An early Turk Shahi ruler named "Lord Ranasrikari" (Brahmi script: Sri Ranasrikari), with tamgha of the Turk Shahis: . In this realistic portrait, he wears the double-lapel Turkic caftan, and a crown with three crescents (one hidden from view). The Turks had a Mongoloid appearance. Late 7th to early 8th century CE.
|Religion||Buddhism, Ancient Iranian religions|
o 665 - 680
o 680 - c.739
|Khorasan Tegin Shah|
o 739 - c.800
o c.800 - 815
o ? - c. 850
|Historical era||Early Middle Ages|
|Today part of||Afghanistan, Pakistan|
The Turk Shahis or Kabul Shahis were a dynasty of Western Turk, or mixed Western Turk-Hephthalite, origin, that ruled from Kabul and Kapisa to Gandhara in the 7th to 9th centuries CE. They may have been of Khalaj ethnicity. The Gandhara territory may have been bordering the Kashmir kingdom and the Kanauj kingdom to the east. From the 560s, the Western Turks had gradually expanded southeasterward from Transoxonia, and occupied Bactria and the Hindu-Kush region, forming largely independent polities. The Turk Shahis may have been a political extension of the neighbouring Western Turk Yabghus of Tokharistan. In the Hindu-Kush region, they replaced the Nezak Huns - the last dynasty of Bactrian rulers with origins among the Xwn (Xionite) and/or Huna peoples (who are sometimes also referred to as "Huns" who invaded Eastern Europe during a similar period).
The Turk Shahis arose at a time when the Sasanian Empire had already been conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate. The Turk Shahis then resisted for more than 200 years to the eastward expansion of the Abbasid Caliphate, until they fell to the Persian Saffarids in the 9th century CE, and the Turkic Ghaznavids finally broke through into India after overpowering the declining Hindu Shahis of Udabhandapura and Gurjaras.
From around 625 CE, the Turks progressively displaced the Hunnish tribe of the Nezak, which also had incorporated the remnants of the Alchon Huns, first in Zabulistan (area of Ghazni) and then in Kabulistan (area of Kabul) and in Gandhara as far as the Indus river. The Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang, visiting Kapisi in 629 CE, testified that "... the Turks have lived in the mountain area between Zabulistan and Kapisi". Visiting the area a century later in 723-729, the Korean Buddhist pilgrim Hui Chao attested that the areas of Gandhara, Kapisa and Zabulistan were under Turk rule.
Before the formal establishment of the Turks, the last local king of Kapisi was known in Chinese and Arab sources by the name of Ghar-ilchi (653-661 CE), and he had been formally installed as king of Jibin (former Kapisi/ Kabulistan) by the Chinese Tang Dynasty emperor in 653 CE, and again as Governor of Jibin under the newly formed Chinese Anxi Protectorate, the "Protectorate of the Western Regions", in 661 CE. Ghar-ilchi may have been the last member of a local "Khingal dynasty" founded by Khingila. The first known Turk ruler of Kapisi, named Barha Tegin, may have been initially a vassal in the service of Ghar-ilchi, who then revolted and usurped the throne.
According to Chinese sources, in particular the chronicles of the Cefu Yuangui, the Turks in Kabul were vasals of the Yabghus of Tokharistan. When a young brother of the Tokhara Yabghu Pantu Nili, named Puluo ( púluó in Chinese sources), visited the court of the Tang Dynasty in Xi'an in 718 CE, he gave an account of the military forces in the Tokharistan region.
Puluo described the power of "the Kings of Tokharistan", explaining that "Two hundred and twelve kingdoms, governors and prefects" recognize the authority of the Yabghus, and that it has been so since the time of his grandfather, that is, probably since the time of the establishment of the Yabghus of Tokharistan. This account also shows that the Yabghu of Tokharistan ruled a vast area circa 718 CE, formed of the territories north and south of the Hindu Kush, including the areas of Kabul and Zabul. Finally, Puluo reaffirmed the loyalty of Yabghu Pantu Nili towards the Tang Dynasty.
Part of the Chinese entry for this account by Puluo is:
On the Dingwei day of the eleventh month in the sixth year of the Kaiyuan era, Ashi Tegin Puluo () writes to the emperor: Tokhara Yabghu (), his elder brother, is controlling as his subordinates two hundred and twelve persons, such as the local kings of various states, Dudu (Governors-General), and Cishi (heads of regional governments). The king of Zabul rules two hundred thousand soldiers and horses, the king of Kabul two hundred thousand, each king of Khuttal, Chaghanian, Jiesu (), Shughnan, Evdal (), Kumedha Wa'khan (), Guzganan, Bamiyan, Lieyuedejian (), and Badakhshan fifty thousand."
Between 661 and 665, Chinese and Arab sources indicate that a new Turkic ruler became Shah of Kabul, founding a "Turk Shahis" dynasty. The Turkic rulers first had their capital in Kapisa (Begram), and then in Kabul as they expanded eastward. Having lost Ghazni and Kabul, the Nezak dynasty declined rapidly as indicated by the progressive elimination of Nezak symbols from the historical coin record.
From the middle of the 7th century CE, the Turk Shahis emulated the coinage of their predecessors, the Hunnish Nezak-Alchons. These coins use the same type of portrait as the Nezak, except that the Nezak crown adorned with a bull's head is replaced by a crown consisting in three crescent moons in the middle of which a flower or trident is set. In other coins the triple-crescent moons were kept, and the king was shown wearing a Central Asian caftan. A Bactrian script legend "? Þ?" or a Brahmi script legend "?r? hi" appears on some of these new coins, combining the honorific title "Sri" ("His Excellency/Illustriousness") and the title "King". This new coinage corresponds to the formal establishment of the Turk Shahis, who, according to the literary sources arose sometime after 661 CE.
Several of these coins are attributed to Shahi Tegin, the second Turk Shahi ruler, and dated to circa 700 CE. After this transitory period, Turk Shahi coinage adopted the Sasanian coinage style, and added a trilingual legend in Greco-Bactrian, Pahlavi, and Brahmi. Based on finds, Turk Shahi coins apparently circulated in Zabulistan, Kabulistan, Gandhara and Uddiyana.
The new region occupied by the Turk Shahis had numerous Buddhist monasteries, such as Mes Aynak, which appear to have remained in use until the 9th century CE. Dedications including Turk Shahis coins have been found under a statue in the Buddhist monastery of Fondukistan.
Al-Biruni in his T?r?kh al-Hind ("History of India") describes the rule of the Turk Shahis at Kabul. He names their first king as "Barhatakin", who "wore Turkish dress, a short tunic open in front, a high hat, boots and arms". This king "brought those countries under his sway and ruled them under the title of a Shahiya of Kabul. The rule remained among his descendants for generations, the number of which is said to be about sixty". Al-biruni then describes the rise of the Hindu Shahis after them.
The Turks under the Western Turk ruler Tong Yabghu Qaghan crossed the Hindu-Kush and occupied Gandhara as far as the Indus river from circa 625 CE. Overall, the territory of the Turk Shahi extended from Kapisi to Gandhara, with a Turkic branch becoming independent in Zabulistan at one point. The Gandhara territory may have been bordering the Kashmir kingdom and the Kanauj kingdom to the east. The Turk Shahi capital of Gandhara, which possibly fonctionned as a winter capital alternating with the summer capital of Kabul, was Udabhandapura.
I arrived at the country of Gandhara (). The king and military personnel are all Turks ( T?què). The natives are Hu people; there are also Brahmins (). The country was formerly under the influence of the king of Kapisa. (...) Though the king is of Turkish origin, he greatly believes and respects the Three Jewels. The king, the royal consort, the prince, and the chiefs build monasteries separately and worship the Three Jewels (...) The city [probably the capital Udabhandapura] is built on the northern bank of the great Indus river. Three days' travel from this city to the west, there is a great monastery (...) called Kaniska. There is a great stupa which constantly glows. The monastery and the stupa were built by the former king Kaniska, so the monastery was named after him. (...) Both Mahayana and Hinayana are practised here."
From 680 CE, the Turk Shahi ruler Tegin Shah was the king of the Turk Shahis, and ruled the area from Kabulistan to Gandhara as well as Zabulistan. His title as given in Chinese sources was "Tegin, King of the Khorasan" ( Wusan Teqin Sa "Tegin Shah of Khorasan"). The area of Zabulistan eventually came to be ruled by Rutbil (Turkic: Iltäbär), his elder brother, who founded the dynasty of the Zunbils. Their relationship was at times antagonistic, but they fought together against Arab incursions, and the Turk Shahis of Kabul took back control of the Zabulistan territory temporarily in 710 CE.
Many of the late mural paintings surrounding the Buddhas of Bamiyan, or the paintings of Kakrak and Dukhtar-e Nushirvan are attributed to the "Turkic period" in the 7-8th centuries CE. Several of these paintings show a variety of male devotees in double-lapel caftans. These works of art display a sophistication and cosmopolitanism comparable to other works of art of the Silk Road such as those of Kizil, and are attributable to the sponsorship of the Western Turks.
In nearby Kakrak, a valley next to Bamiyan, a famous Buddhist mural named "The Hunter King" (7-8th centuries CE) shows a typically local royal figure seated on a throne, his bow and arrows on the side. He wears a triple-crescent crown which is said to have a close similarity to the triple-crescent crowns on the coinage found in northeastern Afghanistan in the area of Zabulistan, for example this coin from Ghazni. Other authors have attributed the triple-crescent crown to Hephthalite influence. The painting may be an allegory of a King abandoning violence, particularly the hunting of animals, and converting to Buddhism.
Barha Tegin was the first ruler of the Turkh Shahis. He is mentioned by the Chorasmian historian al-Biruni as the first Turkic Kabul Shah. During their rule, the Turk Shahi were consistently an obstacle to the eastward expansion of the Abbasid Caliphate. Circa 665 CE, the Arabs attacked Shahi territory from the west for the time, and captured Kabul. But the Turk Shahi under Barha Tegin were able to mount a counter-offensive and repulse the Arabs, taking back the areas of Kabul and Zabulistan (around Ghazni), as well as the region of Arachosia as far as Kandahar.
From 680 CE, his son Tegin Shah was the king of the Turk Shahis. His title was "Khorasan Tegin Shah" (meaning "Tegin, King of the East"), and he was known in Chinese sources as Wusan Teqin Sa "Tegin Shah of Khorasan". His grand title probably refers to his resistance to the peril of the Umayyad caliph from the west. His territory comprised the area from Kabulistan to Gandhara and initially included Zabulistan, which came to be ruled by Rutbil (Turkic: Iltäbär), his elder brother, who founded the dynasty of the Zunbils. Bactria, however, remained under the Yabghus of Tokharistan.
The Arabs again failed to capture Kabul and Zabulistan in 697-698 CE, and their general Yazid ibn Ziyad was killed in the action. Tegin Shah apparently regained complete suzerainty over Zabulistan in 710 CE.
The Turk Shahis, like the rest of the Western Turks, were nominally part of a protectorate under the Chinese Tang Dynasty since circa 658 CE. According to Chinese sources, the Turks were preceded by a dynasty of twelves generations of rulers, starting with (Xinnie, possibly Khingila), the last king to be recognized by the Chinese being (Hexiezhi) in 658 CE. It is thought that he was replaced by the Turks soon after.
The territory of the Turk Shahis was nominally partitionned into several Chinese Commanderies under administration of the Anxi Protectorate: the city of Yege (modern Mihtarlam) east of Kabul was considered as the seat of a Chinese Commandery for the Jibin country, and named the Xiuxian Commandery (, Xi?xi?n D?dùfû), the city of Yan at the border with Gandhara was the seat of the Yuepan Commandery (, Yuèp?n D?dùfû), Ghazni was the seat of the Tiaozhi Commandery (, Tiáozh? D?dùfû).
In 719/20 CE, the Tegin of Kabulistan (Tegin Shah) and the Iltäbär of Zabulistan sent a combined embassy to the Chinese Emperor of the Tang Dynasty in Xi'an to obtain confirmation of their thrones. The Chinese emperor signed an investiture decree, which was returned to the Turk rulers. The Korean pilgrim Huei-ch'ao accompanied the return embassy in 726 CE, and wrote an account of his travel and visit at the court of Kabul, relating that Turk ("T'u-chüeh") kings ruled the territories of Gandhara, Kapisa and Zabulistan at the time, that they were Buddhists, and that the King of Kabul was the uncle of the ruler of Zabul.
Tegin Shah then abdicated in 739 CE in favour of his son, named on his coins "Fromo Kesaro", probable phonetic transcription of "Caesar of Rome". He was apparently named in honor of "Caesar", the title of the then East Roman Emperor Leo III the Isaurian who had defeated their common enemy the Arabs during the Siege of Constantinople in 717 CE, and sent an embassy to China through Central Asia in 719 CE which probably met with the Turk Shahis.[a] The Chinese annals record that "In the first month of the seventh year of the period Kaiyuan [719 CE] their Lord (, "the King of Fulin") sent an officer of high rank of Tokhara [ T'u-huo-lo Ta-shou-ling)] (...) to offer lions and antelopes, two of each. A few months after, he further sent Priests of great virtue [ Ta-te-seng] to our court with tribute." In Chinese sources "Fromo Kesaro" was aptly transcribed "Fulin Jisuo" (?), "Fulin" () being the standard Tang Dynasty name for "Byzantine Empire" and Jisuo () the phonetic transcription of "Caesar".
Fromo Kesaro appears to have fought vigorously against the Arabs, and his victories may have forged the Tibetan epic legend of King Phrom Ge-sar. In 745 CE, Fromo Kesaro's son Bo Fuzhun ( Bo Fuzhun in Chinese sources) became king and received the investiture from the Chinese court as king of Jibin (, Kapisa) and Wuchang (, Khorasan), with the honorific title of "General of the Left Stalwart Guard" ().
In 775-785, Arab sources mention a Turk Shahi ruler of Kabul named Khinkhil or Khinjil, who, according to Al-Yakubhi, was sent a messenger by Al-Mahdi in 775-785 asking for his submission, which he apparently gave. There is possibility that the Khinkhil of the Arabs is identical with the Turk Shahi Bo Fuzhun () of the Chinese sources.
After the departure of the Chinese from the region circa 760 CE following the events of the An Lushan Rebellion, Turkic tribes are known to have taken control of the region of Kashmir further east, where they displaced the Buddhist Patola Shahis, and founded the Tarkhan dynasty.
The struggle between the Arabs and the Turk Shahis continued into the 9th century CE. Hoping to take advantage of the Great Abbasid Civil War (811-819 CE), the Turk Shahi, named "Pati Dumi" in Arab sources, invaded parts of Khorasan. Once the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun prevailed in the Civil War, he sent troops to confront the Turk invaders: in 814/815 CE, the Turk Shahis were soundly defeated by these Arab troops, which pushed as far as Gandhara. The Turk Shah now had to convert to Islam, and had to pay an annual tribute of 1,500,000 dirhams and 2,000 slaves to the Abbasid governor of Khorasan. He also ceded a large and precious idol made of gold, silver and jewels, which was sent to Mecca, and placed in the Ka'ba. Following Al-Azraqi's initial account of 834 CE, Qu?b ed-Dîn wrote:
Now, when this King converted to Islam, he decided that the throne with the idol should be given as an offering for the Ka'ba. He therefore sent the throne to Al-Ma'mun in Merv, who then sent it to Al-Hasan ibn Sahl in Wasit, who in turn charged one of his lieutenants from Balkh, Naçîr ben Ibrahim, with accompanying it to Mecca. This lieutenant arrived there in the year AH 201 (816 CE) during the time of pilgrimage when Is?â? ben Mûsá ben ´Isá was leading the pilgrims to the holy sites. When they returned from Mina, Naçîr ben Ibrahim placed the throne with the carpet and the idol in the center of the square dedicated to Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, between Safa and Marwa, where it remained for three days.-- Qu?b ed-Dîn, History of the city of Mecca
Al-Azraqi also made a very detailed description of the statue, which points to a crowned and bejewelled Buddha seated on a throne, a design otherwise well known and quite specific to this historical period for the region of Afghanistan and Kashmir.
According to the Arab chronicler al-Biruni, the last Turk Shahi ruler of Kabul, Lagaturman, probable son of Pati Dumi, was deposed by a Brahmin minister, named Kallar, or possibly Vakadeva, around 822 CE. A new dynasty, the Hindu Shahi took over, with its capital in Kabul.
In the south, the Zunbil Turks of Kandahar and Zabulistan fell in 870/871 CE to the Persian forces of the Saffarid dynasty under the powerful general Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (r. 861-879 CE), who led his offensive from Sistan. He continued his offensive to Kabul, making the Kabul Shah prisoner, and plundering the "holy temple", where numerous statues of gold and silver were taken and dispatched to the caliph in Baghdad. After their explusion by the Saffarids, the Hindu Shahs apparently retook Kabul in 879 CE, for a few years.
The Hindu Shahis were ultimately driven out by the Samanid ruler Ismail Samani around 900 CE. The Hindu Shahis had to move their capital from Kabul to Udabhandapura in Gandhara, so as to have a better defensive position against Arab attacks.
In 962 CE, the Turk ghulams Alp Tigin of the Samanid Empire, commander of the army in Khorasan, seized Ghazni and established himself there. He would be followed by his successors such as Abu Ishaq and Sebük Tigin, founder of the Ghaznavid dynasty. At that time, the remnants of the local Buddhist Turk communities seem to have mingled with the newly arrived Muslim Turks of the Samanid Empire, forming an ethnic continuity among the ruling class of Ghazni, and local Buddhist Turks progressively converted to Islam.
These was a relatively high level of artistic activity in the areas controlled by the Turk Shahis during 7-8th centuries CE, either as a result of the Sasanian cultural heritage, or as a result of the continued development of Buddhist art, with possible Hephthalite influence. The art of Fondukistan in particular, dated to the 7th century, is considered as belonging "to the period of the Western Turks". The Western Turks in Afghanistan are generally associated with a major revival of Gandharan Buddhist art between the 7th and 9th century CE, especially in the areas of Bamiyan, Kabul and Ghazni, with major new Buddhist sites such as Tapa Sardar in Ghazni, or Tepe Narenj and Mes Aynak near Kabul, which remained active at least until the 9th century CE.
The Alchon Huns, predecessors of the Turk Shahis in Afghanistan and Gandhara, had brought destruction upon Buddhism, deeply weakening the Hellenitic art of Gandhara. When Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited northwestern India in c. 630 CE, he reported that Buddhism had drastically declined, and that most of the monasteries were deserted and left in ruins.
The renewed patronage of Buddhism in the area of Afghanistan during the 7-8th century CE is a function of the expansion of the Tang Dynasty power in Central Asia at that time, just as the Arabs were pressuring Khorasan and Sistan, right until the decisive Battle of Talas in 751. The Kingdoms of Central Asia, often Buddhist or with an important Buddhist community, were generally under the formal control of the Tang Dynasty, had regular exchanges with China, and expected Tang protection. Chinese monks were probably directly in charge of some of the Buddhist sanctuaries of Central Asia, such as the temple of Suiye (near Tokmak in present-day Kirghizistan). During this period too, the Chinese Tang Empire extended its influence and promotion of Buddhism to the kingdoms of Central Asia, including Afghanistan, with a corresponding influx of Chinese monks, while there was conversely a migration of Indian monks and artistic styles from India to Central Asia, as "Brahmanical revivalism" was pushing Indian Buddhist monks out of their country. Hellenistic Buddhist art, which had flourished for several centuries, was thus succeeded by a Sinicized-Indian phase during the 7th to 9th century CE. This process and chronology are visible in the archaeological site of Tapa Sardar near Ghazni in Afghanistan, while this new form of art appears in its mature state in Fondukistan.
At the end of the 10th century, the Samanid Empire led by the Turk ghulams Alp Tigin established itself in Eastern Afghanistan, later followed by the Ghaznavid dynasty. At that time, local Buddhist Turk communities seem to have mingled with the newly arrived Muslim Turks of the Samanid Empire, forming an ethnic continuity among the ruling class of Ghazni. The local Buddhist Turks progressively islamized, but there was a continuation in artistic development and Buddhist religious activities, not a break. The Buddhist site of Qol-i Tut in Kabul remained in use until the end of the 11th century.
The Turk Shahis are reported as having been supporters of Buddhism, and are generally presented as Buddhists. The Korean pilgrim Hui Chao in 726 CE recorded in the Chinese language that the Turkic (, T?-chuèh) rulers of Kapisa ("Jibin") followed the Triratna and dedicated many Buddhist temples:
(...) (...) (...) ?
(...) I arrived in Jibin.(...) The natives of the country are Hu (Barbarian) people; the king and the cavalry are Turks (, T?jué). (...) The people of this country greatly revere the Three Jewels. There are many monasteries and monks. The common people compete in constructing monasteries and supporting the Three Jewels. In the big city there is a monastery called Sha-hsi-ssu. At present, the curly hair (ushnisha, ) and the relic bones of the Buddha are to be seen in the monastery. The king, the officials, and the common people daily worship these relics. Hinayana () Buddhism is practised in this country.
The Chinese pilgrim Wulong arrived in Gandhara in 753 CE. According to him, the country of Kapisi had its eastern capital in Gandhara during the winter, and its capital in Kapisi during the summer. In Kashmir, which he visited from 756 to 760 CE, he explained that Buddhist temples were dedicated by the Tü-kiu ("Turk") kings. Brahmanism too seems to have flourished, but to a lesser extent, under the Turk Shahis, with various works of art also attributed to their period.
The works of art of this period in eastern Afghanistan, with a sophistication and iconography comparable to other works of art of the Silk Road such as those of Kizil, are attributable to the sponsorship of the "cosmopolitan" Turks, rather than their "Ephthalite" predecessors in this area (the Nezak-Alchon Huns), who, in the words of Edmund Bosworth, "were not capable of such work". And, soon after, the expansion of Islam made the creation of such works of art impossible.
The style as well as the techniques used in making these works of art (modelling of clay mixed with straw, wool or horsehair), are characteristic of the paintings and sculptures of Central Asia. The production of Fondukistan must correspond to the southernmost expansion of this particular type of Buddhist art.
Devotees or sponsors wearing Central Asian clothes such as the tight-fitting double-lapel caftan appear in the Buddhist Monastery of Fondukistan, as in the statue of a King wearing the caftan and pointed boots, seated together with a Queen of Indian type, and dated to the 7th century CE.
Dedications including coins of the Buddhist Turk Shahis and one Sasanian coin of Khusro II have been found under the statue of the royal couple with a king in Turk attire in the monastery of Fondukistan, providing important insights regarding the datation of the statue as well as Buddhist art in general: as a result of the analysis the statue can be dated to after 689 CE, and as a consequence a date of circa 700 CE is generally given for it and the other works of art of Fondukistan. The royal couple consists in a princess in "Indian" dress, and a prince "wearing a rich caftan with double lapel and boots", characteristic of Central Asian clothing.
Brahmanism too seems to have flourished to some extent under the Turk Shahis, with various works of art also attributed to their period. In particular the famous statue of a Sun deity that is either Mitra or Surya in tunic and boots discovered in Khair Khaneh near Kabul, as well as a statue of Ganesha from Gardez are now attributed to the Turk Shahis in the 7-8th century CE, and not to their successors the Hindu Shahus as formerly suggested. In particular, great iconographical and stylistic similarities with the works of the Buddhist monastery of Fondukistan have been identified. Archaeologically, the construction of the Khair Khaneh temple itself is now dated to 608-630 CE, at the beginning of the Turk Shahis period. The marble statue of Ganesha from Gardez is now attributed to the Turk Shahis, and was donated by a certain ?r? hi Khi?g?la, ruler in the Kabul area, who could be the Turk Shahi ruler only known from Chinese sources as Bo Fuzhun ( Bo Fuzhun in Chinese sources), the son of Fromo Kesaro, who acceded to the throne in 745 CE.
Khair Khaneh donor, wearing a tunic and boots
A Bactrian Document (BD T) from this period brings interesting information about the area to our attention. In it, dated to BE 476 (701 AD), a princess identified as `Bag-aziyas, the Great Turkish Princess, the Queen of Qutlugh Tapaghligh Bilga Sävüg, the Princess of the Khalach, the Lady of Kadagestan offers alms to the local god of the region of Rob, known as Kamird, for the health of (her) child. Inaba, arguing for the Khalaj identity of the kings of Kabul, takes this document as a proof that the Khalaj princess is from Kabul and has been offered to the (Hephthalite) king of Kadagestan, thus becoming the lady of that region. The identification of Kadagestan as a Hephthalite stronghold is based on Grenet's suggestion of the survival of Hephthalite minor stares in this region...
Khair Khaneh is situated in the pass separating the Kabul Valley from Kohistan (which includes Begram). Kushano-Sasanian and early Hindu art motifs mingle in a whitish-gray marble statue of the Sun God (either Surya or Mithra) seated on a ...
To overcome the difficulty that Pingala wears a beard , the Kabirs had to be introduced , Great Gods of Samothrake who ... This feature brings the sun - god of Khair Khaneh as close as possible to the Iranian Mithras , who guides the soul of the ...