Duggar history in Dogri

O P Sharma
Name of the Book: Jammu Padashaahi
(A Complete history of Jammu in Dogri language)
Author: TR Magotra ‘Sagar’
Publisher: Highbrow Publications, Bari Brahamana, Jammu.

This 560-page book entitled ‘Jammu Padashahi’ in Dogri language is the result of long and serious study by the author. It is authentic and authoritative historical work on rulers and the people as also rich cultural heritage of this part of the country.
In an interview with the historian Mr Sagar told me that ‘the fascination for writing of Dogra history, was inculcated in me by village elders who were repository of anecdotes related to Dogra kings and always appreciated their pro-people policies. But their knowledge was mostly related to the period of Maharaja Gulab Singh. I had to put very hard work and studied old historic documents, visited numerous historical places and met knowledgeable persons for preparing this research based book. I may add that it is for the first time an authentic voluminous book in Dogri has been brought out for the benefit of the readership interested in glorious past’.
Although Maharaja Gulab Singh unified all the three regions of the State into one entity and extended its boundaries up to Tibet, Maharaja Ranbir Singh consolidated the power and put it on fast track of development. While Maharaja Pratap Singh’s period is full of relative controversies, Maharaja Hari Singh’s period is known for reforms and modernizing the State. Sufficient record is available of this period; but what was before that period; the information available is very limited. Some historians in English have tried their best to upgrade, but history is based on concrete evidence and needs more research.
Bold Venture
Most of the people trace history of Dogra kings from Jambo Lochana and think rule of only one dynasty but from the perusal of genealogies / records it seems there were many dynasties who ruled this part of the country.
Rajdarashani by Ganesh Dass Wadhera deals in some details with the history of Jammu prior to Maharaja Gulab Singh. From the perusal of these genealogies of ruling class, it appears that from time to time rulers of different dynasties ruled this part of country. Besides Lochans; there were Pandava, Kol, Gupt, Rai, Yaksha, Dhar Dev, Sikh rule and thereafter Singh/Dogra dynasty.
While writing Kashmir history many classic works are available in Sanskrit which have enriched the historical accounts; but at that time sufficient information/record was available to them. Later many valuable records were destroyed by fanatics. Some names/deeds of kings perished/missing from the record but Kalhana was able to trace some of them from Nilmata Purana and other records. The Persian historians of Sultans also took the thread from Kalhana and compiled several accounts in style then in vogue. Their works have provided very useful information about Jammu Kings and people also.
And these Persian historians mostly wrote on the basis of translations of Sanskrit works of Joanaraja, Shrivara and Shuka’. The work of Joanraja & Shrivara seems to be very authentic as both were having the status of equal to ministers. Thus it appears their Sanskrit works have given valuable mention of Jammu region and its surrounding rulers, its people and places.
From ancient times, this part of Jammu region was part of upper Madra Desha and its capital was Sialkot. Many times Jammu was controlled by the kings from this capital. In old records Sialkot is recorded as Sakala or Sagala. An archaeologist (Javed Iqwal) in his book has stated that in ancient times some Unani kings have also ruled over Jammu but evidence given by him is very weak. The recent finds of Harappa remains and artifacts belonging to Mourayan, Kushan, and Gupta period at Akhnoor have added new dimensions to its character but no such ancient sites have ever been traced in proper Jammu area. Old record also indicates that at many times capital of Jammu kingdom was at Babbapur (now known as Babor). Some work has been done by Archaeology Department at this place but I have no knowledge whether any historian was involved in this research/search or not.
Ancient record shows that there was a place called Bahusthali. Kalhana and Bilhana both Sanskrit scholars from Kashmir have given some references about Bahusthali. And kings of Bahusthali have close relations with their Kashmir counterparts through some marriage contacts. To me, it appears at that time Bahusthali or Bahunagri (Bawaa, Bahu) was the capital of this region, still there is no mention of Jammu or Jamboo in ancient records. But Persian writers always mentioned BahuQila (fort) as Jammu kingdom in their works. And Kashmiri Sanskrit writers always mentioned it as Madra Desha. Up till Guru Govind’s time Jammu was known as Madra Desha.
Strangely Kalhana, Joanraja and Srivara have nowhere mentioned of Jammu, they always referred it as Madra Desha; still some valuable information about Jammu Rajas have been given by them. It seems that they were not aware of Jammu.
There were many small countries in Madra Desha region. During king Kalsa’s reign (1063-1089AD) eight kings from hill principalities participated in a conference in Kashmir to chalk out a common strategy to fight unitedly against foreign Muslim invaders. The kings who participated in that conference were: 1. Kirti (the ruler of Baddaapura perhaps Babbapura/Babour; 2. Asata or Jasat (king of Champa or Chamba; 3. Kalasa, (Tukkaa’s son) lord of Vallapura (Balavar); 4. Sangrampala king of Rajapuri/Rajouri; 5. Utakarsha, Lohar’s (Poonch) ruler; 6. Sangata, the ruler of Urasha; 7. Gambhir Singh chief of Kandha Desh; and 8. Uttam Raj, the ruler of Kasthvata (Kishtwar). Although name of Baddapura/ Babbapura figures in this list but there is no mention of Jammu king/kingdom.
The Rajadarashani contains some details of history of Jammu and north-western Punjab till the rise of Gulab Singh, it narrates important events of Jammu region. Gulabnama is comprehensive biography of Gulab Singh. Ganesh Dass Wadhera (writer of Rajdarshani) seems to have taken up his research work independently on his own and whatever information available to him has been incorporated in his work.
While translating the Sanskrit works of classic writers Dr. Raghunath Singh former Member Parliament and Convener of Parliament Committee on Kashmir Affairs of that time (1960s) has enriched the history of this Jammu (Kashmir). Not only through translation works, but he has written/composed his own original Rajataranginis’ of Mughal, Afghan, Sikh and Dogra period. This way he has done great service to our state. Writer of Jammu Padashahi has benefitted himself from these classic works and tried his best to put the record straight.
The book is well designed by the publisher thus deserves good word. This informative book is very useful for academicians, scholars, students and in factone and all.