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The Battle of Ten Kings
(Dasharajna)

Book six of Rigveda describes a battle between King Sudas and “ten kings.” It is a confederacy of ten to twelve kings compiled by disgruntled descendants of King Yayathi’s sons who felt hard done by when the ageing king gives the central part of the great Bharatha kingdom to the youngest son, Puru over the elder four brothers – Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu. King Sudas is brought up and trained by sage Vishwamitra and Vasishta. Vishwaimtra falls out with the king and the senior sage Vasishta and joins the confederacy of ten kings. A bitter battle ensues on the banks of River Parushni (present day Ravi) between the forces of King Sudas, highly outnumbered by the huge army of “sixty six thousand” of the confederacy. God Indra intervenes and takes the side of “righteous Sudas,” and a flash flood destroys most of the army of the confederacy.
While there is no archaeological evidence of the battle or the actors within it, there is enough evidence within the Rigveda itself to place the event around the third millennium BCE. River Parushni is easily identifiable as the present day Ravi and the kingdom to be the present day Punjab, Haryana and parts of northeast Pakistan with seven rivers. This epic is considered by many to be the third epic of India, after the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Descendants of king Puru for the famous Kuru dynasty who are the actors within the great battle of Mahabharata. This battle has often been used by the proponents of the Aryan Invasion theory as proof of mighty Aryans invading India and destroying the Harappan civilisation. It is claimed that they brought the horses and Iron weapons to destroy the great Harappan empire.

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