Taank (also called Tānk, Tank, Tak) is mentioned as one of the 36 royal houses of Indian
Kshatriyas, but, said James Todin his "Annals", they have disappeared from history owing to conversion to Islamin the 13th century. Not completely yet, a large number of Tānks are now followers of Islam, there are many Tanks still existing among the HinduJats.
A Tak kingdom is mentioned by Jiuen-Tsang (
631- 643AD). It is mentioned as situated towards east of Gandhara. Hiuen-Tsang gives its name as Tekka, and the history of Sindh, Chach Nama, mentions it as Tak. Its capital was Shekilo ( Sakala, modern Sialkot). King Mihiragularuled from Shekilo. In the 7th century, its people were not predominantly Buddhists, but worshiped the sun, too. “Abhidhana Chintamani” says that Takka is the name of Vahikacountry (Punjab). Chandershekar Gupta in his article on Indian coins argues that the Tanks must have come to, prior to 4th century, i.e., with Kushanas. And with the Kushanas, they must spread to Bengaland Orissa, like the Maans and Kangs who spread into southern Maharashtra and the Deccan. Fact|date=November 2007 In Orissa, the Tanks had their rule in Orissa proper, Mayurbhanj, Singbhoom, Ganjamand Balasoredistricts. They are called by historians as “Puri Kushans” or Kushanas of Puri (Orissa). Their coins have been found at Bhanjakia and Balasore ( Chhota Nagpur) and these coins have the legend Tanka written in Brahmiscript of the 4th century. Allansuggested the reading Tanka as the name of a tribe, and others generally accepted the reading Tanka as correct. Allan placed them in the third or forth CE, while V. A Smith placed them in the 4th or 5th CE; R.D. Bennerji called them “ Puri Kushanas”.Fact|date=November 2007
As for the proof that they were
Jats, they still exist as such today. Fact|date=November 2007 Their association with the Kushanas ( Kaswan Jats) further supports it. Their central Asian origin is proved by the fact that Niya Kharosthi’s documents from central Asia, refer to coin denominated as Tangamule. Here the word Tanga is the same as Tanka, and Muli meant “price” in Central Asia.Fact|date=November 2007 Jainliterature refer to the Tanks and the fact that they are termed “ Mlechhas”, shows their foreign origin. The Jain works say that the Tanks were invincible (cf Chandragomin for Jats, and Thucydide’s remarks for Gatae). They were the inhabitants of Uttarapatha(N.W. India) and they traded with the Dakshinapatha(south Deccan) in the valuable commodities like gold and ivory.Fact|date=November 2007
To conclude, in the words of C. S. Gupta, “The legend Tanka has no other satisfactory explanation that this, viz., the these coins were struck by the tribe of Tankana (Takka) in the name of their community like those of the
Yaudheyaand Malava. It appears that the name inscribed by these people on their coins, gradually came to denote the name of the coin.Fact|date=November 2007
This is the origin of the Taka used even now for coins. The coins of Mahmud
Ghazni, bears the Sanskrit
Ala ud din Khilji, as well as Akbar, later issued Takkas. The RewaStone Inscriptionof Malaya Simha, of 1193AD, shows that Khiljispent 1500 Takkas for constructing a water tank, near Rewa. “Rajatarangini” says that king Anantaof Kashmir, issued Takkas. Tank coins are mentioned in the South also.Fact|date=November 2007
In popular parlance, the Tank Sarohas are mentioned together (like the
Dahiya- Dabas; and Siddh- Brarcombination). The cities of Tonk, Sirohiare names after them. At one time, the entire Panjab was called Tank Desa. The report of the Chinese pilgrims confirm this fact. Originally they were worshippers of the Snake-garlanded form of Shiva. Hence they were called Nagas too.Fact|date=November 2007
The two primary tribes of goldsmiths in present-day Punjab are the Mairs and the Tanks. The two tribes have several gothras in common so it is possible that movement between the two tribes or simultaneous entry by gothras into both tribes has historically taken place. Currently, Mairs claim to have a higher status than the Tanks. This was true historically also, as Rose wrote in 1914 that Mairs did not accept water from Tanks (440).
The Tanks had claimed Kshatriya descent in 1911 but later did not pursue that claim. It may be that the Tank goldsmiths are descendants of the ancient Takshac, or Taunk Rajput tribe mentioned by Tod (69). Rose does write that the Tanks worship the snake as an emblem of Takshac, the founder of the Nagvanshi, or Tank family (443).
Bhim Singh Dahiya: "Jats- the Ancient Rulers"
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