The meaning of Kamboj Word

Who are Kamboj People?

The  Kamboj word is derived from Sanskrit word ‘कम्बुज’ (KAMBUJ). The meaning of Kambuj is ‘क्षत्रिय की संतान’ (Descendents of Kshatriya Tribe). In Hindi, Kamboj can be written in two ways: कम्बोज and काम्बोज and meaning of both the words are different. Themeaning of कम्बोज <b(Kamboj) is children of Kamboj Kshatriya Tribe (कम्बोज क्षत्रिय की संतान) and काम्बोज (Kamboj) word refers to the country having name Kamboj i.e. KAMBOJ COUNTRY (कम्बोज जनपद). Therefore meaning of Kamboj word can be used as given below:

  • Name of Kamboj Kshatriya Tribe
  • Name of Kamboj Country
  • Name of Kamboj Kshatriya King
  • Descendents or children of Kamboj Kshatriya Tribe
  • Born or Native of Kamboj Country
  • The individial whose ancestors were born in, native to KAMBOJ. Also ‘any thing’ growing in or existing as native to Kamboj.

According to the Sanskrit grammar,  the word Kamboj can be also written as कम्प + अवज or कम्पायेमान (कम्पन देने वाली शक्ति). The power that produces shivering or fear in the person.

According to Dr. H. C. Seth, The  Kamboj word is derived from Sanskrit word ‘काम्बुज’ (KAMBUJ). The term ‘Kambuj’ is made up of कम + भुज (Kam+bhuj). This shows that Kambojs were bhuj (owners) of certain land or country, which were called `Kam’ or `Kum’. Based on this vivechna, it appears that these Kamboja people were living in the Doabs of Vamkshu (Oxus) and Syr (Jaxartes) rivers, which constituted ancient Greek/Persian Strapy of Sogde. This included Sogdian, Fargana and vast areas lying to its east. All this vast area has also been called Komdei by famous geographer Ptolemy. It was irrigated by Oxus, Jaxartes and Zeraphshan rivers and their numerous tributaries. Aminanus Marcelinus has also called this Sogdian region as Komedas (=Kamboj desh). Ptolemy writes that this trans-oxian area is known by several names like Kamdei, Kamedas, Komdesh/Kamdesh and its occupants are variously called Kamoi, Kamroi, Kamdei, Khamoi or Khamroi etc (cf Kamboj. Ptolemy further writes that “the area in Badakshan, at the great bend of Oxus river is called Tambuzoi” (which according to Dr Silvain Levi is the Austro-Asiatic spelling of Kamboj (ref: Pre-Aryans and Pre_Dravidian in India by S Levi, Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 1, Purana, Vol VI, No I, Jan 1964, p 207-208 by K. D. Sethna, Goegraphical Data in Early Puranas, 1972, p 165, Dr M. R. Singh). According to Greek writers, Geographer Ptolemy has further referred to another country as `Ambautai’ located in Afghanistan/central Asia south of Oxus which according to Dr Michael Witzel of Harvard Unniversity is another case of Greek version of the Austro-Asiatic or Sanskrit name `Kamboja’. Ptolemy further writes that the Kamoi (cf: Kamboj of Sanskrit/Palli texts and Kambaujia/Kambujiya of O.P.) people have occupied all vast mountainous areas of central Asia lying between Oxus and Jaxartes river (ref: Central Asia Provinces of Mauryas Empire, p 403, Ancient India by McCrindle, Translated and edited by Dr R. C. Majumdar 1927, p 268, 275, 276, 278, 284, 325 etc).

कम्बोजा: कम्बलभोजा: कमनीयभोजा वा। (निरुक्त 212 ॥)

Yaska (यास्क) (500 BC) in  his famous Nirukuta 212, defines Kambojas asKamnyabhojas (Epicureans, the people with fine tastes or enjoyers of excellent foods) and Kambhalbhojas (the people fond of wearing woolen blankets.) Ancient Kamboja country was mostly a hilly and cold land comprising Hindukush mountain range, Badakshan and parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan land north of Oxus river where fine varieties of grapes, pistachio, wainuts, almonds, kesera, etc. were abundantly grown and are still grown and which formed an important constituent of Kamboja’s people diet.


Ancient Kamboja : People & Country, 1981, p 29-31, Dr. Jiya Lal Kamboj.
प्राचीन कम्बोज जन और जनपद, 1981, पृष्ठ 29-31, डां. जिया लाल काम्बोज