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Alexander & the forgotten battle of Chitral — 14 Comments

  1. It is a conspiracy like the conspiracy of corona virus and polio drop by western powers. all these are basically against the Muslim nation the world over to keep them terrorized and in panic and create mental distress to them so that they can be stopped from progressing in science and technology to beat USA and other forces.
    What you mean by saying that Alexander attacked Chitral and the locals put up a stiff resistance? You only want to provoke the Chitralis to rise and wage a war against their neighbours or others so that they can be stopped from progress. nay, You wont succeed by your conspiracies.
    Tell me if you have any reference regarding Alexander invasion or entry into Chitral in any Islamic book. Why you people always come up with strange British and American names who most of Muslims even cannot pronounce? Why you don’t come up with reference from Muslim travellers and historians. Why you don’t have any reference to Muslims generals and invaders. Why you don’t have any reference to Memud Ghazni who crashed the Indians and served Islam.
    We Chitrali people are very peaceful and do not like stories of wars and neither we have ever been involved in any war or invasion. Moreover, Chitral is peaceful as there has never been an incident of murder in whole Chitral for decades. We also love education and send our daughters o school. We have our own culture and language and you have faield to explain why the forces of Alexander invaded Chitral and what they gained out of it.

    I hope you ponder over all these facts and write another article explaining actual facts and giving solid proof from Islamic perspective and history.

    Thank you.

  2. Alexander’s entry and battle in Chitral was first noted by Historian Francis Pincott in 1896 in the prestigious “Journal of Royal Asiatic society of Ireland and Great Britain”. Francis has more than 95 works in 211 publications in 4 languages. This battle is spoken of in even more detail in the 1940 book “Alexander the Great” by the British cartographer L.W. Cummings who created it with ‘exhaustive research and extensive collaboration with scholars at Columbia University’. Alexander’s entry into Chitral is further attested in the book “A History of Greece” by John Bagnell Bury. It is also written about in the book “The conquests of Alexander the Great” by Waldemar Heckel. His entry is also in the book “A History of Ancient Geography” by Henry Fanshawe Tozer.

    I can mention many more such sources which speak of his entry into Chitral but if you really believe that you not only know more about it then the works of critically acclaimed historians spanning 130 years and an entire ivy league university, but also that they are all on a collective endeavor to “distort Chitral’s history”, then I believe you need to re-access the prism through which you view the world and it’s priorities. Good day.

  3. I appreciate the work done by the writer on Chitral’s history. All i am asking the writer is to remember Columbus started for India and reached what are today called West Indies thinking he had reached India. I am sure Alexanders armies came into the fertile plains of Swat and Swabi and may have come through the passes in lower Kunar to Bajaur and Batkhela but they never came near Chitral and fought battles here. This area did not support march of large armies because of its terrain and geography

  4. Sir with all due respect, I think you’re finding it difficult to grasp the crux of the matter. The sources on which the article is based are not things pulled out from thin air. The people and their land was noted by ancient Historians such as Arian and Ptolemy, these are not orientalists Fantasies. Even if we take Chitral’s precipitation or it’s geography into account, there is absolutely nothing that refutes the ancient or modern historians and their claims that Alexander entered the Indus plains from this region. It is a well established fact that he did enter Northern Kunar, whether he entered Southern Chitral or Northern Dir is something which can be debated upon but not upon the fact that substantial populations did exist in the region prior to the movement of the Kho and Kalashas into Chitral. The Asspapisoi mentioned by Arrain and Ptolemy to have been occupying Kunar/Southern Chitral have been identified as by many as the Asvaka people who themselves were a Kambojan tribe. According to others they were the ancestors of the Pashai. Entire cities have been discovered in the Swat of the Assakenoi. Also the fact that ancient historians claimed that the battle fought was against an amalgamation of people from all through southern Kunar near Jalalabad, Kafiristan and Chitral. Considering the history of the region, it is not a rude assumption to believe they rallied in such numbers together.
    As far as Alexander’s links to the region are regarded, those are myths and should be treated as such. Alexander had no large impact on Chitral or its modern day inhabitants, but this article is a mere piecing together of some 16 different accounts which all pointed to the same thing, there was a battle fought somewhere in southern Chitral.

  5. If the author is not properly guided, he will certaily distort the history of Chitral. To me, frankly speaking he is very much on a mission to distort the facts. I agree with Basit!!! The auhor knows nothing about the area and narrates things like a street guy and not a researcher.

    • Alexander’s entry and battle in Chitral was first noted by Fredric Pincott in 1896 in the prestigious “Journal of the Royal Asiatic society of Ireland Great Britain”. It was also written about in even more detail in the 1940 book “Alexander The Great” by L.W. Cummings who was a noted British cartographer and created the book with “exhaustive research and extensive collaboration with scholars at Columbia University”. His entry into Chitral is also attested by the Book “A History of Ancient Geography” by Henry Fanshawe Tozer. His entry into Chitral is also written about in the book “The Conquests of Alexander the Great” by Waldemar Heckel. It is also mentioned and attested in the book “A History of Greece” By John Bagnell Bury.

      I can mention other historical accounts too, but if you not only believe that you know more about the topic than the works of multiple critically acclaimed historians spanning 130 years as well as scholars of an Ivy league university, but also that the above mentioned people and institutions are on an endeavor to “distort Chitral’s History”, then you not only need to change the prism through which you view scholarly works but also re-access what you believe are the priorities of the world.

  6. All I am asking is to understand the context first the quality of history would be much better. The precipitation levels in Chitral are so low that these areas would be a mountain desert if not for the fascinating irrigation channels which have been cut across mountains to bring water to small alluvial plains making the area habitable . You can count the irrigation channels is Chitral, several hundreds of them, that made this possible. So unlike Peshawar which may have been populated and depopulated Chitral had the capacity to support a very small population at all times. In the seventies as the population had grown and barely reached one hundred and seventy thousand there was starvation in the spring season in many of the areas. So thousand of years before that for Alexanders army to march here would be a streak of madness. I am sure the account given is true but the places the writer has got are absolutely wrong. Please do some more research and you will find it. Chitral was a place so difficult to live that only those on the fringes and margins facing persecution in their societies came here and lived here. There are lot of nice myths floated around like the remnants of Alexanders armies. As late as the fifties very few people had heard of them and then a factory started spewing them out. This is good for the area to making it attractive to some tourists but its certainly not history and should not be presented as such.

  7. I’m sorry but before labelling something as rubbish you must acquaint yourself with the concept of depopulation and repopulation. Places like Peshawar had twice the population in 1 CE than they did in the last British census prior to 1947. The Kho migration into southern Chitral is a very late development, something around 1320 and the Kalasha migration from ‘Tsyam’ would’ve briefly preceded it. Our understanding of the populations of the Assapissoi and Assakenoi of Kunar/Chitral and Swat as far as 2300 years back, come from Ancient accounts and these are backed with archaeological findings such as the ancient city of Bazira discovered in Butkhara, Swat. It is sheer ignorance to judge the relevance of a route confirmed by more than 8 historians on something as simple as population comparisons without complete understanding of the matter.

  8. I am sorry to say this is a load of rubbish written by people who have never ventured up the Kunar valley and Chitral valley. Even as late as the late nineteenth century the entire Chitral area had a population of barely 50,000. Go back to the time of Alexander it must have barely supported a very small population, No big army could have marched through this valley without starving. Even the British who wrote about this had very little information regarding the Hindukkush. Had they known they would have never come to Chitral because the geography made it impossible for any Russain army to march through Chitral. Even two highly sophisticated Soviet gunships got lost in these mountains in the eighties.

  9. This is new for me to learn that Alexander also came to Chitral and fought a war. I had read that his forces crossed into India from somewhere near Peshawar. Some remnants of his forces strayed into Chitral and they were later called the Kalash. Much more is needed to explore the invasion of Chitral by the Macedonian forces.

  10. That’s great and new window to history of Chitral and shows valour of the people of Chitral against foreign aggression.

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