There have been controversies on the above sites and more soon Brahmanabad and Mansura. This started with the coming of scientific minded Europeans publications in the early industrial age in the mid-eighteenth century.
Many noteworthy British scholars are credited with writing series of articles, notes and books on this subject, which in this way became more clear, but also more complicated with publication of originals as well as translations of Arabic and Persian works. We have to be thankful to all those, who participated in advancement of this knowledge on Sindh.
Archaeology came in the picture much later. These sites were examined almost superficially by early archaeologists. Henry Cousens is the first who is credited for being the first scientific explorer.
The issue has remained unresolved, as historians report the founding of Manusra a town 6 miles away from Brahmanabad, but Arab geographers, travelers and merchants, visiting the city also assign a local name to Mansura, which according to some means Brahmanabad. Archaeology has another problem to answer; whereas the foundations of Mosques are on virgin soil, some of the residential areas also show pre-Muslim phases. Its destruction is recorded historically but not burning of parts of the city in old texts. Archaeology proved its destruction in fire.
The present paper is meant to bring to light all possible information on the existence of Brahmanabad and Mansura as mentioned in various classical works i.e., Persian, Arabic and some Indian, in a chronological order and also to give opinions of various scholars since 1753 AD. This information with the remarks of the present writer is meant to work as guide-line for all those interested in understanding the question and has been written in good faith without any prejudices, one way or the other. It is a question of history that is to be answered and does not affect us socially or politically in any manner today.
2000 BC – 1226 AD.
Slow Drying up of Sarsuti-Hakra system of the river. By the time of Alexander’s conquest it was a non-perennial river. This river bifurcated at Jamrao head and its western branch followed Jamrao Canal alignment. An eastern branch of river Indus also seems to have joined it, in different periods at points much above the area shown in the map. This branch of the Indus most probably continued to feed it periodically, but not regularly, between 5th century BC, to 11th century AD. The sites shown in the map flourished on combined branches of the two rivers.
(Because of this reason, sites of Brahmanka, Patala, Demetrias, Minnaggar should also fall within the area shown in the map. Some sites may even go to the Indus Culture times specially those on Hakra system. Aerial photographs show existence of two large settlements, to the north of Mansura-Brahmanabad, one to immediate east, one about 5 miles east and one to immediate south of this site. Hydrological changes in courses of the Hakra and a branch of the Indus are also visible. The area within 5 mile radius of Brahmanabad-Mansura should yield all important sites noted in the titles of this article.)
5th and 4th Century BC.
Panini’s Astadhyayi, grammar of Sanskrit language written in 5th and 4th centuries BC, mentions a town of Brahmanwa and also Brahmanka a division of Sindh. He calls the Lower Sindh, forming the present Thatta and Badin districts, along the sea coast as Sindhu-vaktra, Kohistan as Arbhate, Sukkur district and Bahawalpur divisions on the left bank of the as Sauvira and the eastern Indus plains forming Nawabshah, Hyderabad districts are considered as Brahmanka, with an important town of same name. The area to the west of the Indus from Panjab to Dadu was called Sindhu. Brahmanka probably was dominated by Brahmanans or Brachmans of Alexander’s historians, who came to Sindh, 10 years later and saw them a very powerful and influential among the messes.
(Ed. Joseph E. Schawarzberg, Historical Atlas of South Asia, Chicago, 1978 plate III B.2 (b), basing on Pannini’s Asthadhyayi, ed. And tr. By Srisa Chandra Vasu, 8 parts, Allahabad 1891-98, reprint 2 volumes 1962; Agarwal Vasudeva Sharma, India as known to Pannini, Vanarsi 162; and Pathak Shridharashtr; work Index to Panninis Vyakarana Mahabhasya, Poona, 1962. the reference in the work to geographical and cultural data were intended to aid in exposition of grammatical rules.)
Herodotus the father of history (born 489 BC, died 425 BC) wrote his work “The Histories in nine books, which cover history of Greek world as well as Achaemanians. He was contemporary of Xerxes and Artaxerxes. He does not mention their names as Gustasf and Bahman as the later Sassanian romance writer and poets have adopted. He is an authority on Darius-I’s conquest of Sindh in 519 BC at a young age, when he could not have grand children of age to be sent to Sindh or conquest and building of cities. Equating of Artaxerxes with Bahman is a folk tale absorbed into history by Sassanian, Arab and Persian historians. The founding of Bahmanabad by Bahman, and naming it Bamano is fiction. Even if Artxerxes had conquered Sindh and built a city there, he would not have called it Bahmano, as he did not know that some 1300 years after his death he would be called Bahman. This story of Zainul Akbar of Gardezi, Mujma-u-Tawearikh as well as that of Tabri has to be rejected. The sotyr given a new authenticity by Raverty, was to mislead many scholars like Pithawalla, Lambrick, Dr. N.A. Baloach and Cousens. The last after accepting this version has stated that he still would prefer to call the site by the name it is best known locally i.e., Brahmanabad. I had accepted its version of Raverty and revised only after the study of Schwasberg’s “A Historical Atlas of South Asia”, which based on Pannini, mentions town of Brahmanka or Brahmanva.
End 4th Century BC.
Kautiliya’s Arthashastra written in the 4th century BC, calls the above named area by Pannini as Prajjuna or Prasina of early Greek writers, namely; Magasthenese, Strabo, and Pliny, Arrians and etc. Patalene is probably Prasina and Patala is its capital. Thus as Brahmanka area turned into Prajuna or Prasina and Bahmanka city probably turned into Patalene.
(Kangle and Trautmann Thomas R., are the two main exponents of geography of Arthashastra. Trautmann Thomas R., Kautilya and the Arthashastra A statistical investigation of authorship and evolution of text, Leien 171. Kautilya; Arthashastra, Ed. And tr. And PR Kangle, 2 Vols., Bombay 1960, 1965 and Vol.III A study, 1965, Minnaggara of Periplus from 1st to 2nd century may be the same town Brahmanka or Patala but nothing is certain. It may have been named as such after its fall to Scythians. Its name Banbhra is from Babhan or Brahman, may have been coined in 7th or 8th centuries AD. The name Brahmanabad may have evolved from Brahmanka or Brahmanva between 283-356 when Sassanians ruled Sindh. If Minnaggara was a different town it may be a ruined site nearby.
When Alexander invaded Sindh, he found sun-Gold temples in Alore and Multan, but Sehwan and Patala were centres of either Buddhist or Jain. In the second quarter of 325 BC Alexander left Musicanus’ country (Alore) for Patala by the river. Its ruler Moeris had paid submission to him at end of 326 or early 325 BC, while he was busy in reducing Sambus (ruler of Sehwan). But on reaching Patala in August 325 BC he found city and country side equally deserted. This is said to be the city of Brahmans. Native guerillas attached Alexanders’ working parties busy in digging invited to Indian kings to accept Islam. He resotred or confirmed the domain of Dahar on the latters son Jasina, who had accepted Islam and had recovered these territories between September 715 to August 717 AD. His capital was Brahmanabad. On becoming Muslim Dahar’s son accepted Arabic name of Jalisa.
(V.a. Smith; “Early History of India”, p. 104. Banbury; History of Ancient geography Diodorus calls this city of Brachman’s (Brahmanka) and names it as Harmatelia. Mc-Crinder tr. Of Arain p. 160-61 tr. Of Curitius p. 256, tr. Of diodorus p. 293, Strabo, XI Chapter II, p.1 Narain pp.122, 181, 178. Diodorus also calls Patala as Hermatatelia. Hermatelia, Tauala, Patala and city of Brachmans denotes the same town. Strabo XV p.25, confirms revolt at Patala on Alexander’s departure. Eggermont states that there were two Moeris rules I and II, probably two brothers or cousins, whose territories extended to sea coast along two branches of the river Indus. Moeris are also though to be Mauryans related to Changragupta Maurya, who is conjectured to have helped anti)
Junaid governor of Sindh, from 725-730, after arrival at Debal moved towards the Indus and on reaching its Western bank sent a message to Jalisa urf Jasina Bin Dahar, requiring him to pay tribute. The latter refused on the ground that he was a Muslim and territories, were confirmed on him by Khalifa Abdul Aziz and he won’t pay any tribute. On insistence of Junaid he is reported to have abjured Islam and prepared to fight, but was defeated, taken captive and beheaded. His cousins, Chach Bin Daharsia escaped from the battle field and set for Damascus, to report to caliph the brach of faith by the governor but he was told by Junaid tht a battle with jasina or Jalisa was due to misunderstanding and he may return to be compensated. Thus Chach (?) was treacherously captured and put to death. Brahmanabad since that day remained under Arab rule.
(Yaqoobi, Vol.II, pp. 379-38. Billadhuri (Leiden), pp.410-20 Athir (Leiden), Vol.IV, p.446 arid Vol. p.64.)
Thus having conquered Brahmanabad, Junaid re-conquered all important towns and conducted successful raids against, Gujarat, Nilmas and Ujjain and returned with large amount of booty, of which 400 million Dirhams and prisoners of war were sent to Damascus. The various places he razed were Kiraj (Chitor), Bailman (Vallmandle), Juruz, Ujjain, Marmound, Nandal, Dahnaz, Kutch, Barwas (Baroach) and Malibah (Malwa). Indian sources confirm that Arabs defeated Kings of Saindhavas, Kachchellas (Kutch) Saurashtra (Gujarat), the Chzvotoches, Mauryas and Gujaras. The Arabs vanced as far south as Navasri.
(Epigraphia Indica, Calcutta, Vol.XXIII, p.151. Ibn Asir, Vol.IV p.446 and Vol.V. p.93, Biladhuri, p.442. Yaqoobi, Vol.III, pp.379-80. Indian Antiquary, Bombay, Vol.XII, pp.155. Bombay Gazetter, Vol.I part I. pp.87 and 137.)
Junaid was dismissed in 729/30 AD and joined indisrectionary forces against the Umayyads. Khalif Hasham to appease him made him Governor of Khorrasan. Junaid’s successors are reported to have over ran Mandor (in Rajasthan). The Arab raids between 725-30 AD, which resulted into collection of booty but no territorial expansion made Indian Kings, Chaulakaya (of Lata), Pratihara (King of Malwa), Valabhi (of Gujarat) and Jayabhat-IV of Valabhi (Hyderabad Deccan) to retaliate and join together, defeat Arab forces and spread rebellion in Sindh.
In the local uprising mentioned above, Junaid’s successor Tamin (who had previously sent 18 million Tatari Dirhams left by Junaid in Sindh’s treasury to Damascus) had to abandon Sindh after many battles, in which many Arabs were killed, others started migrating from Sindh to other places of safely. He himself died near Debal (Banbhore) in about 730 AD and was succeeded by Hakam Al Kalbi, who built a town of Mahfuza (fromMahfuz or safe) in 730-32 AD. His aide Amar Bin Muhammad Bin Qasim built another town Mansura on other side of the river Indus. The latter town became capital of Sindh later on. Nothing is heard of Brahmanabad since this date.
(Biladhuri, (Leiden), p.442, Murgoton, tr. Biladhuri, p.228-29. S.S. Nadvi, Arab Aur Hind Ke Ta’alquat, 1930 p.335, puts years of building of Mansura between 728-738 AD, but Dr. N.A.Baloach has seen a coin of Hakam al-Kalbi, dating to 734 AD. This puts the year of foundings of Mahfuza to the earliest around 730 AD, and that of Mansura to the latest in 734 AD. Mahfuza therefore existed for maximum period of four years. It could not have been better than a transit camp and it would be futile to look for it. There is one question yet unanswered. Why did he not occupy Brahmanabad right away and settle Arabs there. It appears obvious that Brahmanabad, in these operations, may have been badly damaged to have been occupied and therefore Arabs were temporarily settled in its neighbor hood.
Capital of Sindh was shifted from Alore to Mansura Yazid Ali Kalbi. Archaeological evidence so far collected shows that Brahmanabad and Mansura are two names of same city. In presence of scientific evidence, the historical statement about founding of Mansura has to be discounted. In simply was re-naming the enquired city.
(Biladhuri, p. 450. Yaqoobi, Vol. II, pp.399/40. Ib. Asir, Vol.V, p.93. Since nothing is heard of Brahmanabad after 734 AD it is a conjecture that Brahmanabad was re-named as Mansura and made the capital of Sindh. The only authority on founding of Mansura a new city is Biladhuri, (p. 4) basing on Madaini, who lived between 839/40 AD [175-253 AH]. Madaini also narrated the story of conspiracy of Dahar’s daughters, having managed on falsepretext, the dismissal and ignomious death of Muhammad Bin Qasim. His writings on founding of Mansura may also be an equal mis-statement.)
Abu Muslim Khurasani Governor of Khurasan attacked Sindh and defeated Mansur bin Jamhur, the rebel of Sindh since 749 AD. The mosque at Mansura was enlarged and town of Mansura, which also had been damaged during Abu Muslim’s operations, was repaired by Musa Bin Ka’ab al Tamim, the first Abbasid Governor.
(Biladhuri, p.443. Murgotten, pp.29-30. Asir, Vol.V. p.347. Yaqoobi, Vol.II, p.429, Vol.III, p.80. This would be a second time since 730 AD that the city of Mansura – Brahmanabad was damaged in military operations.)
Abdullah-bin-Muhammad-Al-Shattar-Alvi direct descendent of Ali visited Sindh for Shiite Tabligh, Amer bin Hafs, governor of Mansura became his disciple and-gave him protection by sending him to a Hindu Raja, whose territory lay between Arab Sindh and desert (possibly on Hakra in Khairpur desert). During this period Kharjis were also active in Sindh. This should be considered as beginning of Shiite preaching in Sindh.
(Ibn Asir Vol. V, pp.283, 455. Ibn Khaldun, Vol. III, p.98.)
Struggle between local Arab tribes of Mudarites and Yamanites in Sindh developed into civil war. The Governor Tayfur-Al-Hamiri supported Yamanites and therefore was dismissed. The next governor Jabir-Taiwas not able to control uprisings and was replaced by Saeed-bin-Qataiba, who also was not able to improve the situation and therefore was replaced by Muhammad-bin-Abi Saalabi, but as he was defeated by the local Arab tribes Abdul-Rahman replaced him. He too had to be replaced by Ayub bin Jafar-bin-Suleman and again the latter by Mughira-bin-Yazid. Muhlabi. In 801 AD. Maghira’s brother Daud replaced him and crushed the revolt of Arab tribes Nizaris and Mudartes. Brahmanabad-Mansura was centre of these strifes.
(Yaqoobi, Vol.II, p.494 and Vol. III, p.117.)
During the Daud’s operations against Nizaris and Mudarites, massacre of population of Mansura lasted 20 days and great portion of city’s population was killed.
(Yaqoobi, Vol. II, p.494. This is the third time since 730 AD, that city of Brahmanabad-Mansura was sacked and damaged.)
841 AD or Afterwards.
Writing of Chachnama in Arabic. The original work is lost but the Persian translation of the book by Ali-Kufi in 1216-17 AD, mentions the city Brahmanabad or Bahamanva or (Banbhriya), a word used for Brahamabad and also for its present ruins, called Mansura site by Pakistan Archaeology, No.5.
(Dr. Baloach in his notes on Chachnama, pp.507-08, mentikons that the word Babanwah was been added by the translator, when the work was rendered in Persian. On this basis the work was rendered in Persian. On this basis he proceeds to prove that city was known after its founder Bahman the Persian King. Raverty also thinks that the city was founded by Bahman. Henry Cousens rejects Bahman story, where as Lambrick supports it. Banbhan is a word used for Brahman in Sindhi. This word has a silent ‘m’ and therefore some times is pronounced as Bambhan. Alberuni’s Bamhano is outcome of such pronunciation of his informers. Pithawala, M.B., in Historical Geography of Sindh, Karachi, 1978, p.171 accepts Bahman’s founding of city. Elliot p. 370, rejects this theory.
Ibn-Khurdadba the son of governor of Tabristan and himself a post-master, wrote ‘Book of Roads and Countries’, in which he describes Mansura, but not Brahmanabad.
(The book Kitab al-Masalik wal Mamalik was published from Leyden in 889. It has been translated in various languages portions pertaining to the South-Asia appear in Elliot and Down’s vol. pp.1-18.)
Habris rule of Sindh. The first ruler continued living in his native place Bania of Baiza, at a distance from Mansura, though the latter was the capital.
(Yaqoobi, vol. II. Pp. 385 and 599. Bania isbeing identified with Kahujo Daro ruins near Mirpurkhas.)
There was an anti-Habari uprising in Sindh to Sammah of Banu Kundah established himself as an independent ruler of Sindh at Mansura but Abdullah Bin Umer Habari, soon recovered the town and shifted his head-quarter from Bania to Mansura.
(Biladhuri, p. 442. This is the fifth time; the town of Brahmanabad-Masura was damaged by warfare.)
Biladhuri in his classical work, Futuh-ul-Baldan stated Mansura was a new city, founded by Hakam Al-Kalbi.
(It is on the basis of Biladhuri statement written 6 years after the said founding of Mansura, and the same statement copied by Asir (1160 AD) after another 278 years, that researchers insist on Brahmanabad not having been renamed as Mansura. But archaeological explorations in many parts of the site city site, assigned to Mansura. It is now argued:
1. The place cannot be Mansura, if it was a new town newly build by Hakam.
2. It was a very important place having large population of about 50,000 souls and the largest town by size in Sindh and therefore most probably was the capital.
3. Since the only important pre-Arab town in the area, as known from Chachnama was Brahmanabad, it would be fair to conclude that archaeologists were digging that town.
4. Unless we now believe that Mansura is located else where, we are lead to the conclusion that the Arabs renamed Brahmanabad as Mansura.
5. The Arabs did not destroy Brahmanabad and therefore it should have survived side by side. Arab travelers Ibn Haukal and Istakhri who visited in 951 AD have said in Sindhi, Mansura is called Brahmanabad, (Bamiwan, which is close to Babanwa or Brahman, Bamra or Banbhriya) showing thereby that the town had retained its earlier name among the local populance, but Arabs called Mansura.
6. Biladhuri himself had taken pains to write Futu-al-Baldan, but on Sindh he has used work of Madaini, who has proved to be un-reliable, see also entry 743-44 AD.
7. Biladhuris location of Mansura is far sangs (6 miles) from Brahmanabad Qadimullah meaning these by that, Brahmanabad no longer existed. )
Masaudi visited Sindh and Mansura. In his descriptions of Sindh he does neither mention existence of Brahmanabad nor its destruction in any manner. Masaudi found Budha lying between Makran, Mansura and Multan having capital at Gandava.
(English translation of his work Murujul-Zahabby Sprenger was published from London in 1807 and 1847. Portions pertaining to the South-Asia appear in Elliot and Dowson vol. I, pp.18-26.)
Ibn Haukal came to Sindh. He states that Mansura is also called Brahmanabad in Sindhi. Same year in Mansura he met Istakhri, who also wrote on Sindh. Both authors state that in Indian language (Sindhi) Mansura is called Brahmanabad.
(Portions pertaining to Sindh with the Haukal map appear in Elliot and Dowson Vol.I, pp.3-41. the exact word used Brahmanabad is Bamiwan, Tamiramman. Anderson in J.A.S.B. 853 pp. 50 and 68 gives word Memeiwan for it. Astakhri’s portion appear on pp.26-3 of Elliot’s work.
Bashari Muqadsi who had visited Sindh in 961-62 AD wrote his book Ahsanul-Taqseem Ma’arif Al-Qalim, Mansura as described by him, was one mile long, two miles wide, surrounded by the river and having a fort with 4 gates. The present ruins have almost the same size, though all four gates have not been traced. He also gives dimensions of grand mosque, which so far has not been discovered by the archaeologists.
(Portions of his book have been rendered in many languages. Asiatic Society of Bengal issued its full English translation. An Urdu version has been issued by Nidobatul-Musanfeen in 1962. Original text was printed from Leiden in 1877 and reprinted in 1906 AD.)
Mahmud of Gazni after sacking of Somnath returned via Mansura and not via the Indian desert.
(Frishta, Abdul Fazal (Ain-i-Akbari) Vol.II p.268 Mirat-i-Ahmedi (Baily), p. 33 and Taqhati-Akbari vol. p.82 state, that he returned via the Indian desert, but Hodivala vol.I, pp.238-39, does not agree with them, Jackson and Indriji (Bombay Gazetteer vol. I, p. 168 f. n.2) express same view as Hodivala.)
January 1025 AD.
Mahmud of Gazni on return from Somnath attacked and sacked Mansura, as its ruler had become Ismaili. On approach of Mahmud its ruler Khafif (Soomra), escaped to a forest of dates, many of his men were killed and others drowned, while crossing the river: Populance was massacred.
Atleast a part of the city was destroyed in the 11th century by burning, in the process of which the mosque too was burnt and a charred copy of Holy Quaran was recovered from the site of mosque by the archaeological Department. Historical evidence suggests that in January 1025 AD. Mahmud of Gazni sacked the city. Whether it was actually burnt by him can only be confirmed by ratio carbon dating of carefully selected samples.
(Farrukhi, a court poet of Mahmud Gazni in a poem of 10 lines mentioned the name of Sindh’s ruler as Khafif, his flight to the date palm forest, drowning of people, in an attempt to swim the river to save lives and also massacre of populance.
Ibn Asir, p.242, confirms Mahmud’s expedition to Mansura, sending his officers after the ruler and putting many of his followers (Ismailis) to sword.
Gardezi Zainul-Akbar (Berlin) pp.87-88, further states that on his march (from Mansura) to Multan along the river Indus, he was attacked by Jats inhabiting that area and losing many of his men.
Cousens, Antiquities of Sindh, Calcutta 929, pp.71, clearly states that from the scattered copper coins and lack of precious metals it is clear that city was sacked, looted and populance put to sword. At the time of his writing (195), Farrukhi’s poem and Asir’s statement were not known to him, and he thought that some Hindus had destroyed Brahmanabad-Mansura.
Ibn Khaldun vol.II, p.37, (Cairo edition), states that Mahmud sacked the last Habari ruler. This statement is being used that Khafif was Habari and not Soomra, whereas local histories consider Khafif as founder of Soomra dynasty.
Minhaj –al Din Bin Sirajuddin in Tabqat-i-Nasiri, (Calcutta) 1864, p.43, states that he returned via Mansura, which lies in the territory of Siwistan.).
Tarikh-i-Masoomi Hyderabad (Dn), 1938, p.32 states that after the conquest of Multan and Uch Sultan Mahmud Gazni sent his vizier (minister) Abul Razaq from Multan to subdue Sindh. The latter after setting affairs of Bakhar turned to Siwistan and Thatta. This is misstatement as none of Mahmud’s generals and Vazier was named as Abdul Razaq and Bakhar and Thatta had yet not been established.)
Translating of Mujamul-t-Tawarikh by Abdul hasan Ali binMuhammad Al-Jili, who states that “During the life time of Gustasf King of Persia, Bahman led an army to Hindustan took part of it and built a city between confines of Hindus and Turks to which he gave the name Kandabil (Gandava) and another city in a place called Budha, which is called Bahmanabad”. Elsewhere he states that Kafand (Hindu King of contemporary of Alexander) sent a Bahman to his brother Samid directing him to go to Mansura and expel Iranians from that place and erect idol temples in place of the fire temples.
(Extracts in Elliot pp.108-109). This story is to the discounted, as per entry 446 BC. Elliot and Dowson discard this story. Raverty, who is found of the Eastern tales accepts it and considers Bahman as Ardishir Darazdast or Artaxerxes of Greeks who came to throne in 464 BC. These stories were evolved from folk-lore and then attempt was made to reconcile them with sober History. They now equal Gustasf with Darius-I and his grand son Artaxerxes with Bahman. The archaeological exploration at Naqash-i-Rustam proves that Achaemenians did not have sub names. Achaemenian historian, Herodotus wrote his ‘Histories’ in 446 BC, on that dynasty. He does not mention the then alternate names of these Kings, or founding of any city by the said king. Sachu in Alberuni’s India Vol. II, index, page 368, clearly satates that it is Bamvhano and not Bahmano, as misprinted on p.5 of vol.1. Lahore edition, 1962. Bambhano is closer to Brahmano or Babanwa, a word used in Chachnama as alternate name of Brahmanabad.)
Beruni mentions town of Bamhano.
Soomra shift their capital from Mansura to Thari.
(Masumi. The Eastern branch of the Indus may have changed its course westwards and Mansura may have found difficult to survive.)
Abdul Fazal in Ain-i-Akbari wrongly called Bakhar as Mansura, by saying that on the conquests of Sindh, the name of its capital Alore was changed to Mansura.
Tarikh-i-Tahiri written in 1641 AD by Syed Muhammad Tahir Niysasi, is the first history that narrates story of Dalurai a Tyrani Hindu king, who promulgated a law that every bride was to spend the first night of her marriage in his chamber at the palace. He finally tried to lay his evil eyes on the wife of his brother Chhato Amrani, who was a devout Muslim. This brought wrath of God, who destroyed the city by an earthquake. This story has been accepted by some writers as a sober history and ruins near the present Brahmanabad-Mansura site are concluded to be that of Dalurai or Brahmanabad. Ihave examined the various aspects of this story and concluded:
(i) Central and northern Sindh are not in active seismic zone and therefore no city in the Central and Northern Sindh can be destroyed by an earthquake.
(ii) The coastal areas of Sindh i.e., Karachi, Badin, Jati and Rann of Kutch are in active Seismic Zone and damage could occur there due to very high intensity earthquake, but not to the degree as it happened in Quetta on 31st May 1935.
(iii) Since the fall of Dahar, no Hindu King has ever ruled the area from Alore to Brahmanabad, both towns included. At the time of Niyasi not much was known about past history of Sindh and any folk lore could be accommodated in history, but today Sindh’s history has been reconstructed and the folk-lore is not accepted as sober history.
(iv) Stories similar to Dalurai are current about most of the ruined cities not only in Sindh but also in most of the Muslim world and Asia. Identical story is told of King Loham of Laham-jo-Daro near Piarogoth Sugar mill. The site decayed in 1650 BC against the above stated nineteenth century AD. Dalurai ruins, the two being separated by 2500 years, yet same story is told of the two.
(v) Archaeological department explored the Dalurai in Tehsil Jampur district Ghazi Khan and reported in Pakistan Archaeology No.2, 1964. It appears that there are a number of sites having common name of Dalu assigned to them all.
(vi) Brahmanabad-Mansura was destroyed 1025 AD as historical records show. The Hakra River having dried up and Indus also having changed course in the next century, all sites on this system were abandoned and forgotten. Then came folklore of Dalurai.
When due to another change in course of the river Indus, water could reach the same area, a particular deh, near the old ruins came to be called as Dalu. Today it is an argument, that since a Deh called Dalu exists, Dalurai must be genuine king.
(Edited by Dr. N.A. baloach and published by Sindhi Adabi Board Hyderabad, 964, pp.5-31.
Dalurai story is also connected with his evil intentions on merchant Saifal Maluk’s maiden Badi-ul-Jamal and merchant’s engaging labour to divert the river Indus from Alore to a new course thus destroying the town of Alore. We then move to Brahmanabad, also to bring it destruction. The two towns are said to have been destroyed thus in 862/63 AD. Imperial Gazetteer of India. Vol.VI 1908 p.4. No other historian in next 800 has mentioned incident and nor have the Arab travelers and writers who either visited Sindh in next 100 years or wrote about it had heard such a story.
Tarikh-i-Tahri puts the year of destruction of Alore and Bahmanabad between 900-1000 AD. Tuhfat-ul-Kiram narrated the same story but calls Dalurai ‘Sardar’ or chieftain Subordinate of Soomras.
Lab-e-Tarikh-e-Sindh calls it, Brahmanabad Banbhran, Banran, Banbhanwah, and Babhranwah, pp. 4, 5, 19, 4, 26, 9, 30, 38 and 315.
Tahriri calls the city of Dalurai as Babanwah Banbhra (pp.27-29), the same name as used by Chachnama p. 17. Tuhfat-ul-Kiram calls the city as Banbra. See also entry 640-644 AD. Tahiri p.30 mentions of a tower of the city. Surviving to his days. This is famous twon of Mansura-Brahmanabad, which was used by dacoits to locate cattle as well as troop movements before laying hands on these animals. The tower was destroyed by Ghulam Shah Kalhora and the remnants of it are considered to be Buddhist Stupa, converted into Minar for Muizan to call people to prayers. Dr. Baloach on pp.290 and 92-93 states that these are the ruins of Mansura, and not Babanwah i.e., Banbhra or Brahmanabad as common people believe, but the ruins of Babanwah (Banbha or Brahmanabad) are at Deper Ganghro, six miles to the east. He further states that alter Hakam Al Kalbi built a new town of Mansura. Common man started calling it (New Brahmanabad or Brahmanabad Jadid), and old city of Brahmanabad (Deper Ganahro) became Brahmanabad Qaseem. No evidence is given for this accepts that of Biladhur, who mentions the word Brahmanabad Qadeem. The world Brahmanabad Jadid has for the first time appeared in 1964 in Dr. Baloach notes.
Reference of Idrisi to Mansura in Nuzhatul Mushtaq Fi Akhtarul Afaq written in 1150 AD may not be considered that the only actually existed. Such mistakes in the historical. Aliases are of common occurrence even to day.)
Earliest reference on Brahmanabad in scientific age comes from Anaville M.D’s book “Eclarissements de I’inde”, Paris 1953, wherein he mentioned that Minnaggra and Brahmanabad are the same. Since his times to Elliot (1853), a number of opinions on the site have been expressed, a few note worthy of these are:-
(i) mao Murdo, Bahmana or Dibal-Kangra or Depar Ganghra, J.A.S.B. Vol.1, pp.23-28, 30, 38, 232.
(ii) Briggs (Frishta), Bamnwasy Vol. IV, p. 405.
(iii) Vincent, Rev. Williams (1798 AD), Patala or Brahmanabad within four miles of Thatta.
(iv) Rennel James F.R., (1778 AD) Patala or Brahmanabad.
(v) Burnes, Dr. James (1831) A visit to the Court of Scinde, p.13.
(vi) Alexander Burns (1834), Patala, Brahmanabad, Travels in to Bokhara, Vol.III, p.31, J.R.A.S.B., Vol.1, p.210. Location near Thatta called Kullancote.
(vii) Postans (1843), Bhambura or Khudabad, Personal observarious on Sindh, pp.161 and 163.
(In my opinion he is correct as Brahmanabad must also have flourished in first century AD. The same view is supported by Reinaund J.T. in “Memoire geographique historique et scinetifique Sur L’Inde”, Paris 733. The author gives an account of India and China by two Muslim travelers’ Masudi and Haukal like Anville, and believes that Brahmanabad was Mansura.
The early names and opinions on the city were:
(a) Beruni (1048 AD), Bambhano p.368 of Vol.II.
(b) Ibn Haukal (1976 AD) Bamivan. Elliot and dowson, vol. I p.34.
(c) Chachnama (841 AD) Brahmanabad or Babanwah p. 15, 32, 59-60.
(d) Tahiri, (1621 AD) Babanwah pp. 5, 7.
(e) Tahfatul Kiram (767 AD), Banbhra or Bhanbhrabiya.
(f) Abdul Fazal (1600 AD) Brahmanabad. Ain-i-Akbari tr. Gladwin, Vol. II, p. 115.
(g) Beglar-nama (1608-64), Brahmanabad near Matahila, p.7 Sindhi Adabi Board Hyderabad, 1980.
(h) Labe-Tarik-e-Sindh, (1900) Babhanwah, Banbhanwah, Banghran, Banbran or Brahmanabad, pp. 4, 5, 9, 4, 6, 9, 30, 38, 315.).
Sir Henry M. Elliot considers Mansura to be identical with Hyderabad, Mahfuza with Nasarpur and Brahmanabad the same as Mansura.
(History of India as told by its own historians. Vol.I, Capetown 853 and reprint 1867, pp.371-373.)
Bellasis and Richardson excavated the site as in 1854 and called it Brahmanabad. They stated that:
(1) Brahmanabad or Bambra-jo-Thul, was large fortified city, built entirely of baked bricks and had a circumference of 4 miles as measured by perambulator.
(2) Mile and half away from it was thought the residence of its last king Dalari.
(3) Five miles further east in Depar Ghangro was said to be residence of his Prime Minister.
(4) It appeared to be a commercial city, entirely surrounded with rampart, mounted with numerous turrets and bastions.
(5) There are ruins of a high tower brick work standing or large heap of ruins which may have been a citadel, or one of the circular towers.
(6) Among the ruins, one can observe open spaces or squares evidently bazaars, market places, barracks for troops and etc.
(7) The wicked king Dalara reined the city and who had a law that all young maidens who married any of his subjects were to pass wedding night in his palace. This brought wrath of God and by an earthquake his city was razed to ground. The people built new city of Nasarpur.
(8) This must have been around 1822 AD as Chota Amriani brother of Dalar Amrani departed to Baghdad on account of his injustice, and embraced Islam.
(The detailed report was published in journal Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society Bombay, Vol. V, in 1857. Hughes Gazetteer of Sindh gives its summary. Sketches of articles and sites were reported in illustrated London News of February 857. Incidentally year 1020 AD is only 5 years short of its sacking in 1025 AD. Year 1020 AD was given to him by a local Syed basing on Tarikh-i-Tahiri which places is destruction between 900-1000 AD.)
Alexander Cunningham accepts the theory of destruction of Brahmanabad by an earthquake before 1000 AD and subsequent change of course of river to prevent rebuilding the city on old site. He recognized Bambra Ka Thul (present Mansura-Brahmanabad etc) with Mansura and Brahmanabad with small mound to the south called Dalurai.
(Ancient geography of India, London 871 pp. 268-276. The small mound to the south is too small tobe capital of the Lower Sindh. Raverty has accepted this location of sote.)
Lt. General M.R. Haig published his article ‘on the sites of Brahmanabad and Mansura in Sindh with no ties on others of less important in their vicinity.’
(J.R.A.s News series Vol.Xvi part II, 1884. The article makes the present site of Mansura-Brahmanabad as Mansura and Depar Ghangro as Brahmanabad. Later writers like Lambrick and Cousens agree with him only on the sites of Swandi, Mathal, and Duhat. Dr. N.A. Baloach seems to accepts totally Haig’s interpretations in notes on Chachnama and Tarikh-i-Tahiri but it to be his own research.)
Raverty published his 350 page article “The Mehran of Sindh” in which he supported theory of Maujamulu-t-Tawikh that Bahman grand son of Gustast during the latter’s life time conquered Budha and established a city there called Bahmanabad. Raverty’s Mihran of Sindh was written with intention of correcting theories of C.f. Oldham, Neahrcus, and R.D. Oldham, on, the courses of rivers in the Punjab and Sindh, especially with reference to Sarsuti the lost river of Indian desert, which passed through the bed of Raini, Hakra and Nara in Sindh discharging into Koree Creek. He considered the bed of Raini-Hakra-Nara, not that of Sarsuit but of the Indus, known as Mihran to the Arab writers. His hydrological theories on the courses of the Indus and other rivers were discarded by hydrologists long time ago, but in his article he has used huge amount of historical material from original Persian sources and this has been utilized by the most historians of Sindh to this day. Historians not familiar with hydrology have accepted distortions of certain facts by him. Archaeologists have rejected some of his conclusions, but yet he is the most referred authority on medieval history of Sindh.
He is very critical of his predecessors whose writings do not agree with his theories, for example he ridicules Abul Fazal for referring Mansura to Bakhar (p.195), and thinks that is master’s Hindu proclivities lead him to alter or mistaken name of Brahmanabad against Bahmanabad (p 201). Elliot for wrong translation of some passages, Sachau for writing (Bahano Sindhi word) on pages 11, 82, 100 and 62 of Alberuni’s India and indexing and transliterating it as Brahmanabad, because he himself wanted it to be written as (Behman Sindhi word) to fit into his own theory of founding of Brahmanabad by legendry King Bahaman. In support of this frictionary theory he takes pains to quote Zainul-Akhbar of Gardezi, written 1052/53 AD and Mujaml-ul-Tawarikh (1131 AD) pp. 197-200. He accepts theory of destruction of Brahmanabad or Bahmanabad by an earthquake calling it convulsion of nature of other calamity (p.199). He accepts Biladhuri’s version of founding of Mansura two Farsangs from old Brahmanabad which Muhammad Bin Qasim had conquered (p.200) Dalurai. For the tower at site excavated by Bellasis and calling it Bankra Ka Thul or tower or basition, he considers him wrong and says that Tall is Arabic word meaning a heap, mound or hillock (p.204). He is critical of Cunningham, who equated Brahmanabad with Nerunkot (p.201-202). In his opinion Bambra Ka thul represents Mansura and Brahmanabad may be looked for 1 ½ mile from it near Dalurai (p.202). He is equally critical of Elliot, and urns brothers calling Thatta and Kallankot respectively, as Brahmanabad (p.203). He considers reorganization of Bakhar. Rohri as Mansura by Tod in (vol. 11 p.229) as wild assertions (p.203). He considers destruction of Brahmanabad in middle fourth century Hijra. He states that Hakra joined Mihran below the junction of Sindh and near Mansura.
With many such other theories contradicting each other he has created confusion. However his writing are too powerful and convincing and as such it is not wonder that he influenced Lambrick, Pithawala, Dr. Baloach and many others to accept founding of Brahmanabad by Bahman. In my book Chronological Dictionary of Sindh. I discarded Brahmanabad in favor of Bahmanabad and used that word at least on 20 different pages. Only after study of Painnini’s work, I concluded that Brahmanabad was derived from Brahmanka, Brahmanva Brahmano and abad may have been suffixed to it under Sassanian influence in 281-356 BC.
(Dr. Baloach N.A., and Lambrick support this theory, whereas Cousens rejects it. Jour. Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. XII, 892 pp.242, 89, 474n. 20 n. 203 n. 201 n. Even if we accept this theory, Sindh was conquered by Derius-I himself at a very young age when he could not have granted sons.)
1895/96 – 1908 AD.
Excavations as the site of brahmanabad-Mansura by Henry Cousens and others. These reports helped Cousens to form his opinion of site itself, which in my opinion in spite of time not changed in principle.
(Progress report for archaeological Survey of India Western Circle 895-96, 96-97, 908-09 given an account of the area. Report for year 1903/04 by Archaeological Survey of India, Vol. III pp. 13-44, Plates 44-50 describe excavations coins, pottery etc.
Report for year 1908-09 Vol. VII, pp.35, 75-76, plates 20-6 and figures 1-7 also give information.)
Henry cousin is first authority who thought that the ruins to the east of the abandoned course of river Indus are of Mahfooza and those on its west of Mansura-Bahmanabad. He came to these conclusions after excavation of sites over a number of years between 1895 to 1908-09. He had argued and rejected the previous theories of various historians. The site showed him pre-Arab occupation layers or Hindu-Buddhist phases as well as mosques built after conquest of Sindh by the Arabs.
(Antiquities of Sindh by Henry Cousens Calcutta 1999. He rejects Biladhuri’s statement that a new town of Mansura was founded by Amro Bin Muhammad Bin Qasim. He gives more weight to eye-witness accounts of Ibn Haukal and Istakhri, both of whom mention that in India language (i.e., to be more exact) it is called Bamivan or Mareewani and Arab call it Mansura.)
Jairazbhoy is the first author who states that Patala in Sanskrit means a seven storey building.
(Foreign Influence in Ancient India, Bombay, 1963. In the Sindhi folk-lore ‘Satmar’ or seven storey building is connected with residence of favorite wife or mistress of a king or prince. For Greeks Patalaka meant a temple or a temple city.)
Lambrick in his book follows Cousne’s interpretation of sites and thinks Brahmanabad-Mansura was the same city, but he differs with him on site of Mahfuza which he thinks is the detached part from the main site to the South-East. He gives two alternate sites of Swandi, one accepted by Cousnes and other Depar Ghangro. He also calls Depar Ghangro as Nao Vihar.
(History of Sindh-An Introduction, Vol. I map No.10; He gives map No. 7, of Muhammad Bin Qasim’s march from Brahmanabad to Alore. He also accepts Raverty’s interpretation of Nunmal-ul-Tawarikh that Bahman King of Persia built Bahmanabad.
Excavations between 1962-65 by Dr. F.A. Khan reported in Pakistan Archaeology number 5, states that the site is that of Arab city of Mansura, as the mosque foundations had reached the soil level and there were no pre-Islamic structures under them.
(This report ignores the earlier findings of Cousens, who besides the mosques had excavated pre-Islamic phases of earlier occupation of the site, thus providing that an old city, probably Brahmanabad, was renamed as Mansura.)
Department of Archaeology in 1978 announced that the grand mosque at Mansura had its Minar for Muzan sitting on the top of Buddhist stupa. This the site may be that of Brahmanabad-Mansura. Charred copy of holy Quran found from the mosque showed that at least a part of city was destroyed by fire. No radio carbon dating has been done. Mr. Halim a renowned archaeologist and excavator in 1977 in the Daily DAWN announced that Mansura was burnt by Mahmud of Ghazni. This was not accepted by conservative archaeologist and probably the government and he was forced to keep quit.
(As no motifs and relies were found from the Stupa, there is also an opinion of some experts that the structure may not be a Stupa. Since mosques were built on virgin soil it is also thought that Mansura may be a city adjoining Brahmanabad and the two may have merged by expansion, in time. Since Brahmanabad was a well fortified city, to prove the last point, removal of part of fortification to merge two cities has to be proved archaeologically and this has not been found, rejecting twin city theory.)
The attached map has been drawn up combining two maps of Henry Cousens (1922) and H.T. Lambrick (1964). These were based on topographical surveys and personal observations of the two scholars. That had also used the map of Haig (1884). These maps needed up dating in view of aerial photographs show two major courses of river; these have been superimposed on the Cousens’ map. Following conclusions can be dranw.
1. Mahfuza of Cousens is much more important site than hitherto thought. It occupies the same area by measurement as Brahmanabad-Mansura of Cousens. Debris at the site covers less than half of actual ruins, which extend to a sufficient distance towards east and south of ruins ploted by Cousens.
2. Depar Ghangro, named as Patala Cousens, once very important town and perhaps was eroded and flooded by the river Indus. Just up stream of this town, the Indus and probably Sarsuit the river Indus and thus protected for many centuries Depar Ghangro lying on the left bank of the river. Once water in Sarsuti reduced considerably, the river eroded part of the township.
3. South of Dufani along the old bed of the river, there are ruins of sufficient importance.
4. Cousens’ Mahfuza could not be the Arab Muhfuza Township, which existed only for four years. It must be a very important site a predecessor of Brahmanabad-Mansura. The site seems to have eroded and destroyed by the river and the population may have migrated and built another city on the opposite bank of the River Indus, now called Brahmanabad-Mansura. It may have been site of Brahmanka, which finally became Brahmanabad.
5. The identification of the sites by various authorities are shown on the map. Those on the left hand side are history oriented scholars except Rennel, who was a cartographer and had no chance to visit Sindh. Those on the right hand side are archaeological oriented scholars, some of whom were responsible for excavations.
6. The views of the scholars still differ. The major controversial views are those of Dr. N.A. Baloch, who has accepted the findings of Haig. The latter wrote it hundred years back. As Against this view, there is a statement of Department of Archaeology issued in 1978 supporting Henry Cousens and Lambrick’s view that Brahmanabad-Mansura stands for the city of Brahmanabad, which after its conquest was renamed as Mansura.