Kabul : The Kabul Shahi & Hindu Shahi

The decline of the Kushana Empire in the portions of Modern Afghanistan was followed by the Kabul Shahi Kingdoms. They ruled from 4th century AD till 870 AD. Since the capital was Kabul, the kingdom was called Kabul Shahi.

Use of Title Shahi

Shahi as a title was used by the Sakas, Kushanas, Hunas, Bactirans etc. The Kushana used “Shao” instead. The Huna king Mihirkula used Saha. The Kushana also used the title Shaonano Shao (Shah-in-Shai). In the later part of ninth century,  the Kings of Kabulshahi were overthrown by a Brahmin officer called “Lalliya“.

Hindu Shahi

Lalliya was a minister in service of the Kabul’s Kings. He founded the “Hindu Shahi” dynasty (or Brahman Shahi) in Afghanistan which lasted till 1021 AD, when it was overthrown by the Muslims.  The Capital of the Hindu-shahi Kingdom was “Hund”, a village near Peshawar in Pakistan on the Banks of River Indus. Hund was also the site where Alexander the great crossed the Indus river.

Some of the rulers of the Hindu Shahi of Afghanistan were Lalliya, Kamala Toramana, Bhimadeva, Jaipala, Anandapala, Trilochanpala, Bhimapala etc. as mentioned by Kalhana.

The throne of Lalliya after his death was taken over by Jayapala who is also known as First King of Hindu Shahi (Janjua Shahi) dynasty by some scholars.  These kings faced most frequent attacks from Central Asia. In 977 AD, Turkic ruler of Ghazni Subuktgeen {founder of Ghaznavid Empire} had captured Kandahar to prompt Jayapala to launch a strike against him. Overconfident Jayapal’s one lakh strong army was defeated and he was compelled to pay heavy tributes. He defaulted in the payments and was again attacked and defeated. In 1001, Subuktgeen’ son Mahamud Ghazanavi came in Power. This time, Jayapala attacked the Ghaznavids but again defeated. Thus, repeated defeats against the Ghaznavid humiliated him and unable to tolerate these humiliations he burnt himself on funeral pyre.

Another Shahi king Anandpala stood against Mahmud Ghazanavi and is said to have entered into a peace treaty with the later, so that he could die in peace. Some historians compare Anandapala to ancient King Porus.

Kashmir – Kabul Relations

During the latter half of the 10th century, in the times of Shankarvarman, a daughter of Kabul King Didda was married to the King of Kashmir called Khemagupta. She was daughter of a Lohar Sardar Simhraj. She was an unscrupulous woman who first ruled as queen consort, later as coregent for her Son, when he husband died and later independently. She ruled from 980 AD to 1003 AD and this 23 years time period is known for a mismanaged rule. In her time, the Kingdom suffered an attack of Mahmud of Ghazni, but remained independent mostly because of the inaccessibility due to mountains. The later years were miserable for Kashmir but it was sovereign due to the Natural defense by the mountains.

A Local Mohammedan dynasty under Shah Mir Swati obtained power in 1339 and founded Shah Miri Dynasty or Swati Dynasty, as he came from Swat. The religion of Islam gradually spread in the valley. The Kingdom was naturally defended from the Sultanate rulers but finally Akbar annexed it in the Mughal Empire in 1587.

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