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RANI DIDDA : Queen of Kashmir

RANI DIDDA : Queen of Kashmir

Didda was the daughter of Simharaaja, the King of Lohara (lying in the Pir Panjal range)The reign of this queen of Parvagupta dynasty represents the status and power of women in Kashmir during that time. Didda Rani was a very intelligent and influential queen. She was wife of king KshemaguptaDeva.The evidence can be seen of the Bronze coins of Kshema gupta, in which legend in Sharada script reads ‘Didda Kshemagupta Deva’.After her husband died, she acted as a regent queen for her son Abhimanyudeva. Queen Didda ruled Kashmir as a regent and sole ruler for nearly 22 years. When her son Abhimanyudeva died due to illness Didda Rani again became regent for her grandson Bhima gupta. But the political condition and fate turned the tide against her and her grandson died due to mysteries circumstance. This devastating turning point made Queen Didda the sole ruler of Kashmir, she also issued coins in her name consist legend ‘Sri Didda’.The above-shown bronze coin was issued during her reign, it features go highly stylized King in thestanding position facing the sacrificing at altar towards left. There is also legend on the right side inSharada script, which reads ‘Devya’. The reverse of this coin depicts Ardochsho (Lakshmi) in a seatedposition (lalitasana) holding a diadem in right hand and a lotus in the left hand with ‘Sri Didda’ legendinscribed in Sharada script on the right.

Twin Telepathy between Twin Kings of Kashmir in 1st Century BCE Kashmir King Sreshtasena who was also named Pravarasena or Tunjina, ruled from Srinagar for 30 yearsbetween 46-16 BCE had twin sons named Hiranya and Toramana. They were identical twins and king passed a rule that both his sons will be kings after his death.According to this, both Hiranya and Toramana ruled alternatively without dividing the kingdom.Both twins got married but astrologers predicted that only Toramana will have a son and he becomes future king of Kashmir.As predicted, even after 14 years of marriage, Hiranya never had a child and he got his twin brotherToramana arrested, when his wife Anjana was pregnant.Toramana was kept in a cave jail, far away from the capital with security. Hiranya ordered that Toramanashould be served royal food every day, should never be hurt or kept starving and always must be in good health.

At the time of arrest, pregnant Anjana managed to escape with the help of an astrologer named Pravaresa.Spies of Hiranya searched for her, harrassed her father Jwalendra and brother Jayendra who were ruling as mall fort within Kashmir.Toramana was kept in cave prison for 14 years. His jail security was never made to know that the prisoner was an ex-King.

MAHAJANPADAS OF MAHABHARATAHUNZA

Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. It was known as Hamsamarga(हंसमार्ग) in Mahabharata (VI.10.68). Hamsamargas fought Mahabharata War in Kaurava’s side.Hansakayana (हंसकायन) Janapada mentioned in Mahabharata is also identified with Hunza Valley.Evidently this parvata region must have been outside the plains of the Vahika Country, which brings us tothe highlands of north-west as the homeland of the ayudhajivins. The Kashika mentions HrdgoliyasHridgola, probably Hi-lo of Yuan Chwang (modern Hidda south of Jalalabad); Andhakavartīyāḥ ofAndhakavarta, perhaps Andkhui, a district in the north-east Afghanistan and Rohitagiriyas of Rohitagiri,which last is important as reminiscent of Roha, old name of Afghanistan. All this portion of the country is up to the present day peopled by hardy and warlike Mountaineers. The Markandeya Purana refers to mountain-dwellers of the west, including such names as Nihāras (Nigrahāra of Vayu, same as Nagarahāraor Jalalabad where Hṛidgola or Hiḍḍā is situated) and the Haṁsamārgas (modern Hunza in the north of Dardistan). Thus country of mountaineers extended from Kashmir to Afghanistan and most of the people settled in these mountains and their valleys were of the Ayudhajivin class. The Bhishmaparva speciallymentions Girigahvaras (गर्रिर्ह्वि) (VI.10.66), dwellers of mountain caves, as a people of the north-west(Bhishmaparva, 9.68, Udyogaparva, 30.24), and this epithet appropriately applies to the tribes of the northwest. They were the same as Sanghah girichāriṇaḥ and girigahvara-vasinah (Dronaparva, 93.48).Arrian mentions these mountainous Indians as fighting in the army of Darius against Alexander at Arbela(Anabasis, III,8.3-6). It was these Parvatiya Ayudhajivin that offered stout resistance to Alexander inBactria and Gandhara.

GILGIT

Gilgit is the Capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, an administrative territory claimed by Pakistan disputed with India. The ancient country of Daradas, (Dardistan) is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. Tushara Janapada mentioned in Mahabharata is now in Gilgit.Bolor was one of Buddhist places visited by Xuanzang in 631 AD. Bolor has been identified with themodern Balti, or Little Tibet by Alexander Cunningham.The city’s ancient name was Sargin, later to be known as Gilit, and it is still referred to as Gilit or SarginGilit by local people. In the Burushaski language, it is named Geelt and in Wakhi and Khowar it is called Gilt. Ghallata is considered its name in ancient Sanskrit literature.Gilgit-Baltistan: Journey from Pre-Historic Times.Gilgit-Baltistan was originally known as Balwaristan or Boloristan. Historically, this region hasbeen part of India and Jammu and Kashmir’s political, cultural and spiritual domains since theMahabharata times.These linkages visibly manifest in the Ganpatyar, Shankaracharya and KhirBhavani Temples located in the Kashmir Valley.Emperor Lalitaditya’s rule from 724 to 760 AD marked the Golden Age of Kashmir and the Zenithof Hindu Karkota Empire and the Kashmiri Shaivism

KASHMIR SHAIVISM

The system is also referred to as ‘Trika’ – the triple principle with which the system deals with Sivai-sakti-anu. Though the other schools of Saivism accept these three categories,Kashmiri Saivism regards the individual soul and the world as essentially identical with Sivaand so those three are reducible to one.The beginnings of Kashmir Savisim are to be traced to the Sivasutras, whose authorship is attributed to Siva himself. The sutras are said to have been revealed to sage Vishnugupta,who lived about the end of the 8th century CE. Kallata with Somananda were his pupils.Since Sankaracharya visited Kashmir, it is likely that Advaita influenced the formulation of Kashmir Saivism Solar Cult. Though questioned recently Kashmir may have some hand in popularizing the worship of the Sun in western India. Towards middle of the 8th century was built the magnificent Marthananda temple.

The learned Brahmans told Sankaracharya that unless he defeated the knowledgeable members of Sarada Pitha, they would not accept the supremacy of his philosophy. With his arguments,he defeated all the learned men at that high seat of learning, including Jains and Buddhists.The King of Kasmira or Kashmir had made arrangements for the Sankaracharya’s stay at Srinagar but he chose to stay near an ancient Siva temple overlooking the city. Since then, the temple has popularly been known as the Sankarcharya temple.