Daradas were a Mongoloid people who lived north to the Kashmir valley. This kingdom is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. They are often spoken along with the Kambojas. The Pandava hero Arjuna had visited this country of Daradas during his northern military campaign to collect triubute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice. The Vayu Purana, Brahmanda Purana and Vamana Purana mention the Daradas with the Kambojas, Chinas, Tusharas and the Bahlikas etc. The Bhuvankosha of the Puranas locates the Daradas, Kambojas, Barbaras, Bahlikas, Lampakas etc in the Uttarapatha division of ancient India. Puranas also refer to river Sindhu as watering the lands of Daradas, Gandharas and the Aurasas (Ursas). Brhat-Samhita groups the Daradas with the Abhisaras and the Tanganas. Mahabharata also mentions the Daradas as neighbors to the Kambojas and Bahlikas. Mahabharata also notifies that the Daradas, Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas etc were originally Kshatriyas but were slowly sank to the status of vrishalah or degraded Kshatriyas due to the wrath of the Brahmanas. According to Manusmriti (X.43-44) also, the Daradas like the Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, Paradas etc became Mlechchas since they had ignored the Brahmanas and did not perform sacred Brahmanical codes. Mahabharata locates the country of Daradas in the Himavata-Pradesa. Ptolemy refers to the Daradas as living below the sources of river Indus. Herodotus refers to the Daradas as Dadicae and gropus them with the Gandharas and the Aparytae (Afridis?). Herodotus and Strabo also connect the Daradas with the gold producing area located in the west of Tibet. There is an evidence that the Daradas, in ancient times, had their colonies located in Baltistan and Leh also.

References of Daradas in Mahabharata

Darada king is mentioned as a Bahlika (ruler in the Bahlika region) (1,67), (2,43)

The status of Daradas

The Mekalas, the Dravidas, the Lathas, the Paundras, the Konwasiras, the Saundikas, the Daradas, the Darvas, the Chauras, the Savaras, the Varvaras, the Kiratas, the Yavanas, and numerous other tribes of Kshatriyas, have become degraded into the status of Sudras through the wrath of Brahmanas. (13,35)

Arjuna's conquests

Arjuna brought the Valhikas always difficult of being vanquished, under his sway. Then he taking with him a select force, defeated the Daradas along with the Kambojas. (2,26)

Vasudeva Krishna's conquests

The Trigartas, the Malavas, the Daradas difficult of being vanquished, the Khasas arrived from diverse realms, as also the Sakas, and the Yavanas with followers, were all vanquished by Vasudeva Krishna (7,11)

Bhargava Rama's conquests

The Kashmiras, the Daradas, the Kuntis, the Kshudrakas, the Malavas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Videhas, the Tamraliptakas, the Rakshovahas, the Vitahotras, the Trigartas, the Martikavatas were vanquished by Bhargava Rama (7,68)

Tribute to Yudhisthira

The Kairatas, the Daradas, the Darvas, the Suras, the Vaiamakas, the Audumvaras, the Durvibhagas, the Kumaras, the Paradas along with the Vahlikas, the Kashmiras, the Ghorakas, the Hansakayanas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Yauddheyas, the ruler of Madras and the Kaikeyas, the Amvashtas, the Kaukuras, the Tarkshyas, the Vastrapas along with the Palhavas, the Vashatayas, the Mauleyas along with the Kshudrakas, and the Malavas, the Paundrayas, the Kukkuras, the Sakas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Punras, the Sanavatyas, and the Gayas—these good and well-born Kshatriyas distributed into regular clans and trained to the use of arms, brought tribute unto king Yudhishthira (2,51)

The Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Andhakas, and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the sea-board as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the Sinhalas, the barbarous mlecchas, the natives of Lanka, and all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the sea-coast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas and the Kekayas and the Malavas and the inhabitants of Kasmira, invited by Yudhisthira, came to his Rajasuya sacrifice, and perforemd various offices at the kings palace. (3,51)

Daradas in Kurukshetra War

Daradas were mentioned with other tribes as taking part in the Kurukshetra War, on the side of Kauravas.

  • the Aswalakas, the Vikarnas, the Vamanas, the Kosalas, the Daradas, the Vrikas, as also the Kshudrakas and the Malavas (6,51)
  • Nishadas, the Sauviras, the Valhikas, the Daradas, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhighatas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis, the Salwas, the Sakas, the Trigartas, the Amvashthas, and the Kekayas (6,118)
  • the Kalingas, the Singhalas, the Easterners, the Sudras, the Abhiras, the Daserakas, the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Kamvojas, the Hangsapadas, the Surasenas, the Daradas, the Madras, and the Kalikeyas (7,20)
  • Yavanas and Paradas and Sakas and Valhikas, and Mlecchas and many Darvabhisaras and Daradas and Pundras (7,90)
  • Kamvojas, Yavanas armed with bow and arrows and skilled in smiting, and under Sakas and Daradas and Barbaras and Tamraliptakas and other countless Mlecchas (7,116)
  • Daradas and Tanganas and Khasas and Lampakas and Pulindas (7,118)
  • the Tusharas, the Yavanas, the Khasas, the Darvabhisaras, the Daradas, the Sakas, the Kamathas, the Ramathas, the Tanganas the Andhrakas, the Pulindas, the Kiratas of fierce prowess, the Mlecchas, the Mountaineers, and the races hailing from the sea-side (8,73)

Pandavas pass through Darada kingdom during their trip to Himalayas

Pandavas after staying in the territory of Yaksha king Kuvera, for some time, seeing the Kailasa mountain, reached the hermitage of king Vrishaparva (of Asura clan). The stayed there for a night. Next they reached the Badari (mdern day town of Badrinath in Uttaranchal state of India). From there they could see the Manasa lake. There they stayed for 30 days and proceeded to the kingdom of Suvahu, the king of Kiratas, by following the same track by which they had come. And crossing the difficult Himalayan regions, and the countries of China, Tukhara, Darada and all the climes of Kulinda, rich in heaps of jewels, those warlike men reached the capital of Suvahu. Then they went to the mountains from which Yamuna falls into the plains. There they saw the forest named Visakhayupa which was like the Chitraratha forest in the place where Ganga falls into the plains. (There Bhima encoundered a huge snake.) From there they went to the boarders of the desert along Saraswati River and then reached the lake of Dwaita forest. (3,176)

See Also

Kingdoms of Ancient India

Share:- Facebook

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 13 Jan 2010 12:20 and updated at 06 Jun 2010 17:52

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License