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Ancient History / Post-Mauryan Era

Indo-Parthians


    Indo-Parthians came from Parthia (North Eastern Iran). Indo-Parthian kingdom, sometimes also called Pahlava kingdom, was ruled by Gondopharid dynasty.



    Indo-Parthian Kingdom and its History

    • Gondophares I was the founder and the most famous ruler of Indo-Parthian kingdom. According to Syrian texts, he was converted to Christianity but it is still disputed.

      He called himself as the "King of kings". This indicates that Indo-Parthian empire was having a number of smaller kingdoms ruled by local rulers.

    • Indo Parthians ruled over some parts of Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan and the Punjab region in India. Their capital cities were being Taxila and Kabul.

    • During the reign of Gondophares I, a Christian missionary from Syria named Saint Thomas who is a disciple of Jesus Christ, visited India. He is the first Christian to enter India.

      Marco Polo, an Italian explorer, who visited India on his way to China in 13th century, wrote that he saw the Tomb of Saint Thomas in Chennai.

    • Even though successive Indo-Parthian rulers ruled the kingdom for quite some time, the empire started getting fragmented after the death of Gondophares I.

      Quite a number of their rulers issued the Indo-Parthian coins, which typically showed the Parthian clothing style.

    • A number of stone palettes that were found in Gandhara region, are viewed as good examples of the Art of Indo-Parthians. These palettes have Persian and Greek influences on them. Frontality representation is regarded as the main characteristic feature of the Indo-Parthian Art.