THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
OF THE WORLD
LOCATIONS OF BRAHMANKA, PATALA, DEMETRIAS, MIN-NAGGARA, BRAHMANO, BRAHMANVA, BRAHMANABAD, DALURAI AND MANSURA
January 1025 A.D.
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 other 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 Quran was recovered from the site of mosque by the archaeological department. Historical evidence suggests that in January 1025 A.D. Mahmud of Gazni sacked the city. Whether it was actually burnt by him can only be confirmed by radio carbon dating of carefully selected samples.
Translating of Mujamul-t-Tawarikh by Abdul Hassan Ali bin Muhammad Al-Jili, who states that “During the life time fo gustasf King of Persia, Bahman led an army to Hindustan took part of it and built a city between confines fo Hindus and Turks to which he gave the name Kandabil (Gandava) and another city in a place called Budha, which a called Bahmanabad”. Else where he states that Kafand (Hindu King of contemporary of Alexandr) sent a Brahman to his brother Samid directing him to go to Mnsura and expell hanians from that place and errect idool temples in place fo fire temples.
Beruni mentions town of Bamhano,
Abul 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 A.D. by Syed Muhammad Tahir Niqasi, is the first history that narrates story of Dalu Rai a tyrant 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 Dalu Rai or Brahmanabad. I have examined the various aspects of this story and concluded:
(i) Central and northern Sind are not in active seismic zone and therefore no city in the Central and Northern Sind can be destroyed by an earthquake.
(ii) The coastal area of Sindh i.e., Karachi, Badin, Jati and Rann of Kutch are in active Seismic Zone and damage could occure 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 Sind and any folklore 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 Dalu rai are current about most of the ruined cities not only in Sind but also in most of the Muslim world and Asia. Identcal story is told of King Loham of Loham-jo-Daro near Piarogoth Sugar mill. The site decayed in 1650 B.C., against the above stated ninth century A.D., Dalu Rai ruins the two being separated by 2500 years, yet same story is told of the two.
(v) Archaeological department explored Thar Dalu Rai 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 A.D., 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 Dalu Rai .when due to another change in course of the river Indus, water could reach the same area. A particular deh, near the ruins came to be called as Dalu-Today it is an argument, that since a Deh called Dalu exists, Dalu Rai must be a genuine king.
Eearliest reference on Brahmanabad in scientific age comes from Anaville M.D’s book “Eclairissements de Tinde,” 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 or these are:-
(i) Mac Murdo, Bahmana or Dibal Kangra or Depar Ganghra, J.A.S.B. Vol-I, pp. 23-28, 30,38, 322.
(ii) Briggs (frishta), Bamunwasy Vol. IV, p. 405
(iii) Vincent, Rev. Williams (1798 A.D), Patala or Brahmanabad with, in four miles of Thatta.
(iv) Rennel James F.R. (1778 A.D.) Patala or Brahmanabad.
(v) Burnes, Dr. James (1831) Alvist to the court of Scinde, p. 133
(vi) Alexander Burns (1834), Patala, Brahmanabad, Travels in to Bokhara, Vol, III, p. 31. J.R.A.S.B. Vol-I p. 210 Location near Thatta called Kullancote.
(vii) Postans (1843), Bhambura or Khudabad. Personal observations on Sind, pp. 161. and 163.
Sir Henry M. Elliot considers Mansura to be identical with Hyderabad, Mahfuz with Nasarpur and Brahmanabad the same as Mansura.
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 firther 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 battiness.
(5) There are ruins of a high tower brick work standing on large heap of ruins which may have been a citadel, or one of the circular tower.
(6) Among the ruins, one can observe open spaces or squares evidently bazars, market places, barracks for troops and etc.
(7) The wicket king Dalara reigned 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 wrought of God and by an earthquake his city was raised to ground. The people built new city of Nasarpur.
(8) This must have been around 1202 A.D. as Chota Amrani brother of Dalara Amarani departed to Baghdad on account of this injustice, and embraced Islam.
Alexander Cunningham accepts the theory of destruction of Brahmanabad by an earth-quake, before 1000 A.D. and subsequent failure of river to prevent rebuilding the city on old site. He recognized Bambra Ka Thul (present Mansura Brahmanabad site) with Mansura and Brahmanabad with small mound to the south called Dalural.
Lt. General M.R. Haig published his article “on the sites of Brahmanabad and Mansura in Sind with notices on others of less important in their vicinity.”
Raverty published his 350 page article “The Mihran of Sind” in which he supported theory of Mujamlu-t-Tawikh that Bahman grand son of Gustasf during the latter’s life time conquered Budha and established a city there called Bahmanabad. Raverys Mihran of Sind was written with intention of correcting theories of C.F.Oldham Nearchus and R.D. Oldham, on, the courses of rivers in the Panjab and Sind, specially with reference to Sarswati the lost river of Indian desert, which passed through the bed of Raini, Hakra and Nara in Sind discharging into Koree Creek. He considered the bed of raini-Hakra-Nara, not that of Sarswati 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 age, 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 Sind 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 Sind.
His is very critical of his predecessor whose writing do not agree his theories, for example he ridicules Abul Fazal for referring Mansura to Bakhar (p. 195), and thinks that his master’s Hindu proclivities lead him to alter or mistaken name of Brahmanabad against Bahmanabad (p-201). Elliot for wrong translation of some passages, Sachan for writing ( ) on pages 11, 82, 100, and 162 Alberuni’s India and indexing and transliterating it as Brahmanabad, because he himself wanted it to be written as ( ) to fit into his own theory of founding of Brahmanabad by legendry . King Bahman. In support of this dictionary theory he takes pains to quote Zainul-Akhbar of Gardezi, written in 1052/53, and Mujmal-ul-Tawarikh (1131 A.D.) pp. 197-200. He accept theory of destruction of Brahmanabad or Bahamanabad by an earth quake calling it convulsion of nature tor 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) Dalu Rai. For the tower at site excavated by Bellasis and calling it Bankra Ka Thul or tower or bastion, 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 equal critical of Elliot, and Burnes brothers calling Thatta and Kallankot repsectively, as Brahmanabad (p. 203). He considers recognization of Bakhar-Rohri as Mansura by Tod in (vol. II p. 229) as wild assertions (p.203). He states that Hakra joined Mihran below the junction of Sind 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, Pithwalla, Dr. Baloch and many others to accept founding of Brahmanabad by Bahman in the 5th century B.C. In my book Chronological dictionary of Sind, I discarded Brahmanabad in favour of Bahmanabad and used that word atleast on 20 different pages. Only after study of Panini’s work I concluded that Brahmanabad was derived from Brahmanka, Brahmanva Brahmano and abad may have been suffixed to it and Sassanian influence in 281-356 B.C.
Excavations at 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 inspite of time not changed in principle
Henry Cousen is first authority who thought that the ruins to the cast of the abandoned course of river Indus are 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 has argued and rejected the previous theories of various historians. The site showed him pre-Arab occupation layers or phases of Hindu-Buddhist phase as well as mosques built after conquest of Sind, by the Arabs.
Jairazbhoy is the first author who states that patala in Sanskrit means a seven storey building.
Lambrick in his book follows Cousen’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 form the main site to the South-east. He gives two alternate sites of Swandi, one accepted by Cousens and other Depar Ghanahro. He also calls Depar ghanghro as Nao Vihar.
Excavations between 1962-65 by Dr. F.A. Khan reported in Pakistan Archaeology number 5, state 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.
Department of Archaeology in 1978 announced that the grand mosque at Mansura had its Minar for Mu’zan sitting on the top of a Buddhist stupa. Thus the site may be that of Brahmanabad Mansura. Charred copy of holy Quran found from the mosque showed that atleast a part of city was destroyed by fire. No radio carbon dating has been done.
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 its ruler and putting many of his followers (Ismailis) to sword.
Gardezi Zainul-Akhbar, (Berin), 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 Sind, Calcutta 1929, pp, 71, clearly states that form 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 (1925), Farrukhi’s poem and Asir’s statement were not known to him, and he thought that some Hindus had destroyed Mansura.
Ibn Khaldum vol-II, p. 327, (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 conjsider Khafif as founder of Soomra dynasty.
Minhaj-al-Din Bin Sirajuddin in Tabqa-i-Nasiri, (Calcutta, 1864, p. 143, 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 vazier Abul Razaq from Multan to sub-due Sind. The latter after settling affairs of Bakhar turned to Siwistan and Thatta. This is misstatement as none of Mahmud’s generals and Vaziers was named as Abdul Razaq and Bakhar and Thatta had yet not been established.
Extracts in Elliot pp. 108-109. This story is to be discounted, as per entry 446 B.C. Elliot and dowson discard this story. Raverty, who is fond of the Eastern tales accepts it and considers Bahman as Ardishir Darazdast or Artaxerxes of Greeks, who cam to throne in 964 B.C. These stories were evolved from folk-lore and then attempt was made to reconcile them with sober history. They now equate Gustasf with Darius-I and his grand son Artaxerxes with Baman. The archaeological explorations at Naqsh-i-Rustam prove that Achaemenian did not have such names. Achaemenian historian. Herodotus wrote his ‘Histories’ in 446 B.C., on that dynasty. He does not mention then alternate names of these Kings, or founding of any city by the said king. Sachau in Alberunis India Vol-I, Lahore edition, 1962. Bambhano and not Bahmano, as misprinted on p. 25 of Vol. I. Lahore edition, 1962. Bambhano is closer to Brahmano or Balanwa, a word used in Chachnama as alternate name of Brahmanabad.
Edited by Dr. N.A. Balouch and published by Sindhi Adabi Board Hyderabad 1964. pp. 25-31.
Dalu Rai 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 moves to Brahmananad, also to bring it destruction. The two towns are said to have been destroyed thus in 862/863 A.D. Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol-VI 1908 p.4. No other historian in next 800 has mentioned the incident and nor have the Arab travellers and writers, who either visited Sind in next 100 years or wrote about it had heard such a story.
Tarikh-i-Tahiri puts the year of destruction of Alore and Bahmanabad between 900-1000 A.D. Tuhfatul-Kiram narrated the same story but calls Dalu Rai a ‘Sardar’ or chieftain Subordinate of Soomras.
Lab-e-Tarikh-e-Sind calls it, Brahmanabad Banbhran, Banbran, Banbhavwah, and Babhranwah. Pp. 4, 5, 19, 24, 26, 29, 30, 38, and 315.
Tehiri calls the city of Dalu Rai as Babanwah Banbhra (pp.27-29), the same name as used by Chach Nama p. 217. Tuhrat-ul Kiram calls the city as Banbhra. See also entry 640-644 A.D. Tahiri p. 30 mentions of a tower of htis city. Surviving to his days. This is famous town of Mansura-Brahmanabad, which was used by decoits to locate cattle as well as troop movements before laying hands on these animals. The tower was destroyed by Ghulam Shah Kalora and the remnants of it are considered to be Buddhist Stupa, converted into Minar for Muizan to call people to prayers. Dr. Baloch on pp. 290 and 292-93 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 (Banbhra or Brahmanabad) are at Depar Ganghro, six miles to the east. He further states that after Hakam al Kalbi built a new town of Mansura. Common man (………) started calling it (New Brahmanabad or Brahmanabad Jadid, and old icty of Brahmanabad (Depar Ganahro) became Brahmanabad qadeem. No evidence is given for this accept that of Biladhuri, who mention the word Brahmanabad Qadeem. The word Brahmanabad Jadid has for the first time appeared in 1964.
Reference of Idrisi to Mansura in Nuzhatul Mushtaq Fi Akhtarul Aafaq written in 1150 A.D. may not be considered that the city actually existed. Such mistakes in the historical. Atlases are common occurrence even to day.
In my opinion he is correct as Brahmanabad must have flourished in first century A.D. The same view is supported by Reinaud J.T. in Memoire geographique historiquie at scientifique Sur L’Inde,” paris 1733. The author gives an account of India and China by two Muslim Travellers Masudi and haukal like Anville, and believes that Brahmanabad was Mansura.
The early names and opinions on the city were:
(a) Beruni (1048 A.D.) Bambhano.p. 368 of vol-II.
(b) Ibn Jaukal (1976 A.D), Bamivan. Elliot and Dowson, Vol. I.p. 34.
(c) Chachnama (841 A.D) Brahmanabad or Bananwah p. 15, 32, 59-60.
(d) Tahiri, (1621 A.D.), Babanwah pp 25.27.
(e) Tuhfatul Kiram (1767 A.D.), Banbhra or Bhanbhrabiya ( ).S
(f) Abdul Fazal (1600 A.D), Brahmanabad. Ain-i-Akbari tr. Gladwin, Vol-II p. 115.
(g) Beglar Nama (1608-1624), Brahmanabad near Matahila, p. 72-Sindhi Adabi Board Hyderabad, 1980.
(h) Kabe-Tarikh-e-Sind, (1900), Babhanwah, Banbhanwah, Banghran, Banbran or Brahmanabad, pp. 4, 5, 19, 24, 26, 29, 30, 38, 315.
History of India as told by its own historians. Vol. I, Capetown 1853 and reprint 1867, pp. 371-373.
The detailed report was published in Journal Bombay Branch of royal Asiatic Society Bombay, Vol, V, in 1857. Hughes gazetteer of Sind gives its summary. Sketches or articles and sites were reported in Illustrated London News of February 1857. Incidentally year 1020 A.D. swas given to him by a local Syed basing on Tarikh-i-Tahiri which places it between 900-1000 A.D.
Ancient geography of India, London 1871 pp. 268-276.
The small mound to the south id too small to be capital of the Lower Sindh. Raverty has accepted this location of site.
J.R.A.S. New Series Vol. XVI part II, 1984.
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. Baloch and Lambrick support this theory, whereas Cousens rejects it.
Jour. Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. XII, 1892 pp. 242, 189, 474, n, 202 n, 203 n, 201 n.
Even if we accept this theory , Sindh was conquered by Derius-I him-self at a very young age when he could not have granted sons.
Progress report for archaeological Survey of India Western Circle 1895-96, 1896-97, 1908-09 give an account of the area.
Report for year 1903/04 by Archaeological Survey of India. Vol-III pp. 132-144, plates 44-50 describe excavations coins, pottery etc.
Report for year 1908-09, vol. VII, pp. 35, 75-76, plates 20-26 and figures 1-7 also give information on excavations.
Antiquities of Sind by Henry Cousens Calcutta 1929.
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 Indian language (i.e., to be more exact ) invarious manuscripts it is called Bamivan or Mareewani and Arab call it Mansura.
Foreign Influence in Ancient India, Bombay, 1963.
In the Sindhi folk-lore ‘Satmar’ or seven storey building is connected with residence of favourate wife or mistress of a King or prince. For Greeks Patalaka meant to temple or a temple city.
History of Sind-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 Nujmal-ul-Tawarickh that Bahman King of Persia built Bahmanabad.
This report ignores the earlier findings of Cousens, who besides the mosques had excavated pre-Islamic phases of earlier occupation of the site, thus proving that an old city, probably Brahmanabad, was renamed as Mansura.
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.
PAGES 15 TO 22
BOOK SINDH QUARTERLY
VOLUME XI 1983 NO . 2.