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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Gandhara, GAndhAra, Gaandhaara

Gāndhāra as per Ṛgveda

The Gāndhāra is an ancient country once mentioned in the Ṛgveda. [1] It was famous for its sheep and their wool.

Gāndhāra as per Mahābhārata

During the Mahābhārata period it was ruled by the king Subala whose daughter Gāndhārī had been married to the blind king Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Śakuni was his son.

The kingdom might have extended from the shores of the river Sindhu (Indus) up to the modern Kabul. According to another view it extended from Jalalabad (in Afghanisthan) to Rawalpindi (in Pakistan) and included the Kumarī river. Later on it came under Buddhist influence and its capital was Takṣaśilā (Taxila). It had flourishing trade links with Magadha.[2]

Gāndhāra as per Sound

Gāndhāra is also the third note of the octave in music.


  1. Ṛgveda 1.126.7
  2. Magadha is the Patna region of modern Bihar.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore