- Trigarta Kingdom
Trigarta was a kingdom mentioned in the epic
Mahabharata. Mahabharata mentions two different Trigarta kingdoms, one in the west close to the Sivi Kingdomand the other north to the Kuru Kingdom. Modern Kangra districtis one of the ancient town in North Trigarta, India, extending westward to the Punjab area. These Trigarta kings were allies of Duryodhanaand enemies of Pandavas and Viratas. Their capital was named Prasthala. They attacked the Virata Kingdomaided by the Kurus to steal cattle from there. The Pandavas living there in anonymity helped the Viratas to resist the combined forces of Trigartas and Kurus. Trigarta kings fought the Kurukshetra Warand were killed by Arjuna,after giving him very big and tough fight. Arjuna also annihilated an Akshouhini(a large military unit) of Trigarta warriors called the "Samsaptakas". These warriors had vowed to either die or kill Arjuna as part of a larger plan by Duryodhanato capture Yudhishthiraalive. [cite book | last = Narayan| first = R. K.| year = 2000 | title = The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic | publisher = University Of Chicago Press | pages = 151-166]
References in Mahabharata
The Trigartas were mentioned along with the Salwasenas in the list of kingdoms of Bharata Varsha (6:9).
Kings Kshemankara, Suratha
"Rulers of the western Trigarta territories"
Trigarta army was the part of the army of
Jayadratha, the king of Sindh supported by which he tried to abduct Draupadithe wife of the Pandavas. But the Pandavascame and rescued her by defeating the army of Jayadratha:- Pandavaskilled in battle, with the arrow, the leaders of the Ikshwakusand the hosts of Sivis and Trigartas and Saindhavas (3:269).
Kshemankara is mentioned as the king of Trigarta at (3:263). Suratha is mentioned as the king of Trigartas at (3:269). It could be that Suratha was the family-name of king Kshemankara. Kotika, who was the main ally of Jayadratha, was mentioned as king Suratha's son at (3:263,264). Kotika was slain by
Bhimaand Suratha was slain by Nakuladuring the fight with Jayadratha.
Kshemankara, (and/or) Suratha of Trigarta, king of Pulinda and Suvala of
Ikshwakurace all were part of Jayadratha's army (3:263).
King Susarman of Prasthala
"Susarman ruled the northern Trigartas"
The Trigarta king Susarman ruled the from the city called Prasthala (6:114). Susarman was an ally of
Duryodhana. His kingdom was constantly at war with the Matsya Kingdoms. He had enmity with Arjunawho invaded his kingdom duirning his northern military campaign. He was an active leader in the Kauravaarmy in the Kurukshetra War. His main antagonist was Arjunaand the leaders of the Matsya army. Against Arjuna he made a formidable team of warriors called the Samsaptakas. Susarman and his Samsaptaka army were slain by Arjuna in the Kurukshetra war. Susarman had a son named Niramitra (7:104).
Arjuna's expedition to northern Trigarta
"Arjuna came to northern Trigarta, to collect tribute for
Yudhisthira's Rajasuyasacrifice." Arjunadefeated the brave Kshatriyas of Kashmira and also king Lohita along with ten minor chiefs. Then the Trigartas, the Daravas, the Kokonadas, and various other Kshatriyas, advanced against the son of Pandu. That Prince of the Kuru race then took the delightful town of Avisari, and then brought under his sway Rochamana ruling in Uraga. Arjuna, putting forth his might, pressed the delightful town of Singhapura that was well-protected with various weapons (2:26).
Nakula's expedition to western Trigarta
"Nakula came to western Trigarta, to collect tribute for
The son of
Pandu, viz. Nakulasubjugated the Dasarnas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Amvashtas, the Malavas, the five tribes of the Karnatas, and those Brahmanaclasses that were called the Madhyamakeyas and Vattadhanas (2:31). Nakulawas sent to conquer the Sivis and the Trigartas. He brought the western region under the power of Yudhisthira(5:23).
Tributes to king 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
Kshatriyasdistributed into regular clans and trained to the use of arms, brought tribute unto Pandavaking Yudhishthiraby hundreds and thousands. (2:51).
Trigarta's invasion of the Matsya kingdom
Kichaka, the commander of the Matsya army was slain by an unknown person (actually by
Pandava Bhima). The mighty king of the Trigartas, Susarman, who owned innumerable cars, regarded the opportunity to be a favourable one. King Susarman, eyeing Karnain askance, spoke these words unto Duryodhana, ‘My kingdom hath many a time been forcibly invaded (4:25) by the king of the Matsyas. The mighty Kichaka was that king’s generalissimo. That wretch, however, hath been slain by the Gandharvas, Kichaka being dead, king Virata, shorn of pride and his refuge gone, will, I imagine, lose all courage I think, we ought now to invade that kingdom. The accident that hath happened is, I imagine, a favourable one for us. Let us, therefore, repair to Virata’s kingdom abounding in corn. We will appropriate his gems and other wealth of diverse kinds, and let us go to share with each other as regards his villages and kingdom. Or, invading his city by force, let us carry off by thousands his excellent kine of various species. Uniting, O king, the forces of the Kauravasand the Trigartas, let us lift his cattle in droves. Or, uniting our forces well, we will check his power by forcing him to sue for peace. Or, destroying his entire host, we will bring Matsya under subjection (4:30). The two armies speedily set out, drawing up the forces in battle array and marshalling them in divisions. Susarman proceeded first, carefully concealing his intention. Following in their wake, Kauravasset out the day after in close array, for the prosperous dominions of king Matsya. The Trigartas, however, suddenly repair to the city of Virata, and coming upon the cowherds, seize that immense wealth (of kine). Kauravasalso marching in two divisions, seized thousands of excellent kine furnished with auspicious marks.
Virataof Matsya, defeated both the armies with the help of the Pandavas."
Trigartas in Kurukshetra War
Kurukshetra War, the Trigartas sided with the Kauravas."
Many combatants belonging to the 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, similarly fell upon
Arjuna(6:118). The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis, the Swalyas, the Matsyas, the Amvashtas, the Trigartas, and the Kekayas, the Sauviras, the Kitavas, and the dwellers of the Eastern, Western, and the Northern countries,--these twelve brave races were resolved to fight reckless of the lives protecting Bhishma, the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas(6:18).
Those warriors that are opposed to
Arjuna, viz., the Sauvirakas, the Sindhava-Pauravas, headed by Karna, are regarded as foremost of car-warriors (7:108). Many combatants belonging to the 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, similarly fell upon Arjuna(6:118). Bhishmaprotected by the warriors headed by Saindhava and by the combatants of the East and the Sauviras and the Kekayas, fought with great impetuosity (6:52). Bhisma's rating of the Trigarta brothers:- The five royal brothers of Trigarta are, in my judgment, all foremost of "Rathas" (5:167). At (7:18) the Trigarta brothers fighting with Arjunareckless of their lives were called the Samsaptakas. Trigarta car-warriors, of fierce deeds, accomplished in battle, were numbering three thousand (7:10). There were fifty Trigarta princes (7:138). The brothers of the Trigarta king were all slain by Arjuna(7:26). Arjunacrushed with his arrows the Lalithya, the Malava, the Mavellaka, and the Trigarta warriors (7:19).
Trigarta’s king, Susarman with his younger brother, and accompanied by all his cars, rushed towards the king of Matsya (4:33).
Kuru king Hasti (who founded the Kuru capital
Hastinapura) married Yasodhara, the princess of Trigarta (1:95).
Kingdoms of Ancient India
Mahabharataof Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, translated to English by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
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