Skip to main content

Episode 3: A Windows to Gilgit-Baltistan

A window to Northern Areas-III, The Muslim dated July 6,1997
Author: Syed Shamsuddin 
 

In the ‘History of Jammu and Kashmir’ by Maulvi Hashmatullah Khan Lakhnavi, there is a mention of ancient rulers (Rajas) of Gilgit called Aghurtham and Baghurtham who have been famous rulers of Brushal. It is to be noted that the word ‘Tham’ in Brushaski means ruler. When delved deep, it transpires that the words like Berish (the land of Berish), Malokush, Kanjukush etc.,  were further embellished by the Tibetans, the Baltis and Ladakhis by pronouncing at ease as like Brushal in their own tongue. The Aghutham’s rock still lies amidst Gilgit river near Thopchar in Gilgit city which is called “Aghurthamai Giri”. Likewise, Aghurtham’s Forte is situated at Konodas, Gilgit near Gulsher Mohellah where the remains are. It has been observed that the carvings on the above rock and that of the Karagha nullah and the one at Hal Nal near Nagaral are identical and hence seem to have been engraved with the same hands and at the same time.

The famous Chinese traveller Huyuan Sung, who travelled down to Swat crossing the Northern Areas via Karghah nullah which took well over six months during sixth century AD, mentions the  rock carvings of Gilgit. As far Aghurtham and Baghartham are concerned, they ruled over the Brushal before 6th century AD.

The word Sargin Geleet in fact, originates from Brushiski from Sherkin meaning securing as in a sanctuary or on a hunting ground. Giri means wildlife like Markhor etc. Meaning in Sheena as ‘sharah’. It appears that the tract constituting the present Gilgit was first used as a land for hunting wildlife while the above word gradually went into the jargon that gave rise to Gilgit instead of ‘Sherkin Geleet’.

Likewise the word Baremoos land comes from sliding and flood. This has a bearing on the village Barmas of Gilgit town. There is yet another remain of graveyard near Mohellah Nagaral Gilgit called Khultoshing, on the pattern of Barmoos. Iltishin in Brusheski means graveyard hence it appears that the place was the graveyard at the time of Brushal which later passed through the jargon in Sheena as Khultoshing. There are still words of Brusheski like Kapalkhan, Khomar, Jutial, Sikar, Sakwar, Shilmish, Naltar, Brumai, Astotre, Halimal, Danyore, Chamoghar, Jotel, Matumdas so on and so forth which all originally seem to have flowed from Brusheski but later underwent degenerative phases on being used by people of other linguistic groups.

Bagrote valley in Gilgit carries immense historical and cultural significance in the area. It is noteworthy that the brutal passage of time brings in its trail, drastic changes in the socio-economic context and the said valley has not been  immune from that. Once Bagrote valley was famous for its abundant wildlife, fruits, crops and agricultural produce besides the signs of ‘shamanism’ to be found there. It brings forth unequivocally that the area of entire Brushal seems to have remained under the spell of ‘shamanism’ while Bagrote valley stood in the vanguard in the above context.

It has been observed that the carvings on the above rock, that of the Kargha nullah and the one at ‘Hal Nal’ near Nagaral Mohellah, Gilgit town are identical hence seem to have been engraved with the same hands and at the same time.The famous Chinese traveller Huyuan Sung, who travelled down to Swat crossing the Northern Areas via Kargah nullah which took well over six months during sixth century AD, mentions the rock carvings of Gilgit. As far Aghurtham and Baghurtham are concerned they ruled over the Brushal before 6th century A.D.

This tract was replete with superstitions like ‘dayal’. Let us discuss as to how the word Bagrote became known.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gilgit-Baltistan – A Historical Narrative

BySyed Shamsuddin

Perceptibly, there abound divergent narratives and counter narratives wittingly or unwittingly churned out as to status of Gilgit-Baltistan which more often than not, have no bearing on and are sadly devoid of any substance when put in the correct historical perspective. In order to get the best and clearest possible picture, it becomes imperative to have a full view of and delve deeper into its background with a view to irrefutably place facts connected with the matter in the correct historical order by separating what is called the wheat from the chaff for the information of the readers as follows:
Strictly speaking, the region fell on turbulent times and troublous waters during the second half of the nineteenth century which may, with profit, be called the period of uncertainty and the gloomiest transitional phase in Gilgit-Baltistan’s context. Synoptically, region consisted of and apportioned into a dozen tiny kingdoms each ruled by despotic, independent rulers f…

Foiling India’s Inimical Designs

BySyed Shamsuddin A very interesting summation, aptly encompassing has been going on in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) overtime in socio-political context, was published in a regional Urdu daily the other day. The learned writer offered a peep into the brief historical background of the region dating to the post-independence period, and referred precisely to what happened preceding the liberation of Gilgit-Baltistan. Beginning with briefly recording of the facts about how the British colonizers packed off by giving back the territory of Gilgit, in August 1947, to the Dogra occupiers, quite intriguingly with the condition that the latter would retain Major William Brown – a British military officer – to assign him the command of Gilgit Scouts. The move was ostensibly aimed at checking effectively and blocking Russo-China contacts, as well as to preclude Gilgit region from the impact of communists inroads into this land.
After the successful revolution of 1st November 1947, Gilgit emerged as a…

Eulogizing The Protectors of Culture and Tradition

BySyed Shamsuddin QUITE PROPITIOUSLY, a flurry of activities is getting underway in the context of revival of Shina language in its original form and diction. This is in addition to the marked efforts afoot to build a consensus among the literary circles formed by Shina speaking communities all across the Shina speaking areas – mostly inhabiting northern Pakistan and part of the Indian held Kashmir- to popularize and universalize a homogenized approach to a unified code aimed at sustaining and preserving this language which is sadly on the wane.
To give a recent example, Shakil Ahmad Shakil carried out a research work culminating in his products like ‘dade shilokeh’ (grandmas’s tales) and Shina Grammar, Aziz-ur-Rehman Malangi’s Shina Diwan and to top them all is Haji Shah Mirza’s translation of the Holy Qura’an into Shina which is greatly contributive to the existing literature in Shina. There is no gainsaying that viewed in terms of it originality of form, diction and etymology, Shin…