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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Tarkhan (तरखान) is a place of which ancient name was Tryaksha mentioned in Mahabharata. It was located near Badakhshan (Dvayksha) in southern Russia.[1]




Tarkhan (Old Turkic Tarqan;[2] Mongolian: ᠳᠠᠷᠬᠠᠨ Darqan or Darkhan;[3][4] Persian: ترخان‎; Chinese: 達干/達爾罕; Arabic: طرخان‎; alternative spellings Tarkan, Tarkhaan, Tarqan, Tarchan, Turxan, Tarcan, Tárkány, Tarján, Torgyán or Turgan) is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Turkic peoples, Indo-Europeans, and by the Hungarians and Mongols. Its use was common among the successors of the Mongol Empire.

"tarxan and tegin [prince] form the wholly un-Turkish plurals tarxat and tegit" and that the word was unknown to medieval western Turkic languages, such as Bulgar.[5] Taking this into consideration, the word may be derived from medieval Mongolian darqat (plural suffix -at), itself perhaps derived from the earlier Sogdian word *tarxant ("free of taxes").[6] A. Alemany gives the additional elaboration that the related East Iranian Scythian (and Alanic) word *tarxan still survives in Ossetic tærxon ("argument, trial") and tærxon kænyn ("to judge").[7] Harold Walter Bailey also proposes an Iranian (Khotanese Saka) root for the word,[8] L. Rogers and Edwin G. Pulleyblank argue that the word may have originated among the Xiongnu, as a pronunciation of the word recorded in Old Chinese as chanyu, which Pulleyblank argues may have originally represented a Chinese approximation of dān-ĥwāĥ for *darxan.[9]

Tarkhan was used among the Sogdian,[10] Saka, Hephthalite, Turkic, and proto-Mongol peoples of Central Asia and by other Eurasian nomads. It was a high rank in the army of Timur. Tarkhans commanded military contingents (roughly of regimental size under the Turkic Khazars) and were, roughly speaking, generals. They could also be assigned as military governors of conquered regions.

The Göktürks probably adopted the title darqan from the proto-Mongol Rourans or Avars.[11] The Tarkhan were cited in the Orkhon inscription of Kul Tigin (d. c. 731 CE). They were given high honors such as entering the yurt of the khagan without any prior appointment and shown unusual ninefold pardon to the ninth generation from any crime they committed.[12] Although the etymology of the word is unknown, it is attested under the Khitan people, whose Liao dynasty ruled most of Mongolia and North China from 916–1125.[13]

Like many titles, Tarkhan also occurs as a personal name, independent of a person's rank, which makes some historical references confusing. For example, Arabic texts refer to a "Tarkhan, king of the Khazars" as reigning in the mid ninth century. Whether this is a confused reference to a military official or the name of an individual Khazar khagan remains unclear. The name is occasionally used today in Turkish and Arabic speaking countries. It is used as family name in Hungary today.

In the Mongol Empire, the darkhans were exempted from taxation, socage and requisitioning. Genghis Khan made those who helped his rise darkhans in 1206. The families of the darkhans played crucial roles later when the succession crisis occurred in Yuan dynasty and Ilkhanate. Abaqa Khan (1234–82) made an Indian Darkhan after he had led his mother and her team all the way from Central Asia to Persia safely. A wealthy merchant of Persia was made of Darkhan by Ghazan (1271–1304) for his service during the early defeat of the Ilkhan. In Russia, the Khans of the Golden Horde assigned important tasks to the Darkhan. A jarlig of Temür Qutlugh (ca. 1370–1399) authorized rights of the tarkhan of Crimea.[16]

After suppressing the rebellion of the right three tumens in Mongolia, Dayan Khan exempted his soldiers, who participated the battle of Dalan-Terqin, from imposts and made them Darkhan in 1513. Even after the collapse of Northern Yuan dynasty with the death of Ligdan Khan in 1635, the title of darkhan continued to be bestowed on religious dignitaries, sometimes on persons of low birth. For example, in 1665, Erinchin Lobsang Tayiji, the Altan Khan of the Khalkha, bestowed the title on a Russian interpreter and requested the Tsar of Russia to exempt the interpreter from all tax obligations.[14]

A tarkhan of the Arghun dynasty, Muhammad 'Isa Tarkhan, established the Tarkhan dynasty, which ruled Sindh from 1554–91.

All craftsmen held the status of darkhan and were immune to occasional requisitions levied incessantly by passing imperial envoys.[15] From then on, the word referred to craftsmen or blacksmiths[16] in the Mongolian language now and is still used in Mongolia as privilege.[17] People who served the Khagan's orda were granted the title of darkhan and their descendants are known as the darkhad in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia.

One of the seven Magyar (Hungarian) tribes was called Tarjan (Ταριάνου) according to Constantin VII's De Administrando Imperio, and it is a common geographical name used in many villages and city names.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[18] ने लेख किया है ...तरखान (AS, p.392) का प्राचीन नाम 'त्र्यक्ष' है, जिसका वर्णन महाभारत, सभापर्व 51, 17 में हुआ है। यह बदख़्शां (द्वयक्ष) के निकट स्थित था।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[19] ने लेख किया है ...त्र्यक्ष (AS, p.419): त्र्यक्ष तथा 'द्वय्क्ष' देशों से आये हुए लोगों का उल्लेख महाभारत में हुआ है। ये लोग पाण्डव युधिष्ठिर के राजसूय यज्ञ में भाग लेने आये थे। प्रसंग से ये लोग भारत की उत्तर-पश्चिमी सीमा के परिवर्ती प्रदेशों के निवासी जान पड़ते हैं। 'द्वय्क्षांस्त्रयक्षार्ल्लेटाक्षान् नानादिग्भ्य: समागतान् औष्णीकानन्तवासांश्च रोमकान् पुरुषादकान्। एकपादांश्चतत्राहमपश्यं द्वारिवातितान्'। महाभारत, सभापर्व 51, 17-18. यहाँ दुर्योधन ने युधिष्ठिर के राजसूय यज्ञ में विदेशों से उपहार लेकर आने वाले विभिन्न देशवासियों का वर्णन किया है। इनमें 'द्वय्क्ष' तथा 'त्र्यक्ष' देशों से आए हुए लोग भी शामिल थे। ये लोग भारत की उत्तर-पश्चिमी सीमा के परिवर्ती प्रदेशों के निवासी माने गये हैं। कुछ विद्वानों के मत में त्र्यक्ष, 'तरखान' (दक्षिणी रूस में स्थित) का नाम है और 'द्वय्क्ष' बदख़शां का। उपर्युक्त उद्धरण में इन लोगों को औष्णीय या पगड़ी धारण करने वाला बताया गया है, जो इन ठंडे प्रदेशों के निवासियों के लिए स्वाभाविक बात मानी जा सकती है। (दे. द्वय्क्ष, ललाटाक्ष)

External links


  1. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.419
  2. Choi, Han-Woo (Oct 2005), A Study of the Ancient Turkic "TARQAN" (PDF), KR: Handong University
  3. Rogers, Leland Liu, The Golden Summary of Cinggis Qayan: Cinggis Qayan-u Altan Tobci, p. 80
  4. Ratchnevsky, Paul, Genghis Khan: his life and legacy, p. 82
  5. Ligeti, L (1975), Kiadó, A (ed.), Researches in Altaic languages, University of Michigan, p. 48
  6. Doerfer, Gerhard (1985), Harrassowitz, O (ed.), Mongolo-Tungusica, University of Virginia
  7. Alemany, Agustí (2000), Sources on the Alans, Brill, p. 328
  8. Bailey, Harold W (1985), Indo-Scythian Studies: being Khotanese Texts, VII, Cambridge Univ. Press
  9. Universität Bonn. Seminar für Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft Zentralasiens: Zentralasiatische Studien, Vol. 24–26, p.21
  10. Qarīb, Badr-az-Zamān (1995), Sogdian dictionary: Sogdian – Persian – English, Tehran: Farhangan
  11. Pelliot, Neuf Notes [Nine notes] (in French), p. 250
  12. Eberhard, Conquerors and Rulers, p. 98
  13. Wittfogel; et al., Liao dynasty, p. 433
  14. Ratchnevsky, Paul, Genghis Khan: his life and legacy, p. 82
  15. Atwood, Christopher, Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p. 25
  16. Ratchnevsky, Paul, Genghis Khan: his life and legacy, p. 243
  17. Kohn, Michael, Mongolia, p. 126
  18. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.392
  19. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.419