750 CITIES IN ANCIENT INDIA (Post No.8793)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 8793

Date uploaded in London – –9 OCTOBER 2020   

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tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Though Panini wrote a grammar book we get amazing information about the rivers, mountains, hills, wells, crops and cities in ancient India from his own work and commentaries and supplementary attached to his book. Greek sources also confirm it. So, we get a clear picture of North India. But we must remember it is only the information about famous and big cities and ports and commercial centres and holy cities. India has over 600,000 towns. Even Kabilar, a Tamil poet who composed highest number poems in 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature says Pari, a Tamil philanthropist, owned 300 towns in his small Parambu country. It is in Purananuru of Sangam corpus.  If Pari can own 300 towns in a small area of Tamil Nadu there is no wonder that North India had 750 known cities 2700 years ago or even before that.

That ancient  India possessed a large number of cities or towns is also attested to by Greek writers. According to them Punjab was full of towns , centres of industry and economic prosperity. Many of these figured as forts or centres of defence such as the famous town of Massage – Masakaavati- or Aornos – Varanass in the country of the Asvakas. Many towns had a population of 5000 to 10000.

Strabo said that in the territories of the nine nations situated between the Jhelum and Beas, such as the Malloi, Oxydrakai and others , there were 500 cities.

Megasthenes makes the following general statement on the cities of Mauryan India—

“Of their cities it is said that the number is so great that it cannot be said with precision”.

Greeks did not exaggerate and that is known from the lists attached to the two sutras 4-2-75 and 4-2-80 we have about 500 names. If we add the towns from Ghanas we will get the names of 750 towns.

The grammatical literature is now a valuable source of information regarding the old and forgotten cities of India. This literature like Yuan Chwang’s Travels has preserved landmarks .

Famous breed of dogs in Ramayana and Panini

The Ghanapatha gives a list of 500 towns. Of them one is Saubhuta  4-2-75.

It is usually identified with the kingdom of Sophytes mentioned by the Greek writers. The place is especially noted by the Greeks for a ferocious breed of dogs whose fame spread to Greece even before Alexander’s time. Ramayana also refers to similar dogs bred in the Kekaya country  of the Salt Range. It describes them as bred in the royal kennels , strong like tigers, big in size and with big teeth. It was probably the breed of dogs that was referred to by PaninI as Kauleyaka – 4-2-96. Saubhuta was thus a  part of Kekaya in the Salt Range.

tags–750 towns, cities, breed of dogs, Panini

–subham–