Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kashmir is the original Aryan Homeland

And the left-anarchist version? From middle ages the Saraswat Brahmins and Pandits of Kashmir ran away on their own from their native land due to the so-called Sufi tradition!
From Wikipedia -In the 13th century, Islam first became the dominant religion in Kashmir. The Muslims and Hindus of Kashmir lived in relative harmony, since the Sufi-Islamic way of life that ordinary Muslims followed in Kashmir complemented the Rishi tradition of Kashmiri Pandits. This led to a syncretic culture where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines. Famous sufi saint Bulbul Shah was able to persuade the king of the time Rinchan Shah who was prince of Kashgar Ladakh, through his intellectual power to adopt Islamic way of life and the foundation of Sufiana composite culture was laid when Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were co-existing in the atmosphere of love and brotherhood.Some Kashmiri rulers, such as Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, were tolerant of all religions in a manner comparable to Akbar. However, several Muslim rulers of Kashmir were intolerant to other religions. Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413) is often considered the worst of these. Historians have recorded many of his atrocities. The Tarikh-i-Firishta records that Sikandar persecuted the Hindus and issued orders proscribing the residence of any other than Muslims in Kashmir. He also ordered the breaking of all "golden and silver images". The Tarikh-i-Firishta further states: "Many of the Brahmins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Mahomedans. After the emigration of the Brahmins, Sikandar ordered all the temples in Kashmeer to be thrown down......Having broken all the images in Kashmir, (Sikandar) acquired the title of ‘Destroyer of Idols’."
Narendra Sehgal; Converted Kashmir: A Bitter Saga of Religious Conversion; Utpal Publications; Delhi; 1991 (Available on-line at Reference # 8.b) K. N. Pandit; Baharistan-I-Shahi: A Chronicle of Medieval Kashmir (An English Translation); Firma KLM Pvt. Ltd.; Calcutta; 1989 (Available on-line at Ref. # 8.b) In 1947 C.E. encouraged by Pakistan, the fanatically Muslim Pathan, Afridi and Chitrali tribesmen invaded the Hunza, Balistan, Gilgit, Ladakh, Poonch, Rajouri, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad regions of Jammu and Kashmir and let loose a reign of terror. The genocide of the 20% minority of Hindus in these regions was total. For instance, the 100,000 strong proud Hindu Vaish community of Mirpur and Poonch areas was massacred, and their women-folk were raped, forcibly married and sold as slaves in cities of Pakistan.The Pandit community of proper Kashmir valley is atleast acknowledged but the Vaish community of Mujjafarabad region who were the guards of famous Sharada Peeth (the seat of learning in Kashmir ascended by few scholars like Adi Shankaracharya) now near Mujjafarabad in POK is forgotten who would have been 3-3.5 lac by now had they been allowed to survive!
The Saraswat Brahmins (named after Sharada Peeth) and Kashmiri Pandits have been repeatedly hounded off their homes from the middle ages and Nehru Family and many others like them settled in Allahabad, Haridwar and Punjab region. That is why Kashmir is today Muslim majority! Farukh Abdullah has himself said publicly that his great grandfather was a Pandit forcibly converted by Muslim Afghan rulers.
POK is not Kashmir proper. Its northern part is Balwaristan (Gilgit-Baltistan)and Shia muslims reside there. They are badly persecuted by Pakistanis. http://balawaristan.net/english.htmThe southern part is inhabited by Mirpuris and not Kashmiris who are Bakerwal, Gujjar and Dogra people converted to Islam! Only a negligible area near the confluence of NilGanga/Neelam and Jhelum near Mujjafarabad is part of Kashmir valley near Uri town of J&K.However whole of POK is now dominated and settled by majority Pathans and Punjabi Muslims of Pakistan.
Nund Rishi is like Kabir and there is a lot of confusion whether he was Hindu or Muslim, Sufi or Bhakti practitioner! In general Sufis converted people by stealth which hardcore Muslims could not do by sword! If sufi Islamic traditions are secular why only Hindus go to them and Muslims do not complement it by going to Hindu ascetics/sages?From Wikipedia -Kashmir was originally and still is one of the most important centres of Hinduism and later also became an important centre of Buddhism. Kashmir retained a strong influence of Buddhism despite the influence of Kashmir Saivism and the various Sufi Orders of Islam. The Rishi Order emerged as the most dominant Sufi Order in Kashmir because of its assimilation of Buddhist practices. The founder of the Order, Nund Rishi or Sheikh Nooruddin Wali, is the patron saint of Kashmir. Nund Rishi wrote a poem in the praise of the Buddha and was considered to be the spiritual heir of Lal Ded, the Kashmiri Saivite saint. He also had differences with the Kubrawiyya Sufi Order which was brought to Kashmir by Syed Ali Hamdani in the fourteenth century.
Most people of J&K are not the "Orthodox Kashmiri Sunni Muslims" as generally believed. Still they residing in valley hold political power! 35% are non-muslim, Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhists. 15% are Shias mostly in Kargil-Drass region. 25% are Gujjar-Bakkerwal tribes of herdsmen who are feircely anti Pakistani like the Shias.Another matter which is quiet important is that Kashmiri Muslims have been given protection through article 370 and outside people/Hindus could not settle in J&K. But, Kashmiri Muslims can settle in traditional Buddhist region like Ladakh and are 49% in 2001. They can also settle in traditional Hindu Dogra areas of Jammu and now they are 35% in Jammu. Poonch, Rajauri and Doda the 3 Jammu districts are now Muslim majority. Besides, hounding off of 7 lac Pandits have made non-muslims only 29% in 2001 in J&K.
Kashmir is already divided between India and Pakistan and should not be re-divided. So what can be the solution according to wishes of all the people of J&K, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists? Give a time frame, say 1 year and allow people from J&K to permanently go to POK to settle there who want Pakistan or Azadi! Let them have Pakistan or declare POK as Azad Kashmir which India can then recognize to further divide Pakistan. Talking in the language one understand! Those who want to remain with India should only be allowed to reside in J&K.
Dhahanu - The land of Aryans could be an important clue in proving that the original homeland of Aryans is India and Kashmir in particular.Dukpa migrants from Dardistan (north-west Kashmir) were the earliest settlers in Ladakh. They occupied the lower reaches of the Indus River -- the tract being popularly known as Sham -- which is separated from upper Ladakh by the Kongkha Pass. They brought with them the form of Buddhism that was prevalent in Dardistan at that time. Another form of Buddhism came into Ladakh with the Mons (of Aryan origin), who came from Kulu and settled in the Rong area with Gya as its capital. Towards the close of the 10th century, another wave of settlers came to Ladakh, this time from Tibet, and brought with them the Mongolian form of Buddhism, which later became the dominant element in the religious life of the people of Ladakh. Thus, Buddhism in its present form came from Tibet where it had been preached by Indian teachers.Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh, around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar, Skurbuchan and Achinathang. There are many small villages but only two villages of Dha and Hanu are open for tourist. Being on lower altitude Dhahanu is warmer than Leh. The main attraction of this tour is Drokpa Community considered being as last race of Aryans confined to the valley. Their feature is pure Indo Aryan and they have preserved their racial purity down the Centuries. Their culture and religious practices are very similar to ancient pre- Buddhist religion known as Bon-Chos.

Cannibals of Orissa

Even in modern age of 21st century the Juang and Saora tribes of Orissa State in India are periodically reported to indulge in cannibalism and resides mostly in southern Orissa forests. Like Jarwas of Andamans they wear little clothes and avoid outside contacts. Traces of Neolithic life are found here and the Juang tribe found here are the last surviving tribes among the vanishing descendants of the Stone Age. Among the Saora tribe of Orissa State in India, young men and women sometimes exhibit abnormal behavior patterns that western trained mental health specialists would likely define as a mental disorder. They cry and laugh at inappropriate times, have memory loss, pass out, and claim to experience the sensation of being repeatedly bitten by ants when no ants are present. These individuals are usually teenagers or young adults who are not attracted to the ordinary life of a subsistence farmer. They are under considerable psychological stress from social pressure placed on them by their relatives and friends. The Saora explain the odd behavior of these people as being due to the actions of supernatural beings who want to marry them. The resolution to this situation is to carry out a marriage ceremony in which the disturbed person is married to the spirit. Once this marriage has occurred, the abnormal symptoms apparently end and the young person becomes a shaman responsible for curing people. In the eyes of the society, he or she changes status from a peculiar teenager to a respected adult who has valuable skills as a result of supernatural contacts. This Saora example suggests that some minor mental illnesses could be better viewed as ways of dealing with impossible social situations. In other words, they are coping mechanisms.


Mustang from Tibetan Mun Tan which means fertile plain, Mustang or Kingdom of Lo is part of the Kingdom of Nepal and one of its districts (see Mustang District), in the north-east of that country, bordering China (Tibet) on the Central Asian plateau between the Nepalese provinces of Dolpo and Manang. It is roughly 80 km long (north-south) and 45 km at its widest, and is at an elevation of over 2500 m.

It is largely dry and arid (annual precipitation is in the range of 250-400 mm) due to its position in the rain shadow of surrounding mountains.

The population is around 9,000, spread between three towns and approximately thirty smaller settlements; the people are either Thakalis or Tibetan.
Most of the population of Mustang live near the river, 2-3,000 m above sea level, but the tough conditions cause a large seasonal migration into lower regions of Nepal. The administrative centre of the district is at Jomsom (Dzong Sampa), population 5,363 (1998), which has had an airport since 1962 and has become the main tourist centre since the area was opened to tourism in the 1970s.

The main feature of Mustang is the Gandaki river, its valley and tributaries. The river runs north-east to south-west towards Nepal Terai, bisecting the territory. It once served as the major trade route between Tibet and India, especially for salt. Part of the river valley, the Thak Khola, forms the deepest gorge in the world.

Mustang was once an independent kingdom, although closely tied by language and culture to Tibet. From the 15th century to the 17th century, its strategic location granted Mustang control over the trade between the Himalayas and India. By the end of the 18th century, the kingdom was annexed by Nepal. Now it an autonomous kingdom - the last surviving Sangri-La.
However, the monarchy still survives as the Kingdom of Lo in Upper (northern) Mustang, with its capital at Lo Manthang. The current king (raja or gyelpo) is Jigme Parbal Bista, who traces his lineage back to Ame Pal the warrior who founded the Buddhist kingdom in 1450.

Even though foreign visitors are allowed to the kingdom since 1991, tourism to Upper Mustang is very restricted. Foreigners need to obtain a special permit to enter, which costs $700 per 10 days per person.

Lo Manthang’s culture is deep rooted in the religious sentiments of its people. The township abound with many chhortens, mani – walls and monasteries. Prayers flags flutter above all the houses – conveying mantras to all corners of the world. The Lobas are exclusively Buddhists and conform to the Sakya – pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Bon prevailed before Buddhism, which was later replaced by Ningma Pa Sect (Dhakarkayu subsect) and subsequently by Sakya Pa Sect of Buddhism.Of the three Gompas in Lo – Manthang, the Jhampa Gompa is the oldest. It was built in 1387 AD during the reign of the famous King Anguin Sangbo and is believed to be a replica of Ghangtse Jhampa Gompa of Tibet, which still exists in Ghangtse, near Khasa.The three storied Jhampa Gompa, is an exemplary piece of art. It amply exhibits Lo- Manthang’s great architectural depth of the past. The uniqueness of this Gompa lies in gold painted tantric mandals entirely covering the interiors of the wall of the first and second floors. The main prayer hall is painted with double register of Mandalas. The sheer size of the Gompa itself is an attraction. One will be surprised to know that the walls of the Gompa are 5 feet and 4 inches thick! The Gompa is 55 feet high, 150 feet long and 80 feet wide.Thupchen is the second oldest Gompa of the town. It was built in the early 15th century by Tashi gon, the third Raja of Mustang. Despite being smaller than Jhamba, Thupchen is an equally rich archetype of Tibetan art. The main hall ‘ Dukhan’ has beautiful ceiling and wall peintings painted of natural color and gold and silver paints. The wall paintings bear various images of Buddha and other deities in different mudras. The wooden beams in Dukhang carry Buddhist mantra engraved in it and the ceiling has beautifully placed rafters. In its heyday, Thupchen was the major center of religious activity in Lo- Manthang.Resided by the Khempo, Chhoede Gompa presently is the main Gompa of Lo and also the center of religious activity. It was built by a King named A-ham Tshewang Phuntsok Tskgyen Norbu in 17 57. the present houses beautiful Thangka and images, including the sacred Thangka of Mahakala and Dorje Sonnu. Mahakala is a wrathful manifestation of Avalokiteshwara and Dorje Sonnu is the main deity of the Tenchi festival.Tenchi is the most popular festival of Lo Tsho Dhun, and is celebrated over three days to mark the killing of a demon by Dorje Sonnu is the main deity of the Tenchi festival.Tenchi is the most popular festival of Lo Tsho Dhun, and is celebrated over three days to mark the killings of a demon by Dorje Sonnu, the demon’s son. Tenchi is a derivative of the Tibetan word "tempa Chirim", meaning a prayer for world peace. The festival is celebrated on the fifth month of the Tibetan calender, which usually come to place in May. Two huge Thangkas are displayed during the occasion. Numerous other festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Some important ones are Mhane Dance, Sakaluka, Duk chu, Chug Emma, Phakne, Lhosar and so forth.A Monastic School- tse Chhen Shedrubling Tukling mon Gon Lobdra- is attached to the Chhoede Gompa. This is the only Sakya- pa monastic school of Upper Mustang where young monks are taught on the teachings of Buddha. There are about 90 monks currently studying in this center.The people of Lo have for long relied on traditional herbal medicines to cure ailments and the faith still holds true. With some donor support, and Amchi school now runs in lo under the management of the local Almchi family.
Lo- Manthang- Eastern valley Height: 3760mChhoser is famous for its cave culture. In the past, a whole village lived in one cave and the Jhong cave, which is 5 storied and has more than 40 rooms, is a standing proof. The people of Achenbuk are proud of their cave houses and the Nyphu Gomp, which is half inside the cave, is still existent. Walking along the major trading route with Tibet, Chhoser can be reached in about 3 hours from Lo.
Lo-Manthang-Weastern valley Height: 3760mIn Thinker village of Chhunup you will find the Summer Palace of the Raja. Namgyal Gompa and Ketcher Dzong are other places to visit I Chhunup. The Ketcher Dzong is the first palace built by Ame Pal, the first Raja of Mustang, in the early 14th century.

Ancient Indians settled in these far off lands -

Latvian and Lithuanians -
The Latvian language belongs to the Baltic group of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest and only living relative is Lithuanian (Latvian is a non-Slavic and a non-Germanic language). Latvian has inherited a lot from the Indo-European Sanskrit, and as well as Lithuanian, it has preserved a lot of archaic features in its sound system and grammar. The Latvian and Lithuanian languages are among the oldest languages in the world. These languages are closely related but are not the same. Latvian endings for nouns, for example, are shorter than Lithuanian nouns. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only remnants of the ancient Indo-European language related to Sanskrit (Thieme, 1958). Estonian is more closely related to Finnish and is part of the Baltic-Finnic branch of the Uralic languages, which also relates to the Hungarian language (Raun, 1991).
Dievs deva zobus, Dievs dos maizes donu
Dievas davė dantis, Dievas duos duonos
Devas adāt datas, Devas dāsyati dhānās
[Bog dal zubi, Bog dast hlyeb]
Gott gab die Zähne, Gott wird das Brot geben
Meaning in English:
God gave teeth, God will give bread
Next I will compare some verb conjugations in Sanskrit, Lithuanian, Greek and Latin. One of the most striking examples is the present tense conjugation of the verb 'to bei or 'is, are.' I must point out first that apparently Proto-Indo-European had a category denoting two items, in addition to a category denoting singular and plural such as we have in English. This is called the dual. It may be hard to understand why this was necessary, since in English we get along quite well with only the singular and the plural. On the other hand, speakers of certain oriental languages wonder why it is necessary to distinguish all the time between singular and plural. A real need to distinguish singular and plural arises very occasionally. Be that as it may, Sanskrit, Lithuanian and ancient Greek have this extra, and from our point of view, superfluous category. Compare then, the following conjugations:
1st as-mi 'I am' 2nd asi 'thou art' 3rd as-ti 'he, she, it is'

1st es-ù (older es-mi)2nd es-ì (<*es-si) 3rd ẽs-ti 'there is' Dual s-vah 'we two are's-thah 'you two are's-tah 'they two are' ẽs-ava (older es-va)ẽs-ata (older es-ta)—————— Plural s-mah 'we are' (more than two) s-tha 'you are' (more than two) s-anti 'they are' (more than two) ẽs-ame (older es-me) ẽs-ate (older es-te) —————— (yra 'is, are' may be an innovation or may be an ancient inheritance) (Contemporary Lithuanian does not distinguish any number in the third person verbal forms.) The Indian or Aistian peoples (Aestiorum gentes) first appear on the historical scene in chapter XLV of Cornelius Tacitus' Germania. Tacitus wrote, "Passing then to the east along the shore of the Suebic (Baltic — WRS) sea, we find the tribes of the Aestii, who have the same observances and general appearance as the Suebi, while their language is more like the British tongue. They worship the Mother of the Gods. As the symbol of their religion they carry figures of boars. They believe that, without weapons or protection of any other kind, this charm preserves a devotee of the goddess from harm even among his enemies. They rarely use iron weapons, far more frequently clubs. They labour at the cultivation of crops and fruit trees with a perseverance which is in contrast with the usual indolence of the Germans. They also scour the sea, and are the only people who gather amber. They themselves call it glesum and they find it in the shallow water or actually on the shore. Like barbarians they have never discovered or inquired by what natural process it is produced." (Translation from Fyfe, 1908, 117.) Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan has been tied to cultural diffusion on the Silk Road. The major center center for Hinduism in the region was Surakhani, the site of the Atashgah mandir.
In the Middle Ages, Hindu traders visited Azerbaijan for Silk Road trade. The area was traversed by Hindu traders coming mostly from Multan and Sindh. The Atashgah (in Surakhani) was created for those traders to worship while in the area. Most of the traders left after the advent of the British Raj. The ceremonies were officiated by a Punjabi pandit [2]. The locals of the Surakhani also worshiiped at the local mandir, and the population of Hindus swelled [3]
In the 1880's the Czar of Russia, Alexander III went to Azerbaijan to witness one of the last Hindu ceremonies performed there. After the 1890's nearly all of the original Hindus in Azerbaijan had passed away or left for India. [4]

Tajikistan -
The Tocharians or Tusharas as known in Indian literature were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin and Pamir region in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. Their unique culture spanned from the 1st millennium BC to the end of the 1st millennium AD. Their language is called Tocharian. Their descendants are the Tajiks of Tajikistan.
Sanskrit literature in numerous instances refers to the Tocharians as Tusharas, Tukharas, Tokharas and Tuharas etc.
The Atharavaveda-Parishishta [1] associates the Tusharas with the Sakas, Yavanas and the Bahlikas [2]. It also juxtaposes the Kambojas with the Bahlikas [3]. This shows the Tusharas probably were neighbors to the Shakas, Bahlikas, Yavanas and the Kambojas in Transoxian region.
The Rishikas are said to be same people as the Yuezhis [4]. The Kushanas or Kanishkas are also the same people [5]. Prof Stein says that the Tukharas (Tokharois/Tokarais) were a branch of the Yue-chi or Yuezhi[6]. Prof P. C. Bagchi holds that the Yuezhi, Tocharioi and Tushara were identical [7]. Thus, the Rishikas, Tusharas/Tukharas (Tokharoi/Tokaroi), Kushanas and the Yuezhis probably were either a single people, or members of a confederacy. But based on the syntactical construction of the Mahabharata verse 5.5.15 [8] and v 2.27.25 [9], outstanding Sanskrit scholars like prof. Ishwa Mishra believe that the Rishikas were a section of the Kambojas i.e Parama Kambojas.

Philippines -
Historians speculate that the Philippines was under the Sri Vijaya Empire from the 4th to the 10th centuries. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription, partly in Sanskrit and party in local languages, dated to April 21, 900 C.E. mentions a pardon by the Commander in Chief of Tundun, represented by the Lord Minister of Pailah, Jayadewa.
Before the Spanish colonial period, the archipelagos of Southeast Asia were under the influence of the traders of Hindu-Malayan culture, such as the Majapahit Empire, which was being supplanted by Islamic conquest by the Sultanates of Malacca, who had converted from Hinduism to Islam in 1414, and of Borneo. In the Majapahit Empire the last Hindu kings in about 1500 retreated to Bali in order to keep their culture. Influences from the subcontinent may be traced earlier before the arrivals of the Arabs and the Europeans during the 1400s and 1500s respectively. The rulers of many of the islands were called Rajas, or Rajahs. he central region, Visayas, is said to be named after the last Southeast Hindu Prince Sri Vijaya who converted to Islam after which the local Filipinos were in the process of converting to Islam. Islamization was also halted by the colonizing Catholic Spaniards.

Malayasia -
Hinduism was more prevalent in Malaysia prior to the arrival of Islam in the 15th century. Traces of Hindu influence remain in the Malay language, literature and art.
The last prince of the Srivijayan kingdom of Sumatra, after the loss to the Majapahit, founded the Sultanate of Malacca on the Straits of Malacca between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. He later converted to Islam in 1414. As the Portuguese came to trade for spices, they began to ally with the Islamic powers, which did not help the Majapahit. One third of the Bataks, particularly the Toba and Karo Bataks.
Indian settlers came to Malaysia from Tamil Nadu in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these came to work as labourers on rubber plantations, while those who were English-educated occupied more professional positions. A minority of Indian immigrants to Malaysia during this time period came from Northern India and Sri Lanka.

Indonesia -
Hinduism in Indonesia, also known by its formal Indonesian name Agama Hindu Dharma, refers to Hinduism as practised in Indonesia. It is practised by 93% of the population of Bali, but also in Sumatra, Java (especially by the Tenggerese people on the east), Lombok and Kalimantan. Although only about 3% of Indonesian population is officially Hindu, Indonesian beliefs are too complex to classify as belonging to a single world religion. In Java in particular, a substantial number of Muslims follow a non-orthodox, Hindu-influenced form of Islam known as 'Islam Abangan' or 'Islam Kejawèn', while across the archipelago the Hindu legacy, along with the older mystic traditions, influences popular beliefs.
The Singhasari kingdom fell to Kediri. The last Singhasari king's son-in-law, Wijaya took over the kingdom by allying himself with the Mongols in 1293 and created the Majapahit kingdom. The Majapahit then turned on Kublai Khan's forces and drove them out. This established Majapahit hegemony over Java. Today there are a few remaining Hindu communities in Java. The Tenggerese, some Osings, and to some extent the Baduis are still Hindus.
Both Java and Sumatra were subject to considerable cultural influence from the Indian subcontinent during the first and second millennia of the Common Era. Many Hindu temples were built, including Prambanan near Yogyakarta, which has been designated a World Heritage Site; and Hindu kingdoms flourished, of which the most important was Majapahit.
In the sixth and seventh centuries many maritime kingdoms arose in Sumatra and Java which controlled the waters in the Straits of Malacca and flourished with the increasing sea trade between China and India and beyond. During this time, scholars from India and China visited these kingdoms to translate literary and religious texts.
Majapahit was based in Central Java, from where it ruled a large part of what is now western Indonesia. The remnants of the Majapahit kingdom shifted to Bali during the sixteenth century as Muslim kingdoms in the western part of the island gained influence.

Pakistan -
Hinduism, once the main religion in Pakistan, has endured many conquests and invasions, different rulers, and ultimately political separation from the Hindu-majority India.
In August 1947, at the end of British Raj, the population percentage of Hindus in what is today Pakistan was as high as 25%, but would drop to its current total of less than 2 % in the years since partition. It remains the hope of many that a permanent peace between India and Pakistan will go a long way in making life better for the roughly 3 million Hindus living in Pakistan. The 1998 census recorded 2,443,614 Hindus in Pakistan.
The Sindh kingdom and its rulers play an important role in the Indian epic story of the Mahabharata. In addition, there is the legend that the Pakistani city of Lahore was first founded by Lava, the son of Rama of the Ramayana. The Gandhara kingdom of the Northwest, and the legendary Gandhara peoples are also a major part of Hindu literature such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
In Tharparkar district of Sindh adjoining India, Hindu percentage is highest at 40.5% and in Badin district of same province of Sindh they are 18.5%. Sindh has the highest percentage of Hindus at 7.5%.

Tibet -
Even though Hinduism and Buddhism are essentially two different beliefs (as mentioned above), in the modern world many Tibetan Buddhists are influenced by Hindu ideals and take part in Hindu religious gatherings and discussions. It is believed that this had resulted from the increase of Tibetan refugees (including that of the Dalai Lama) in India after the People's Republic of China's occupation of Tibet to prevent Tibet from successfully declaring independence. An example of Hindu influence on Tibetan Buddhists is the practice of Yoga, which originated as a major spiritual tradition within the Hindu society, though is practiced among Buddhists throughout Tibet in China. Even with the influence in the Modern China, Hinduism is still a very minor religion in China, practiced among only a few believers.

Bangladesh -
Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Bangladesh, covering about 10.5% of the population as of 1991 census reduced from 30% at 1947 during partition with India. Bangladeshi Hinduism closely resembles the forms and customs of Hinduism practised in neighbouring West Bengal, with which Bangladesh was united until the partition of India in 1947.
The Bangladesh Liberation War resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th Century. While the number of casulaties is 3,000,000 and 80% of them were Hindus who bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army's onslaught against the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan. Also, 1,00,00,000 Hindus fled Bangladesh permanently to settle in India.
An article in Time magazine dated August 2, 1971, stated "The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred."

Cambodia -
Cambodia was first influenced by Hinduism during the beginning of the Funan kingdom. Hinduism was one of the Khmer Empire's official religions. Combodia is the home to one of the only two temples dedicated to Brahma in the world. Angkor Wat is also a famous Hindu temple of Combodia.

Laos -
Laos used to part of Khmer Empire. The Wat Phou is one of the last influences of that period. The Laotion adaption of the Ramayana is called Phra Lak Phra Lam.

Mayanmar -
Hinduism in Myanmar is practised by less than 2% of the population (approximately 240,000), with most practioners being Burmese Indians. Because a reliable census has not been taken in Myanmar since colonial times, the given figures are rough estimates. Despite its minority designation today, Hinduism has been greatly influential in Burmese history and literature. Hinduism, along with Buddhism, greatly influenced the royal court of Burmese kings in pre-colonial times, as seen in the architecture of cities such as Bagan. Likewise, the Burmese language contains many loanwords from Sanskrit and Pali, many of which relate to religion. Several aspects of Hinduism can be found in Myanmar today. In nat worship, which is practised by the dominant Bamar ethnic group, Burmese adaptations of Hindu gods are worshipped. For example, the king of the nats, Thagyamin, is identified with the Hindu god Indra. Burmese literature has also been enriched by Hinduism, including the Burmese adaption of the Ramayana, called Yama Zatdaw. Many Hindu gods are likewise worshipped by Burmese Buddhists, including Saraswati (known as Thuyathadi in Burmese), the goddess of knowledge, who is often worshipped before examinations.

Thailand -
A number of Hindus remain in Thailand. They are mostly located in the cities. In the past, the nation came under the influence of the Khmer Empire, which had strong Hindu roots. The epic, Ramakien, is based on the Ramayana. The city, Ayutthaya, is named after Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama. Numerous rituals derived from Brahminism are preserved in rituals, such as use of holy strings and pouring of lustral water from conch shells. Furthermore, Hindu deities are worshipped by many Thais alongside Buddhism, such as the famous Erawan shrine, and statues of Ganesh, Indra, and Shiva, as well as numerous symbols relating to Hindu deities are found, e.g., Garuda, a symbol of the monarchy.

Afghanistan -
Hinduism in Afghanistan has existed for almost as long as Hinduism itself. The religion was widespread in the region until the advent of Islam.
Hinduism in Afghanistan dates back to the Vedic periods when both countries shared a common culture. Along with Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, Hinduism was among the most practiced religions among the local people, who were a heterogeneous mix of Iranian, Nurestani and Indo-Aryan background. The Hindu Shahi Kings ruled Afghanistan till 10th century AD. Afghanistan gradually converted to Islam with the Islamic conquest.The Hindu-Sikh population in Afghanistan in 1990 was estimated to number around 30,000. It is also worth noting that Afghan Hindus and Afghan Sikhs often share places of worship [1]. The main ethnic groups in Afganistan which practice Hinduism are the Punjabis, Sindhis, Kabulis, and Kandharis.

Iran -
In ancient Iran/Persia and India a set that is common to all may be reconstructed. This set is then what is in academic circles recognized as the beliefs of the Proto-Indo-Iranians, and from which the various religions of the various Indo-Iranian peoples then descended. Divinities and divine concepts that can be reconstructed for this hypothetical Proto-Indo-Iranian religion include *rta (Vedic rta, Avestan asha), *sauma (Vedic Soma, Avestan Haoma), *mitra (Vedic Mitra, Avestan Mithra).
However, the beliefs developed in different ways as cultures separated and evolved. For example, while in 'Indic' branch Bhaga is a divinity in its own right, in the Iranian branch 'Baga' is a generic term for a (otherwise nameless) deity or group of deities. Similarly, the cosmological mythology of the peoples that remained on the Central Asian steppes is to a great degree unlike that of the Indians, perhaps in part because the Indians tended to focus on the divinities individually, while in Iranian lore the greater scheme - in which the divinities each play a part - gained the attention. By the time of Zoroaster, Iranian culture had also been subject to the upheavals of the Iranian Heroic Age (late Iranian Bronze Age, 1800-800 BCE), an influence that the Indians were not subject to. Moreover, the Indians, unlike the more conservative Iranians, were quite creative in their treatment of their divinities. As a result, the figures with conflated with others, or hypostatical splitting occurred, that is, aspects of a divinity developed into divinities in their own right.
Sometimes legends developed into stories altogether different from their counterparts: For example, Rig-Vedic Saraswati is linguistically and functionally cognate with Avestan *Haravati Aredvi Sura Anahita. In the Rig-Veda (6,61,7) she battles a serpent called Vritra, who has hoarded all of the earth's water. In contrast, Iranian *Haravati is the world-river that flows down from the mythical Mount Hara upon which the world rests. But *Haravati does no battle - she is blocked by an obstacle (Avestan for obstacle: verethra) placed there by Ahriman. This tale, already attested in a very early portion of the Avesta, remained in common use as late as the 1st century CE, for from that century we have a Greek inscription dedicated to "Great Anaitis of High Hara". Avestan Verethra is also evident in the name Bahrain, the city next to the great barrier that divides the Persian gulf into two.

Maldives -
"Maldives" derives from the Sanskrit maladvipa, meaning "garland of islands."Historians have established that by the fourth century A.D. Theravada Buddhism originating from Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) became the dominant religion of the people of Maldives. Some scholars believe that the name "Maldives" derives from the Sanskrit maladvipa, meaning "garland of islands." In the mid-1980s, the Maldivian government allowed the noted explorer and expert on early marine navigation, Thor Heyerdahl, to excavate ancient sites. Heyerdahl studied the ancient mounds, called hawitta by the Maldivians, found on many of the atolls. Some of his archaeological discoveries of stone figures and carvings from pre-Islamic civilizations are today exhibited in a side room of the small National Museum on Male.
Heyerdahl's research indicates that as early as 2,000 B.C. Maldives lay on the maritime trading routes of early Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Indus Valley civilizations. Heyerdahl believes that early sun-worshipping seafarers, called the Redin, first settled on the islands. Even today, many mosques in Maldives face the sun and not Mecca, lending credence to this theory. Because building space and materials were scarce, successive cultures constructed their places of worship on the foundations of previous buildings. Heyerdahl thus surmises that these sun-facing mosques were built on the ancient foundations of the Redin culture temples who were Hindu Indians settled in the islands.

Descendants of Indian traders and commoners in Central Asia - Luli

Luli or Lyuli [lju`li:] are a people from Central Asia, primarily Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. They are also known as Central Asian Gypsies or False Romas.Probably, like the Roma, they originate from India. The Luli practice Islam. They have a clan organization (Luli for clan is tupar). Division into sub-clans is also practiced. The Luli community is extremely closed towards non-Luli. [1]Luli speak a Luli dialect of Domari language.[2]Contents
1 Luli in Kyrgyzstan 2 Luli in Russia 3 References 4 External links Luli in KyrgyzstanThe Luli live in the south of Kyrgyzstan, Osh oblast. Their living standard is extremely low. Many children are devoid of education in their mother tongue and many people have no documents. Luli society is working towards improvement of their living standards and preservation of their culture.[3]Luli in RussiaIn the beginning of the 1990s, Luli started migrating into Russian cities, placing especially near railway stations and markets. At first, Russians mistakenly identified them as Tajik refugees, ethnically Tajiks and Uzbeks, due to their dress in traditional Oriental robes.Russian Romas disclaim any relationship to the Luli people. However, Russians consider the Luli to be Gypsies, due their mode of life. Many Luli move from one city to another, and many Luli women and children make a living by begging. This fact, and the association of Central Asian people with drug traffic and international terrorism, gave rise to tensions between Luli and Russians. Luli are a frequent target of Russian far right skinheads.

Modern Turkey was originaly colonised by ancient Indians

Most of the area of modern Turkey, i.e Anatolia is the original Homeland of neither Greeks nor Turks but, ancient Indian Immigrants called Hurrians (Mittani, Hittites, etc) whose descendants are the Kurds fighting for Kurdistan against the repressive governments of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. They were later subdued by Greeks and Turks.

Important Link -



Ancient Hindu temples in Turkey -


The Mitanni Evidence
From Paul Thieme, 'The "Aryan" Gods of the Mitanni Treaties', JAOS, Vol. 80, 1960, pp. 301-317.
"...Kikkuli's treatise in Hittite on horse training (numerals: aika-one, tera -three,panza -- five, satta -- seven, na(ua) -- nine; appellatives: uartana -- circuitm course (in which horses move when being trained), as'ua-- horse, and, finally, a series of names of Aryan divinities on a Mitanni-Hatti and a Hatti-Mitanni treaty (14th century BC)... a key question is whether these data should be interpreted as traces of specifically Indo-Aryan speech and religion, or whether they should rather be identified as Proto-Aryan... an answer to it would have considerable historical implications. The historian will devise a theory to explain how 'Indians', or 'Proto-Indians', or 'Para-Indians', or 'Proto-Aryans' could come into Western Asia and exercise influence inferable from these linguistic traces. The linguist is entitled to be more modest. At the first step, he will not attempt to offer an explication in terms of a hypothesis, but to reach a factual decision on the linguistic character of the terms that confront him... It is easy to see that in each case where there exists a clearly recognizable difference between Indo-Aryan and Iranian, the terms and names of the Akkadian and Hittite documentation (as far as they are safely identifiable) side with Indo-Aryan-- s in intervocalic or prevocalic initial positions, which in Iranian appears as h, is preserve: nas'aattiia- (Mitanni treaty); Sanskrit Na_satya, but Iranian *Na_ha0ya (Av. Na_nhai0ya); satta- (Kikkuli): Sanskrit sapta, but Iranian hafta, hapta; the numeral 'one' is aika- (Kikkuli): Sanskrit eka, but Iranian aiva. However, it is not possible to deny that the forms Na_satya, sapta and a numeral aika might be Proto-Aryan. As far as s is concerned, Indo-Aryan preserves the old situation while Iranian has innovated; as to aika, the possibility must be admitted that both *aika and *aiva were Proto-Aryan and that the exclusive adoption of *aika in Indo-Aryan and of aiva in Iranian is the result of a later development. The fact that Proto-Aryan *ai and *au are replaced in Indo-Aryan by e and o, while in old Iranian they are preserved as ai and au and that ai and au regularly appear on the Anatolian documents (e.g., Kikkuli's aika), is unfortunately inconclusive... In his essay, 'The Aryan Gods of the Mitani People (Kristinania Etnografiske Museums Skrifter Bind 3 Hefte 1; Kristiania, 1921), Sten Konow vigorously maintained that a clear-cut difference between Proto-Aryan and Indo-Aryan divine nomenclature necessarily has to be asumed, and that by taking into account this difference it becomes possible to settle the Indo-Aryan (Vedic) nature of the gods named as witnesses on the treaties. Sten Konow's arguments have been unduly neglected by several contemporary scholars. It is, for instance, hard to accept T. Burrow's statement (Sanskrit Language, p. 30): "It is only the antiquity and conservativism of the Indian tradition, as opposed to the Iranian, that has led scholars to regard these Aryas (in the Mitanni realm) as specifically Indo-Aryan." One of Konow's chief points was that the Vedic Indra must be distinguished from a presumable Proto-Aryan *Indra and that the particular role he plays in the RV alone can be held responsible for his appearing in the Mitanni treaty in the company of Mitra and Varun.a. Nor do I find it possible to concur with Mayrhofer's charecterization of the relation of Vedic and Iranian to Proto-Aryan religion (Die Sprache, Vol. V, p. 90: "Bei den Gutternamen (war)... was uns nur im Veda in voller Blute erscheint, doch mit Sicherbeit (sic!) bereits im Gemeinarischen, aber ebenso wohl im vorzarathustrischen Iranischen vorhanden..."), whiich while being in full harmony with views held and expressed by H. Oldenbern in his time (cf., e.g., JRAS 1909, pp. 1096-1098), cannot be derived wth any cogency from our actual data, and rather rests on highly questionable simplifications....To be correct, Burrow's verdict might well have to be inverted: It is only the unquestioning acceptance of the conservativism of the Indian tradition, as opposed to the Iranian, that has led some scholars to regard the Aryan gods of the Mitanni treaty to be Proto-Aryan....
"The lists of the Aryan gods on the Hatti-Mitanni (KBo I 1 and duplicates) and the Mitanni-Hatti (KBo I 3) treaties read:...
mi-it-ra-as'-si-il... in-dar na-s'a-a (t-ti-ia-a)n-na...mi-it-ra-as'-s'i-il a-ru-na-as'-s'i-il in-da-ra na-s'a-at-ti-ia-an-na
It cannot be doubted, and indeed never was, that the onomastic elements of these texts, which are given in italics in my transcription, have exact equivalents in Vedic religious poetry. Here the stem forms of the names quoted would read: Mitra-, Varun.a-, Indra-, Na_satya-... If further asked to name a Rigvedic verse in which these names appear side by side and in this orde,r he would have to quote RV 10.125.1bc:
aham mitra_-varun.a_ ubha_ bibharmi aham indra_gni_ aham as'vina_ ubha_
"I (Speech) carry (support, nourish, or bear-- in my womb) both Mitra and Varun.a, I (carry) Indra- Agni, I (carry) both the two As'vins"...It is the merit of G. Dumezil (Les dieux des Indo-Europeens, Paris 1952, p. 9ff.) to have pointed out the analogy of the Mitanni series and that of RV 10.125.1bc...There is no justification for obliterating this potential clue by choosing to quote the gods of the Mitanni treaties in an arbitrarily changed order (Burrow, opcit, p. 28)... The name Varun.a is spelt in two different ways... u-ru-ua-na; a-ru-na... it represents an actual variant of the name, introduced by a Hittite who connected with Hittite aruna- 'sea'. Varun.a is, in fact, closely associated with the waters, especially the 'sea' (samudra), in the RV... the compound mitra_varun.a_ was divided incorrectly, not into the two duals mitra_ and varun.a_, but into the duals *mitra_u and *arun.a_...
"...the obvious presumption is that the Aryan gods in the list are gods of the royal family-- and perhaps of part of the nobility-- while the Mitanni gods are those of the 'Hurri people
"...Do Mitra, Varun.a, Indra and the two Na_satyas protect treaties in the RV? and: Is it likely or provable that they did so in Proto-Aryan times? To the first question a strictly factual answer can be given: all the named gods indeed are said to protect treaties in the RV, even the two Na_satyas, though these only ocasionally. The second one cannot be answered with the same confidence, since we have no primary sources of Proto-Aryan religion and must rely upon the resources of techniques of reconstruction... A reconstruction (of Proto-Aryan religion) can be attempted only by a careful confrontation of Vedic and Avestan terminology. Such confrontation yields the result that but one name in the Mitanni list can be postulated safely as that of a Proto-Aryan god whose function it was to protect treaties-- *Mitra m. 'Contract, Treaty'. All the other items of the list are doubtful with respect either to the form of the name or to the functions of the god in Proto-Aryan times."

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Ancient Mesopotamia
Cities / Empires
Sumer: UrukUrEridu
Akkadian Empire: Akkad
Assyria: AssurNineveh
Hurrians – Mitanni
Kings of Sumer
Kings of Assyria
Kings of Babylon
Cuneiform script
Enûma Elish
Mitanni or Mittani (in Assyrian sources Hanilgalbat, Khanigalbat) was a Hurrian kingdom in northern Syria from ca. 1500 BC. The name was later used as a geographical term for the area between the Khabur and Euphrates rivers in Neo-Assyrian times. According to some scholars, the name Mitanni is survived by the Kurdish tribe, "Motikan", who inhabit the same geographical areas believed to be the home of the Hurrians and Mitanni kingdom. Mitanni is thought to have been a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of partly Indo-Aryan descent, reaching Syria at some point during the 18th or 17th century BC in the course of the Indo-Aryan migration that separated Middle Bronze Age Proto-Indo-Iranians into the Indo-Aryan and Iranian branches.
1 Geography
2 Hurri, Mitanni/Maitani, and Hanigalbat
3 People
4 History
4.1 Summary
4.2 Early kingdom
4.3 Barattarna / Parsha(ta)tar
4.4 Shaushtatar
4.5 Artatama I and Shuttarna II
4.6 Artashumara and Tushratta
4.7 Shattiwaza
4.8 Shattuara I
4.9 Wasashatta
4.10 Shattuara II
4.11 Hanigalbat as an Assyrian Province
4.12 Neo-Assyrian times
5 Indo-Aryan superstrate
6 Mitanni rulers
7 See also
8 Sources
9 External links

[edit] Geography
Mitanni in northern Mesopotamia extended from Nuzi (modern Kirkuk) and the river Tigris in the east, to Aleppo and middle Syria (Nuhashshe) in the west. Its centre was in the Khabur river valley, with two capitals: Taite and Washshukanni, called Taidu and Ushshukana respectively in Assyrian sources. (Vasu-khani would mean "mine of wealth" in Sanskrit, but cf. Luwian vasu- "good", Bashkani in modern Kurdish: good water source) The whole area allows agriculture without artificial irrigation; cattle, sheep and goats were raised. It is very similar to Assyria in climate, and was settled by both indigenous Hurrian and Amoritic-speaking (Amurru) populations.

[edit] Hurri, Mitanni/Maitani, and Hanigalbat
"Mitanni" seems to have been the native term; this entity may also have been the Biblical Harran, though this is contested. We may assume a Hurrian population with an Indo-Aryan aristocracy.
Hittite annals mention a people called "Hurri", located in north-eastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a "King of the Hurrians". Probably, the original form of the name was "Hurla". The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders "Hurri" as Hanigalbat. The Assyrians used the term "Mitanni" as a synonym only after the end of the political entity.
Egyptian sources apply the term 'nhr', Naharina (from the Akkadian word for 'river', cf. Aram-Naharaim). The name Mitanni or Maitani is first found in the "memoirs" of the Syrian wars (ca. 1480) of the officier Amememhet, who lived at the time of Amenhotep I (1525 - 1504 BC) and maybe his two successors.

[edit] People
To complicate matters, while the names of the Mitanni aristocracy reveal their Indo-Aryan origin, the agglutinative Hurrian language is not believed to belong to the Indo-European language family that has been reconstructed from rather scarce sources. A Hurrian passage in the Amarna letters - usually composed in Babylonian, the lingua franca of the day - indicates that the royal family of Mitanni was by then speaking Hurrian as well.
Bearers of names in the Hurrian language are attested in wide areas of Syria and the northern Levant that are clearly outside the area of the political entity known to Assyria as Hanilgalbat. There is no indication that these persons owed allegiance to the political entity of Mitanni; although the German term Auslandshurriter ("Hurrian expatriates") has been used by some authors. In the 14th century BC numerous city-states in northern Syria and Canaan were ruled by persons with Hurrian names. If this can be taken to mean that the population of these states was Hurrian as well, then it is possible that these entities were a part of a larger polity with a shared Hurrian identity. This is often assumed, but without a critical examination of the sources. Differences in dialect and regionally different pantheons (Hepat/Shawushka, Sharruma/Tilla etc.) point to the existence of several groups of Hurrian speakers. Many researchers conclude that Hurrians are of one of the several Kurdish ancestor tribes stretched across the region of what is commonly today referred to as Kurdistan [1]. The Hurrian language is concluded by some researchers to be proto-Kurdish.

[edit] History
No native sources for the history of Mitanni (i.e. Hanilgalbat) have been found so far. The account is mainly based on Assyrian, Hittite and Egyptian sources, as well as inscriptions from nearby places in Syria. Often it is not even possible to establish synchronicity between the rulers of different countries and cities, let alone give uncontested absolute dates. The definition and history of Mitanni is further beset by a lack of differentiation between linguistic, ethnic and political groups.

[edit] Summary
It is believed that the warring Hurrian tribes and city states became united under one dynasty after the collapse of Babylon due to the Hittite sack by Mursili I and the Kassite invasion. The Hittite conquest of Aleppo (Yamhad), the weak middle Assyrian kings, and the internal strifes of the Hittites had created a power vacuum in upper Mesopotamia. This led to the formation of the kingdom of Mitanni.
King Barattarna of Mitanni expanded the kingdom west to Halab (Aleppo) and made Idrimi of Alalakh his vassal. The state of Kizzuwatna in the west also shifted its allegiance to Mitanni and Arrapha and Assyria in the east had become Mitannian vassal states by the mid-fifteenth century BC. The nation grew stronger during the reign of Shaushtatar but the Hurrians were keen to keep the Hittites inside the Anatolian highland. Kizzuwatna in the west and Ishuwa in the north were important allies against the hostile Hittites.
After a few clashes with the Pharaohs over the control of Syria Mitanni sought peace with Egypt and an alliance was formed. During the reign of Shuttarna in the early fourteenth century BC the relationship was very amicable, and he sent his daughter Kilu-Hepa to Egypt for a marriage with Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Mitanni was now at its peak of power.
At the death of Shuttarna Mitanni was ravaged by fights among different claimants of the throne. Eventually Tushratta, a son of Shuttarna, ascended the throne. Mitanni had however weakened considerably and the Hittites moved closer to its borders. At the same time the diplomatic relationship with Egypt went cold, and the Assyrians threw off the Mitannian yoke. The Hittite king Suppiluliuma I invaded the Mitannian vassal states in northern Syria and replaced them with loyal subjects.
In the capital Washukanni a new power struggle broke out. The Hittites and the Assyrians supported different pretenders to the throne. Finally a Hittite army conquered the capital Washukkanni and installed Shattiwaza, the son of Tushratta, as their vassal king of Mitanni in the late fourteenth century BC. The kingdom had by now been reduced to the Khabur river valley. The Assyrians had however not given up their claim on Mitanni. In the thirteenth century BC Assyria defeated and annexed the kingdom of Mitanni, or Hanigalbat as it was known by them.

[edit] Early kingdom
As early as Akkadian times, Hurrians are known to have lived east of the river Tigris on the northern rim of Mesopotamia, and in the Khabur valley. Hurrians are mentioned in the private Nuzi texts, in Ugarit, and the Hittite archives in Hattushsha (Bogazköy). Cuneiform texts from Mari mention rulers of city-states in upper Mesopotamia with both Amurru (Amorite) and Hurrian names. Rulers with Hurrian names are also attested for Urshum and Hashshum, and tablets from Alalakh (layer VII, from the later part of the old-Babylonian period) mention people with Hurrian names at the mouth of the Orontes. There is no evidence for any invasion from the North-east. Generally, these onomastic sources have been taken as evidence for a Hurrian expansion to the South and the West.
A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a "King of the Hurrians" (LUGAL ERÍN.MEŠ Hurri). This terminology was last used for King Tushratta of Mitanni, in a letter in the Amarna archives. The normal title of the king was 'King of the Hurri-men' (without the determinative KUR indicating a country).
It is believed that the warring Hurrian tribes and city states became united under one dynasty after the collapse of Babylon due to the Hittite sack by Mursili I and the Kassite invasion. The Hittite conquest of Aleppo (Yamkhad), the weak middle Assyrian kings, and the internal strifes of the Hittites had created a power vacuum in upper Mesopotamia. This led to the formation of the kingdom of Mitanni. The legendary founder of the Mitannian dynasty was a king called Kirta, who was followed by a king Shuttarna. Nothing is known about these early kings.

[edit] Barattarna / Parsha(ta)tar
King Barattarna is known from a cuneiform tablet in Nuzi and an inscription by Idrimi of Alalakh.[2] Egyptian sources do not mention his name; that he was the king of Naharin whom Thutmose III fought against in the fifteenth century BC can only be deduced from assumptions. Whether Parsha(ta)tar, known from another Nuzi inscription, is the same as Barattarna, or a different king, is debated.
Under the rule of Thutmose III, Egyptian troops crossed the Euphrates and entered the core lands of Mitanni. At Megiddo, he fought an alliance of 330 Syrian princes and tribal leaders under the ruler of Kadesh. See Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC). Mitanni had sent troops as well. Whether this was done because of existing treaties, or only in reaction to a common threat, remains open to debate. The Egyptian victory opened the way north.
Thutmose III again waged war in Syria in the 33rd year of his rule. The Egyptian army crossed the Euphrates at Carchemish and reached a town called Iryn (maybe present day Erin, 20 km northwest of Aleppo.) They sailed down the Euphrates to Emar (Meskene) and then returned home via Syria. A hunt for elephants at Lake Nija was important enough to be included in the annals. This was impressive PR, but did not lead to any permanent rule. Only the area at the middle Orontes and Phoenicia became part of Egyptian territory.
Victories over Mitanni are recorded from the Egyptian campaigns in Nuhashshe (middle part of Syria). Again, this did not lead to permanent territorial gains. Barattarna or his son Shaushtatar controlled the North Syrian interior up to Nuhashshe, and the coastal territories from Kizzuwatna to Alalakh in the kingdom of Muksih at the mouth of the Orontes. Idrimi of Alalakh, returning from Egyptian exile, could only ascend his throne with Barattarna's consent. While he got to rule Mukish and Ama'u, Aleppo remained with Mitanni.

[edit] Shaushtatar
Shaushtatar, king of Mitanni, sacked Assur some time in the 15th century, and took the silver and golden doors of the royal palace to Washshukanni. This is known from a later Hittite document, the Suppililiuma-Shattiwaza treaty. After the sack of Assur, Assyria may have paid tribute to Mitanni up to the time of Ashur-uballit I (1365-1330 BC). There is no trace of that in the Assyrian king lists; therefore it is probable that Assur was ruled by a native Assyrian dynasty owing allegiance to the house of Shaushtatar. While a vassal of Mitanni, the temple of Sin and Shamash was built in Assur.
Aleppo, Nuzi, and Arrapha seem to have been incorporated into Mitanni under Shaushtatar as well. The palace of the crown prince, the governor of Arrapha has been excavated. A letter from Shaushtatar was discovered in the house of Shilwe-Teshup. His seal shows heroes and winged geniuses fighting lions and other animals, as well as a winged sun. This style, with a multitude of figures distributed over the whole of the available space, is taken as typically Hurrian. A second seal, belonging to Shuttarna I, but used by Shaushtatar, found in Alalakh, shows a more traditional Akkadian style.
The military superiority of Mitanni was probably based on the use of two-wheeled war-chariots, driven by the 'Marjannu' people. A text on the training of war-horses, written by a certain "Kikkuli the Mitannian" has been found in the archives recovered at Hattusa. More speculative is the attribution of the introduction of the chariot in Mesopotamia to early Mitanni.
Under the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep II, Mitanni seems to have regained influence in the middle Orontes valley that had been conquered by Thutmose III. Amenhotep fought in Syria in 1425, presumably against Mitanni as well, but did not reach the Euphrates.

[edit] Artatama I and Shuttarna II
Later on, Egypt and Mitanni became allies, and King Shuttarna II himself was received at the Egyptian court. Amicable letters, sumptuous gifts, and letters asking for sumptuous gifts were exchanged. Mitanni was especially interested in Egyptian gold. This culminated in a number of royal marriages: the daughter of King Artatama was married to Thutmose IV. Kilu-Hepa, or Gilukhipa, the daughter of Shuttarna II, was married to Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled in the early fourteenth century BC. In a later royal marriage Tadu-Hepa, or Tadukhipa, the daughter of Tushratta, was sent to Egypt.
When Amenhotep III fell ill, the king of Mitanni sent him a statue of the goddess Shaushka (Ishtar) of Niniveh that was reputed to cure diseases. A more or less permanent border between Egypt and Mitanni seems to have existed near Qatna on the Orontes River; Ugarit was part of Egyptian territory.
The reason Mitanni sought peace with Egypt may have been trouble with the Hittites. A Hittite ruler called Tudhaliya conducted campaigns against Kizzuwatna, Arzawa, Ishuwa, Aleppo, and maybe against Mitanni itself. Kizzuwatna may have fallen to the Hittites at that time.

[edit] Artashumara and Tushratta
Artashumara followed his father Shuttarna II on the throne, but was murdered by a certain UD-hi, or Uthi. It is uncertain what intrigues that followed, but UD-hi then placed Tushratta, another son of Shuttarna, on the throne. Probably, he was quite young at the time and was intended to serve as a figurehead only. However he managed to dispose of the murderer, possibly with the help of his Egyptian father-in-law, but this is sheer speculation.
The Egyptians may have suspected the mighty days of Mitanni were about to end. In order to protect their Syrian border zone the new Pharaoh Akhenaten instead received envoys from the Hittites and Assyria; the former Mitannian vassal state. From the Amarna letters we know how Tushratta's desperate claim for a gold statue from Akhenaten developed into a major diplomatic crisis.
The unrest weakened the Mitannian control of their vassal states, and Aziru of Amurru seized the opportunity and made a secret deal with the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I. Kizzuwatna, which had seceded from the Hittites, was reconquered by Suppiluliuma. In what has been called his first Syrian campaign, Suppiluliuma then invaded the western Euphrates valley, and conquered the Amurru and Nuhashshe in Mitanni.
According to the later Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza treaty, Suppiluliuma had made a treaty with Artatama, a rival of Tushratta. Nothing is known of this Artatama's previous life or connection, if any, to the royal family. He is called "king of the Hurri", while Tushratta went by the title "King of Mitanni". This must have disagreed with Tushratta. Suppiluliuma began to plunder the lands on the west bank of the Euphrates, and annexed Mount Lebanon. Tushratta threatened to raid beyond the Euphrates if even a single lamb or kid was stolen.
Suppiluliuma then recounts how the land of Ishuwa on the upper Euphrates had seceded in the time of his grandfather. Attempts to conquer it had failed. In the time of his father, other cities had rebelled. Suppiluliuma claims to have defeated them, but the survivors had fled to the territory of Ishuwa, that must have been part of Mitanni. A clause to return fugitives is part of many treaties between sovereign states and between rulers and vassal states, so perhaps the harbouring of fugitives by Ishuwa formed the pretext for the Hittite invasion.
A Hittite army crossed the border, entered Ishuwa and returned the fugitives (or deserters or exile governments) to Hittite rule. "I freed the lands that I captured; they dwelt in their places. All the people whom I released rejoined their peoples, and Hatti incorporated their territories."
The Hittite army then marched through various districts towards Washukanni. Suppiluliuma claims to have plundered the area, and to have brought loot, captives, cattle, sheep and horses back to Hatti. He also claims that Tushratta fled, though obviously he failed to capture the capital. While the campaign weakened Mitanni, it did not endanger its existence.
In a second campaign, the Hittites again crossed the Euphrates and subdued Halab, Mukish, Niya, Arahati, Apina, and Qatna, as well as some cities whose names have not been preserved. The booty from Arahati included charioteers, who were brought to Hatti together with all their possessions. While it was common practice to incorporate enemy soldiers in the army, this might point to a Hittite attempt to counter the most potent weapon of Mitanni, the war-chariots, by building up or strengthening their own chariot forces.
All in all, Suppiluliuma claims to have conquered the lands "from Mount Lebanon and from the far bank of the Euphrates". But Hittite governors or vassal rulers are mentioned only for some cities and kingdoms. While the Hittites made some territorial gains in western Syria, it seems unlikely that they established a permanent rule east of the Euphrates.

[edit] Shattiwaza
A son of Tushratta conspired with his subjects, and killed his father in order to become king. His brother Shattiwaza was forced to flee. In the unrest that followed, the Assyrians asserted their independence under Ashur-uballit, and with the Alsheans invaded the country; and the pretender Artatama/Atratama II gained ascendancy, followed by his son Shuttarna. Suppiluliuma claims that "the entire land of Mittanni went to ruin, and the land of Assyria and the land of Alshi divided it between them", but this sounds more like wishful thinking. This Shuttarna maintained good relations with Assyria, and returned to it the palace doors of Asshur, that had been taken by Shaushtatar. Such booty formed a powerful political symbol in ancient Mesopotamia.
The fugitive Shattiwaza may have gone to Babylon first, but eventually ended up at the court of the Hittite king, who married him to one of his daughters. The treaty between Suppiluliuma of Hatti and Shattiwaza of Mitanni has been preserved and is one of the main sources on this period. After the conclusion of the Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza treaty, Piyashshili, a son of Suppiluliuma, led a Hittite army into Mitanni. According to Hittite sources, Piyashshili and Shattiwaza crossed the Euphrates at Carchemish, then marched against Irridu in Hurrite territory. They sent messengers from the west bank of the Euphrates and seemed to have expected a friendly welcome, but the people were loyal to their new ruler, influenced, as Suppiluliuma claims, by the riches of Tushratta. “Why are you coming? If you are coming for battle, come, but you shall not return to the land of the Great King!” they taunted. Shuttarna had sent men to strengthen the troops and chariots of the district of Irridu, but the Hittite army won the battle, and the people of Irridu sued for peace.
Meanwhile, an Assyrian army "led by a single charioteer" marched on Washshukanni. It seems that Shuttarna had sought Assyrian aid in the face of the Hittite threat. Possibly the force sent did not meet his expectations, or he changed his mind. In any case, the Assyrian army was refused entrance, and set instead to besiege the capital. This seems to have turned the mood against Shuttarna; perhaps the majority of the inhabitants of Washshukanni decided they were better off with the Hittite Empire than with their former subjects. Anyway, a messenger was sent to Piyashshili and Shattiwaza at Irridu, who delivered his message in public, at the city gate. Piyashshili and Shattiwaza marched on Washukanni, and the cities of Harran and Pakarripa seem to have surrendered to them.
While at Pakarripa, a desolate country where the troops suffered hunger, they received word of an Assyrian advance, but the enemy never materialised. The allies pursued the retreating Assyrian troops to Nilap_ini but could not force a confrontation. The Assyrians seem to have retreated home in the face of the superior force of the Hittites.
Shattiwaza became king of Mitanni, but after Suppililiuma had taken Carchemish and the land west of the Euphrates, that were governed by his son Piyashshili, Mitanni was restricted to the Khabur and Balikh valleys, and became more and more dependent on their allies in Hatti. Some scholars speak of a Hittite puppet kingdom, a buffer-state against Assyria.
Assyria under Ashur-uballit I began to infringe on Mitanni as well. Its vassal state of Nuzi east of the Tigris was conquered and destroyed.

[edit] Shattuara I
The royal inscriptions of Adad-nirari I (c. 1307-1275) relate how King Shattuara of Mitanni rebelled and committed hostile acts against Assyria. How this Shattuara was related to the dynasty of Partatama is unclear. Some scholars think that he was the second son of Artatama II, and the brother of Shattiwazza's one-time rival Shuttarna. Adad-nirari claims to have captured King Shattuara and brought him to Asshur, where he took an oath as a vassal. Afterwards, he was allowed to return to Mitanni, where he paid Adad-nirari regular tribute. This must have happened during the reign of the Hittite King Mursili II, but there is no exact date.

[edit] Wasashatta
Despite Assyrian strength, Shattuara's son Wasashatta rebelled. He sought Hittite help, but that kingdom was preoccupied with internal struggles, possibly connected with the usurpation of Hattusili III, who had driven his nephew Urhi-Teshup into exile. The Hittites took Wasashatta's money but did not help, as Adad-nirari's inscriptions gleefully note.
The Assyrians conquered the royal city of Taidu, and took Washshukannu, Amasakku, Kahat, Shuru, Nabula, Hurra and Shuduhu as well. They conquered Irridu, destroyed it utterly and sowed salt over it. The wife, sons and daughters of Wasashatta were taken to Asshur, together with lots of loot and other prisoners. As Wasashatta himself is not mentioned, he must have escaped capture. There are letters of Wasashatta in the Hittite archives. Some scholars think he became ruler of a reduced Mitanni state called Shubria.
While Adad-nirari I conquered the Mitanni heartland between the Balikh and the Khabur, he does not seem to have crossed the Euphrates, and Carchemish remained part of the Hittite kingdom. With his victory over Mitanni, Adad-nirari claimed the title of Great King (sharru rabû) in letters to the Hittite rulers, who still did not consider him as an equal.

[edit] Shattuara II
In the reign of Shalmaneser I (1270s-1240s) King Shattuara of Mitanni, a son or nephew of Wasahatta, rebelled against the Assyrian yoke with the help of the Hittites and the nomadic Ahlamu around 1250 BC. His army was well prepared; they had occupied all the mountain passes and waterholes, so that the Assyrian army suffered from thirst during their advance.
Nevertheless, Shalmaneser won a crushing victory. He claims to have slain 14,400 men; the rest were blinded and carried away. His inscriptions mention the conquest of nine fortified temples; 180 Hurrian cities were "turned into rubble mounds", and Shalmaneser "…slaughtered like sheep the armies of the Hittites and the Ahlamu his allies…". The cities from Taidu to Irridu were captured, as well as all of mount Kashiar to Eluhat and the fortresses of Sudu and Harranu to Carchemish on the Euphrates. Another inscription mentions the construction of a temple to Adad in Kahat, a city of Mitanni that must have been occupied as well.

[edit] Hanigalbat as an Assyrian Province
A part of the population was deported and served as cheap labour. Administrative documents mention barley allotted to "uprooted men", deportees from Mitanni. For example, the governor of the city Nahur, Meli-Sah received barley to be distributed to deported persons from Shuduhu "as seed, food for their oxen and for themselves". The Assyrians built a line of frontier fortifications against the Hittites on the Balikh.
Mitanni was now ruled by the Assyrian grand-vizier Ili-ippada, a member of the Royal familiy, who took the title of king (sharru) of Hanilgalbat. He resided in the newly built Assyrian administrative centre at Tell Sabi Abyad, governed by the Assyrian steward Tammitte. Assyrians maintained not only military and political control, but seem to have dominated trade as well, as no Hurrian names appear in private records of Shalmaneser's time.
Under Tukulti-Ninurta I (c. 1243-1207) there were again numerous deportations from Hanilgalbat (Mitanni) to Assur, probably in connection with the construction of a new palace. As the royal inscriptions mention an invasion of Hanilgalbat by a Hittite king, there may have been a new rebellion, or at least native support of a Hittite invasion. The Assyrian towns may have been sacked at this time, as destruction levels have been found in some excavations that cannot be dated with precision, however. Tell Sabi Abyad, seat of the Assyrian government in the times of Shalmaneser, was deserted sometime between 1200 and 1150 B.C.
In the time of Assur-nirari III, the Mushku and other tribes invaded Hanilgalbat and it was lost to Assyrian rule. The Hurrians still held Katmuhu and Paphu.

[edit] Neo-Assyrian times
Within a few centuries of the fall of Washshukanni to Assyria, Mitanni became fully Aramaized, and use of the Hurrian language began to be discouraged throughout the Assyrian Empire. However, a dialect closely related to Hurrian seems to have survived in the "new" state of Urartu, in the mountainous areas to the north. In the inscriptions of Adad-nirari II, Assurbanipal II and Shalmaneser III, Hanigalbat is still used as a geographical term, probably as a conscious archaism.

[edit] Indo-Aryan superstrate
Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni exhibit an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion. In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni, the deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. Kikkuli's horse training text includes technical terms such as aika (eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pancha, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). Another text has babru (babhru, brown), parita (palita, grey), and pinkara (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of the solstice (vishuva) which was common in most cultures in the ancient world. The Mitanni warriors were called marya, the term for warrior in Sanskrit as well.
Sanskritic interpretations of Mitanni royal names render Shuttarna as Sutarna ("good sun"), Baratarna as Paratarna ("great sun"), Parsatatar as Parashukshatra ("ruler with axe"), Saustatar as Saukshatra ("son of Sukshatra, the good ruler"), Artatama as "most righteous", Tushratta as Dasharatha ("having ten chariots"?), and, finally, Mattivaza as Mativaja ("whose wealth is prayer"). Some scholars believe that not only the kings had Indo-Aryan names; a large number of other names resembling Sanskrit have been unearthed in records from the area.
It has been widely conjectured that this original Mitanni aristocracy who bore Indo-Aryan names, had emigrated from the north and imposed themselves upon the indigenous Hurrians of Syria who were not Indo-Aryan, although historical clues are scarce. Some[citation needed] have attempted to connect the name M(a)itanni with Madai (Medes), an Iranian people which established an empire to the West centuries later. In addition, Kurdish scholars believe that one of their clans, the Mattini which live in the same geographical region, preserves the name of Mitanni [3]. Archaeologists have attested a striking parallel in the spread to Syria of a distinct pottery type associated with what they call the Kura-Araxes culture, however the dates they usually assign for this are somewhat earlier than the Mitanni are thought to have first arrived.
Finally, for what it's worth, Eusebius, writing in the early 4th century, quotes fragments of Eupolemus, a now-lost Jewish historian of the 2nd century BC, as saying that "around the time of Abraham, the Armenians invaded the Syrians", corresponding approximately to the arrival of the Mitanni, since Abraham is traditionally assumed at around 1700 BC, and the Mitanni would have entered Assyria from the area known as Armenia in Eupolemus' time.

[edit] Mitanni rulers
Kirta 1500 BC-1490 BC
Shuttarna I, son of Kirta 1490 BC-1470 BC
Barattarna, P/Barat(t)ama 1470 BC-1450 BC
Parshatatar, (may be identical with Barattarna) 1450 BC-1440 BC
Shaushtatar (son of Parsha(ta) tar) 1440 BC-1410 BC
Artatama I 1410 BC-1400 BC
Shuttarna II 1400 BC-1385 BC
Artashumara 1385 BC-1380 BC
Tushratta 1380 BC-1350 BC
Shuttarna III 1350 BC, son of an usurper Artatama II
Shattiwaza or Mattivaza, son of Tushratta 1350 BC-1320 BC
Shattuara I 1320 BC-1300 BC
Wasashatta, son of Shattuara 1300 BC-1280 BC
Shattuara II, son or nephew of Wasashatta 1280 BC-1270 BC, or maybe the same king as Shattuara I.

Source: Wikipedia.