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Suri – Surname


According to Daya Ram Sawhney (who was head of the department of archaeology in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and excavated some ancient temples, 1912-15; later he was knighted for his work at Harrapa and Mohenjodero….became Sir Daya Ram), the best warriors among the Turkish Shahiyas and the Indian Shahiyas were called Kshuri-Dhars (Sword-Weilders) and Maha-Kshuri-Dhars, etc.[1]


Gradually, some of their descendants abbreviated these titles to Kshuri or Suri and appropriated them as family surnames. Others shortened it to Dhar (following the common practice of using the last part of a name as the surname).[2]


In the interim period, some well-known Kashmiri generals and ministers have been Suyya, Surya, Sur, etc.[3] Kalhan’s Rajatarangini mention a general called Kshur (in Verse 3315 of Canto VIII in R.S.Pandit’s Translation).


Discuss parallel with Ghazni/Ghazna….




One of our ancestors in medieval Kashmir, Adityashri Suri, introduced Soma Pandit into Sultan Zain-ul-Abedin’s Translation Bureau which became the model for Abul Fazal a century later. Soma Pandit later wrote the famous Zain Charit (biography of the Sultan) which says, inter alia, that this Suri family were so called because of their ancient swords (called Kshuri in Sanskrit and Kashmiri).

Let us trace the background further. In his commentary on the Rajatarangini, R.S.Pandit (brother-in-law of Jawaharlal Nehru) says: “…up to the 13th century, the long and the short swords in Japan were called Kshuri  and Kshurika.”




Multi-pointed throwing weapons called Shuriken (pronounced "Sure-ee-ken"), were an indispensable part of the arsenal used by the NINJA , secret agents of Japan's feudal era from the 13th to 17th Century. The shurikens consisted of little, hand-thrown weapons. Today, the word is used to mean Darts.


Another Japanese word nunchaku comes from the Hokkien (Min Nan) word nng-chiat-kun(no-chiat kun) (兩截棍); the weapon was developed in the 17th century. Peasant farmers were forbidden conventional weaponry such as arrows or blades, so they improvised what they had available.


The nunchaku as a weapon has surged in popularity since martial artist Bruce Lee used it in his movies in the 1970s.

We move from Japanese to another language.


Romani, the language of the Roma or Gypsies, belongs in the Indo-European family of languages with many similarities with North Indian dialects. The Roma are a people with dark skin and hair who speak Romani and who traditionally live by seasonal work and fortune-telling; they are believed to have originated in northern India but now are living on all continents (but mostly in Europe, North Africa, and North America).


Let us look at a book in Romani….


Dukh - Pain, a book of poetry by Bosnian writer Hedina Sijercic has been brought to my attention by the book's publisher, Roland Hönsch of Magoria Books.  The poems are in Romani. English translations are given. Out of dozens of similarities to Hindi, I have chosen one:

The first word below is in Romani, the second Hindi and the last one is the English meaning.





(churika = chhuri = knife).


This takes us back to Japan. See History of the Jews in Japan. An article that has been widely published, entitled "Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes: Japan" by Arimasa Kubo (a Japanese writer living in Japan who studied the Hebrew Bible), concludes that many traditional customs and ceremonies in Japan are very similar to the ones of ancient Israel and that perhaps these rituals came from the religion and customs of the Jews and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who might have come to ancient Japan.


Joseph Eidelberg makes a similar case in his book "The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People".  Late in his life, Joseph Eidelberg began analyzing ancient traditions, religious ceremonies, historical names, haiku poems, Kana writings and Japanese folk songs, discovering thousands of words with similar pronunciations, sounds and translations between Hebrew and Japanese.


These discoveries are history in the making, giving credible new information on the meanings of many unknown Japanese words, numbers, songs and cultural traditions – and his book is the first time that these remarkable similarities are combined into a single consistent theory. 


The Saka connection


For some people studying the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Behistun Inscription has provided an invaluable missing link. George Rawlinson, Sir Henry Rawlinson's younger brother, connected the Saka/Gimiri of the Behistun Inscription with deported Israelites: We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.


The inscription connects the people known in Old Persian and Elamite as Saka, Sacae or Scythian with the people known in Babylonian as Gimirri or Cimmerian. This is important because the Assyrian's referred to the Northern Kingdom of Israel in their records as the "House of Khumri", named after Israel's King Omri of the 8th century BCE. Phonetically "Khumri", "Omri", and "Gimiri" are similar.


In the photo of the Black Obelisk below, compare King Jehu's pointed Saka style headdress, which is similar to the captive Saka king seen to the far right on the Behistun Inscription. King Jehu of Israel was a successor to King Omri of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.


Jehu kneeling at the feet of Shalmaneser III on the Black Obelisk

There are quite a number of peoples today who cling to the ancient tradition that they are descended from the Jewish Lost Tribes: the tribesmen of Afghanistan, the Mohammedan Berbers of West Africa, the six million Christian Igbo people of Nigeria and some Mizo tribes in India. Unquestionably, they all practice certain ancient Hebraic customs and beliefs, which lends some credibility to their claims. The Chiang Min people of northwest China also claim to be descendents of Abraham.


Origins of the Family


The Rajataringini is our only source for Kashmir’s ancient history. Thereafter we are left with the manipulated accounts of  mercenaries. Details of the later period are taken from Bamzai’s voluminous work (praised by Jawaharlal Nehru) and the records maintained by the Pandas of  Sukhjiwanmal Suri’s Family[4] at Mattan[5] (as transmitted by  Habibullah Shair, the Field Publicity Officer at Pahalgam in the 1980s….see my notes and Reference Material Binder).




From these sources, we find one Suri family, traceable from the mid-10th Century to the mid-12th Century, as follows:

  • Chandrapal Suri, tutor of Queen Didda’s nephew Sangram, who became king of both Kashmir and Lohara.
  • Shashimohan, son of Chandrapal, whose sons had to disperse after a king was killed on the 22nd day of his reign.
  • Rudrapal, son of Shashimohan, who played a significant role in regional politics.
  • Shivmohan Suri, grandson of Shashimohan (through Rudrapal’s younger brother), who made a mark as a banker in the Deccan.
  • Vijay, son of Shivmohan, who followed a royal uncle (Kshitiraj of Lohara) into Sanyas at Thanesar, near Kurukshetra.
  • Jai, brother of Vijay, who became involved in a power struggle in the ruling family of Kashmir, ending with victory for Harsha, the Iconoclast and friend of the Turushkas. Both Jai and Harsha died in the very first year(s) of the 12th century.
  • Shivrath & Shaktirath, sons of Jai, survived in Lohara and Ujjain.
  • Shaktirath’s grandsons in Ujjain were all soldiers: Among their descendants was Jai Singh Suri, the great dramatist.
  • His son cashed in on his prestige and founded a dynasty of scholars in the 13th century onwards. Some of them were prominent in Kashmir.





The Rajatarangini covers Kashmir and adjoining territories up to the middle of the 12th century.In the absence of other sources, we have to rely on conjectures based on the broad descriptions in this poetic chronicle. Subsequent events are reflected in Jai Singh Suri’s work as available in fragments quoted by later generations. He died some time in the early 13th century. But his descendants embellished their intellectual standing for at least another 250 years.


We detail below the story as told by later generations.




The history of this region in that period is too obscure for even the most diligent of historians. If Jai had any members of his family with him when he fled to Dardistan, they must have led lives of great hardship for quite some time.


It is also quite possible that some of them might have escaped to their relations in Ghazni and Ghaur. One possible link is with the Ujjain Suri family mentioned by the famous author of the Hammir Mardan, Jai Singh Suri (1219-29)[6], descendant of a prominent family of scholar-soldiers of Ujjain.


His son (c.1180-1240) boasted of their “illustrious ancestors” in a manuscript (not now traceable) quoted by Adityashri Suri and subsequently by Chatarmal and Malik Haider.


According to them, Raja Bhoj the Second had sent Shivmohan Suri (a grandson of Shashimohan) to Karnataka on a diplomatic mission. Shivmohan’s son Vijay became a hermit (c.1060-1130), while the other son Jai fled to Dard-desh (1060-1130), leaving one son Shivrath in the Lohara kingdom, while another went to Ujjain. This was Shaktirath Suri (c.1090-1170).    


During the next hundred years, circumstances in North India led to a great upheaval (check any links with Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Mohammed Ghauri). Even Ujjain turned from scholarship to militancy. Shaktirath’s grandsons (around 1200-1270) are described as “warriors” or “soldiers of some standing”. Their names: Digvijay Singh, Ranvir Singh and Paramvir Singh. (Note the Singh suffix).


One link between north-west India and middle India during this epoch was Sant Namdev who came to the Punjab, stayed there for a long time, accumulated a large following and returned to Maharashtra with some of his Punjabi devotees. Even otherwise, there was a regular flow of traffic between north and south for commercial and military or political reasons.

Malwa, under the first and second Raja Bhoj, was the hub of much activity.


Down in the Deccan, Shivmohan Suri’s descendants became integrated into society as traders, money-lenders and goldsmiths. Shivraj Suri (around 1340-1395) is the next one to find mention in known records (see the Vijayanagar Story below). 




King Kshema of Kashmir (950-58) had married Didda (“Elder Sister”), daughter’s daughter of  Bhim, a Shahiya king.


In the civil strife that followed Kshema’s death, Didda struggled hard to survive. Her grandsons were killed in 973-75 but she succeeded in capturing power in 980 (after mercilessly eliminating many rival contenders for power, including some near relations). She ruled Kashmir  (a contemporary of Mahmood Ghaznavi) until her death several decades later.[7]


The Suri families of Kashmir began to disperse shortly after Didda’s death, partly due to reprisals by her victims and partly for better prospects elsewhere. Some details follow.




Queen Didda had appointed her brother’s son as Yuvraj of Kashmir. On her death, this man (Sangramaraj, son of Udayaraj, erstwhile king of the adjacent state of Lohara), became king of both Kashmir and Lohara.


In his boyhood, he had been under the tutelage of Udayraj’s cousin Chandrapal Suri. During his kingship, he relied heavily on the advice of Chandrapal’s son, Shashimohan Suri.

When King Sangramaraj died in the year 1028, his son and successor King Hariraj quarreled with Shashimohan over some trivial matter; the Shahiya Loharwals formed a separatist clique and assassinated Hariraj when he had been on the raj-gaddi for only 22 days. One version says that Hariraj’s brother Ananta quickly mounted a counter-coup and the assassins fled from Kashmir to Lohara.[8] The other version is that Ananta had long coveted the throne….




Shashimohan was either killed or jailed but his son Rudrapal Suri went to Jullundur.[9] His younger brother went on to the court of Raja Bhoj at Malwa (1018-58), says Alberuni. Rudrapal’s nephew Shivmohan (born and bred at Malwa) became a banker of some standing and spread his business network up to Karnataka.


Rudrapal became the son-in-law of Raja Indu Chandra of Jullundur.  His younger Saali  was later married to King Ananta of Kashmir (1028-63), leading later to the re-unification of Kashmir and Lohara. This Queen Suryamati  told Ananta  in 1063 to abdicate in favour of his (and her) son Kalash. She later extended Kashmir’s sway up to Chamba whose Raja Shalavahan is known by a copper-plate inscription extant.[10]




It is almost impossible to find out what happened to the descendants of Rudrapal Suri of Jullundur in the next two centuries.[11] In all probability, they got merged into the dominant Khokhar and Bhatti clans.[12]


However, his nephew Shivmohan prospered in the Deccan. One of his sons, Vijay, came to the family’s pilgrimage centre at Thanesar for the Shraadh rites of his father and stayed on.[13] His brother Jai became involved in a power struggle in Kashmir between two brothers, Harsh[14] and Utkarsh, towards the end of the 11th century. Early in the 12th century, he fled to Dardistan and was killed in an avalanche.                            Add story….10/4/96 




This is the last of the events covered by the Rajatarangini. The 12th century was a period of great turmoil in the whole of Asia. Deep inside India, the struggle for supremacy between the Pratihars, the Rashtrakuts and the Pals had left behind no clear winner. In the north-west, the native principalities were at odds with each other, culminating in the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan by Muizuddin Suri in 1192.


Meanwhile, Central Asia was in the throes of conflict. China’s Liao dynasty (916-1125) suffered a split. Their Western faction (Kara-Khitay means Western Region)[15] defeated Persia’s ruler Sanjar at Samarqand in 1141. This victory of a Buddhist army over a Muslim army stopped the onward march of Islam for some time.


Meanwhile, Sanjar had also been troubled (on his north-west) by the revival of the Khwarazm-Shahi dynasty in 1128. Their leader Aatish ruled up to 1156, capturing Sanjar, who died in 1157.




We left Jairaj Suri (or was he Jaipal Suri?) escaping from Kashmir into Dardistan in the year 1101. The history of this region in that period is too obscure for even the most diligent of historians. If he had any members of his family with him, they must have led lives of great hardship for quite some time.


It is also quite possible that some of them might have escaped to their relations in Ghazni and Ghaur.


It was while Khwarazm-Shah was busy fighting Sanjar of Persia that Alauddin Suri of Ghaur swooped down on Ghazna (later known as Ghazni) “and had its entire population slaughtered after luring them from their hiding-places by the call to prayer”, says The Cambridge History of Islam, in the year 1150.


During the whole of this century, the Hindu Shahiyas (including our clan) were the victims of repeated raids by both Ghaznavis and Ghauris.


It was all a struggle for power and riches, not for religion, because these people were attacking Muslims also in their north-west and Buddhists in their north-east. Early in the 13th century, some Central-Asian Muslims were seeking refuge from other fellow-Muslims  and their preferred destination was north-west India which had a culture similar to their own.


One link between north-west India and middle India was Sant Namdev who came to the Punjab, stayed there for a long time, accumulated a large following and returned to Maharashtra with some of the Punjabi devotees. Even otherwise, there was a regular flow of traffic between north and south for commercial and military or political reasons.


Malwa, under the first and second Raja Bhoj, was the hub of much activity.


Down in the Deccan, Shivmohan Suri’s descendants had become integrated into society as traders, money-lenders and goldsmiths. Shivraj Suri (around 1340-1395) is the next one to find mention in known records (see the Vijayanagar Story below). 




Harsh had been killed by a group of people led by a Chadha (a son-in-law of Jai) who was then the city-prefect of Srinagar.      Detail 12/6/96.


Their figure-head Uchchal was assassinated within one year, but his brother Sussal picked up enough support to rule Kashmir for the next eight years. Then followed an interlude, the one-year rule of Bhikshachar.   Detail 13/6


Sussal then regained power and ruled both Kashmir and Lohara up to the year 1123. But the Lohara dynasty petered out by 1171 amidst chaos, mainly due to the Turcoman attacks.

Kalhan had “taken pains to record the names of authors, poets and playwrights as well as to trace through several generations the histories of families who served the state.” His Rajatarangini takes us up to the middle of the 12th century. Then we lose track until the beginning of the 14th century.


SUBSEQUENT HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS include the advent of Islam, first into Kabul, Ghazni and Ghaur, and much later into Kashmir. The whole story is told in another file. That includes the Suri families of these regions.  Here we continue with what is known from Muslim sources about our forebears in Kashmir after the advent of Islam.




During the skirmishes with militant Islam, those of the Suri clan who did not succumb to the new dispensation got scattered in many directions, including Tibet, Chinese Turkestan, Persia and Hindu India.


It is almost impossible to pursue the genealogy of all these families. But we find at least one family with a recorded succession for seven generations.  These include:


  • Shridev Suri of Gandhar and Kishtwar, a cousin of Raja Udayandev who ruled Kashmir for 15 years, around 1340.[16]
  • Udayashri Suri of Martand, confidante of Sultan Shahabuddin’s Hindu wife, Lakshmi, around 1360.
  • Adityashri Suri, scholar and linguist, of Gandhar, who came to Kashmir and settled down in Srinagar permanently.
  • Dashrath Suri, soldier-statesman who interacted with Zain-ul-Abedin of Kashmir, Taimur of Central Asia and the Lodi Emperor of Delhi. (c. 1375-1450).
  • Ramu Suri (Late 15th century), a mendicant (Bairagi), a nephew or cousin of Ranu Suri & Sidhpal Suri who killed Mubarak Shah in 1434. His contemporaries and his decendants got scattered to many distant places.


The descendants of one such family were the Suri family of Gandharvapur (Ganagapur, near Sholapur), devotees of Dattatreya. They adopted the infants Dalpat & Lakhpat Suri, from whom we are directly descended in a clearly demarcated blood-line.


Among those who stayed on in Kashmir, the descendants of Dashrath Suri and his son Ramu Suri were much smaller men, until Sukhjiwanmal Suri in the 18th century.




In the year 1315, the Hindu (or Buddhist)[17] ruler of Kashmir, Sinhdev, had two important foreigners on his staff. These were Shah Mirza of Swat (a nearby mountain principality under the suzerainty of Kashmir) and a Tibetan named Rainchen.


Shah Mirza was a tutor of Sinhdev’s children with ministerial rank. He and Rainchen (who was also a convert to Islam) conspired against the ruler and killed him.


Raja Sinhdev’s relation (no details are available in my sources) Udayandev found asylum in Kishtwar with his cousin Udaybhan Suri, a trader in opium and other local produce. Udayandev came back to Kashmir on the death of Rainchen and married Rainchen’s widow, Kotta Devi. He ruled for 15 years.[18]




In the year 1346, Kotta Devi was killed by Shah Mirza; her son was jailed and Shah Mirza captured power, ruling under the title of Shams-ud-Din Shah until his death in 1349. His successors also gave themselves rhyming titles.


It will be noticed that we are back with people who flaunt their Muslim identity with the surname “ud-Din” like the Suri family of Ghaur mentioned above. Further, we shall see below that these neo-Muslims had matrimonial ties with both Hindus and Muslims.




Shams-ud-Din was succeeded by his eldest son Jamshed who died within a year. The next king was Jamshed’s younger brother who ruled from 1350 to 1359 (according to one source)[19] under the title of Alla-ud-Din, followed by yet another brother, “Shahab-ud-Din”.[20]


Feroz Tughlak of Delhi gave two daughters in marriage to this Sultan Shahabuddin of Kashmir and Shahab’s younger brother Hindal.  Shahab gave his own daughter in marriage to Feroz Tughlak whose mother was the daughter of Rana Mal, the chief of Abohar. .


Sultan Shahabuddin had two ministers, Kotta Bhatt & Udayshri Suri (son of one Shridev Suri of Mattan, a cousin of Udaybhan of  Kishtwar mentioned above) who had come with Shahab’s Hindu queen Lakshmi. Udayshri Suri established contacts with the Raja of Nagarkot (Kangra) and the Raja helped Kashmir when, in 1361, they plundered some areas in the plains of Punjab.



After the death of the Sultan, Udayshri Suri favoured Queen Lakshmi’s son Hassan to succeed to the throne.[21] But Shahab’s younger brother Hindal drove them out and assumed sovereignty as “Qutb-ud-Din”.


Udayshri Suri escaped to Gandhar, where his young son Adityashri received a thorough grounding in the Vedic heritage as well as the prevailing languages of the region.

Relations between the SURI clans and the KHOKHARS had existed ever since the 10th & 11th centuries.  The names of Gul Chander[22] and other Khokhar chiefs (who facilitated the rise of  the  Tughlak dynasty) were matrimonially and politically linked with Suri families during the early 14th century.  Two Khokhar chiefs of the late 14th century were even more prominent, as we shall now see.




Earlier,  the saint Namdev had migrated from the South and lived in the Punjab for three decades; then he went back, with a band of Punjabi devotees, including probably some of our clan (c.1270-1350), says the historian Ganpat Rai Suri. Macauliffe accepts this date (in “The Sikh Religion,” Vol VI, p. 18). Dr. Bhandarkar (in “Vaishnavism & Shaivism”.


In those times, the bulk of trade at retail level was in the hands of the KHATRIS in Central & West Punjab, ARORAS in SOUTH PUNJAB, the BANIA AGARWALS east of the SATLUJ, and the MAHA JAINS (now called Mahajans) in the Shivalik hills. ( Source:Sir George Campbell).


The movement of Khatri bankers, goldsmiths and money-lenders to the Deccan had already begun in the previous century, as we shall see later in this narrative.[23]


The descendants of one such family were the Suri family of Gandharvapur (Ganagapur, near Sholapur), devotees of Dattatreya. They adopted the infants Dalpat & Lakhpat Suri, from whom we are directly descended in a clearly demarcated blood-line.


[1] Compare the Rathis, Adhirathis and Maharathis of the Mahabharat period.

[2] The Suri and the Dhar clans could well be the same blood.

[3] See the Rajatarangini. Or my notes.

[4] Sukhjiwanmal was himself a historian of some standing. The work done by his panel of research scholars (five of them, with ten assistants each) was later drawn upon by our ancestor Pindimal Suri to compile a History of Kishtwar, another of Chamba, and yet another of the Suri clan. (HRG,344).

[5] It was from the Pandas at Mattan that Lala Parabh Dial Suri himself secured (in 1938) an outline of his family history going back to Pindimal Suri, on which all later research was based.  Lala Durga Dass Suri provided the first clues about the land at Behrampur (near Kalanaur) and the shawl industry at Nurpur.

[6] See any History of Hindi Literature. Also my note on Famous Suri personalities.

[7]  Mahmood Ghaznavi could not overthrow her Suri relations in the Punjab and in Afghanistan until 1021. Even then, Alberuni heaped praise on at least one of them, “Shah Anandpal Suri”, for his “loyalty to the King who had conquered him”. Anandpal’s successor, Trilochan, however, fought Mahmood until death in A.H. 412 (1021 A.C.). Neither father nor son considered it a religious matter. Kalhan’s Rajatarangini gives a vivid account of this conflict.

Alberuni remarks: “We must say that in all their grandeur, the Hindu Shahiya dynasty never slackened in their ardent desire for doing that which is good and right, and that they were men of noble sentiments and noble bearing”.

Kalhan writes: “Even to this day (1149 A.C.) their name sheds lustre on an endless number of Kshatriyas who lay claim to the Suri lineage in many countries (meaning the princely states of north-west India).” 

Note, however, that Didda was a common noun. Kalhan himself gives the story of another Didda who saved an infant prince and took him to the Deccan (Rajatarangini,VIII/225-35). Suri, Soorya, Sur and Shoor also have been common nouns likewise in many cultures. Kalhan mentions another Shoor in VIII/1845. Time  and clime introduce many distortions into names and surnames. For example, the ubiquitous Kaangdi of Kashmir was originally “Kakshagni”. By comparison, “Sethis” have suffered hardly any change over the centuries from the “Shreshthis” of the Vedic age.  Incidentally, it was left to the American news-agencies to note that most Afghans have single-word names and no surnames, causing a lot of editorial and reporting confusion in the recent civil war in Afghanistan.


[8] Vigraharaj, paternal uncle of  Hariraj and Ananta , now ruler of Lohara, tried to take over Kashmir but was killed in the unsuccessful attempt.

[9] He and his sons played some role in the future of Kashmir. See my Note of 5/4/96.

[10] The tragic death of Ananta and Suryamati forms the climax of a long story,involving much romance and intrigue in Kashmir and the Punjab for three generations. See Rajatarangini. Kalash died at Martand in 1089, by which time Kashmir and Lohara (Punjab) had become one kingdom. In this context, Kalhan notes that Kashmir copied Karnataka’s coinage; centuries later, the Vijayanagar kindom invited Suri bankers to reorganise its banking system and currency, as we shall see in a subsequent  chapter. 


[11] He himself died of the Loota disease, says Kalhan. Kalhan also mentions trade-links with Malwa. See Rajatarangini, Canto VIII.

[12] Add details of his career from Kalhan.

[13] The inspiration was his distant uncle Kshitraj who had renounced a kingdom and taken Sanyas. Add this story.

[14] Harsh ruled both Kashmir and Lohara from 1089 to 1101.Gold and silver coins of his reign have been found in substantial quantity. His rule was marked by a rapacious policy in league with the Turushkas (people of Turcoman origin).

[15] Their variation of the Mongolian language in a Chinese script still awaits decipherment.

[16] Kishtwar appears to have been an ancient retreat for refugees from oppression. There are many instances in history, too many to be cited here.

[17] Check up from any standard history. I write from memory.

[18] R.S.Pandit says Udayan (meaning a Garden) was the term commonly used by outsiders to describe Kashmir. Thus Udayandev would mean “Lord of the Kingdom of Kashmir”.This could be the man’s Royal Title, not his given name. This was also the royal title of a very ancient king, as stated by R.C.Majumdar in his book Ancient India (1952 Edition, Page 75). He says: “The battle of Kurukshetra left the Pandavas the supreme political power in India. The Puranas name thirty kings of this dynasty….beginning with Arjun’s grandson Parikshit….till we come to the twenty-sixth king Udayana….” This king’s history is available in the same book. Incidentally, the Rajatarangini contains a long genealogy of the kings of Kashmir which contains many Arjuns, Bhims, Ravans, Dashraths and other names familiar to people in only one context.

[19] See Cambridge History of India,Volumr III The Editor  remarks, in a footnote (page 278, Chapter XII): “The chronology of the kings of Kashmir is bewildering. See J.R.A.S., 1918, page 451.”  Bamzai and R.S.Pandit, scholars of a much later date with access to more records, give different dates. Only after the accession of Zain-ul-Abedin in June 1420 do we get near uniformity.

[20] From his very childhood, he was called Shirashamak (Milk-shirker). The name changed only when royal dignity made it necessary.

[21] Bamzai gives a long account of  Hassan’s life, ending with death in oblivion.

[22] Shaikha Khokhar (whose story follows) was a descendent of  this  Gul Chandar who ruled the Punjab in 1335, revolting against Ghiasuddin Tughlak.


[23] [23] Even today, in the 21st century, Prem Khatri is vice-President of the Kothari Pioneer Mutual Fund, India’s first private sector mutual fund. Incidentally, an intervirew with him appeared in The Times of India, 30th July 2001. On the previous page in the same issue was a mention of Kamal Khatri, editor of a local newspaper in the Kutch capital, Bhuj, which was devastated by the major earthwquake of 26th January. It is important to remember that smaller sub-divisions among the Khatris did not come to be mentioned in official or religious records (even the Gotra was often sufficient identity) until the British policy of recognizing various groups for various benefits, such as recruitment to the army and a variety of civilian jobs, cobntracts, grants, reservations, etc.



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