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Dardistan (Perso-Arabic: داردستان) is a term coined by Gottlieb William Leitner for the northern Pakistan, and Kashmir in India and parts of north-eastern Afghanistan. It is inhabited by Dards speaking Dardic languages. Dardistān, region inhabited by the so-called Dard peoples in the north of Pakistan and northern Kashmir. It includes Chitrāl, the upper reaches of the Panjkora River, the Kohistān (highland) of Swāt, and the upper portions of the Gilgit Agency. Mentioned by the classical historians Pliny the Elder, Ptolemy, and Herodotus, the Dards (Daradae, Daradrae, or Derdae) are said to be people of Aryan origin who ascended the Indus Valley from the Punjab plains, reaching as far north as Chitrāl. They were converted to Islām in the 14th century and speak three distinct dialects of Gilgit, Khowari, Burushaskī, and Shina, employing the Persian script in writing.

Historical origin[edit]

Herodotus (III. 102-105) is the first author who refers to the country of Dards, placing it between Kashmir and Afghanistan. It also has reference in Mahabharata where it mentions the tribute of the ant-gold pipilika brought by the nations of the north to one of the Pandu sons, king Yudhisthira.

The Dards are also the Darada of the Sanskrit writers. The Darada and Himavanta were the regions to which Buddha sent his missionaries.

Dardic languages[edit]


Public Domain Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dardistan". Encyclopædia Britannica 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 829.