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India Through Kalidasa’s Eyes (5th CE)


Far back in time, King Raghu, an ancestor of Lord Ram and ruler of the Ikshvaku dynasty, conquered the region of Aparanta (today's Konkan) and with this, he completed his conquest of India, from Kamarupa (Assam) to India’s Western coast. The next in his sights was the conquest of ‘the Land of Parasikas’or Persia.


But it presented a peculiar conundrum. Should he take the easy sea route from the port of ‘Kalyana'(Kalyan) or the perilous land route through the Thar Desert? After pondering this for a while, King Raghu and his army took the land route to Persia through Sindh and the Bolan Pass, before reaching Southern Persia. Here, he defeated an army of bearded Persian horsemen, and this was followed by his conquest of the land of the Hunas on the banks of the Vankshu River (Oxus) and the land of the Kambojas (Xinjiang province of China).


This fascinating snippet on the conquest of Persia, Afghanistan and Western China of Lord Ram’s ancestor is found in the epic Sanskrit poem Raghuvamsa, composed by celebrated Sanskrit poet Kalidasa in the 5th century CE. What makes Raghuvamsa so fascinating is that apart from the exploits of Lord Ram’s ancestor, we also find very interesting snippets of information.


For example, it tells us that Persia was famous for its vine creepers (‘draksavalayabhilmisu) and its trade in precious furs (’ajinaratna). There are references to the cultivation of saffron flowers in Afghanistan ‘which got stuck to the manes of King Raghu’s horses' or the walnut trees (Aksota) in the Xinjiang region, to which King Raghu’s elephants were tied.


Read More at https://www.livehistoryindia.com/story/history-of-india-2000-years/kalidasa

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