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Śalātura was the birthplace of the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini who is considered to the oldest grammarian whose work has come down to modern times.[1][2][3] In an inscription of Siladitya VII of Valabhi, he is called Śalāturiya, which means "man from Salatura". This means Pāṇini lived in Salatura of ancient Gandhara, which likely was near modern Lahor,[4] a small town at the junction of the Indus and Kabul Rivers, 20 miles north west of the Attock Bridge.[5]

Śalātura is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 34°2′54.5″N 72°21′56.1″E / 34.048472°N 72.365583°E / 34.048472; 72.365583Coordinates: 34°2′54.5″N 72°21′56.1″E / 34.048472°N 72.365583°E / 34.048472; 72.365583
Country Pakistan
Elevation308 m (1,010 ft)
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
Number of Union councils2
A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of a text based on Pāṇini's grammar from Kashmir

According to the CE 646 book Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (大唐西域記) of 7th-century Chinese scholar Xuanzang, there was a town called Suoluoduluo on the Indus where Pāṇini was born, and he composed the Qingming-lun (Sanskrit: Vyākaraṇa).[5][6][7] He mentioned that a statue of Panini was in existence there.[8]

Xuan Zang Statue at Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, China

Within the city of F'o (or Sha)-lo-tu-lo was a tope where an arhat had converted a disciple of Panini. Five hundred years after the Buddha's decease a great arhat from Kashmir in his travels as an apostle arrived at this place. Here he saw a brahmin teacher chastising a young pupil : in reply to the arhat's question the teacher said he beat the boy for not making progress in etymology. The arhat smiled pleasantly and in explanation said — You must have heard of the treatise on Etymology made by the rishi Panini and given by him to the world for its instruction. The brahmin replied— "He was a native of this city; his disciples admire his excellences, and his image is still here". To this the arhat answered — This boy of yours is that rishi. He added that in his previous existence Panini had. devoted all his energies to worldly learning but that from some good Karma he was now the teacher's son.

Panini describes in great detail the local accents used for the names of wells north and south of Vipasha (modern Beas) river. He also mentions the Yavanas, which is taken to be Greeks (Ionians).

Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani, the late Pakistani Sanskritist stated in a letter that the village has shifted and the old village was 3 KM to the west of the main road, where there was a big mound in ancient times. The mound has since been levelled down.[9]


The region is well known for ancient remains. The Bakhshali manuscript was found in nearby Bakhshali which is 23 miles.[10] The route passes though Shahbaz Garhi which has an Ashokan inscription.

Attock Khurd nearby was the Udhabandhapur or Waihind, the Shahi capital until 1001, which is about 18 miles[11]

The language Panini has described came to be regarded as the standard Sanskrit, Panini himself did not use the term. The Kaushitaki Brahmana states that “In the northern direction a more mature language is being spoken. Therefore, people go to the north to learn speech or they desire to listen to him who comes from that direction”. [12]

According to the scholars, Panini was primarily concerned with the north-western dialect of Sanskrit spoken during his period and secondarily with the Vedic language, he did mention other dialects which were spoken in the neighboring regions.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Grammatical Literature, History of Indian literature, Volume 2; Volume 5 of Scientific and technical literature : Pt. 2.; Fasc. 2, Hartmut Scharfe, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 1977 p. 88
  2. ^ Bakshi, S. R. (2005). Early Aryans to Swaraj. Sarup & Sons. p. 47. ISBN 9788176255370.
  3. ^ Ninan, M. M. (2008). The Development of Hinduism. Madathil Mammen Ninan. p. 97. ISBN 9781438228204.
  4. ^ Sometimes referred to as Chota Lahore to distinguish it from Lahore
  5. ^ a b Hartmut Scharfe (1977). Grammatical Literature. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 88 with footnotes. ISBN 978-3-447-01706-0.
  6. ^ Singh, Nagendra Kr., ed. (1997), Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, New Delhi: Centre for International Religious Studies : Anmol Publications, pp. 1983–2007, ISBN 978-81-7488-168-7
  7. ^ Mishra, Giridhar (1981). "प्रस्तावना" [Introduction]. अध्यात्मरामायणेऽपाणिनीयप्रयोगाणां विमर्शः [Deliberation on non-Paninian usages in the Adhyatma Ramayana] (in Sanskrit). Varanasi, India: Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  9. ^ [Panini, Saroja Bhate, Sahitya Akademi, 202, p. 4]
  10. ^ Map Route from Bakhshali to Salatur
  11. ^ Map route
  12. ^ Saroja Bhate, Panini, p. 49