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Ahichchhatra – Capital of Paanchal

ahichchatra - capital of paanchal

Ahichchhatra (or Ahi-Kshetra) was the ancient capital of Northern Panchala, a northern Indian kingdom mentioned in Mahabharata. The word Ahi means snake or Naga in Sanskrit. Nagas were a group of ancient people who worshiped serpents. The word khsetra means region in Sanskrit. This implies that Ahi-kshetra was a region of Nagas.

Paanchal ( पांचाल ) was an ancient kingdom of northern India, located in the Ganges-Yamuna Doab of the upper Gangetic plain. Wife of pandavas in Mahabharat Draupadi , who is popularly known as Paanchali hails from here.

During Late Vedic times (c. 900-500 BCE), it was one of the most powerful states of the Indian subcontinent, closely allied with the Kuru Kingdom. By the c. 5th century BCE, it had become an oligarchic confederacy, considered as one of the solasa (sixteen) mahajanapadas (major states) of the Indian subcontinent. After being absorbed into the Mauryan Empire (322-185 BCE), Panchala regained its independence until it was annexed by the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.

The Paanchalas occupied the country to the east of the Kurus called kaurav, between the upper Himalayas and the river Ganges. It roughly corresponded to modern Badaun, Farrukhabad and the adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh. The country was divided into Uttara-Panchala and Dakshina-Panchala. The northern Panchala had its capital at Ahichatra, (also known as Adhichhatra and Chhatravati, near present-day Ramnagar village in Aonla tehsil of Bareilly district), while southern Panchala had it capital at Kampilya or Kampil in Farrukhabad district. The famous city of Kanyakubja or Kannauj was situated in the kingdom of Panchala

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