"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......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.
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"Daradas were a people who lived north and north-east to the Kashmir valley. This kingdom is identified to be the Gilgit region in Kashmir along the river Sindhu or Indus. They are often spoken along with the Kambojas. The Pandava hero Arjuna had visited this country of Daradas during his northern military campaign to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.....Herodotus refers to the Daradas as Dadicae and groups them with the Gandharas and the Aparytae (Afridis?). Herodotus and Strabo also connect the Daradas with the gold producing area located west of Tibet. "....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darada
"...Ptolemy refers to the Daradas as living below the sources of the Indus River....."...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darada
"...The Sattagydians, the Gandarians, the Dadicæ, and the Aparytæ, who were all reckoned together, paid a tribute of a hundred and seventy talents. This was the seventh satrapy....From the Bactrian tribes as far as the Ægli, the tribute received was three hundred and sixty talents. This was the twelfth satrapy......."....THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS EUTERPE—THALIA MELPOMENE - Herodotus, The History [431 BC]
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"The term Dardic comes from the ancient Greek historian Herototus who placed the land of the Dards as in the mountains between Afghanistan and Kashmir......The Dard people (Perso-Arabic: دارد, Devanagari: दारद) are a group of Indo-European Indo-Iranian-speaking people predominantly found in northern Pakistan's Gilgit–Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northern India's Jammu and Kashmir, and eastern Afghanistan.....The community is also known as Brokpa, Drokpa and Shin, and speak Dardic languages........http://www.anusha.com/dardic.htm
"Parpola (1999) identifies "Proto-Dardic" with "Proto-Rigvedic", suggesting that the Dards are the linguistic descendants of the bearers of proto Rigvedic culture ca. 1700 BC, pointing to features in certain Dardic dialects that continue peculiarities of Rigvedic Sanskrit, such as the gerund in -tvī (p. 189)......Moreover, the Dard people are mentioned in the Vishnu Purana and in the Mahabharat. They now occupy the area called Dardu, supposed by Herodotus to be the Dadicæ. As such, during Swati rule, the Dard people were dominantly Hindu.....Dards of Dras, Gilgit, Skardu, etc., embraced Islam after the Muslim conquest during the 14th century A.D. whereas the Dards of Da, Hanu, Bema, Darchik and Garkon remained Kalash for quite some time and only later embraced Islam.......
"Kalash Valley.....The Kalasha (Kalasha: Kaĺaśa, Nuristani: Kasivo) or Kalash, are a Dardic indigenous people residing in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They speak the Kalasha language, from the Dardic family of the Indo-Aryan branch, and are considered a unique tribe among the Indo-Aryan peoples of Pakistan....The neighboring Nuristani people of the adjacent Nuristan (historically known as Kafiristan) province of Afghanistan once practiced the same polytheistic religion as the Kalash. By the late 19th century much of Nuristan had been converted to Islam, though evidence has shown the people continued to secretly practice their religion. The Kalash of Chitral maintained their own separate cultural traditions."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalash_people
"Dards also inhabit parts of the region of Jammu & Kashmir. In the Drogpa villages of west Leh, the Buddhist Dard people still inhabit the area. Isolated from the modern world, they subsist on farming, eking a living from the rugged mountainsides.....The Gurez people call themselves "Dards," and this name is by some extended to apply to Shina generally. Shina speaking populations are predominant in tehsil Gurez, Drass and Dah Hanu areas of Ladakh. The Shin who follow the Bön religion are also a Dard group who speak an archaic variety of Shina called Shins........There are several villages that are inhabited by Buddhist Dards, including Grugurdo, Sanacha, Urdus, Darchik, Garkon, Dah Hanu, Phindur, and Baldes."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dard_people
"Kalash mythology and folklore has been compared to that of ancient Greece, but they are much closer to Indo-Iranian (Vedic and pre-Zoroastrian) traditions. This can be explained as Hellenic, Vedic traditions. The Kalash have fascinated anthropologists due to their unique culture compared to the rest in that region, similar to ancient Persians......
"Kāfiristān or Kāfirstān (Pashto: کافرستان) is a historical region that covered present-day Nuristan Province in Afghanistan and its surroundings. It was also referred to as "Afica".....This historic region lies on, and mainly comprises, the basins of the rivers Alingar, Pech (Kamah), Landai Sin, and Kunar, and the intervening mountain ranges. It is bounded by the main range of the Hindu Kush on the north, the city of Chitral in what is now Pakistan to the east, the Kunar Valley in the south, and the Alishang River in the west. Kafiristan took its name because the inhabitants of the region were non-Muslims and were thus known to the surrounding Muslim population as kafirs, meaning "infidels". They are closely related to the Kalash people, a fiercely independent people with a distinctive culture, language and religion.
"The author of Vayu Purana uses the name "Kumuda-dvipa" for Kusha-dvipa. Kumuda is also a Puranic name of a mountain forming the northern buttress of Mount Meru, also known as Sumeru (Pamirs). It extended between headwaters of Oxus and Jaxartes. In anterior Epic Age, Kumuda was also the name given to high "table-land" of the Tartary located to north of the Himavata from which the Aryan race may have originally pushed their way southwards into the Indian peninsula and preserved the name in their traditions as a relic of old mountain worship. Thus, the Kumuda-dvipa lay close to the Pamirs and, in fact, name Kumuda-dvipa applied to southern territory of Shakadvipa or Scythia. It lay north to Hemavata (Hindukush) and probably comprised Badakshan, Alay Valley/Alay Mountains range, Tien shan, Kerategin and probably extended northwards as far as Zeravshan valley and Fargana."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komedes
"Kumuda......Ancient geographer Ptolemy calls the region fed by Jaxartes and its tributaries as Komdei. Ptolemy refers to the people of Komdei as Komedes. Ptolemy also refers to one tribal people whom he variously calls Komoi (=Kamoi) or Komroi/Khomroi or Komedei and locates them in the mountainous regions of Sogdiana as far as Jaxartes. In fact, as per Ptolemy’s evidence, the Komedes (people) inhabited the entire land of the Sakas. Julius Honorius’ Cosmography too mentions the Komedes people as Traumeda (from Caumedes) and also mentions Mt Caumedes as the source of river Oxus. Per evidence of Ptolemy and of Julius Honorius, Mt Caumedes or Komedes extended from the head-waters of Oxus to Jaxartes......"....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komedes
"Diodotus, the governor of the thousand cities of Bactria (Latin: "Theodotus, mille urbium Bactrianarum praefectus"), defected and proclaimed himself king; all the other people of the Orient followed his example and seceded from the Macedonians....The new kingdom, highly urbanized and considered as one of the richest of the Orient (opulentissimum illud mille urbium Bactrianum imperium "The extremely prosperous empire of the thousand cities of Bactria" Justin, XLI,1), was to further grow in power and engage into territorial expansion to the east and the west.".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diodotus_I
John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico