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Ancient History / Post-Mauryan Era

Indo-Parthian Kingdom


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

    • Gondophares I is the founder and the most famous king of this dynasty. 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.
    • They 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 rulers ruled the Indo-Parthian kingdom, the empire started getting fragmented after the death of Gondophares I.
    • A number of stone palettes that were found in Gandhara region, are viewed as good examples of Indo-Parthian art. These palettes have Persian and Greek influences on them. Frontality representation is regarded as the main characteristic feature of the Indo-Parthian art.