted the massacre of Nagas at Takshasila. This massacre was stopped by Astika, a Brahmin whose mother was a Naga (Vasuki's sister Jaratkaru).
  • According to a story in Matsya Puran, quoted in chapter X of a book India of the Dark Ages the Nagas ruled for 100 years as renegades (this because they were Buddhist). Later, it is said they purified themselves with water of the Ganga, performed ten Asvamedha Yagyas and were thus accepted, into the folds of Vaishnavism.

Nāgas in Hindu religion

A festival of Nāga panchami is celebrated in Hindus to pay respect to Nāgas. The five Nāgas worshipped on Nāga panchami are Ananta, Vāsuki, Taxak, Karkotaka and Pingala. According to a Puranic myth Brahma’s son Kashyapa had four wives. Kashyapa’s first wife gave birth to Devas, second to Garudas, third to Nāgas and fourth to Daityas. [27]. The third wife of Kashpa was called Kadroo, who gave birth to Nāgas. So Nāgas are also known as Kadroojā. They were the rulers of Pātāl-Loka. There is a Sanskrit shloka to remember important nine Nāgas as under: [28]

अनन्तं वासुकिं शेषं पद्मनाभं च कम्बलम् ।
Anantam Vāsukim Shesham Padmanābham cha Kambalam
शंखपालं धार्तराष्ट्रं तक्षकं कालियं तथा ।।
Shankhapālam Dhārtarāshtram Taxakam Kāliyam tathā
एतानि नवनामानि च महात्मनाम् ।
Etāni navanāmāni cha mahātmanām

Genealogy of Nāga kshatriyas

The list of rulers in the genealogy of Nāga kshatriyas, as provided by Kishori Lal Faujdar, is as under:

Shesha, Vāsuki, Arāwati, Taxak, Karkotak, Dhananjay, Kāliya, Maninātha, Āyūraṇa (Pauniya), Pinjaraka, Alāwat, Vāman, Nīl, Anīl, Kalmāsha, Shabala, Āryak, Ugrak, Kalash, Poka, Sumanda, Dīghamukha, Nimala, Pindak, Shankh, Bāl Shiv, Vishtāvaka, Imeguh, Nahush, Pingal, Bahya Varṇa, Hastipada, Mundara, Pindak, Karal, Ashwatar, Kālīshak, Pahal, Tūna, Danvartaka, Shankhamukha, Kushmāndak, Semaka, Chindārak, Karvīr, Pushpadanda, Vilvaka, Pāndhūr, Mūshakād, Shankhasirā, Pūrṇāmadra, Haridraka, Aparājit, Jotika, Pannaga, Srāvaha, Kauravya, Dhritarashtra, Shankhapinda, Virajā, Subahu, Shālipinda, Haritpinda, Pithraka, Sumukha, Koṇaya , Dashana, Kuthara, Kunjara, Prabhākara, Kusada, Halaka, Kumudāksha, Tittara, Mahāsarpa, Kadanma, Bahumūlaka, Karkara, Kundaudara, Mahodara.

Nagavanshi kings in Mahabharata

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 31 narrates the names of chief Nagas: Sesha was born first, and then Vasuki. (Then were born) Airavata, Takshaka, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya, Kalakeya, the serpent Mani, Purana, Pinjaraka, and Elapatra, Vamana, Nila, Anila, Kalmasha, Savala, Aryaka, Ugra, Kalasapotaka, Suramukha, Dadhimukha, Vimalapindaka, Apta, Karotaka, Samkha, Valisikha, Nisthanaka, Hemaguha, Nahusha, Pingala, Vahyakarna, Hastipada, Mudgarapindaka, Kamvala Aswatara, Kaliyaka, Vritta, Samvartaka, Padma, Mahapadma, Sankhamukha, Kushmandaka, Kshemaka, Pindaraka, Karavira, Pushpadanshtraka, Vilwaka, Vilwapandara, Mushikada, Sankhasiras, Purnabhadra, Haridraka, Aparajita, Jyotika, Srivaha, Kauravya, Dhritarashtra, Sankhapinda, Virajas, Suvahu, Salipinda, Prabhakara, Hastipinda, Pitharaka, Sumuksha, Kaunapashana, Kuthara, Kunjara, Kumuda, Kumudaksha, Tittri, Halika, Kardama, Vahumulaka, Karkara, Akarkara, Kundodara, and Mahodara.

शेषः परथमतॊ जातॊ वासुकिस तदनन्तरम
ऐरावततक्षकशकर्कॊटक धनंजयौ (Mbt.I.31.5)
कालियॊ मणिनागशनागश चापूर्णस तथा
नागस तथा पिञ्जरक एला पत्रॊ ऽथ वामनः (Mbt.I.31.6)
नीलानीलौ तथा नागौ कल्माषशबलौ तथा
आर्यकश चादिकश चैव नागश च शल पॊतकः (Mbt.I.31.7)
सुमनॊमुखॊ दधिमुखस तथा विमलपिण्डकः
आप्तः कॊटनकश चैव शङ्खॊ वालशिखस तथा (Mbt.I.31.8)
निष्ठ्यूनकॊ हेमगुहॊ नहुषः पिङ्गलस तथा
बाह्यकर्णॊ हस्तिपदस तथा मुद्गरपिण्डकः (Mbt.I.31.9)
कम्बलाश्वतरौ चापि नागः कालीयकस तथा
वृत्तसंवर्तकौ नागौ दवौ च पद्माव इति श्रुतौ (Mbt.I.31.10)
नागः शङ्खनकश चैव तथा च सफण्डकॊ ऽपरः
क्षेमकशमहानागॊ नागः पिण्डारकस तथा (Mbt.I.31.11)
करवीरः पुष्पदंष्ट्र एॢकॊ बिल्वपाण्डुकः
मूषकादः शङ्खशिराः पूर्णदंष्ट्रॊ हरिद्रकः (Mbt.I.31.12)
अपराजितॊ जयॊतिकश च पन्नगः श्रीवहस तथा
कौरव्यॊ धृतराष्ट्रशपुष्करः शल्यकस तथा (Mbt.I.31.13)
विरजाशसुबाहुशशालिपिण्डश च वीर्यवान
हस्तिभद्रः पिठरकॊ मुखरः कॊण वासनः (Mbt.I.31.14)
कुञ्जरः कुररश चैव तथा नागः प्रभा करः
कुमुदः कुमुदाक्षशतित्तिरिर हलिकस तथा
कर्कराकर्करौ, चॊभौ कुण्डॊदर महॊदरौ (Mbt.I.31.15)

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 52 narrates the Names of all those Nagas that fell into the fire of this snake-sacrifice:

Nagas born of Vasuki (verse 4-6):

"Kotisa, Manasa, Purna, Cala, Pala Halmaka, Pichchala, Kaunapa, Cakra, Kalavega, Prakalana, Hiranyavahu, Carana, Kakshaka, Kaladantaka.

Nagas of the race of Takshaka (verse 7-9):

Puchchandaka, Mandalaka, Pindasektri, Ravenaka; Uchochikha, Carava, Bhangas, Vilwatejas, Virohana; Sili, Salakara, Muka, Sukumara, Pravepana, Mudgara and Sisuroman, Suroman and Mahahanu.

Nagas of race of Airavata (verse 10-11):

And Paravata, Parijata, Pandara, Harina, Krisa, Vihanga, Sarabha, Meda, Pramoda, Sauhatapana.

Nagas of the race Kauravya (verse 12):

Eraka, Kundala Veni, Veniskandha, Kumaraka, Vahuka, Sringavera, Dhurtaka, Pratara and Astaka.

Nagas of race of Dhritarashtra (verse 13-17):

Sankukarna, Pitharaka, Kuthara, Sukhana, and Shechaka; Purnangada, Purnamukha, Prahasa, Sakuni, Dari, Amahatha, Kumathaka, Sushena, Vyaya, Bhairava, Mundavedanga, Pisanga, Udraparaka, Rishabha, Vegavat, Pindaraka; Raktanga, Sarvasaranga, Samriddha, Patha and Vasaka; Varahaka, Viranaka, Suchitra, Chitravegika, Parasara, Tarunaka, Maniskandha and Aruni.

वासुकेः कुलजांस तावत परधान्येन निबॊध मे
नीलरक्तान सितान घॊरान महाकायान विषॊल्बणान (Mbt: I.52.4)
कॊटिकॊ मानसः पूर्णः सहः पौलॊ हलीसकः
पिच्छिलः कॊणपश चक्रः कॊण वेगः प्रकालनः (Mbt: I.52.5)
हिरण्यवाहः शरणः कक्षकः कालदन्तकः
एते वासुकिजा नागाः परविष्टा हव्यवाहनम (Mbt: I.52.6)
तक्षकस्य कुले जातान परवक्ष्यामि निबॊध तान
पुच्छण्डकॊ मण्डलकः पिण्ड सेत्ता रमेणकः (Mbt: I.52.7)
उच्छिखः सुरसॊ दरङ्गॊ बलहेडॊ विरॊहणः
शिली शल करॊ मूकः सुकुमारः प्रवेपनः (Mbt: I.52.8)
मुद्गरः शशरॊमासुमना, महाहनू वेगवाहनः
एते तक्षकजा नागाः परविष्टा हव्यवाहनम (Mbt: I.52.9)
पारावतः पारियात्रः पाण्डरॊ हरिणः कृशः
विहंगः शरभॊ मॊदः प्रमॊदः संहताङ्गदः (Mbt: I.52.10)
ऐरावत कुलाद एते परैविष्टा हव्यवाहनम
कौरव्य कुलजान नागाञ शृणु मे दविजसत्तम (Mbt: I.52.11)
ऐण्डिलः कुण्डलॊ मुण्डॊ वेणि सकन्धः कुमारकः
बाहुकः शृङ्गवेगशधूर्तकः पातपातरौ (Mbt: I.52.12)
धृतराष्ट्र कुले जाताञ शृणु नागान यथातथम
कीर्त्यमानान मया बरह्मन वातवेगान विषॊल्बणान (Mbt: I.52.13)
शङ्कुकर्णः पिङ्गलकः कुठार मुखमेचकौ
पूर्णाङ्गदः पूर्णमुखः परहसः शकुनिर दरिः (Mbt: I.52.14)
आमाहठः कॊमठकः शवसनॊ मानवॊ वटः
भैरवॊ मुण्डवेदाङ्गः पिशङ्गश चॊद्र पारगः (Mbt: I.52.15)
ऋषभॊ वेगवान नाम पिण्डारक महाहनू
रक्ताङ्गः सर्वसारङ्गः समृद्धः पाट राक्षसौ (Mbt: I.52.16)
वराहकॊ वारणकः सुमित्रश चित्रवेदकः
पराशरस तरुणकॊ मणिस्कन्धस तथारुणिः (Mbt: I.52.18)

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 59 mentions descent on the earth from heaven with all the gods:

Kadru's sons - Sesha or Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Kurma, and Kulika are known to be the sons of Kadru;

शेषॊ ऽनन्तॊ वासुकिशतक्षकश च भुजंगमः
कूर्मशकुलिकश चैव काद्रवेया महाबलाः (Mbt: I.59.40)

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 9 mentions names of following naga kings who attended the Sabha of Varuna:

Vasuki and Takshaka, and the Naga called Airavata; Krishna and Lohita; Padma and Chitra endued with great energy; the Nagas called Kamvala and Aswatara; and Dhritarashtra and Valahaka; Matimat and Kundadhara and Karkotaka and Dhananjaya; Panimat and the mighty Kundaka, O lord of the Earth; and Prahlada and Mushikada, and Janamejaya,--all having auspicious marks and mandalas and extended hoods;--these and many other snakes. These have been described from shloka 8 to 11 as under:

वासुकिस तक्षकश चैव नागश चैरावतस तदा
कृष्णशलॊहितश चैव पद्मश चित्रश च वीर्यवान (Mbt:II.9.8)
कम्बलाश्वतरौ नागौ धृतराष्ट्र बलाहकौ
मणिमान कुण्डलधरः कर्कॊटक धनंजयौ (Mbt:II.9.9)
परह्लाथॊ मूषिकादश च तदैव जनमेजयः
पताकिनॊ मण्डलिनः फणवन्तश च सर्वशः (Mbt:II.9.10)
एते चान्ये च बहवः सर्पास तस्यां युधिष्ठिर
उपासते महात्मानं वरुणं विगतक्लमाः (Mbt:II.9.11)

Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 101: Names of famous Nagas of Bhogavati: Bhogavati resembles the Amaravati. It is ruled over by Vasuki, the king of the Nagas. Shesha dwells here. He has thousand heads. There dwell in happiness innumerable Nagas -- sons of Surasa. And all of them are possessed of huge bodies that resemble the mountains stretching over the earth. Millions and tens of millions are they, in fact, uncountable, even as regards those of them that belong to a single race.

वासुकिस तक्षकश चैव कर्कॊटक धनंजयौ
कालीयॊ नहुषश चैव कम्बलाश्वतराव उभौ (Mbt:V.101.9)
बाह्यकुण्डॊ मणिर नागस तथैवापूरणः खगः
वामनश चैल पत्रशकुकुरः कुकुणस तथा (Mbt:V.101.110)
आर्यकॊ नन्दकश चैव तथा कलशपॊतकौ
कैलासकः पिञ्जरकॊ नागश चैरावतस तथा (Mbt:V.101.111)
सुमनॊमुखॊ दधिमुखः शङ्खॊ नन्दॊपनन्दकौ
आप्तः कॊटनकश चैव शिखी निष्ठूरिकस तथा (Mbt:V.101.112)
तित्तिरिर हस्तिभद्रशकुमुदॊ माल्यपिण्डकः
दवौ पद्मौ पुण्डरीकशपुष्पॊ मुद्गरपर्णकः (Mbt:V.101.113)
करवीरः पीठरकः संवृत्तॊ वृत्त एव च
पिण्डारॊ बिल्वपत्रशमूषिकादः शिरीषकः (Mbt:V.101.114)
दिलीपः शङ्खशीर्षशजयॊतिष्कॊ ऽथापराजितः
कौरव्यॊ धृतराष्ट्रशकुमारः कुशकस तथा (Mbt:V.101.115)
विरजा धारणश चैव सुबाहुर मुखरॊ जयः
बधिरान्धौ विकुण्डशविरसः सुरसस तथा (Mbt:V.101.116)
एते चान्ये च बहवः कश्यपस्यात्मजाः समृताः
मातले पश्य यद्य अत्र कश चित ते रॊचते वरः) (Mbt:V.101.117)

Mahabharata counts following more Naga clans – Ahi, Shivatra, (Khet) Ashit, Serbhak, Sevridha, Astin, Kantat, Spaj, Ananta, Kulik, Shankhapāl, Darvī, Achāswa, Ajgar, Āligī, Vilagī, Orīvisha, Karikrat, Kasṇīnla, Tirashcha, Raji, Naimarat, Prīdākū, Prīdāmī, Rajju, Lohitāhī, Ratharvī, Vāhas, Serbhā.

The Nagavanshi kings had a symbol of Naga or serpent on their coins and flags. The coins of Nagavanshi rulers are still found at village Āhār in Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh. These coins depict symbols of Nagas on them. There is mention of Nagas in Mahabharata in a story in which Duryodan poisoned Bhima to kill and threw into Ganga River. When he was floating in river he reached village Āhār where the Nagavanshi rulers took him out from Ganga River and gave treatment to cure. After treatment he was sent to Hastinapur.

The Yadavas: A Naga Race

Genealogy of Chandravansha, p.242
Genealogy of Chandravansha, p.243

Dr Naval Viyogi[29] writes...[p.242]:The dark skinned Krishna was a non-Aryan chief. Oldham[30] is of the view that, "Krishna was a non-Aryan of dark skin so much so that in the Indian School of painting this fact is still preserved and he is always painted as a blue skinned human."

Genealogy of Chandra Bansha (After Metclfe)

[p.244]: As far his (Krishna) ancestral history it is said that he was the incarnation of Vishnu, he was the son of Vasudeva who was the great grandson of Aryaka who was a Naga chief. The word 'Naga' means 'serpent' and it was applied to those people who worshipped the serpents and who were mentioned in Sanskrit literature as Asura, Monsters, Danavas and Dasas.

These words are still used for the Dravidians of Northern India not yet subdued. Similarly, it has been said about Balram, the elder brother of Krishna that he was always under the protection of many hoods of cobras. He is considered to be the reincarnation of Shesh Nag. At his death, his soul came out of his body in the form of huge Cobra (V.P. V-37-64). James Todd[31] puts forth his opinion on Chandra Banshi origin of Yadavas and their later history, thus, "Krishna was of the celebrated tribe of Yadu, the founder of the fifty six tribes, who obtained the universal sovereignty of India, and descended from Yayati, the third son of Swayarnbhu Manu or 'the man lord of earth,' whose daughter Ila (Terra) was espoused by Buddha (Mercury) son of Chandra (the moon), whence the Yadus are styled Chandrabanshi or children of the moon ? Buddha was therefore worshipped as the great ancestor of the lunar race; and previous to the apotheosis of Krishna was adored by all the Yadu race.

The principal shrine of Buddha was at Dwarka, where he still receives adoration as Buddha Trivikrama. Kanhaiya (Krishna) lived towards the conclusion of the brazen age, calculated to have been about 1100 to 1200 years before Christ. He was born to the inheritance of Vraj, the country of the Suraseni, comprehending the territory around Mathura for a space of eighty miles, of which he was unjustly deprived in his infancy by his relative Kansa. From its vicinity to Delhi we may infer either that there was no lord paramount amongst the Yadus of this period, or that Krishna's family held as vassals of Hastinapur, then with Indraprastha or Delhi, the chief seat of Yadu power.

There were two princes named Sura and Sena amongst the immediate-predecessors of Krishna; one his grandfather, the other eight generations anterior. Which of these was the founder of Suryapur on the Yamuna, the capital of the Yadus, we know not, but we may assume that the first gave his name to the region around Mathura, described by Arrian as the country the Suraseni," According to Jayaswal (P-33) Bharsiva and yadu of Mathura were ethnically one people.

These Yadavas or Surasenis, in origin, were Nagas. J.P.H. Vogel [32] produces archaeological evidences to decide their ethnical identity, "The country round Mathura, which is now so closely associated with the cult of the shepherd god Krishna, must once have been a great centre of Naga worship. A Sanskrit inscription preserved in the Lucknow Museum refer to a local serpent deity named Dadhikarna, who appears to have had his own shrine not far from the Buddhist convent founded by king Havishka in the year 47 of Kanishka' sera. The remains of this royal foundation were excavated from the Jamalpur (Jail) mound in 1860.

Chhargaon Statue of a Naga

Among the numerous Naga images recovered in the Mathura district the most

[p.245]: valuable specimen is undoubtedly the inscribed statue from Chhargaon a village situated 5 miles almost the south of the city of Mathura. It is now preserved in the local Museum (Mathura Museum Catalogue P-60 No C. 13). The spirited attitude of this image deserves special notice. The Naga is shown standing with his right arm raised over his head as if ready to striKe. The left hand is broken, but probably held a cup in front of the shoulder the head is surmounted by a seven headed snake-hood. From well preserved inscription incised on the back of the image it appears that if was set up at a water-tank in the fortieth year of Kushana era during the reign of king Huvishka.

The Chhargaon statue represents the best and possibly one of the earliest specimens or a distinct class of Naga image, of which numerous examples have come to light in the Mathura district. These icons still receive the worship of the rural population, but under a different name.

They are invariably designated as "Dau-ji" (meaning, the elder brother) or Baldeva the image of Balrama found at Tumain in Gwalior state and reproduced ASR (1918-19) Part i P-22 Pl XIII). Modern images of Baldeva, which are manufactured in such large numbers at Mathura and Brindaban, are nothing but imitations of the ancient Naga figures.

How the images of the Nagas came to be confounded by the villagers with effigies of Baldeva (Balrama), the elder brother of Krishna, it is not difficult to explain. Baldeva is believed to be a reincarnation of Sesha and we shall see that in Sanskrit literature too, he is sometimes completely identified With his spiritual father, the world serpent."

We learn from the inscriptions of Ashoka and Satavahana that there was tribal-republican system in Maharashtra in the age of Ashoka the Great and there were two main components of this tribal reublic i.e., Mahar-ratta and Bhoja. Yadava-Gana was consisted of 18 families which were organised into 4 tribes ie Vrashti, Kukkar, Andhaka and Bhoja. Similarly in Maharashtra, many Naga families were organized into two tribes i.e. Mahar Ratta and Bhoja.[33] In Puranas Satavahanas have been Called Andhakas or Andhra tribe also.

The animal Totemism among aboriginal tribes

In the form of languages the remains of aboriginal tribes and castes are still in each and every corner of India. The Munda languages in North East and Dravidian languages in South are spoken till to-day their main mark of identification was the tradition of totemism : on the other hand there was tradition of Gotras in Aryan tribes and castes. [34]

Totem can be defined as follows: if some casters or tribes or a group of families living together accept animal or a plant as their totem, it is called the totem of that caste or tribe viz Monkey, bear, fish, serpent, dear, eagle, tortoise, pea-cock, duck and many plants etc. [35]

Acharya Chhitiji Mohan Sen [36] has defined the totem tradition: “From the most ancient time, in different countries, nations or tribes, a particular mark or insignia (animal, bird or plant) known as totem was in practice: that insignia was a subject of great respect and full faith for each and every member of the tribe or Nation. [37]

According to Majumdar the killing of certain animals or eating them is tabooed in some clans. Some tribes bear sign thereof. The totem animal, when it dies is ceremonially mourned and buried as a member of the clan concerned. The assumptions, with regard to totemism, are that totem organization is universal. J.F. Maclenon was the first to understand the significance of totemism as a primitive social institution.

According to Majumdar [38], as per ethnographic Survey of India, the Santhals have more than 100 totemistic clans. Hos have more than 50, Mundas 64 and Bhils 24, many castes in Orissa, the Kurmi, the Kumhar, the Bhumia, who have advanced in culture in recent years are named after the serpent, pumpkin, jackal and other totems. The Katkaris of Bombay, the Gond tribes of M.P. and of Rajasthan also have clan names after the fauna and flora of their habitat. It is clear that all these castes and tribes were sometimes, organized into totem system. But now owing to spreading of education and civilization, above system has also lost its grounds. [39]

Serpent Totem and Naga race

It is crystal clear from the above description, that Nagas were also tribes which, had serpent as their totem. They worshipped serpents and consider them to be their protector deities. They also used to wear artificial hoods of cobra on their heads. [40]

They were in origin indigenous Kshatriyas. They ruled all over India during history and pre historic time. Some of the Naga Kings and families can be enumerated as under: Ahivritra,Ashwasena, Takshaka, Gonanda, Lohara, Karkota of North; Brahamadutta of Kashi, Sishunaga and Nanda of Magadha, of North east; Nagas of Padmavati (Bharsiva), Vidisa, Eran, Mathura, Ahichchhattra, Kausambi, Malava, Chakrakot, Bhogwati, in Central India; Andhra or Satvahanas (235 BC -225 AD) Chuttus, Chalukya, Pallava, Kadamba, Chhindaka, Chera, Chola of South India etc. Most of the above Naga families ruled between 500 BC and 500 AD and some of them onward up to the Mughal period. [41]

The Harappan Civilization and cult of Naga Worship

Naga Seals from Indus Valley

The Indus Valley Civilization which is the most ancient civilization of India, was spread up in North-West: Harappa, Mohenjodaro , Chanhudaro and Lothal were its most important towns. The founders of Indus valley civilization were Mediterraneans or Dravidians and Australoids, [42] where as, round headed Alpines, appeared, in mature age of this culture. [43] In excavation of these towns, in addition to Burnished Red ware, a very high number of seals and seal impressions have also been found out. Among the seals so found out on one seal, there is a figure of chief deity with buffalo head, on its both sides, are two other man deities and behind each of them is a serpent in standing posture (See Illustration - Seal A). On another seal, there is a serpent, in standing posture, behind the bull, which is fighting with a mighty man (See Illustration - Seal B). [44] On another third seal, there is a serpent resting his head on a Wooden bench or seat, which is protecting a tree deity (See Illustration - Seal C). [45]

The presence of serpents on all the above three seals, establishes that the Naga (serpent) was their (Harappans) protector deity and symbol of authority of rule. We can draw the following conclusion from the above detail:

  1. The tradition of serpent worship or totemisim was prevalent in Indus Valley Civilization
  2. The scene depicted on the seal no.-2 (See Illustration - Seal B), shows its relation with the myths of Bobylonia, which proves origin of this tradition on Western Asia.

This fact finding is further corroborated by seal, No.4 (See Illustration - Seal D) This figure is incised on a cylinder seal recovered form Babylonia (Lajards culte de Mithra). This proves the origin of tradition of tree and serpent worship in Babylonia, from where later on it was transferred to Indus Valley. [46]

Description of Nagas in Vedas

The Rigveda

In Rigvedic account there is mention of Naga (Serpent ) race, Naga kings and Naga warriors.

There is description [47] of serpent deity “Ahivritra” in the verses of this sacred book “Ahi” is synonym of serpent . The word “ Ahi Budhna (the serpent of base of a mountain ) has come twelve times in the Rigveda. [48]

According to Oldenberg water is a form of serpent and according to Macdonell [49], they (Serpents) are the forms of Ahivritra, who is thought to be heavenly, it is conclusive that ahi-Budhna who is thought to be heavenly it is conclusive that Ahi Budhna of Rigveda was a serpent deity who was worshipped. [50]

The Description of Vritra also has come repeatedly in Rigveda. [51] He was deadly enemy of Indra, and he ultimately was killed by the later, he also has been called by the names like Dasyu, Dasa, Asura and Ahi in Rigveda, the word “Ahi” had also come for serpent. It means Ahi was a serpent. The greatest Ahi of Vedic poet was Vritra sarpa (Vritra serpent) which could block waters (Rivers) [52] In Atharva-ved and later Brahmanical literature there is also mention of “ Ahi” Along with Vritra. [53] Ahi is a title of Naga Kings as well as a serpent. In support of this view there are enormous evidence in sanskrit scripture such as in Amarkosha (First kanda) in the list of serpents there is mention of “Ahi” . In Hindi dictionary of Nalanda the meaning of “Ahi” is serpent and Vritrasur. In the sanskrit Hindi dictionary of Apte, the meaning of “Ahi” is serpent “ boa.” In Rigveda ( VII-50-1 to 3) “Ahi” has been stated to be a dangerous serpent . In Uttar Pradesh the cultural center of mediaeval period was Ahichchhattra (centre of Naga rule) which was situated in the district of Barrielly. This was the capital of ancient Naga kings. [54]

This is quite clear that “Ahi” as described in Rigveda, was a serpent or Naga race, whose king was Vritra or Ahivritra.

The Atharva-Veda

Dr Bhagwatsharan Upadhyay, the famous scholar of ancient history and culture, has noted [55] some hymns of Atharva-Veda (V-13-6 to 10), as explained in the next section, which have reference of Assyrian Naga kings Aligi and Viligi. This proves that Naga worship and totemism tradition came to India from Assyria. [56]

Origin of naga race in western Asia

Dr Naval Viyogi writes that according to ancient myths of Iran, the tradition of Naga worship was taken to India from Iran. [57]Whenever we look for the earliest centre of origin of serpent or naga worship it is found in western Asia. Dr Bhagwatsharan Upadhyay [58] has mentioned some hymns of Atharva-Veda (V-13-6 to 10). These verses are as under: Atharv-Veda (V-13-6 to 10) [59]

asitasya tēmātasya babhrapod kasya cha ।
sātrā sānasyāhan manyo khājyomiv dhanvno vimunchāti rathoiva ।। (6)
aligī cha viligī ya pitā cha mātā cha. ।
vidma vah: sarvto banohva raṣāh: kim kariṇyatha. ।। (7)
urugulāyāduhitājātā dāsya sikanyā ।
prataṅ ke vatruso ṇām sarvāsāmaram viśama ।। (8)
tābu vam natābuvam vetva masi tābu yam tābuvenaraśām viśaṃ. ।। (10)

These verses are translated by an Indian scholar B.G. Tilak on the basis of research work of Bloomfield. This is as under:[60]

You are released from the most powerful upodak poison and black brown coloured snake Taimāt, like wise a chariot is released from the horse and bow-string from the bow. (6)
I know Aligi and Viligi (Alai and Valai) who are your father and mother and all your relatives. You are poison less and you can not put to harm. (7)
This daughter of Urugulā is born from karet (black). The poison of them all has become devoid of power, and they have run away to their shelters. (8)
Tābubam (or) and no Tabubam (0, serpent!) you are not Tabubam. Your poison has been made devoid of power with the help of Tabubam. (10)

B. G. Tilak has thrown light on the origin of the words like Taimāta, Aligi, Viligi, Urugula and Tabubam and informs us, "These words are non-Vedic and Akkadian (Khandi)". He has again tried to compare the word 'Taimāt' with the Timāyat and 'Tābubam' with the Tobā. But he could not trace the meaning of the words Aligi, Viligi and Urugula in Sanskrit language. He thinks these words are not Indian. But English scholars like Macdonell, Keith and Grifth are also connecting the words Taimata, Upodak, Aligi, Viligi and Urugula with some unknown species of snakes. Viligi is a deity of Assyrian myths. [61] [62]

But endeavour of Dr. Upadhyaya to trace out the origin of these words is highly appreciable. He has traced out the names of Aligi (Alalu) and Viligi (Balalu) in the genealogical table of Assyrian kings, belonging to the period of 3000 B. C. in the guide book composed by Dr. Burnette, department of Assyria and Sumeria. Alalu and Balalu are shown to be the names of father and son.[63] This genealogy is also given in the Cambridge Ancient History-Vol-I.

The study of above verses of Atharv- Veda and veiw-point of different scholars on them, brings out the following conclusions: [64]

(1) The ojhas (priests) of Atharv-Veda age had knowledge of above serpent kings.

(2) According to Yaska these are the words with no meaning.

(3) Macdonell, Kerth and Grifth connect them with some unknown species or snakes.

(4) Aligi and Viligi were father and son who were Assyrian kings of 3000 BC

(5) Above genealogical table has been traced out from excavation of Ur, an ancient city of Sumer.

(6) These names are non-Indian and "Akkadian" or semitics.

We can draw a final conclusion from the above study that certain serpent worshipper tribes of Assyria or Sumer came to India along with the above names of their kings in a period after 3000 B. C. or roughly Indus Valley period (2700-1600 B C ). Either the knowledge of above names and words was transferred to ojhas or priests or they were themselves among the immigrants. Although it is a farfetched idea, yet I think this will be the most acceptable view-point, because verses were composed at a very later period, the composer would have belonged to the institution of immigrant priest class. It is equally possible that Atharv-Veda would have been related to the black section of Rishi of Assyrian immigrants like wise a section of Yajurveda or Kanva as suggested by some scholars[65]. There are clear evidences of Indus seals or seal Impressions with figures of Nagas or serpents depicted on them. Similarly there is another supporting evidence of Rigvedic description (lV-28-l) of Nagas also. [66]

To understand this important secret we have to study the available evidences of Naga worship in Babylonia, Sumer and Assyria. (see Illustration Naga Seals from Indus Valley) James Fergusson [67] produces detail of such evidences as under,

"In addition to the Tyrian coins and other monuments which in themselves would suffice to prove the prevalence of serpent worship on the seaboard of Syria, we have a direct testimony in a quotation from Sanchoniathon, an author who is supposed to have lived before the Trojan War. This passage is in itself sufficient to throw light on the feelings of the ancients on this subject. It may be worthwhile to quote it fully. Taautus attributed a certain divine nature to dragons and serpents, an opinion which was afterwards adopted both by the Phoenicians and Egyptians. He teaches that this genus of animals abounds in force and spirit more than any other reptiles; that there is something fiery in their nature, and though possessing neither feet nor any external members for motion common to other animals, they are yet more rapid in their motion than any other. Not only has it the power of renewing its youth, but in doing so receives an increase of size and strength, so that after having run through a certain term of years it is again absorbed within itself. For these reasons this class of animals was admitted into temples, and used in sacred mysteries. By the Phoenicians they were called the good demon, which was the term also applied by the Egyptians to Cneph. who added to him the head of a hawk to symbolize the vivacity of that bird. [68]

After this, Eusebius or Philo goes on to quote several other authors to the same effect, among others the Magian Zoroasters, who describes the hawk-headed deity as "the chief, the best, and the most learned of the gods;" but from the context it appears that there is here some confusion between the serpent god and the eagle- headed deity of the Assyrians, who is generally supposed to represent Nisroch [69] and whose image so frequently occurs in the sculptures. It scarcely admits of a doubt but that this eagle-headed deity of the Assyrians became the Garuda of the Hindu mytholooy, who before the time when Eusebius wrote, had taken so important a position in the serpent worship of the Hindus, but it is still not clear how the confusion between the two objects, crept into the passage as we now find it. Eusebius certainly understood the quotations as applying to the serpent ................ The coins of Tyre represent in some instances a tree with a serpent coiled round its trunk, and on either hand two rude stone pillars (Petrae Ambrosiae... ?) or an altar with two serpents rising from the angles of its base. Others represent the serpent coiled around a rude stone obelisk, with Tyrian Hercules contending with serpent. Taken in conjunction with the above quotation, these, with others that might be quoted, suffice to show that the serpent was honoured, perhaps worshipped in Tyre from an early period down to the time of Alexander." [70]

It is crystal clear from the description of Sanchoniathon that, as a result of above thoughts of Taautus, the tradition of serpent worship came-into being in Western Asia and Egypt, which caused origin of a serpent worshipper Naga race. Not only it did become popular among the masses even the Assyrian Kings like Aligi (Alalu), Viligi (Balalu) adopted it as a part of their religion. This tradition was not only in practice in Babylonia, Sumer, Akkad and Assyria but also in Egypt, Crete and Greece. [71]

Expansion of naga race in India

According to a myth of Mahabharata[72], Nagas are offshoot of Kadru, the earth mother goddess, daughter of Prajapati from Rishi Kashyapa. [73]

Takshila was original seat of Takshakas or Nagas, from where, the onward moved south and eastward and spread up throughout the country, such as the myth of Kausal's prince, marrying a Naga maiden of Uddyan (Swat valley ), myth of tank, residence of Naga king Elapatta near Shah dheri (the ancient site of Takshila, movement of Prince Salivahana from Salivahanpur and Takshila was capital of Takshak Nag. The tradition of Naga worship did not originate at Takshila but came from Iran. The Avestan myth, of Naga king Zohak, brings him from Babylonia. It means this tradition originally took its birth in Western Asia, which is duly confirmed from the Atharva- Vedic account of Naga King Aligi, Viligi, who were Assyrian in origin. [74]

From Syria this tradition was later adopted both by the Phoenicians and Egyptians. It can be imagined that from Syria and Phoenicia this tradition was further transferred to Babylonia and in the East upto Iran and ultimately reached Kabul through Naga King Zohak and his offshoot, where Mihrab, a descendant of Zohak royal famlly, has been noticed ruling the country of Afghanistan in Kabul, Takshila and Swat valley is situated in the south of aforeesaid land. [75]

From Takshila, the people, who worshipped serpent and practiced the tradition of Naga totemism, spread all over India up to Assam in the east, up to Ceylon in the South. It is clear from the evidences of spreading up of snake worship and snake worshipper tribes throughout the nation. [76]

Temples of Naga deities are still existing in a very high number in Kashmir valley and are worshipped by the local people. Among them temples of Naga Basuki, Sāntan Naga, Shesh Naga and Neel Naga are most famous. [77]

Hilly area of Himachal Pradesh also has been one of the largest centre of Naga worship. The temples of Basuki Nag, Indru Nag (Nahusha), Mul-Nag, Stūhr Nag, Det Nag, Kelang Nag, are famous and are spreading all over the Himachal region. It is said that there are 18 Naga deities which are worshipped in Kulu Valley alone. [78]

Neel Naga and Karpati Nag are worshipped in Nepal. The royal families of Manipur and Chhota Nagpur are said to have descended from the Nagas called Pa-Kung-ba and Pundrika respectively . In Assam Naga tribes like Naga-Bodo, Kukki- Naga, Mao, Tangkhul, Khasi, Koliya are still existing. [79]

Takshila has been the most ancient and the largest seat of Takshak Nag. The ancient name of Punjab, Taka-Desha, was named after Takshak or-Taka royal family. Gugga pir is still worshipped in the plateau of Punjab and Rajasthan. Tonk town of Rajasthan once was centre of Naga rulers. A shrine of Takshakeswara or Takha ji in central India exists still to-day. Kathiavar or Saurashtra has been the home of Naga-worshipping people from time immemorial. There are famous centres of worship of Naga deities like Vasuki, Vanduk, Pratika, Devanikcharmalia, Dharnidhar etc in Gujrat state. [80]

Maharashtra is also one of the well known centres of Naga-worship Matangi, Renuka, Santeri, Marugan, Subrahmani, Khandowa, Jyotiva, Khalnath and Bheron are deities related to Naga-worship. Similarly images of serpent or Nagas like Kartikeya, Basuki, Skand Nag, Murugan, Subrahmanya, are also worshipped in every corner of Maharahtra. [81]

South India has been the home of naga-worship since prehistoric period, where every house and village worship cobra. The great popularity of this cult in South is testified by snake slabs or Nagakals, which are usually found some times in great number at the entrance of town or village. Some famous serpent temples are reported to exist at Nagpatnam, Nagercoil, etc. So it is clear that Naga-worshipping people or Naga race had their sway throughout India in remote past. In short we can say that Kir or Kirit in Himalayan region, Saraja or Sevaraj in Satluj and Beas valley, Soura or Chawara in Saurashtra, Sevari or Cheru in Gangatic vallley, Saurya in central province, Chera or Sera in Khasi hills and Kera, Chera, Sera or Serai in south India all are Naga-worshipping tribes who were putting up and are still putting up in different parts of India. It means they were in power in the whole nation in pre-historic and historic times. Thus the tradition of Nag-worship and Naga race had spread up in the whole nation in ancient time. [82]

List of Nagavanshi Jat clans

Ābūdā, Āchashw, Ahi, Air, Airāwat, Āligī, Anil, Aparājit, Āpt, Ārtimān, Āryak, Asit, Aulak, Avalak, Avyay, Ayāhaṭ, Bale, Bāmal, Bānā, Bareta, Barojwār, Bāsaṭh, Baulyā, Beniwāl, Bhakar, Bhākhar, Bhāṃmū, Bharaṃgur, Bhārshiv, Bheṃroṃ, Bhinchar, Bīhal, Bikarwal, Bīlwān, Birālā, Dahil, Dahiya, Darwan, Dawana, Dhaka, Dhaniwal, Dhankhar, Dhatarwal, Dhaulya, Denavia, Deū, Devatra, Drehayu, Darvan, Gora, Imeguh, Jewlia, Kājal, Kālā, Kalash, Kāle Rāwat, Kālī, Kālī Ramaṇ, Kālī Ramatā, Kālī Rāwate, Kālī Rāye, Kālīḍhaman, Kālīshak, Kālīy, Kalmāsh, Kalwaria, Kalwāriyā, Kalyā, Kalya, Kalyāṇ, Kamal, Kanwal, Karalia, Kariyā, Karkar, Karkoṭak, Karvīr, Kharwal, Khokhar, Khoṇḍal, Konḍāl, Khorwar, Kothār, Kulak, Kulakiya, Kulār, Kullar, Kuṃḍodar, Kumuḍ, Kunḍal, Kunjar, Kushmānḍak, Kuṭhar, Legā, Lochag, Lohamsher, Matwā, Mātwe, Muḍwāḍiyā, Mundel, Nāg, Nāgā, Nāgar, Nāgauriyā, Nagill, Narwat, Nīla, Odasī, Olā, Padhari, Paḍwāl, Pāgwaṭ, Pāhal, Pāl, Palardal, Panḍahārī, Pāṇḍar, Pāṇḍul, Pandul, Pandur, Panjā, Pānn, Parsāne, Paṭhur, Pauḍiyā, Pehalāyaṇ, Pinḍale, Podān, Pote, Pūchhale, Punia, Rāhal, Roj, Roja , Rotra, Sakel, Sagasail, Saharan, Sāmotā, Samarāv Samrā, Sāngū, Sankhar, Sapedia, Sawaū, Sewdā, Sankhar, Shesāno, Sheshmā, Shitra, Shyaukand, Sihāg, Siparota, Siraswār, Sitarwār, Siwāyach, Sor, Sumrā, Sūtalā, Takhar, Takk, Takshak, Tanak, Ṭāṃk, Tanka, Tankor, Tetarwal, Tītarwāl, Todawata, Tokas, Tokshi, Toran, Toras, Tutia, Udwal, Ugrak, Vaharwal, Vais, Vamin, Varik, Varṇwāl, Vasath, Vaurāṇ, Vāvan, Vīhan, Vodiyā, Yolyā,

List of some important Gotras of Tak kshatriyas

Dr Naval Viyogi in his book "Nagas: the Ancient Rulers of India, their origin and history" [83] has provided a list of some important Gotras of Tak kshatriyas and explained their history. The list is reproduced below which includes Jat as well.

Andoria (Andhra), Bath, Bathon (Paithan or Paitan) Bhat, Bhatti (Yadavas), Chima (Shilpa), Chohan (Rajput), Darji, Dogra (Rajput), Gawhar (Gowharwal Rajput), Jassal, Jat, Kakar, Kalal, Kanait (a branch of Kulindas), Kanaujia, Kanpuri, Khakhar, Khas (Khasa Nag), Kori (Koliya Nag), Lahota (Nag), Lata (Nag), Lodhi, Madar (Madra), Mahar, Mahra, Mahtar (Branch of Satavahanas), Mair, Malwan (Malava), Mor (Morya), Nagara (Nag), Nila (Nag), Pal, Panwar, Pawar (Parmar), Raj-Rishi, Rangra (Rajput), Rathor (Rajput), Rati (Ratti or Rastri), Salotri (Salvagotri) , Taka (Takshak), Tank, Wattu,

If we gone through the book by Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India. (p.154). This gives reference of Dr Bharat Singh's book - "Pali Sahitya ka Itihas" pp-21 while discussing Etymology of some clans gives following table how alphabets change. It says there is a peculiar tendency in certain alphabets while changing them from sanskrit to pali or prakrit language. Few examples are:

Sanskrit → Prakrat

R → L

P → B

K → H

T → Th or Dh

Ch → J

Sh → Chh

Applying the rule of "tendency in certain alphabets while changing them from sanskrit to pali or prakrit language" quoted on S.No. 28 of this thread:

Sanskrit → Prakrat

R → L

P → B

K → H

T → Th or Dh

Ch → J

Sh → Chh

The clan Taka (Takshaka) in Sanskrit becomes Dhaka in Prakrat.

This explains origin of Dhaka so far not mentioned by Any Jat Historian.

This formula can be used to explain origin of many Jat clans from Nagavansha.

This also leads us to conclude that Jats were in India when Aryans were spreading their rule.

List of some Naga Places

  • Bhogavati - Bhogavati is mentioned as Naga capital at (3-57). The foremost of cities which resembles the Amaravati of Deva king Indra, is known by the name of Bhogavati. It is ruled over by Vasuki, the king of the Nagas. Shesha, the foremost of Nagas who is a great ascetic also dwells here (5,103). In the region south-west to Deva territories is the city called Bhogavati that is ruled by Vasuki, by the Naga Takshaka and also by Airavata (5,109). Bhogavati seems to be Naga cities in Tibetan region.
  • Manikgadh Fort: Manikgad fort in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra was built by the last Mana Naga King - Gahilu. The Mana Nagas settled in this area around 9 CE. Initially, the fort was named Manikagad after the patron deity of the Mana Nagas - Manikadevi - but later on this was shortened to Manikgad. Local legend holds that the fort was built by a Gond king named Mankyal (hence the name Manikgad). However, the lintel of the entrance gate has a Naga image carved in relief and not the Gond emblem of a lion and an elephant. So this legend is likely not true.[84]
  • Patalam - Patalam seems to be Naga cities in Tibetan region. Bhaleram Beniwal[85] mentions with reference to Narada upavach - Matali that in the very centre of the domain of the Nagas was the city of Patalam. It is worshipped by the Daityas and the Danavas (Mahabharata Parva-15). Here in these regions called Patala is that spacious and celebrated city of cities, called Hiranyapura, belonging to the Daityas and Danavas, possessing a hundred diverse kinds of illusions (technological wonders). They were Kshatriyas and the ancient Jats. [86]It hath been built with great care by the architect and town-planner viz the Danava Maya. Indra, Yama, varuna, Kuber, and other Devas could not control them. [87][88]The territory of Suparnas, the enemies of Nagas was close to that of Hiranyapura. Suparnas were described as thus:- By their acts they may be said to belong to the Kshatriya order, but they are all without any compassion as they mercilessly slay the Nagas, their kinsmen. They never attain to spiritual enlightenment in consequence of their hatred towards their kinsmen. However, the race of Suparnas is much regarded in consequence of the favour that, is shown to it by Vishnu, the younger brother of Deva king Indra. Vishnu was the greatest among all the sons of Aditi (one among the 13 great mothers). All Suparnas dwell in only a single province of the region containing the cities of Patalam and Hiranyapura (5,101).[89]
  • Naggar: village in the Himalayas, Tibet, that derives its name from Naga (serpent).
  • Nagpur: The name of the Indian city Nagpur is derived from Nāgapuram, literally, "city of nāgas". The Nag River, which is a tributary of the Kanhan River, flows in a serpentine path and so got its name, "Nag", the Marathi word for cobra. The river flows through the old city of Nagpur and so the city derived its name from this river, 'Nag'+'pur'. "Pur" is common suffix given to cities, villages and towns across India, and is often simply translated "city"
  • Sheshna's well: in Benares, India, said to be an entrance to Patala.
  • Nagadaa - where naag-yaGYa was performed.
  • Nagod: Nagod (also Nagode) is a town in Satna district in Madhya Pradesh. It is located 17 miles from the town of Satna. Nagod derives its name from Naga + vadha, means massacre of Naga people. The state was earlier occupied and ruled by Nagas.
  • Nagda (नागदा): Nagda is a city in Ujjain district in Madhya Pradesh. It is an industrial town in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh and is situated on the bank of Chambal River. The name of the town was actually nag-dah which means cremation/burning (dah) of nagas. The ancient city was developed by king Janmenjaya. Nagda has also been mentioned in the literature of Kalidasa. [90]
  • Nagaur (नगौर) is a district town in Rajasthan. It was founded by Naga Gotra jats. Nagas originally ruled over this place and about 7th century onwards the Chauhans became the overlords of Nagaur and it was included in Sapadalaksha. The foundation of city dates back to 4th century. Nagaur city was at the centre of Muslim invasion from Central Asia. The Nagaur fort is the famous place of historical importance. Glorified by the bards, the history of Nagaur finds mention even in the Mahabharata. The kingdom of Ahichhatrapur which Arjun is said to have conquered and subsequently offered to his Guru Dronacharya, was perhaps some of the area of the Nagaur district.
  • Nagadipa: Nainathivu (also Nainatheevu) (Tamil: நயினாதீவு) is a small but notable island off the coast of Jaffna Peninsula, in the minority, Sri Lankan Tamil dominated Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is also known as Nagadipa in Sinhalese. It is home to the historic Buddhist shrine Naga Vihare and the renowned historic Hindu shrine Nagabooshani Amman temple. The island is mentioned in ancient Buddhist legends of Sri Lanka such as Mahavamsa and in the ancient Tamil Sangam literature of nearby Tamil Nadu (such as Manimekalai).[91]
  • Nagarkurnool: Nagarkurnool is a town in Mahbubnagar district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Nagarkurnool was named after the Kings "Nagana" and "Kandana", the brothers who ruled the present Nagarkurnool and surrounding area. The village Naganool (which was named after "Nagana") is still existing, approximately 1 km south east of Nagarkurnool.
  • Nagapatnam:Nagapatnam or Nagapattinam (Tamil:நாகப்பட்டினம்) (previously spelt Nagapatnam) is a coastal city and a municipality in Nagapattinam District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District, it was carved out by bifurcating the composite Thanjavur district on 18.10.1991. Other names of the town are Naganadu, Cholakula Vallippatinam and Shiva Rajadhani. Nagapattinam is the major port for Cholas dynasity. Ptolemy refers to Nagapattinam as Nikam and mentions it as one of the most important trade centres of the ancient Tamil country. Nagapattinam was a Buddhist centre from 8th century CE. In 11th century CE, Chudamani Vihara, a Buddhist vihara (monastery) was built by Javanese king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Raja Raja Chola.[1] Buddhism flourished until 15th century CE and the buildings of the vihara survived until 18th century. In Chola's Empire, Nagapattinam was the prominent port of Cholas and Cholas used this port not only for trade but also as conquering gateway to the east. This town still has traces of Saiva temples that were built by Cholas. Permanent Shelter for Tsunami Affected Families in Nagapattinam - meant to be tsunamiproof Permanent Shelter for Tsunami Affected Families in Nagapattinam - meant to be tsunamiproof Nagapattinam was referred to by early writers and the Portuguese as "the city of Coromandel". [92]
  • Nagar:Nagar (modern Tell Brak, Syria) was an ancient late Neolithic, Sumerian and Akkadian city on the Khabur River. At 40m in height, one of the tallest archaeological mounds in the Middle East, and about a kilometer long, it forms the remains of one of the largest urban sites in northern Mesopotamia.[93]
  • Nagar Haveli:Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Gujarati: દાદરા અને નગર હવેલી, Marathi: दादरा आणि नगर हवेली, Portuguese: Dadrá e Nagar-Aveli) is a Union Territory in western India. Nagar Haveli is wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, whereas Dadra is an enclave lying a few kilometres north of Nagar Haveli in Gujarat. Its capital is Silvassa.
  • Nagar Kovil:Nagar Kovil (Tamil: நாகர்கோயில்) is a town in the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna.
  • Nag Hammadi:Nag Hammadi (Arabic نجع حمادي), is a city in Upper Egypt. Nag Hammâdi was known as Chenoboskion (Greek Χηνοβόσκιον) in classical antiquity, meaning "geese grazing grounds". It is located on the west bank of the Nile in the Qena Governorate, about 80 kilometres north-west of Luxor.[94]
  • Nagercoil:Nagercoil (Tamil: நாகர்கோவில்) is a city in Kanyakumari district and it is the [Twelfth] largest city in Tamil Nadu. Nagercoil derives its name from a famous old temple called the Naga Raja Temple (temple of the serpent king) which still exists in the central part of the town. It has been an important temple for Hindus, for centuries, and is also a tourist attraction.
  • Nagarjunakonda:Nagarjunakonda (meaning Nagarjuna Hill in Telugu) is a historical Buddhist town, now an island located near Nagarjuna Sagar in Nalgonda district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is 150km south east of the capital, Hyderabad. It was formed when a hill was submerged in the waters of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, constructed in the 1960s. It is named after Nagarjuna, a southern Indian master of Mahayana Buddhism who lived in the 2nd century AD, who is believed to have been responsible for the Buddhist activity in the area. The site was once the location of many Buddhist universities and monasteries, attracting students from afar as China, Gandhara, Bengal and Ceylon. The Buddhist archaeological sites there were submerged, and had to later be dug up and transferred to higher land on the hill, which had become an island.[95] Nāgārjuna is often depicted in composite form comprising human and naga characteristics. Often the naga aspect forms a canopy crowning and shielding his human head.
  • Nagasena:Nāgasena was a Buddhist sage who lived about 150 BCE. His answers to questions about Buddhism posed by Menander I (Pali: Milinda), the Indo-Greek king of northwestern India, are recorded in the Milinda Pañha. Sanskrit in origin, Nāga means king cobra, snake, serpent, or dragon, and also can refer to snake-human hybrids, an ancient super-race who were the mythological founders of many Asian countries. Sena means army. Therefore the name can be translated as "Army of Nāga" or "Host of Dragons", signifying a very powerful supernatural presence
  • Nagai (नगई) (AS, p.474) is a historical village in Gulbarga district of Karnataka, settled at the site of ancient Manyakheta.
  • Nagahrada नागह्रद, दे. नागदा, (AS, p.488)
  • Nagai नगई (जिला गुलबर्गा, कर्नाटक) (AS, p.474)
  • Nagakhanda नागखण्ड , शिकारपुर तालुक, मैसूर, (AS, p.484)
  • Nagamala नागमाल, लंका, (AS, p.487)
  • Nagamati नागमती , सौराष्ट्र, गुजरात, (AS, p.487)
  • Naganadi नगनदी (AS, p.474)
  • Naganura नागनूर, जिला करीमनगर, तेलंगाना (AS, p.486)
  • Nagaparvata नाग, (AS, p.484)
  • Nagapattana नागपट्टन=नेगापटम, तमिलनाडू, (AS, p.486)
  • Nagapura (नागपुर) (AS, p.487)
  • Nagara नगर (AS, p.475)
  • Nagara Gondia नागरा, जिला गोंदिया, महा., (AS, p.487)
  • Nagarabhukti नगरभुक्ति (बिहार) (AS, p.475)
  • Nagarahara नगरहार दे. Nagara नगर (1) (AS, p.475)
  • Nagarakaranula नगरकरनूल (AS, p.475)
  • Nagarakota नगरकोट (जिला कांगड़ा, हि.प्र.) (AS, p.475)
  • Nagari Chittor नगरी (चित्तौड़, राज.) (AS, p.475)
  • Nagarjuni Guha नागार्जुनी गुहा, जिला गया, बिहार, (AS, p.490)
  • Nagarjunikonda नागार्जुनीकोंड, जिला गुंटूर, आ.प्र., (AS, p.488)
  • Nagasahvaya नागसाह्वय, (AS, p.487)
  • Nagaur नागौर, राज, (AS, p.491)
  • Nagava नगवा (जिला वाराणसी, उ.प्र.) (AS, p.476)
  • Nagavati नागावती (AS, p.491)
  • Nagda नागदा, जिला उदयपुर, राज., (AS, p.484)
  • Nagda नागदा, जिला उज्जैन, म.प्र., (AS, p.485)
  • Nagendra नगेंद्र दे. Nagda नागदा (1) (AS, p.476)
  • Nagesha नागेश = Nageshvara नागेश्वर (AS, p.491)
  • Nageshvara नागेश्वर (AS, p.491)
  • Naggara नग्गर (हि.प्र.) (AS, p.476)
  • Nagodari नागोदरी, जिला जोधपुर, राज, (AS, p.491)
  • Nagpura नागपुर, (p.487)
  • Nagula Pahad नगुला पहाड़, (AS, p.476)

The Urbanization by nagas

It has been stated earlier that about 1000 years after the devastation of the Indus Valley Civilization, descendants of Harappans once again got a chance to revive their culture and by and by succeeded in establishing their power, which is termed as re-establishment of Nagas (Vratya Kshatriyas) by the historians. On the other hand, their great philosophers like Buddha and Mahavira also established their shraman religion and culture in opposition to Vedic. [96]During the period, while Shishunagas, made Magadha a largest centre of their power, Mahavira and Buddha founded their Shraman religions and spread up among the masses. As soon as Mauryas, Nagas, Bharsivas and Satavahanas established their power in north and Central India, afore-said religions also set their feet in those regions. This created all atmosphere of peace and freedom all around, as a result of which these people established their guild based centres of industry and local and foreign trade. This brought prosperity among the common people. After, devastation of Indus towns at the hand of Aryans invaders, this was the second time while again large towns were raise in India. This is known as urbanization in ancient India. Large towns like Girivraja, Pataliputra, Mathura, Takshila, Ahichchhattra, Kausambi, Kashi and Vaisali caame into existence in north India and Paithan, Nagpur, Vidisa, Ujjain, Padmavati in Central Pradesh. The use of timber first of all began in house building, later fire baked bricks and stone were also used. [97]

It is famous that Mauryan emperors (322 BC-187 BC) were great builders. Chandra Gupta was first to use timber in house building. In the art of house building, the carpenters of Mauryan age, were most proficient, as mostly the timber has been used in house construction in his period. Strabo [98] informs us that the city of Pataliputra was surrounded by a large wall made of wood, which had holes (rushes) for shooting arrows at intervals. The best example of wood carving noticed in this age, was large platform of wood, which was discovered in Kumarhattan near modern Patna by Dr. Spooner [99] He describes whatever he saw with open eyes-

"That flatform was in reality an accumulation of large logs of wood, but technique, used in its construction or joining them, is really wonderful. Their corners (ends) are so well set that it is impossible to trace out their joints." [100]

In this age (400 BC) the first use of fire baked bricks has been noticed in the last period of North Black-polished ware [101]. Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor, likewise his grand father was also a great builder. He built a high number of stone-pillars, Buddhist stupas within the frontier of his empire, among them stupas of Bharhut and Sanchi are most famous, which are the best examples of masonry. [102]

The earliest sculpture [103] like the earlier architecture' was secular in content. The famous Ashokan columns can he cited in this context together with the Didarganj Yakshi. One of the most curious point, in this context, is that for more than about fifteen hundred years between the decline of the Indus civilization to the rise of the Mauryas the sculptural tradition seems to have been lost and to us it seems that its survival was basically connected with the urban spirit. [104]

In Maharashtra the earliest use of fired bricks and stone in masonry is noticed in the Megalithic culture, Dr. S.B. Deo produces an , account of them as such·-

"During the Neolithic-Chalcolithic age nowhere the use of fired bricks has been noticed in Maharashtra, but during the ancient historical period, there are evidences in abundance. There was practice of using fired bricks at Nasik, Nevasa, Kolhapur, Kaundinyapur, Prakasha, Bahal during Mauryan Satavahana Age."

Many stone Chetyas and caves were constructed in this age. Similarly Sculptures and many small and large household goods were also shaped from stone in western region of Maharashtra. This period also shows, construction of a very high number of Buddhist stupas and Chetyas in Maharashtra as well as wide spread effect of Buddhism on the masses of Maharashtra. H.L. Kosare puts forward an account of them, [105] :"Many caves and Chetyas were excavated in Karle, Bhaje, Kanheri, Bedsa, Junnar etc, during Satavahana age. An amulet, belonging to the Maurya-Satavahana age bearing the figure of Yaksha has been traced out from Nevasa. Buddhism was in its full swing in those days in Maharashtra.

Findings of Stupa from Sopara, many caves, and inscriptions from western Maharashtra; recent findings of Ther of Usmanabad district (Diameter 85 feet) and remains of Baragaon stupa [106] , Pittalkhora [107] and Verul [108]; similarly findings of Pauni stupa and remains of its stockade from Bhandara district of Vidarbha and remains of stupa of Nagara etc, prove the effect of Buddhist religion on rich and poor both equally. Yaksha statue of Pittalkhore was donated by a gold-smith named Krishna Dass ; the admirable Leri of Jamu-Dwipa from Karle was donated by a merchant of South. On a study of inscriptions of caves of western Maharashtra we come to the conclusion that among the donors were military commanders, traders, common citizens, cultivators, and also foreigners then settled in India, also donated columns of Chetya and Stupa, water tank near Buddhist monastery and ways and steps leading to caves were also contributed." [109]

This, construction of Buddhist buildings on large scale and spreadding of Buddhism among the common people were interconnected with the high and progressive culture of Buddhism and Naga race.[110]

The achievements of naga race

The word Nāgara [111] as in Karkota Nāgara is undoubtedly connected with the word Naga and is a vernacular form, denoting a derivative from that word, likewise in Nagar-dhana (Nāgara- Vardhan) and Nagarkot. Similarly the architectural tern, 'Nāgara style' could not be explained on the basis of assuming its connection with the word Nagara (Town), but it is known to the Mānasāra a work of Guptas for later Guptan age. The style, designated by the term Nāgara, seems to be the style made popular by the Naga kings like Nāgara Brahmans of the Gangetic Valley and Nāgāra Jats of Ahichchhatra. The Vesarastyle [112], which again is a vernacular term taken like the Nāgara, from the vocabulary of the mason, is distinguished by its being in the ornamental style. It means, it differs from the earlier only because there is more provision of leaves, flowers, plants and creepers in it. The base in Nāgara is thus Nāg, Vesar was the type of religious buildings which was artificial. Nagara was that in which we find the Gupta Square temples and the Vakataka temple of Parvati at Nachna [113] and the Bharsiva temple of Bhumra. [114]

Similarly there was also a Nāgara style of painting. That was also evidently connected with the Naga period. We should not, however, be surpried if one day it is discovered among the old frescoes of Ajanta, because Ajanta also became Part of Naga rule [115]. [116]

Brahmi has been traced back to the phoenician type of writing represented by the inscription in which Mesha, king of Moab (850 BC), records his successful revolt against the kingdom of Israel. It was probably brought in to India through Mesopotamia as a result of the early commerce by sea between Babylon and the ports of Western India '''56'''. It is the parent of all the modern Indian alphabets including Devnagari. How this name Devanagari came into existence in this regard K.P. Jayaswal [117] unveils the secret :

"I think, the origin of this name lies in the Naga dynasty under whom originated the headed type of writing, evidence of the existence of which we get from the time of Prithivisen I in the inscription of Nachna and Ganj. In the Vakataka inscriptions the letters are found with a box-like heading which was reduced to a line in the Nāgari sript beginning from about 800 AD. The name Nāgari seems to have been applied to what is called the box-headed script of the fourth and early fifth centuries. It is significant that the box-headed writing is found exactly where the Naga government was most prominent, viz in Bundel Khand and the central Provinces. In the central Provinces before the Naga period, we have a Kushana inscription found at Bheraghat which is in the ordinary Brahmi script therefore it is proved that this script came into existence between the Kushana and Vakataka age." [118]

It is crystal clear that guild based trade and industry system was introduced by the Naga people, who promoted, local and foreign trade which resulted in to accumulation of great wealth among the people which caused urbanization as a whole. The Prakrit and Apabhransha language, Nāgari script, Nāgari style of architecture all were the outcome of Naga people and their culture. Nāgari or Nagari civilization came in to existence and society moved forward towards the goal of progress in every aspect of life. Last period of this progress and prosperity, is known as the golden age in lndian history. [119]

Aryanizaion of nagas

How these Nagas were Aryanized is a most interesting question but its answer is very simple, the best culture so far developed by human kind which made the Buddhist India economically and politically most powerful country, was victimized by their hereditary antagonists, the Vedic Aryan. They blindly followed the policy of Kautilya. They Aryanized the stronger and pushed the weaker into fourth Varna by making a simple pronouncement. They followed such a policy from the time of rigveda. According to Rigveda they began to give high respect to rich Asuras like Bravu. [120]

अधि बर्बुः पणीनां वर्षिष्ठे मूर्धन्नस्थात |
उरुः कक्षो न गाङगयः || (R.V. VI-45-31)
adhi bṛbuḥ paṇīnāṃ varṣiṣṭhe mūrdhannasthāt |
uruḥ kakṣo na ghāṅghyaḥ || (R.V. VI-45-31)

Meaning - " Bravu has been standing on virtuous and high place among the Panis (Asuras) and as high as the high shores of Ganges." (R.V. VI-45-31)

Why the Aryan Rishis gave so much importance to an Asura it is clear from the next verse (RV. VI-45-33).

तत सु नो विश्वे अर्य आ सदा गर्णन्ति कारवः |
बर्बुं सहस्रदातमं सूरिं सहस्रसातमम || (RV. VI-45-33)
tat su no viśve arya ā sadā ghṛṇanti kāravaḥ |
bṛbuṃ sahasradātamaṃ sūriṃ sahasrasātamam || (RV. VI-45-33)

Meaning - "We always praise and appreciate Bravu who donates one thousand cows."

It is clear from this that Brahmana Rishis were helplessly greedy of alms, that is why they gave so much importance to above Asura. Similarly they gave so much importance and praised Naga chieftains and divinities in later period whose description is given in Skanda Purana : Elapatra, Kambal, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya, Pannag, Shreshtha, Basuki, Takshaka, Neel, Padmak, Arvua. [121] and at another place Basuki, Takshak, Paramghor, Nag, Eravat, Mahabhag, Kalip, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya, Shankhchud, Mahantejaswi, Dhritrashtra, Vrikodar, Kulik and Vaman. [122] [123]

Some scholars are of this view that this honour to Naga chieftains and divinities is given simply to include them in their culture like Shiva and Shakti, but as a matter of fact it was a part of the process of Aryanization of persons having power and pelf. [124]

When these Nagas had gained over-whelming power, the Brahmans keeping in view the interest of their profession, began to establish their close relations with them on one hand and some of them were secretly busy in fabrication of hard and fast laws of caste and Varna system, on the other. But the Naga kings, in the madness of royal power, instead of opposing them, began to recognize the Varna and caste system as ideal in the guise of religious worship and sanctity. In the long run, they could not help embracing Hinduism, although their women continued to follow their old faith for an indefinite period. Kings did so, because this social and religious ideology, proved to be much effective in illustrating them to be high, infested with god like power in the eyes of their subjects and also legitimization of their birth and providing better command over bureaucrats working for them. [125] [126]

Above greed of Naga kings swelled to such an extent that, at a later date, there are evidences, that they began to undergo a Brahmanical ceremony known as Hiranyagarbha Sanskar to raise their social position. Vidyadhar Mahajan [127] while giving detail of such a ceremony writes

"The importance of Rastrakuta began during the time of king Dantidurga, when he subjugated Kanchi, Kalinga, Kausal, Shrisail, Malava, Lat and Tank in his kingdom and performed Hiranyagarbha ceremony at Ujjain." [128]

According to Fleet, "Rashtrakuta were offshoot of Rathor of North and according to Burnett the relation of Rashtrakuta was with the Dravidian Reddi of Andhra Pradesh." The Mahar of Maharashtra and Ratthe of Tungbhadra Valley, who used to call themselves Reddi, are of one origin. It means Maharattha of ancient period and Marathas of modern age and Kannadi and Telugu speaking Reddi or Radde are variant of Maratha, Reddi converted to Lingayat from Jainism, similarly Maharatthe to Shaivism from Buddhism. [129] It means original birth of Reddies is from Mahar Nag. [130]

Several [131] southern kings of tribal origin boast of having had 'Golden Womb' (Hiranya garbha), ceremony performed. This is carefully described in some-Puanas. A large vessel of gold was prepared, in to which the chieftain would be inserted doubled up like the foetus in a womb the Brahman ritual for pregnancy and child birth was then chanted by the hired priest. The man emerged the 'womb of gold' as if reborn, having also acquired a new caste or even a caste for the first time; this was not the caste of the rest tribe when they observed into society, but one of the classical four castes usually Kshatriya with the Gotra of Brahman priest. Some of them reborn medieval kings might claim the Brahman and Kshatriya caste at once, like the Satavahana Gotamiputra. The Brahman priests received the golden vessel as a part of their fee, which made everyone happy. [132]

Dantidurga Rastrakula, after subjugating most of the principalities of Central and Western India, also performed Hiranyagarbha ceremony for his purification at Ujjain. Another such example can be traced out as late as Mughal penod. For proving the birth of Shivaji from Kshatriya caste, who was Shudra Kurmi in origin, his fake pedigree was prepared and then his coronation ceremony could be held. [133]

See also

External links


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