Taank (also called Tānk, Tank, Tak) is mentioned as one of the 36 royal houses of Indian Kshatriyas, but, said James Tod in his "Annals", they have disappeared from history owing to conversion to Islam in the 13th century. Not completely yet, a large number of Tānks are now followers of Islam, there are many Tanks still existing among the Hindu Jats.


A Tak kingdom is mentioned by Jiuen-Tsang (631-643 AD). It is mentioned as situated towards east of Gandhara. Hiuen-Tsang gives its name as Tekka, and the history of Sindh, Chach Nama, mentions it as Tak. Its capital was Shekilo (Sakala, modern Sialkot). King Mihiragula ruled from Shekilo. In the 7th century, its people were not predominantly Buddhists, but worshiped the sun, too. “Abhidhana Chintamani” says that Takka is the name of Vahika country (Punjab). Chandershekar Gupta in his article on Indian coins argues that the Tanks must have come to, prior to 4th century, i.e., with Kushanas. And with the Kushanas, they must spread to Bengal and Orissa, like the Maans and Kangs who spread into southern Maharashtra and the Deccan. Fact|date=November 2007 In Orissa, the Tanks had their rule in Orissa proper, Mayurbhanj, Singbhoom, Ganjam and Balasore districts. They are called by historians as “Puri Kushans” or Kushanas of Puri (Orissa). Their coins have been found at Bhanjakia and Balasore (Chhota Nagpur) and these coins have the legend Tanka written in Brahmi script of the 4th century. Allan suggested the reading Tanka as the name of a tribe, and others generally accepted the reading Tanka as correct. Allan placed them in the third or forth CE, while V. A Smith placed them in the 4th or 5th CE; R.D. Bennerji called them “Puri Kushanas”.Fact|date=November 2007

As for the proof that they were Jats, they still exist as such today. Fact|date=November 2007 Their association with the Kushanas (Kaswan Jats) further supports it. Their central Asian origin is proved by the fact that Niya Kharosthi’s documents from central Asia, refer to coin denominated as Tangamule. Here the word Tanga is the same as Tanka, and Muli meant “price” in Central Asia.Fact|date=November 2007

Jain literature refer to the Tanks and the fact that they are termed “Mlechhas”, shows their foreign origin. The Jain works say that the Tanks were invincible (cf Chandragomin for Jats, and Thucydide’s remarks for Gatae). They were the inhabitants of Uttarapatha (N.W. India) and they traded with the Dakshinapatha (south Deccan) in the valuable commodities like gold and ivory.Fact|date=November 2007

To conclude, in the words of C. S. Gupta, “The legend Tanka has no other satisfactory explanation that this, viz., the these coins were struck by the tribe of Tankana (Takka) in the name of their community like those of the Yaudheya and Malava. It appears that the name inscribed by these people on their coins, gradually came to denote the name of the coin.Fact|date=November 2007

This is the origin of the Taka used even now for coins. The coins of Mahmud Ghazni, bears the Sanskrit
Fact|date=November 2007

Ala ud din Khilji, as well as Akbar, later issued Takkas. The Rewa Stone Inscription of Malaya Simha, of 1193AD, shows that Khilji spent 1500 Takkas for constructing a water tank, near Rewa. “Rajatarangini” says that king Ananta of Kashmir, issued Takkas. Tank coins are mentioned in the South also.Fact|date=November 2007

In popular parlance, the Tank Sarohas are mentioned together (like the Dahiya-Dabas; and Siddh-Brar combination). The cities of Tonk, Sirohi are names after them. At one time, the entire Panjab was called Tank Desa. The report of the Chinese pilgrims confirm this fact. Originally they were worshippers of the Snake-garlanded form of Shiva. Hence they were called Nagas too.Fact|date=November 2007

Present-day Taank

The two primary tribes of goldsmiths in present-day Punjab are the Mairs and the Tanks. The two tribes have several gothras in common so it is possible that movement between the two tribes or simultaneous entry by gothras into both tribes has historically taken place. Currently, Mairs claim to have a higher status than the Tanks. This was true historically also, as Rose wrote in 1914 that Mairs did not accept water from Tanks (440).

The Tanks had claimed Kshatriya descent in 1911 but later did not pursue that claim. It may be that the Tank goldsmiths are descendants of the ancient Takshac, or Taunk Rajput tribe mentioned by Tod (69). Rose does write that the Tanks worship the snake as an emblem of Takshac, the founder of the Nagvanshi, or Tank family (443).

Read about Mair Rajputs


*Bhim Singh Dahiya: "Jats- the Ancient Rulers"

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