Hinduism History

Hindu Kush means Hindu Slaughter


The Hindu Kush is a mountain system nearly 1000 miles long and 200 miles wide, running northeast to southwest, and dividing the Amu Darya River Valley and Indus River Valley. It stretches from the Pamir Plateau near Gilgit, to Iran. The Hindu Kush ranges mainly run thru Afganistan and Pakistan. It has over two dozen summits of more than 23,000 ft in height. Below the snowy peaks the mountains of Hindu Kush appear bare, stony and poor in vegetation. Historically, the passes across the Hindu Kush have been of great military significance, providing access to the northern plains of India.

The Khyber Pass constitutes an important strategic gateway and offers a comparatively easy route to the plains of Punjab. Most foreign invaders, starting from Alexander the Great in 327 BC, to Timur Lane in 1398 AD, and from Mahmud of Ghazni, in 1001 AD, to Nader Shah in 1739 AD attacked Hindustan via the Khyber Pass and other passes in the Hindu Kush (1,2,3). The Greek chroniclers of Alexander the Great called Hindu Kush as Parapamisos or Paropanisos (4). The Hindu name of the Hindu Kush mountains was ‘Paariyaatra Parvat'(5).

History of Hindu Kush and Punjab shows that two major kingdoms of Gandhaar & Vaahic Pradesh (Balkh of Bactria) had their borders extending far beyond the Hindu Kush. Legend has it that the kingdom of Gandhaar was established by Taksha, grandson of Bharat of Ayodhya (6). Gandhaar’s borders extended from Takshashila to Tashkent (corruption of ‘Taksha Khand’) in the present day Uzbekistan. In the later period, Mahabharat relates Gaandhaari as a princess of Gandhaar and her brother, Shakuni as a prince and later as Gandhaar’s ruler.

In the well documented history, Emperor Chandragupt Maurya took charge of Vaahic Pradesh around 325 BC and then took over Magadh. Emperor Ashok’s stone tablets with inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic are still found at Qandahar (corruption of Gandhaar?) and Laghman in eastern Afganistan(3). One such stone tablet, is shown in the PBS TV series ‘Legacy with Mark Woods’ in episode 3 titled ‘India: The Spiritual Empire’. After the fall of Mauryan empire, Gandhaar was ruled by Greeks. However some of these Greek rulers had converted to Buddhism, such as Menander, known to Indian historians as Milinda, while some other Greeks became followers of Vishnav sects (Hinduism)(7). Recent excavations in Bactria have revealed a golden hoard which has among other things a figurine of a Greek goddess with a Hindu mark on its forehead (Bindi) showing the confluence of Hindu-Greek art (8). Later Shaka and KushaaN ruled Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh. KushaaN emperor Kanishka’s empire stretched from Mathura to the Aral Sea (beyond the present day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Krygzystan)(9).

Kanishaka was a Buddhist and under KushaaN influence Buddhism flourished in Gandhaar. Two giant sandstone Buddhas carved into the cliffs of Bamian (west of Kabul) date from the Kushan period. The larger Buddha (although defaced in later centuries by Moslem invaders) is about 175 ft tall (10,11). The Kushan empire declined by 450 AD. The Chinese traveller Hsuan-Tsang (Xuan-zang) travelled thru the region in 7 th century AD and visited many Buddhist religious centers (3) including Hadda, Ghazni, Qonduz, Bamian (3,10,11), Shotorak and Bagram. From the 5 th thru 9 th cenury AD Persian Sasanians and Hepthalites ruled Gandhaar.

During their rule Gandhaar region was again influenced by Hinduism. The Hindu kings (Shahiya) were concentrated in the Kabul and Ghazni areas. The last Hindu Shahiya king of Kabul, Bhimapal was killed in 1026 AD. The heroic efforts of the Hindu Shahiya Kings to defend the northwestern gates of India against the invaders are described by even al-Biruni, the court historian of Mahmud of Ghazni (12). Some excavated sites of the period include a major Hindu Shahiya temple north of Kabul and a chapel that contains both Buddhist and Hindu images, indicating that there was a mingling of two religions (3).

Islamic invasions on Afganistan started in 642 AD, but over the next several centuries their effect was marginal and lasted only a short time after each raid. Cities surrendered only to rise in revolt and the hastily converted returned to their old religion (Hinduism or Buddhism) once the Moslem armies had passed (3).


Now Afganistan is a Moslem country. Logically, this means either one or more of the following must have happened:
a) original residents of Hindu Kush converted to Islam, or
b) they were slaughtered and the conquerors took over, or
c) they were driven out.

buddha statueEncyclopedia Britannica (3) already informs us above about the resistance to conversion and frequent revolt against to the Moslem conqueror’s rule from 8 th thru 11 th Century AD. The name ‘Hindu Kush’ itself tells us about the fate of the original residents of Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh during the later period of Moslem conquests, because HINDU KUSH in Persian MEANS HINDU SLAUGHTER (13) (as per Koenraad Elst in his book ‘Ayodhya and After’). Let us look into what other standard references say about Hindu Kush.

Persian-English dictionary (14) indicates that the word ‘Kush’ is derived from the verb Kushtar – to slaughter or carnage. Kush is probably also related to the verb Koshtan meaning to kill. In Urdu, the word Khud-kushi means act of killing oneself (khud – self, Kushi- act of killing). Encyclopedia Americana comments on the Hindu Kush as follows: The name Hindu Kush means literally ‘Kills the Hindu’, a reminder of the days when (Hindu) SLAVES from Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afgan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia (15). The National Geographic Article ‘West of Khyber Pass’ informs that ‘Generations of raiders brought captive Hindus past these peaks of perpetual snow.

Such bitter journeys gave the range its name Hindu Kush – “Killer of Hindus”‘(10). The World Book Encyclopedia informs that the name Kush, .. means Death ..(16). While Encyclopedia Britannica says ‘The name Hindu Kush first appears in 1333 AD in the writings of Ibn Battutah, the medieval Berber traveller, who said the name meant ‘Hindu Killer’, a meaning still given by Afgan mountain dwellers who are traditional enemies of Indian plainsmen (i.e. Hindus)(2). However, later the Encyclopedia Britannica gives a negationist twist by adding that ‘more likely the name is a corruption of Hindu-Koh meaning Hindu mountains’. This is unlikely, since the term Koh is used in its proper, uncorrupted form for the western portion of Hindu Kush, viz. Koh-i-Baba, for the region Swat Kohistan, and in the names of the three peaks of this range, viz. Koh-i-Langer, Koh-i-Bandakor, and Koh-i-Mondi. Thus to say that corruption of term Koh to Kush occurred only in case of Hindu Kush is merely an effort to fit in a deviant observation to a theory already proposed. In science, a theory is rejected if it does not agree with the observations, and not the other way around. Hence the latter negationist statement in the Encyclopedia Britannica must be rejected.


Unlike the Jewish holocaust, the exact toll of the Hindu genocide suggested by the name Hindu Kush is not available. However the number is easily likely to be in millions. Few known historical figures can be used to justify this estimate. Encyclopedia Britannica informs that in December 1398 AD, Timur Lane ordered the execution of at least 50,000 captives before the battle for Delhi, .. and after the battle those inhabitants (of Delhi) not killed were removed (as slaves) (17), while other reference says that the number of captives butchered by Timur Lane’s army was about 100,000 (18).

Later on Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that the (secular?) Mughal emperor Akbar ‘ordered the massacre of about 30,000 (captured) Rajput Hindus on February 24, 1568 AD, after the battle for Chitod’ (19). Another reference indicates that this massacre of 30,000 Hindu peasants at Chitod is recorded by Abul Fazl, Akbar’s court historian himself (20). These two ‘one day’ massacres are sufficient to provide a reference point for estimating the scale of Hindu genocide. The Afgan historian Khondamir records that during one of the many repeated invasions on the city of Herat in western Afganistan, 1,500,000 residents perished (11).

Since some of the Moslem conquerors took Indian plainsmen as slaves, a question comes : whatever happened to this slave population? The startling answer comes from New York Times (May-June 1993 issues). The Gypsies are wandering peoples in Europe. They have been persecuted in almost every country. Nazis killed 300,000 gypsies in the gas chambers. These Gypsies have been wandering around Central Asia and Europe since around the 12 th Century AD. Until now their country of origin could not be identified. Also their Language has had very little in common with the other European languages. Recent studies however show that their language is similar to Punjabi and to a lesser degree to Sanskrit. Thus the Gypsies most likely originated from the greater Punjab. The time frame of Gypsy wanderings also coincides early Islamic conquests hence most likely their ancestors were driven out of their homes in Punjab and taken as slaves over the Hindu Kush.

The theory of Gypsie origins in India was first proposed over two centuries ago. It is only recently theta linguistic and other proofs have been verified. Even the Gypsie leadership now accepts India as the country of their origin.

Thus it is evident that the mountain range was named as Hindu Kush as a reminder to the future Hindu generations of the slaughter and slavery of Hindus during the Moslem conquests.

If the name Hindu Kush relates such a horrible genocide of Hindus, why are Hindus ignorant about it? and why the Government of India does not teach them about Hindu Kush? The history and geography curriculums in Indian Schools barely even mention Hindu Kush. The horrors of the Jewish holocaust are taught not only in schools in Israel and USA, but also in Germany. Because both Germany and Israel consider the Jewish holocaust a ‘dark chapter’ in the history. The Indian Government instead of giving details of this ‘dark chapter’ in Indian history is busy in whitewash of Moslem atrocities and the Hindu holocaust. In 1982, the National Council of Educational Research and Training issued a directive for the rewriting of school texts. Among other things it stipulated that: ‘Characterization of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Moslems is forbidden’. Thus denial of history or Negationism has become India’s official ‘educational’ policy (21).

Often the official governmental historians brush aside questions such as those that Hindu Kush raises. They argue that the British version is the product of their ‘divide and rule’ policy’ hence their version is not necessarily true. However it must be remembered that the earliest reference of the name Hindu Kush and its literal meaning ‘Hindu Killer’ comes from Ibn Battutah in 1333 AD, and at that time British were nowhere on the Indian scene. Secondly, if the name indeed was a misnomer then the Afgans should have protested against such a barbaric name and the last 660 plus years should have been adequate for a change of name to a more ‘civil’ name. There has been no effort for such a change of name by the Afgans. On the contrary, when the Islamic fundamentalist regime of the Mujahadeens came to power in 1992, tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs from Kabul, became refugees, and had to pay steep ransom to enter into Pakistan without a visa.

In the last 46 years the Indian Government also has not even once demanded that the Afgan Government change such an insulting and barbaric name. But in July 1993, the Government of India asked the visiting Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra to change its name because the word Jerusalem in its name is offensive to Moslem Fundamentalists.

It is evident that Hindus from ancient India’s (Hindustan’s) border states such as Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh were massacred or taken as slaves by the Moslem invaders who named the region as Hindu Kush (or Hindu Slaughter,or Hindu Killer) to teach a lesson to the future Hindu generations of India. Unfortunately Hindus are not aware of this tragic history. The Indian government does not want the true history of Hindu Moslem conflicts during the medieval ages to be taught in schools. This policy of negationism is the cause behind the ignorance of Hindus about the Hindu Kush and the Hindu genocide. ~ By Shrinandan Vyas


Although in this article Hindu Kush has been referred to as Hindu slaughter, it is quite possible that it was really a Hindu and Buddhist slaughter. Since prior to Moslem invasions influence of Buddhism in Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh was considerable. Also as the huge 175 ft stone Buddhas of Bamian show, Buddhists were idol worshipers par excellence. Hence for Moslem invaders the Buddhists idol worshipers were equally deserving of punishment. It is also likely that Buddhism was considered an integral part of the Hindu pantheon and hence was not identified separately.

This article barely scratches the surface of the Hindu genocide, the true depth of which is as yet unknown. Readers are encouraged to find out the truth for themselves . Only when many readers search for the truth, the real magnitude of the Hindu genocide will be discovered.


1. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.5, p.935, 1987

2. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.14, pp.238-240, 1987

3. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.13, pp.35-36, 1987

4. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great (as described by Arrian, Q.Curtius, Diodoros, Plutarch & Justin), By J.W.McCrindle, Methuen & Co., London, p.38, 1969

5. Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, by Veer Savarkar, Savarkar Prakashan, Bombay, 2nd Ed, p.206, 1985

6. Chanakya – a TV series by Doordarshan, India

7. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, pp.36-41, 1987

8. V.Sarianidi, National Geographic Magazine, Vol.177, No.3, p.57, March 1990

9.Hammond Historical Atlas of the World, pp. H4 & H10, 1993

10. W.O.Douglas, National Geographic Magazine, vol.114, No.1, pp.13-23, July 1958

11. T.J.Abercrombie, National Geographic Magazine, Vol.134, No.3, pp.318-325, Sept.1968

12. An Advanced History of India, by R.C.Majumdar,
H.C.Raychaudhuri, K.Datta, 2nd Ed., MacMillan and Co, London, pp.182-83, 1965

13.Ayodhya and After, By Koenraad Elst, Voice of India Publication, p.278, 1991

14. A Practical Dictionary of the Persian Language, by J.A.Boyle, Luzac & Co., p.129, 1949

15. Encyclopedia Americana, Vol.14, p.206, 1993

16. The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol.19, p.237, 1990

17. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, pp. 54-55, 1987

18. An Advanced History of India, by R.C.Majumdar, H.C.Raychaudhuri, K.Datta, 2nd Ed., MacMillan and Co, London, pp.336-37, 1965

19. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, p.65, 1987

20. The Cambridge History of India, Vol.IV – The Mughul Period, by W.Haig & R.Burn, S.Chand & Co., New Delhi, pp. 98-99, 1963

21. Negationism in India, by Koenraad Elst, Voice of India Publ, 2nd Ed, pp.57-58, 1993


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  • The sad part is, the attitude of GoI and its Politicians running the Country on vote banks.. I hope people realize the enormity of this..

  • The British had divided us before independence that is why we identify ourselves on our religion or language or state never as an INDIAN

  • The article is informative but the author has bias idea’s about India & Indian govt.

    The details described may ormay not be ccorrect but not very important in the present scenario.
    Now we all must work towards peaceful coexistence of all communities, not digging out material to breed enmity among different communities.

    • That may be your wishful thinking but the reality is far from it. Many books in the Middle East still call down to the Hindu Slaves and still treats them like garbage today. Peaceful coexistence cannot continue with just one party constantly giving in while the other continues bullying and mistreating all the time. When you really understand the mindset of these people then you will not say these things. The Muslims of India are far more easygoing than the Muslims from other countries, especially towards the West where these barbarians came from.

      And you should look up some Middle Eastern books that clearly called Hindu Kush as Hindu Killer.

      • The loony muslims fundamentalists cite examples of attocities on the Palestinian muslims as a bogey to justify their wrongdoings. In the same way I also find your above comment about hindus being mistreated in Middle East a lame excuse. Indians are Indians – whatever religion they may belong too. Who is bullying Indians in India? If an Indian is bullied in some other country, then bully a person of that ‘Country’, not of that country’s state religion

        • You have a strange comment. You say this write up is a lame excuse but do not specify excuse for what.

          And what connection does this has with Indians being Indian!! Nobody is talking about bullying anyone, this is about people being killed – a bit more serious matter than bullying.

          I dont understand why any article about moslems get the goat of some people. It is like a holy grail is touched which cannot be questioned. No matter how substantiated the accusation is, it cannot be discussed.

  • i always took it a part of hindus pride that a whole mountain range is named after them .
    never knowing that hindu kush means – hindu killer .
    feeling sorry on my poor knowledge . but it was a great eye opening article u shared with us . thanks .

  • Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. Yet revealing this to our simple minded people may only divide them further as no one is going to analyse that many converted willfully or willingly or forcefully to avoid slaughter or to escape a difficult life under fanatical rulers. Now reconversion is silly because it will bring more problems than solutions. After all whatever happened was because of divisions in our society so it is best to work towards unifying the people of this country to ensure that we don’t face similar situations again.

  • Such things have happened elsewhere too,take Britain,they had conquests by Vikings,Saxons,Normans and Romans.Even now there is a divide between Brits,Scots,Welsh and Irish who have divergent religious denominations though commonly Christian. Their customs too vary.They had a long lasting turmoil in N Ireland with demands for Ulster.Lately there was a move for a separate Scotland where the Ayes were significant but Nos carried the day.It will be sensible for Pakistan and India to work out a method whereby both countries have USA –Canada type outlook permanently.That seems to be the practical solution,both should realize it isn’t possible to”UNSCRAMBLE A SCRAMBLED EGG”

  • very well said that a scrambled egg cannot be unscrambled but do the people not have a right to the knowledge about what was there before the text book knowledge that we have…….

  • Note: as you say that ‘hindu kush’ means killing the hindu’s then it was obviously the ones who invaded indian territory that called them hindus. And thus hindustan! Hindu is also a muslim word. In the veda’s and several different sanskrit writings you only find the words sindhu and indhu wich refers to 2 rivers, one of them now known as the indus river. And yes I have been aware of this fact and it troubles me that people have knowingly hidden this truth wich actually explains a lot about how islam actually came to exist. And how ‘the hindus’ got their false names to live by. According to vedic scriptures the people called themselves ‘Aryas’. A Arya means a good and noble person and in this world you only have Aryas or An-aryas which obviously means the complete opposite. Recent discovery’s has shown that not only statues but temples, with a lot resemblence to the mosques we see now, have been discovered aswell. You see it’s quite clear why certain simularities are noticed when we look at the islam and ‘hinduism’, Like the way they pray looks ‘coincidentally’ a lot like the indian surya-namaskar ritual and etc. When the arabs invaded they defiled ancient vedic teachings and they didn’t only just take over their lands, they actually founded a new religion with al the knowledge they found, and made sure that everyone followed it. Al who didn’t and the ones who prayed by performing the hawan ritual, where slaughtered! Beheaded as the ISIS does now. Also one of the reasons why a lot of vedic mantras and teachings has been passed on verbally in order to survive captivity and eventual extinction. These recent discoveries are important because they’re changing the course of history as we know it and we should be open minded so that we can truly understand history and with it ourselves!

  • I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I wanted to add my prospective. Firstly “Tash” means Stone in Turkic, and Tashkhand (Later Tashkent) means city of stones. In older days it was also known as Chach or Chach Khand.

    Term Hindu used to apply to people living on the banks of River Indus (Modern day Punjab and Sindh). Locally, they called themselves Sindoos, Persians called them Hindoos and Greeks called them Indoos. People living on banks of Jamuna, Ganga or other areas in Sub continent were not known as Hindus, Indoos or Sindoos. Also, there is no mention of a religion called Hindu in ancient texts.

    So Sindoo, Hindoo, Indoo (Indus in Greek) was a geographical term reserved for people living along Indus river only (Pakistan today), It was forced upon rest of Subcontinent by invaders.

    Origins of name Hindukush are debated, and some historians also think that it was derived from Hindu-Koh (Koh means rock or mountain (ie Koh-i-noor = rock of light), and Hindu-Koh meant “Mountain of the river Indus”. Also at one point in history, Hindukush or HinduKoh only applied to a single peak in the range. Entire mountain range was named later. Term Hindustan (By Persians/Tuks) or India (By British) for entire Subcontinent came after entire mountain range was already known as Hindukush.

    So, even if it is true that it means Kush=Crush or Kill, it would mean killing of people who lived along Indus river, and would still not apply to killing of people of entire Subcontinent. Rest of Subcontinent was not known as Hindustan or India at that time.

      • Thanks for the links. Very interesting information. Still have two confusions that I will keep trying to clarify. In second link, most references are from Persians, Arabs and Greeks, still no solid proof that it was a word used by locals living in eastern parts of ancient India, to describe themselves. Persians, Arabs and Greek, all are located to the west of Sub Continent, and when they came to sub continent, they met with river Sind and Sindoo people first. Greeks never even went much father east. So even if word Hindu is old ( I am still researching on that), it would still apply to the people living along river Indus and not to entire population of Sub continent, till much later.

        This is a separate topic, but I did some research and Amru Ibne Hisham (incorrectly mentioned as Omar Ibne Hisham in that article) was not an uncle. However, he was of same clan as of Prophet Muhammad. And poem attributed to him is doubtful.

        Search for P.N.Oak at Wiki, and his work, he is the one who proposed this theory, but it is not widely accepted or agreed upon by most historians in India.

  • What is new in your article…everything is well defined in history..and even modern DNA research proved that Indian subcontinent population (pak-afgan-india) as same…..so just like…some time congress….some time BJP….some time Janta Dal….same population (with 5% reduction ! execu.) convert in muslims — as relegion !. Roma population of europe is Doma population of north !…..In India only hardly 1% muslims have middle east y chromosome signature….all muslims are Indian…means converted from Hindu ! Ancestor is Hindu ! Kashmiri muslims converted in last from kashmiri Pandits…maximum through sufism !

  • I am aware of the meaning of Hindu Kush; true or not it is offensive because of the implied meaning. No one would dare call Auschwitz Jewish killing field or Kampuchea Cambodian killing field or Armenia Armenian Killing field. I would like to see India ask Afghanistan and the UN to change the name of that geographical region to something else more appropriate and less insulting to Hindus whether or not the appellation was attributed at a time all the residents of the subcontinent were known as Hindus or not. President Clinton apologized to the AfricanAmerican community for slavery. Will any representative of Islam apologize to Hindus for the persecution and brutality the perpetrated?
    To say that raking up old grievances serve no purpose is equivalent to sweeping under the rug. Not that you want to do anything about it. Think about denying the Holocast. Humanity deserves truth in history so we can learn from mistakes and forge better understanding of each other.