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Hund Museum, Swabi

Hund, is an ancient city on Indus River. Its old name was Udabhandapura. 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.There are some other sources of information too like, some Muslims historians write it as Waihand (often incorrectly pronounced as Wihind) while others gives the form Ohand (again wrongly pronounced onhind in modern books on history).While, from a Sarada inscription fount at Hund and also from history of Kashmir ‘Rajatarangi’ written in 12th century A.D., the same name, Hund is found. 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 Udabhandapur 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 “Tehkal Bala or Bar Tahkal” the name of a small town in suburb of Peshawar.The word bhianda, at present softened to the form banda is still commonly used in the KPK 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 any 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 . Muslim writer Maqadsi priase for Waihand is also mentionable and he mentions its fine gradens, numerous streams, abundant rainfall, 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 other fruits. The houses were made of wood and dressed stone. The city itself was greater in size than Mansura (Sind).


The Hund Salab 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..’


It is also said, that the chief of kings Bhima, having conquered his enemies, the earth was protected, he rested here. Kalhana, the author of the Rajataranginu refers to Udabhanda as a place where kings (ousted from their own territories by their rivals) found safety” .

Undabhandapura 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’etata.

In the end, 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 cotemporary Muslim writer who witnessed the fall of the Hindu Shahi dynasty. Kallar was followed by Samantadeva (A.D. 850-870), Khudarayaka (AD 870-80), Lalliya (A.D 880-902), Toramana (A D 903-921), Bhtmadeva (A .D 921-64), 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 terriories throughout his reign till he was caputured by the forces of Mahmud Sabutkigin at Peshawar in A.D. 1001-2 Mahmud took Hund and Swat during the same campaign.Jayapala was released after the payment of a considerable, amount as ransom money, but, due to humiliation, 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 Ghanzavid Empire, but it lost its glory, status and economic prosperity for ever.When Abdul 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 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 a 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. Alexnader stayed for some day and offered customary sacrifices while Hepaistion, on of his generals, prepared a boat bridge.

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 (Lords) 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 futher strategies. But the Ba”rakzai sarders of Peshawar who wanted to eliminate the Syed spread a network intrigues against him and succeeded in alienating some of the incluential 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 signalled 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.

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