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Panchanada (पञ्चनद) was name of Punjab region during Mahabharata times.[1] Punjab was part of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years old.[2] List of Mahabharata people and places includes Panchanada (पञ्चनद) in Mahabharata. They fought Mahabharata War in Kaurava's side.



The main site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Punjab was the city of Harrapa. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and eventually evolved into the Indo-Aryan civilization. The arrival of the Indo-Aryans led to the flourishing of the Vedic civilization along the length of the Indus River. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia and Afghanistan.

Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts have nevertheless been found.

Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Achaemenids, Macedonians, Mauryas, Kushans, Guptas and Hindu Shahi.

Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multan and Lahore) grew in wealth.

Panjnad River

Indus River and its tributaries

Panjnad River (Hindi: पञ्ज्नद, Urdu/Punjabi Shahmukhi: پنجند, Punjabi Gurmukhi ਪੰਜਨਦ) (panj = five, nadi = river) is a river at the extreme end of Bahawalpur district in Punjab, Pakistan.

Location: Panjnad River is formed by successive confluence of the five rivers of Punjab, namely Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Jhelum and Ravi join Chenab, Beas joins Sutlej, and then Sutlej and Chenab join to form Panjnad 10 miles north of Uch Sharif in Bahawalpur district.

Course :

The combined stream runs southwest for approximately 45 miles and joins Indus River at Mithankot. The Indus continues into the Arabian Sea. A barrage on Panjnad has been erected; it provides irrigation channels for Punjab and Sindh provinces south of the Sutlej and east of the Indus rivers.

Beyond the confluence of Indus and Panjnad rivers, the Indus river was known as Satnad (Sat = seven) carrying the waters of seven rivers including Indus river, which is believed to be in earlier times the Saraswati/Ghaggar/Hakra river which eventually dried and became a seasonal river due to seismic shifts in the glacial region of Himachal Pradesh where it originated and later on Kabul river and the five rivers of Punjab.

Jat History

Qanungo[3] writes that the author of Mujmal-ut-Twarikh records an interesting legend - that a joint embassy was sent by the Jats and Meds of Sindh to the Court of King Duryodhana, asking for a ruler to govern them. "The Jats and Meds . . . dwelt in Sindh and on the banks of the river which is Bahar (mouth of the Indus?) .... The Meds held the ascendancy over the Jats, and put them to great distress, which compelled them to take refuge on the other side of the river Pahan (Panjnad river?), but being accustomed to the use of boats, they used to cross the river and make attacks on the Meds, who were owners of sheep. It so came to pass that the Jats enfeebled the Meds, killed many of them and plundered their country. The Meds then became subject to the Jats.

"One of the Jat chiefs (seeing the state to which the Meds were reduced) made the people of his tribe understand that there was a time when the Meds attacked the Jats and harassed them, and that the Jats in their turn had done the same with the Meds. He impressed upon their minds the utility of both tribes living in peace, and then advised the Jats and Meds to send a few chiefs to wait on king Dajushan (Duryodhana), son of Dahrat (Dhritarashtra), and beg of him to appoint a in to whose authority both tribes might submit ... After some discussions they agreed to act upon it, and the Emperor Dajushan nominated his sister Dassal [Dushala], wife of King Jandrat (Jayadratha) a powerful prince to rule over the Jats and Meds. Dassal went and took care of the countries and cities . . . There was no Brahman or wise man in the country. She therefore wrote a long letter to her brother for assistance, who collected 30,000 Brahmans from an Hindustan, and sent them with their goods and dependents to his sister" (Elliot, i, 104).

In Mahabharata

Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.29.10), (III.80.99), (III.81.14), (V.19.29),(VI.20.10),(VI.52.5),(VIII.30.74),

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 29 mentions the Countries subjugated by Nakula in West. Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.29.10). [4]....and the whole of the country called after the five rivers (Panchanada), and the mountains called Amara, and the country called Uttarayotisha and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala.

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 80 mentions the merit attached to tirthas. Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (III.80.99). [5]....Proceeding next to the tirtha called the Panchanada (पञ्चनद) (III.80.99), with subdued sense and regulated diet, one obtaineth the fruit of the five sacrifices that have been mentioned one after another in the scriptures. Then, O king, one should go to the excellent region of Bhima.

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 81 mentions names of Tirthas (Pilgrims). Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (III.81.14).

[6].... Proceeding next with subdued senses and regulated diet to Panchanada (पञ्चनद) (3.81.14) and bathing in the tirtha there, called Kotiki (कॊटिकी तीर्थ) (3.81.14), one obtaineth the fruit of the horse-sacrifice.

Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 19 mentions Kings and tribes Who joined Duryodhana for war: Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (V.19.29).[7]....And for this reason the land of the five rivers (Panchanada), and the whole of the region called Kurujangala, and the forest of Rohitaka which was uniformly wild, and Ahichhatra and Kalakuta, and the banks of the Ganga River, and Varana River, and Vatadhana, and the hill tracts on the border of the Yamuna--the whole of this extensive tract--full of abundant corn and wealth, was entirely overspread with the army of the Kauravas.

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 20 mentions Warriors in Bhisma's division. Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.20.10). [8].... In Bhishma's division were all the sons of Dhritarashtra, and also Shala who was a countryman of the Valhikas, and also all those Kshatriyas called Ambashthas, and those called Sindhus, and those also that are called Sauviras, and the heroic dwellers of the country of the five rivers (Panchanadas).

Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 52 describes the order of army of the (Kuru) in Mahabharata War. Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (VI.52.5). [9]....And Bhurisravas and Shala, and Shalya and Bhagadatta, O sire, and the Madrakas, the Sindhu-Sauviras, and they that were called the Panchanadas, together with Jayadratha, were placed on its neck. And on its back was king Duryodhana with all his followers.

Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 30 mentions the tribes who are not followers of Brahmanism. Panchanada (पञ्चनद) is mentioned in Mahabharata (VIII.30.74). [10]....They that are defiled by ingratitude, theft, drunkenness, adultery with the wives of their preceptors, harshness of speech, slaughter of kine, lustful wanderings during the night out of home, and the wearing of other people's ornaments,--what sin is there that they do not incur? Fie on the Arattas and the people of the country of the five rivers (Panchanadas)!


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[11] ने लेख किया है ...पंचनद (AS, p.513): पंजाब का प्राचीन नाम था। इसका पंचनद नाम यहाँ की झेलम, चिनाब, रावी, सतलुज और व्यास नदियों के कारण हुआ था। महाभारत में पंचनद का नामोल्लेख है- 'कृत्स्नं पंचनद चैव तथैवामरपर्वतम्, उत्तरज्योतिष चैव तथा दिव्यकटं पुरम्' महाभारत, सभापर्व 32, 11. इस प्रदेश को पाण्डव नकुल ने अपनी दिग्विजय यात्रा में जीता था- 'तत: पंचनद गत्वा नियतो नियताशन:'। महाभारत वनपर्व 83, 16 से पंचनद की तीर्थ रूप में भी मान्यता सिद्ध होती है। पंचनद अग्निपुराण 109 में भी उल्लिखित है। विष्णुपुराण 38, 12 में श्रीकृष्ण के स्वर्गारोहण के पश्चात् और द्वारका के समुद्र में बह जाने पर अर्जुन द्वारा द्वारकावासियों को पंचनद प्रदेश में बसाए जाने का उल्लेख है- 'पार्थ: पंचनदे देशे बहुधान्यधनान्विते, चकारवासं सर्वस्य जनस्य मुनिसत्तम'। यहाँ पंजाब को धन धान्य समन्वित देश बताया गया है, जो इस प्रदेश की आज भी विशेषता है।

महाभारत के युद्ध में पंचनद निवासियों ने दुर्योधन की सेना का पक्ष लिया था। पंचनद के एक छोर पर दुर्योधन की माता गांधारी के पिता का गांधार देश स्थित था। [12][13]

External links


  1. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency ..., Volume 1, Part 1-page-1
  2. Punjab History
  3. History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Origin and Early History, p.15
  4. कृत्स्नं पञ्चनदं चैव तदैवापरपर्यटम, उत्तरज्यॊतिकं चैव तदा वृण्डाटकं पुरम, द्वारपालं च तरसा वशे चक्रे महाथ्युतिः (II.29.10)
  5. अथ पञ्चनदं गत्वा नियतॊ नियताशनः, पञ्च यज्ञान अवाप्नॊति करमशॊ ये ऽनुकीर्तिताः (III.80.99)
  6. ततः पञ्चनदं गत्वा नियतॊ नियताशनः, कॊटिकीर्थम उपस्पृश्य हयमेध फलं लभेत, अश्विनॊस तीर्थम आसाद्य रूपवान अभिजायते (III.81.14)
  7. ततः पञ्चनथं चैव कृत्स्नं च कुरुजाङ्गलम, तदा रॊहित कारण्यं मरु भूमिश च केवला (V.19.29)
  8. तस्य सैन्यं धार्तराष्ट्राश च सर्वे; बाह्लीकानाम एकदेशः शलश च, ये चाम्बष्ठाः क्षत्रिया ये च सिन्धौ; तदा सौवीराः पञ्चनदाश च शूराः (VI.20.10)
  9. भूरिश्रवाः शलः शल्यॊ भगदत्तश च मारिष, मद्रकाः सिन्धुसौवीरास तदा पञ्चनदाश च ये (VI.52.5)
  10. कृतघ्नता परवित्तापहारः; सुरा पानं गुरु दारावमर्शः, येषां धर्मस तान परति नास्त्य अधर्म; आरट्टकान पाञ्चनदान धिग अस्तु (VIII.30.74)
  11. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.513
  12. भारतकोश-पंचनद
  13. महाभारत, सभापर्व, अध्याय 32, वनपर्व, अध्याय 42, 43, 134 उद्योगपर्व, अध्याय 4, 19, कर्णपर्व, अध्याय 45.