HUND


    
 
The actual name of Hund was Udabhandapura.This name is known from a Sarada inscription found at Hund and also from Rajatarangi a 12th century A.D history of Kashmir. Hiuen Tsang a famous Chinese pilgrim who passed through this area in 644 A.D writes this name in his own Chinese account as Wu-to-kia-han-cha. Some Muslims historians write it as Waihand (often incorrectly pronounced as Wihind) while others gives the form Ohand (again wrongly pronounced ohind in modern books on history) Aurel Stein, a well known scholars who translated the Rajatarangini into English, mentioned that the correct Sanskrit form of this name was Udakabhand (meaning "water pot'') and the Wu-to-kia-han-cha and Waihand were its derivative forms. Aurel Stein's interpretation of the name however, seems to be rather far-fetched and does not appeal to mind. It seems more probable that the original Sanskrit form of Udabhandapura was Urdhvabhanapura meaning "the upper town". Urdhva means "Upper" and its Persian and Pashto equivalents are bala and bar respectively, as may be noticed in the name "Tahkal Bala or Bar Tahkal" the name of a small town in the suburb of Peshawar. The word bhianda, at present softened to the form banda is still commonly used in the NWFP as a name of a small village or town. Hund is situated in the right bank of the river Indus above Attock.

 

According to the Hudud al-Alam an anonymous tenth century works, Waihand was a large town and also had a small population of Muslims. It received Indian merchandize such as musk and other precious stuffs, and served as a trade emporium between India and Central Asia. Of all the Muslim writers Maqadsi is all praise for Waihand and mentions its fine gardens, numerous streams, abundant rainfall, good fruits, tall trees, cheap prices, freedom from pests and general prosperity of its people. On the outskirts of the city, he says were walnut and almond trees and within it bananas and the like. The houses were made of wood and dressed stone. The city itself was greater in size than Mansura (Sind).

 

The Hund Slab inscription mentions Hund in glowing terms: to the North of the Indus, which is a mass of complete merit here on earth there is a city by name Udabhanda, communities, Just as Meru (was made their home) by the immortal gods and other supernatural beings. Where in the Indus in summer, rutting elephants, scorched by the rays of the sun, weary and confused by thirst would always resort to. Their in dwelt the chief of kings Bhima, of terrible valour by whom, having conquered his enemies, the earth was protected. Kalhana, the author of the Rajataranginu refers to Udabhanda as a

place where kings (ousted from their own territories by their rivals) found safety".
 
        

 

Udabhandapura was the winter capital of the Hindu Shahi rulers one of whole ancestor, Kallar, came to power in about A.D 822 after a successful coup d'etat in the last Turk Shahi rulers, Lagaturman, was overthrown and imprisoned. Kallar was succeeded by a series of powerful monarches who ruled much of Afghanistan, North West Frontier Province and parts of Punjab, names of these rulers have mentioned by Albiruni. A contemporary Muslim writer who witnessed the fall of the Hindu Shahi dynasty. Kallar was followed by Samantadeva (A.D 850-870), Khudarayaka (AD 870-880), Lalliya (A D 880-902), Toramana (A D 903-921), Bhtmadeva (A D 921-964), Jayapaladeva (A D 964-1002), Anandapala (A D 1002-1010), Trilcanapala (A D 1010-1021) and Bhimapala (A D 1021-1026).

 

Albiruni's remarks in this context are worth quoting, "The Hindu Shahi dynasty is now extinct, and the whole house there is no longer the slightest remnant in existence. We must say, in all their grandeur, they never slackened in the ardent desire of doing that which is good and right, that they were men of noble sentiment and bearing".

 

The most famous among these rulers was Jayapaladeva who put up a tough resistance against the rulers of Ghazna, but went on losing territories throughout his reign till he was captured by the forces of Mahmud, Sabuktigin at Peshawar in A,D. 1001-1002 Mahmud took Hund and Swat during the same campaign.

 

Jayapala was released" after the payment of a considerable, amount as ransom money, but dispirited and disgusted with life on account of the humiliation brought upon him by unfavorable circumstances, he burnt himself to death on reaching Hund. This ritual suicide might have absolved Jayapala of some sins to which he seems to have ascribed his defeats, but it could not save Hund from further onslaughts. Shortly afterward the capital was shifted to Nandana in the Salt Range (Punjab). The city lived on for a while as a frontier town of the Ghaznavid Empire, but it lost its glory, status and economic prosperity for ever. When Abul Fazal passed through this area in the sixteenth century the city had already been turned into heaps of soil? Kalhana sorrowfully remarks at the demise of this great city. "One asks oneself whether, with its kings, ministers and its court it ever was or was not"

 

Perceiving the great strategic importance of Hund as a crossing point Akbar, well known Mughal emperor, ordered the construction of a fort on top of these mounds. The work was assigned to one of his general Raja Birbal. Throughout the Mughal period Hund served as a military outpost. A similar post was built across the river at Srikot. The Mughal fort can still be seen in a much ruined condition.

 

Hund in the pre-Hindu Shahi period also must have been an important place. Alexander the great is said to have crossed the river Indus at this place. According to the famous archaeologist Alexander Cunningham, it was then known as Embolima. Alexander stayed for some day and offered customary sacrifices while Hepaistion, one of his generals, prepared a boat bridge. In the 7th century Hiuen Tsang crossed the river at the same place but lost much of his baggage including the valuable treasure of books he had been collecting in India. But Hiuen Tsang was well paid for his labour for the kings of Kapisa (Kabul) and Kashmir arrived at Hund to meet the honorable guest. Hund is last mentioned in historical accounts at the time which Sayed Ahmad Shahid, after his success against the Sikh force in 1826 reached this place and was well received by the Rais (Lord) of Hund known as Khadi Khan. It was here that the Syed found some time out of his busy schedule to organize his troops and work out further strategies. But the Ba"rakzai sardars of Peshawar who wanted to eliminate the Syed spread a network of intrigues against him and succeeded in alienating some of the influential Khans of the area who had been helping him during the campaign. Khadi Khan was also one of them. He was killed when the troops of the Sayed invaded Hund in retaliation. We hear no more of Hund after this. In fact the construction of a fort at Attock had already signaled the death blow, for it provided a convenient crossing point and diverted the route to Peshawar and then straight on to the Khyber Pass. Hund lost its strategic position for ever and so also its prosperity.

 

The Government of NWFP is very keen to develop the site of Hund as tourists' attraction spot and approved a project for this purpose. In the first phase The Directorate of Archaeology & Museums acquired a chunk of land measuring to 33 kanals and erected there an Alexander Monument on the shape of a tall Corinthian Pillar so as to commemorate the sojourn of Alexander the great at this place. Work in the second phase of this project was started under the supervision of Prof.(Dr.) Ihsan Ali, then Director of the Directorate of Archaeology & Museum Govt. of NWFP Peshawar during the year 2002-03 which includes construction of a museum building, rest house, cafeteria and a bi pass road. Archaeological excavation is also a component of this project, aiming to determine the exact cultural profile of the area. After completion of this project, Hund will regain its lost fame and glory.



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