The Paradas, like the Barbaras and Daradas, seem to have been a barbarous hill tribe and are associated in the Puranic and epic tradition with similar rude tribes of the North. They are often referred as Varadas and Paritas in Puranic literature. In the Sabha Parva of the Mahabharata, they are associated with the Kulindas and Tanganas. They are mentioned in the Vayu Purana as well as in the Harivamsa. The Markandeya Purana at one place locates them along with the Kalingas, the Harabhusikas, Matharas (Ramathas), etc., while at another place, with the Sudras, the Barbaras, the Kiratas, the Pandyas, the Parasavas, etc. In the Sabha Parva of the Mahabharata, the Paradas are said to have dwelt on the river Salioda along with the Khasas and the Tanganas. The Parada tribe is found mentioned in a list of barbarous and rude tribes with the Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas, Khasas, Mahisikas, Colas, Keralas, etc. The Harivamsa states that King Sagara degraded them and ordered them to have their hair-locks long and dishevelled; according to the same authority they were mlecchas and dasyits. They also find mention in Manu Smriti where it is said that they were originally Kshatriyas, but were degraded owing to extinction of sacred rites, etc. In some places they have been associated with the Abhiras.
It has been said in the Mahabharata that the Paradas were the tribes of Uttarapatha, and was placed on the Sailoda River in the Xinjiang territory of China. But in Ramayana the Paradas were from Himalayan territories and belonged to the region like the Sakadwipa.
On the other hand The Vayu Purana and Matsya Puranaplace the tribe, Paradas on the upper course of the Amu Darya or Chaksu and Syr Darya rivers in Central Asia.
Several historical records say that as the Paradas had been associated with a number of tribes like the Pulindas, Andhras, Bhojas and Rathikas and this suggests the fact that the Paradas during the reign of the Maurya Empire were settled in the Deccan.
According to ancient Indian historical tradition as contained in the epics and the Puranas, the Paradas were one of the allies along with others, namely, the Sakas, the Kamboja Tribe, the Yavanas and the Pahlavas, of the Haihaya-Talajanghas that had driven Bahu from his throne.
(Last Updated on : 27-03-2010)