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Vedic/modern History -

betal_nut - Mon, 31 May 2004 01:19:50 +0530
From lonelyplanet's website:


The first inhabitants of Pakistan were Stone Age peoples in the Potwar Plateau (northwest Punjab). They were followed by the sophisticated Indus Valley (or Harappan) civilisation which flourished between the 23rd to 18th centuries BC. Semi-nomadic peoples then arrived, and by the 9th century BC they had spread across northern Pakistan-India. Their Vedic religion was the precursor of Hinduism, and their rigid division of labour an early caste system.

In 327 BC Alexander the Great came over the Hindu Kush to finish off the remnants of the defeated Persian empire. Although his visit was short, some tribes tell picturesque legends in which they claim to be descended from Alexander and his troops. Later came the heyday of the Silk Route, a period of lucrative trade between China, India and the Roman empire. The Kushans were at the centre of the silk trade and established the capital of their Gandhara kingdom at Peshawar. By the 2nd century AD they had reached the height of their power, with an empire that stretched from eastern Iran to the Chinese frontier and south to the Ganges River. The Kushans were Buddhist and under King Kanishka built thousands of monasteries and stupas. Soon Gandhara became both a place of trade and of religious study and pilgrimage - the Buddhist 'holy' land.

The Kushan empire had unravelled by the 4th century and was subsequently absorbed by the Persian Sassanians, the Gupta dynasty, Hephthalites from Central Asia, and Turkic and Hindu Shahi dynasties. The next strong central power was the Moghuls who reigned during the 16th and 17th centuries. A succession of rulers introduced sweeping reforms, ending Islam's supremacy as a state religion, encourging the arts, building fanciful houses and, in a complete volte-face, returning the state to Islam once again.



Are the Kushanian ancestors Gandhari and her clan as mentioned in Mahabharat?
Is there any historical evidence to prove that all the kings mentioned in Mahabharat were factual kings in the area at one time?