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July 8, 1997

Episode 4: A Window to Gilgit-Baltistan part-1

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A window to Northern Areas-IV, The Muslim dated July 7, 1997
Author: Syed Shams ud Din 

The word providence in Sheena language equates with ‘bagharo’ and in this sense, it may safely be implied that the term Bagrote emanated from this word as the valley once famous for its agricultural produce, wildlife and richness in fruits hence the people living there were used to be called ‘bagharoos’ – those distributing basic necessities of life. This attribute seems to have later degenerated into Bagrote – the land of ‘bagharoos’ (distributors).

 It has been noticed that the famous mythology of Gilgit is all in Brushiski which also includes that of Kirak Prince. The attribution of all the names to almost all places of what was formerly called the Brushal are a pointer to the firm hold of this kingdom in the past as a reality. The people of these areas, prior to Islam, all embraced ‘Shamanism’. A cursory glance over the ancient history of India may abundantly reveal the fact that the idyllic engravements were undertaken during during the reign of Muharaja Ashoke or the Kanashik era in first Century AD while the former’s reiogn dated back to that.

Likewise, the period Agharthum and Baghurtham too, dated back to the first century AD after all, in the 6th century AD, the areas of Ghizer, Gilgit including Astore were called Brushal forming an integrated unit inhabited by the Brusho tribe. The people of Sheenaki (Dardistan) southwards used to call the former as ‘Rajaki’  -  the area being ruled over by the Rajas. In 6th century AD, the Tibetans conquered Brushal. This intrusion of the Tibetans greatly affected the Brushos resulting their enslavement. These vanquished people were thereafter, forced to live also in Baltistan and beyond that in the Tibetan territory.

During this Tibetan era, the Dard people of Sheenaki Kohistan consisting of Gore, Chilas, Kohistan, Darel and Tangir used to venture into the area of Brujshal either for the fertile tracts of land and the better pastures or simply to find an asylum there due to their animosities. Anyhow, the gradual streaking of the Dards into Brushal in the fore-going quest, made up a considerable population. It is however, to make clear that the Dards did never make their thrust into the Brushal with political ambitions. Had there been such an intention, they would definitely have succeeded in establishing their jirga system symbolic of erstwhikle arbitration of this tribe which is not the case on study of the history of Brushal. Shribadat then came as the last ruler of the Tibetan dynasty during the last quarter of the 9th century AD who was lastly wiped out by the local people of Brushal with the assistance of a surviving prince of the ancient Brushal. The name of this prince was Azur, who was younger brother of Balishetham of Hoper (Nagar). The said prince was sent into Danyore by his brother to keep an eye on Shribadat Tham  and the former eventually succeeded in catching the eye of the daughter of the former  -  a beautiful damsel. In this way, ground was paved for the overthrowal of Shribadat.

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