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Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Wana (वाना) is the largest town of South Waziristan Agency in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It is the summer headquarters for the Agency's administration, Tank. It was noted for the famous breed of Vanayu horses since Ramayana period. They fought Mahabharata War in Kaurava's side.


It is located in the neighbouring Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province being the winter headquarters.[1]

Variants of name

Jat clans

Mention by Panini

Vanavya (वानव्य) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [2]


V S Agarwal [3] writes that Several ancient Sanskrit names in Ganas correspond to name of these Puga clans, e.g. Pavindas (IV.1.110) corresponding to modern Powindas settled in Gomal valley, armed tribesmen formerly occupying the Wana plain, and Vanavyas (IV.1.99, people of the Vanāyu country), corresponding to the people of wide open Wana Valley in the north of Gomal River. These clans (Pugas) are still governed by their council of Elders.

Alexander Cunningham[4] writes about 9. Falana or Banu: The name of Fa-la-na is mentioned only by Hwen Thsang, who places the country to the south-east of Ghazni, and at fifteen days' journey to the south of Lamghan.[5] ....M. Vivien de St. Martin[6] identifies Falana with Vaneh, or Wanneh, of Elphinstone.[7] But Vana, or Wana, as the Afghans call it, is only a petty little tract with a small population, whereas Banu is one of the largest, richest, and most populous districts to the west of the Indus. Vana lies to the south-south-east, and Banu to the east-south-east of Ghazni, so that either of them will tally very well with the south-east direction noted by Hwen Thsang ; but Vana is from

[p.86]: 20 to 25 days' journey to the south of Lamghan, while Banu is just 15 days' journey as noted by the pilgrim.

The Harsha Charita of Bana/Chapter II mentions The Visit of Bana to the King Harshavardhana....The doorkeeper, having come up and saluted him, addressed him respectfully in a gentle voice, "Approach and enter, his highness is willing to see you." Then Bana entered, as he directed, saying, "I am indeed happy that he thinks me worthy of this honour." He next beheld a stable filled with the king's favourite horses from Vanayu, Aratta, Kamboja, Bharadvaja, Sindh, and Persia....

During the British Empire period, beginning in the late 19th century, the British established a cantonment on the Wana Plain which was used as a headquarters by the British forces in South Waziristan until they departed India after the partition in 1947. During their rule, the ferocious Pushtun tribes of Waziristan - part of the Karlanri Tribal Confederation - gave the British much headache. In fact, the British, known then as the 'foreigners', had to deal with a full-fledged insurgency in Waziristan in the 1930s. At one point during the 1930s, the British had up to 18,000 troops in and around Waziristan, with Wana being used as the forward headquarters and airbase.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[8] ने लेख किया है ...वनायु (AS, p.832) नामक स्थान का उल्लेख महाकवि कालिदास ने अपने महाकाव्य 'रघुवंश' में किया है- 'दीर्घेष्वमी नियमिता: पटमंडपेषु निद्रांविहाय वनजाक्ष वनायुदेश्या: वक्त्रोष्मणा मलिनयन्ति पुरोगतानि, लेह्यानि सैंधवशिला शकलानि वाहां।' (रघुवंश, 5, 73) कालिदास ने उपरोक्त संदर्भ में वनायु प्रदेश के घोड़ों का उल्लेख किया है। कोशकार हलायुध ने ‘पारसीका वनायुजाः’ कहकर वनायु को फ़ारस या ईरान माना है। कुछ विद्धानों के मत में वनायु अरब देश का प्राचीन भारतीय नाम है।

'वाल्मीकि रामायण' के बालकाण्ड (बालकाण्ड 6, 22) में वनायु के श्याम वर्ण के अनेक घोड़ो से अयोध्या को भरीपूरी बताया गया है- 'कांवोजविषये जातैर्वाह्लीकैश्च हयोत्तमै: वनायुजैर्नदीजैश्चपूर्णा हरिहयोत्तमै:।' कालिदास को उर्पयुक्त वर्णन की प्रेरणा अवश्य ही 'वाल्मीकि रामायण' के उल्लेख से मिली होगी, क्योंकि 'रघुवंश' में भी वनायु के घोड़ों का वर्णन अयोध्या के प्रसंग में ही है।

जाट इतिहास

ठाकुर देशराज[9] ने लिखा है.....अरब, ईरान, अफगानिस्तान और बलूचिस्तान के जाटों को इस्लाम ने अपने उदर में रख लिया। गजनी, हिरात, कंधार और बान प्रदेश से अनेकों खानदान धर्म रक्षा के निमित्त भारत में वापस भी आ गए। जिनमें से भाटी, मलिक, गंथवारा, बाना आदि के नाम हमें याद है। किंतु इस्लाम ने उनका पीछा भारत में भी नहीं छोड़ा। डेराजाट, पेशावर और सिंध के समस्त जाटों को इस अजगर के पेट में जाना ही पड़ा।


Inhabitants of Wana are Muslim Pushtuns, primarily Ahmedzai Waziris. from the Wazir tribe. Also in South Waziristan Agency are some members of the Mahsud and Bhittani tribes who live in the surroundings of Wana.

In Mahabharata

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 70 mentions Genealogy of Daksha, Manu, Bharata, Ruru, Puru, Ajamidha, Yadava, Kuru. Vanayu (वनायु) is mentioned in verse (I.70.22). [10].... Pururavas was born of Ila, who brought thence, the Apsara Urvasi also. And the Pururavas, son of Ila begat upon Urvashi six sons who were called Ayus, Dhiman, Amavasu and Dhridhayus, and Vanayus, and Shrutayus.

Vanayu (वनायु), as Vanayava (वनायव), is Listed in 'geography' chapter of Mahabharata (VI.10.54)[11]; they figured in the Kuru army as special forces of the Gandhara king (VIII.4.96) and came from the Wana valley in Pakistan. [12]

In Ramayana

Bala Kanda Sarga 6 of Ramayana mentions about People of Ayodhya, King Dasharatha along with the details of its valiant heroes, elephants, horses and the town planning are narrated.

That city is full with best horses born in countries like Kamboja, Bahlika, Vanayu, and also in river-bed counties, which are like the horse of Indra namely ucChiashrava. [1-6-22] [13]

External links

See also


  1. Historical and Administrative Profile of the South Waziristan Agency
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.438
  3. V S Agarwal, India as Known to Panini,p.438
  4. The Ancient Geography of India/Udyana, pp. 85-86
  5. H. Th., i. 265.
  6. ' Hiouen Thsang,' appendice iii.
  7. Elphinstone's ' Kabul,' ii. 156, 158.
  8. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.832
  9. Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Pratham Parichhed,p.4-5
  10. षट पुत्रा जज्ञिरे ऽथैलाद आयुर धीमान अमावसुः, दृढायुश च वनायुश च श्रुतायुश चॊर्वशी सुताः Mahabharata (I.70.22)
  11. वध्राः करीषकाश चापि कुलिन्थॊपत्यकास तदा । वनायवॊ दशा पार्श्वा रॊमाणः कुश बिन्दवः Mahabharata (VI.10.54)
  12. Sandhya Jain: Adi Deo Arya Devata - A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface, Rupa & Co, 7/16, Ansari Road Daryaganj, New Delhi, 2004,p.126
  13. कांभोज विषये जातैः बाह्लिकैः च हय उत्तमैः । वनायुजैः नदीजैः च पूर्णा हरिहय उत्तमैः ॥१-६-२२॥

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