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Pakistan - Indus River

Location :  Pakistan From North to South

Name : Indus, Sindh, Sindhu, Mehran, Abaseen    
Significance : India’s Name Was Derived From This Rivers Name. This river valley was also the abode for famous Indus Civilization.

Main Cities along the Indus River:- Skardu Pakistan, Haramosh Pakistan, Chilas Pakistan, Dassu Pakistan, Besham Pakistan, Attock Pakistan, Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan, Uch Sharief, Punjnad, Kashmore, Sukkur, Moro, Sehwan, Hyderabad, Thatta, Karachi.

If time were called upon to tell a story, it would perhaps choose the banks of river Indus to do so. Here, the history of India could well be marked, both chronologically and historically.

Indus River The Legends

It has believed by the early Tibetans that this forceful and full river that guarded the frontiers of united India rises from the lake Mansarovar in Tibet. A few expeditions later, it was discovered that the Indus actually originates a few kilometres north of lake Mansarovar and together with it arise the Brahmaputra and the river Sutlej, through Mansarovar.

Metaphorically, the four rivers that separated from this area were described as rising out of certain animals mouths, thereby ascribing the qualities to the river. The Pakshu went westward in the beginning and then came out of a horse’s mouth to the east to be called the Brahmaputra. The Sita went southwards in the beginning and then came out of a lion’s mouth to the north to be called the river Sindhu. The Ganga came out of an elephant’s mouth and the Karnali from a peacock’s mouth.

The waters of the river Brahmaputra are cold and it is said that the one who drinks these waters would become sturdy as a horse. The waters of the Indus are warm and it is said that the one who drinks from it would become heroic like a lion. Does that explain why invaders to India always conquered after stopping to quench their thirst at the Indus?

Legend has it that those who drink the waters of the Ganges would become as worthy as the elephant: with good memory, sense of gratitude, strong and auspicious. Similarly those who drink the waters of Karnali would be come as beautiful as the peacock. It is said these four rivers circle seven times around Kailash (also spelt as Kailas), the divine residence of Lord Shiva (also spelt as Siva), before gurgling down.

Derivation Of The Name - Indus

The lion river, the Indus derives its name from the Sanskrit word, Sindhu, which means a large water body, a sea or an ocean. In Greek, it is called “Sinthos” and in Latin, the “Sindus”. The name gradually came to represent the people who lived beyond it and the name Hindus was born. It took less time to derive the name - Indus gave people a lot more.

In the Rig Veda, there is a reference to “Sapta Sindhus”, where Sapta means seven and Sindhus, refers to rivers. The seven rivers are the Indus, her five tributaries and the river Saraswati. The Rig Veda is also said to enumerate and many medicinal plants found on the banks of the river Indus.

The Mahabharata, another ancient Indian epic refers to Sindhu and the king who ruled the region that nestled on the banks of the river. While dating epics and texts are still arbitrary, the great Indus Valley Civilization at Harappa and Mohenjodaro, now in Pakistan, are eloquent testament of the culture and people of the region. A site similar to that and liked to that period has been unearthed at Lothal Gujarat, India.

Remnants Of Indus Valley Civilisation

The Indus Valley Civilization gave many a clue about life in the pre-Vedic times. Some people say that the original inhabitants of the Indus Valley were Dravidians who were shifted southwards with the coming of the Aryans. Later historical theories totally oppose the idea of a set of Aryans who came to displace the Dravidians. They say that the coming of people from different regions was continuous and not an invasion as was given to be believed.

Indus Valley Civilisation Either way had lasts is the richness of the Indus Valley Civilization and the heritage bequeathed by it to later generations. Historians and ideologists trace the beginnings of the idea of Lord Shiva to the Harappa Civilization. The bull inscribed on the coins of Harappa is in fact, they say, symbolic of Shiva’s mount. He was worshipped in the form of “Pashupati”, the lord of animals. Researchers even go as far as finding parallels between Sumerian Civilization and their pantheon which has counterparts of Lord Shiva and the lady of the mountains, Goddess Parvati, Shiva’s consort.

If Shiva was the metaphysical legacy in addition to worship of natural elements like ‘Agni’ (fire), architecture, town planning, coins, even figures of dancing girls are some of the others. Interesting or perhaps circumscribing man’s ability to conjecture is the fact that many of these legacies defy immediate understanding. The Indus valley script for example is one, which has challenged many scholars and is yet to find a satisfactory interpretation. Travelling across the river Indus were many cultural exchanges between Greece, in fact the rest of the world and India. Greco-Roman art of India today is just one example.

It was on the banks of river Indus that Alexander the great invaded in the 4th century BC crossed the river by ford or bridges at the shallows to the north of a significant place called “Attack”. According to a British administrator Attack itself meant this far and no further. There isn’t any such a meaning present in the Sanskrit dictionary, perhaps because the English pronunciation of the word has changed it.

But in its idea, the meaning sounds good. For only after crossing river Indus at this point could one enter the then Hindustan. And this was the place where most of the invaders and visitors to India crossed. Akbar even built a fort here because once when he was to cross, the river was in spate and he had to wait a while. So he decided this place needed a shelter. Even before that Shershah Suri, who ruled over India for a while built the grand trunk road from Calcutta via Delhi to Lahore and Rawalpindi. It crossed the Indus near Attack.

Luring The Invaders To Go Across

This water continued to charm the people and rulers like Akbar and Jehangir built canals from its tributaries to feed huge and beautiful Persian gardens. Even if the Sikhs once spread their empire far enough to build another fort on the other side of river Indus, invaders like Nadir Shah from Persia and Mahmood of Ghazni continued to gallop and ravage the wealth of India. While the Indus was a valiant guardian at the northwest frontier, it was not so difficult to overpower. It roared and spread itself, but it never hurt.

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