History of Attock


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History of Attock

Attock Khurd has a rich history. The great mathematician and grammarian Panini , who wrote Ashtodhyaya, the oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar, was born near Attock in Shalātura, modern Lahur, on the right bank of Indus River in the ancient Kambojan/Gandharan territory in 520 B.C.E. In those days Attock was located on the high road, the Uttarapatha, the principal route of international commerce and communication between Persia and China.

Attock then finds its name in the history books dating to the rule of Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka, the Buddhist Emperor of upper India, who had converted to the Buddhist faith. In the Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek, it is declared that Greek populations within his realm also had converted to Buddhism:

In the spring of 326 B.C.E. Alexander III of Macedon passed into the Punjab , using a bridge over the Indus constructed by Perdiccas and Hephaestion. The region became part of the Kingdom of Ederatides the Greek or Indo-GreekKingdom, who extended his power over western Punjab. The Indo-Greek kings held the country after him until its invasion by the Indo-scythians.

When the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited the district in 630 C.E. and again in 643 C.E., Buddhism was rapidly declining. The Brahman revival, to which India owes its present form of Hinduism, had already set in the early years of the fifth century, and must have been at its height in the days of Hiuen Tsang. From that time the light afforded by the records of the Chinese pilgrims fades.

The country was under the dominion of the Hindu kings of Kashmir, and remained so till the end of the 9th century. After that, the district became part of the Kingdom of the rulers of Kabul, Samanta Deva and his successors (more accurately designated as the "Hindu Shahis of Kabul"), who remained in possession till the times of Mahmud Ghaznavi. With the passage of time, the Gakhars became strong in the hills to the east, but their dominion never extended beyond the Margalla pass and the Khari Moorat.

The renowned builders Joseph Westwood and Robert Baillie of the Westwood Baillie & Co, London, built the iron girder bridge in 1880. Apart from having a railway line above, it also has a way for wheeled traffic and foot passengers underneath. Ever since the use of the old route was discontinued for road traffic in the late 70s, the bridge has been lying abandoned. Yet it preserves its beauty and is a living testimony to the marvel of engineering of those times and is one of its kind in the world.

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TMA Attock

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