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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #1
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Darra-i-Nur : Valley of Roses


I have always had an eclectic taste and like digesting information in small bits. Reading thick books can be boring and it can be real tough to unlearn what has cost a massive amount of time.

The November 2012 issue of the Indian edition of GEO magazine carries a nice article on Darra-i-Nur. This beautiful place is located in Afghanistan and has miraculously been able to avoid the violence which has torn this Nation apart during the past 3 decades.

Islam arrived pretty late in Darra-i-Nur and a bit over a century ago it was known as Darra-i-Kafiri (the Valley of Infidels).

The people inhabiting this beautiful place are overwhelmingly Pashai speakers ...
Pashayi_language Pashayi_language
which is a branch of Dardic languages ...
Dardic_languages Dardic_languages

According to Wikipedia the Pashai people may be descendants of Gandhari People --->
Gandhari_people Gandhari_people


The most valuable product of Darra-i-Nur is Rose Oil. The largest Rose Oil enterprise was set up by Norbert Burger, a German, in 2004. 4000-5000 kgs of Rose Petals yield 1 kilogram of Rose Oil which fetches as much as 6000 Euros in the European market!


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Old November 18th, 2012, 04:46 AM   #2

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The whole Nuristan area was known as "Kafiristan" before Abdur Rahman Khan. Their closest relatives are probably the Kalash people across the border. As far as descendents of the Gandharan people are concerned I suppose they could be. The Hindkowan and Potohari people who presently inhabit the lands where many ancient Gandharan sites are situated including Taxila would be a more safer option however.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 05:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
The whole Nuristan area was known as "Kafiristan" before Abdur Rahman Khan. Their closest relatives are probably the Kalash people across the border. As far as descendents of the Gandharan people are concerned I suppose they could be. The Hindkowan and Potohari people who presently inhabit the lands where many ancient Gandharan sites are situated including Taxila would be a more safer option however.
I don't really know much about the history of Pakistan and Afghanistan Shaheen.

The article does mention King Abdur Rahman. Wikipedia says he was the Emir of Afghanistan from 1880-1901 ...
Abdur_Rahman_Khan Abdur_Rahman_Khan

I am aware about the Kalash people. According to some sources they are the leftovers of the forces of Alexander as they are pretty White and some have light hair as well.

One of the articles I read about Pashai people stated that they might have been forced to move North by the Southern Pashto speakers in the past.

What makes you think that the Hindkowan and the Potohari may have links with the Gandharan people. We have many examples of newcomers living in lands which belonged to different people in the past.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 05:54 AM   #4

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Originally Posted by Jhangora View Post
I don't really know much about the history of Pakistan and Afghanistan Shaheen.

The article does mention King Abdur Rahman. Wikipedia says he was the Emir of Afghanistan from 1880-1901 ... Abdur Rahman Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am aware about the Kalash people. According to some sources they are the leftovers of the forces of Alexander as they are pretty White and some have light hair as well.

One of the articles I read about Pashai people stated that they might have been forced to move North by the Southern Pashto speakers in the past.

What makes you think that the Hindkowan and the Potohari may have links with the Gandharan people. We have many examples of newcomers living in lands which belonged to different people in the past.
The Kalash people have very little Greek/West Asian admixture, so them being descendents of the Greek army are probably not true. In fact their neighbors the Pashtuns have more Greek ancestry than the Kalash (Y-chromosomal evidence for a limited Greek contribution to the Pathan population of Pakistan). I think in the 1800s westerners were just taken aback when they found blue eyed, brown haired people in this part of the world. In their eyes there had to be some European connection to explain this mystery. But such phenotypes exist also amongst the Tajiks, Wakhis and other Chitrali people in the area.

Moving to the Hindko and Pothari languages, i would recommnend the works of professor ahmed hassan dani. He explains in "history of the northern areas" or "taxila" how these languages have emerged from the Gandhari prakrit. (cant tell you which one as they are at my parents home). This link should help a bit though
Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania - Barbara A. West - Google Books
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