From Jatland Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Mansura (Arabic: منصورہ‎) (Brahmanabad:ब्राह्मनाबाद)is a city in Western Pakistan,which was the historic capital of the Arab empire in Sindh.

Variants of name


The city now lies in Western Pakistan and is usually known as Brahmanabad in Sindh, situated about 13 km south-east of Shahdadpur railway station, and 69 km north-east of Hyderabad.

Origin of name

Mansura was named after the second Abasside Khalif Al Mansur, who reigned from A.D. 753 to 774.[1]


In the Chachnama we find frequent mention of a chief Agham Lohana who was ruler of Brahmanabad with their two territories Lakha to the west of Lohana and Sama to the south of Lohana (Nerron) Narayankot Hyderabad, Sindh in the time of Chach 636 AD.

James Tod[2] writes that The warriors assembled under Visaladeva Chauhan against the Islam invader included the lord of Bamani abandoned Sind. The lord of Bamani," in other places called Bamunwasso, must apply to the ancient Brahmanabad or Dewal, on whose site the modern Tatta is built.


Sir H. M. Elliot[3] has provided following description:

[p.369]: In the time of the native dynasties which preceded the Arabs, the capital of Lower Sind was Bráhmanábád.

[The old name of the place, according to Bírúní, was Bahmanu or Bahmanwá. The Ashkálu-l Bílád calls it Bámíwán (p. 34), but Ibn Haukal gives the name as "Támírámán" according to Gilde-meister, and "Mámíwán" according to Major Anderson. Idrísí has Mírmán (p. 78), but this is obviously a blunder. In the Chach-náma, the name is written Báín-wáh, and in the Táríkh-i Táhiri, Páín-wáh. It is probably the Bhámbaráwáh of the Tuhfatu-l Kirám (p. 332). Captain McMurdo writes it Báhmana, and Briggs "Bamunwasy."1]

Under its immediate government were included Nírún, Debal, the country of the Lohánas, the Lákhas, and the Sammas, and the whole southern coast. Its position, therefore, was one of great importance, and as its ruin is comparatively modern, it is surprising that so much doubt should exist with respect to its locality.

Various positions have been assigned to Bráhmanábád. The Áyín-i Akbarí says the fort had 1400 bastions, and that "to this day there are considerable vestiges of this fortification;"2 but it is not said in what direction, or on which side of the river, it lay; but the mention of the bastions would seem to point out that Kalákot was probably indicated. In a passage in the Beg-Lár-náma, mention is made of "a place called Matáhila, near the fortress of Bráhmanábád, twenty kos distant from Nasrpúr" (MS. p. 80). Dr. Vincent says it was within four miles of Thatta, and corresponded with Pattala,3 concurring in this with D'Anville and Rennell.

Capt. McMurdo fixes it on the Púrán, afterwards called Lohána Daryá, but it is not quite plain what he means by the Lohána Daryá.4 He, at any rate, altogether repudiates Thatta and Kalákot, and we must look for his Bráhmanábád near Nasrpúr. "It was situated on the Lohána Daryá, at a short distance from where it separates from the Púrán." Again, "On or near the Púrán river, in what was subsequently

add footnotes

[p.370]: called the Shahdadpúr Pergana. Báhmana was afterwards called Díbal Kángara."1 Dr. Burnes fixes it at Kalákot,* and so does Sir A. Burnes.2 Capt. Postans says Bhambúra, mentioning at the same time native tradition in favour of Khudábád, a little above Haidarábád.4

There seems no reason to conclude that the Bráhmanábád, or Bahmanábád, of which we are treating, was founded by the Persian king, Bahman, upon his invasion of Sind. His city is expressly said to have been built in the province of Budha,5 which never extended so far as the Indus. Nor is it probable that, had he built a city on the Indus, he would have done so on the eastern, rather than on the western, bank of that river. The fact is, that Bahmaná-bád is a mere abbreviated form of Bráhmanábád; and is still a very common mode of elision throughout Western India and the Dekhin, where Bráhman, in common parlance, is usually converted into Bahman.

Though the Chach-náma does not anywhere expressly point out where Bráhmanábád was situated, we are at any rate assured, from several passages, that it was on the eastern side of the Indus, and this alone is sufficient to show that the speculations which have been raised, respecting the identity of Kalákot and Thatta with that old capital, rest upon no solid foundation.

We may fairly consider, in general terms, that Bráhmanábád, after being intermediately succeeded by the Arab capital Mansúra, is now represented by the modern Haidarábád; and although it may not have been upon the identical spot occupied by the modern capital, it was at least within the island, or peninsula, formed by the Falailí and the main stream of the Indus, from which the former seems to have diverged in old days at a point higher than at present. Matárí, indeed, would seem to be the most probable site of the city, with reference to the quotation given above from the Beg-Lar-náma. To fix it higher up, as at Khudábád or Hála, would take it too far from Mansúra, which we have next to consider.

Biládurí tells us that old Bráhmanábád was about two parasangs distant from Mansúra, which, in the time of Muhammad Kásim, was

add footnotes

[p.371]: occupied by a forest1 (p. 122). When we consider the space which is always covered by the sites of old Indian towns, from the straggling mode of their erection, we are authorized to conclude that a large portion of Bráhmanábád was included in Mansúra, and that, in point of fact, the two sites are identical. The position of Haida-rábád, upon a ridge of limestone hills about eighty feet high, must, from the first, have pointed out that site as a commanding one for a capital, and it has probably ever been thus occupied, by successive towns, from the first dawn of Sindian civilization. It is, indeed, on the site of Bráhmanábád that D'Anville would place the earlier Minagara, in which he is followed by Reinaud.2

The 'Ajáíbu-l Makhlúkát says that Nasrpúr was built on the site of Mansúra, and the same opinion is expressed by D'Anville,3 and accredited by the local information of Capt. McMurdo. Tieffen-thaler,4 Vincent,5 Rennell,6 Tod,7 and Gildemeister,8 misled by the mistake of Abú-l Fazl,* fix Mansúra at Bhakkar. M. Reinaud considers the testimony of Biládurí, Mas'údí, Istakhrí, Ibn Haukal, and Al Birúní to bear out D'Anville entirely in his position of Nasrpúr; but the mere fact that all the geographers agree in representing a branch of the Indus as flowing by Mansúra, is quite sufficient to dislodge Nasrpúr, which is twelve miles from the nearest point of the river.

Biládurí tells us that, after Hakim had built Mahfúza on the Indian side of the lake,-or body of water, whatever it may have been,10 -his successor 'Amrú built Mansúra on this (the western) side, and established it as the capital. M. Reinaud says, "Mahfúza was built in the neighbourhood of the capital (Bráhmanábád), on the other side of a lake fed by the waters of the Indus." I do not find on what authority this is stated. Mansúra was, indeed, two

add footnotes

[p.372]: parasangs from Bráhmanábád, and M. Reinaud is right in stating that these two latter names were often used the one for the other,1 - for they are so combined and converted both by Ibn Haukal and Bírúní;2 but beyond the announcement that Mahfúza was on the eastern side of the bahaira (lake, marsh, or inundation of the Indus), and Mansúra on the western, we have nothing which indicates the true position of Mahfúza.

It appears to me that Mahfúza, and not Mansúra, is represented by Nasrpúr. Indeed, independent of the position with reference to the eastern and western side of the stream above mentioned, it is worthy of remark, that the meaning of the two names is the same- both signifying "the protected, the abode of refuge." The identity, or resemblance of name, therefore, would be as much in favour of Mahfúza as Mansúra.

Nasrpúr, which modern authorities universally spell as Násirpúr, was built, or rather re-constructed, on the river Sánkra, by Amír Nasr, who was detached by Sultán Fíroz Sháh for that purpose, with a thousand cavalry, in 751 A.H., 1350 A.D. Nasrpúr was subsequently the favourite residence of the Tarkháns, and was greatly embellished by them during their brief rule.3

It being shown above that Mansúra is nearly identical with Bráhmanábád, it remains to prove that both are not far distant from the modern capital of Haidarábád.

Among the reasons for considering Mansúra to be identical with Haidarábád, is the position assigned to it by Istakhri and Ibn Haukal, who describe it as being "a mile long and a mile broad, and surrounded by a branch of the Indus." This is the mode in which it is also described by Kazwíní. Notwithstanding this, it is laid down in the map of the Ashkálu-l Bilád.4 as being situated on the main stream. Istakhrí's map rightly locates it on the branch, but Ibn Haukals' map, as printed by Major Anderson,5 places it about midway between the two. The island, to be sure, is out of all proportion

add notes

[p.373]: large, but its position necessarily identifies it with that which is formed by the Falailí and the Indus,-and the space which the town is represented to have occupied is exactly that which constitutes the limestone ridge on which Haidarábád is built.

The distances laid down also by Ibn Haukal are, with one exception sufficiently correct. Thus, from Mansúra to Debal is six days' journey, which is exact,-on the supposition that Debal, as elsewhere shown, is Karáchí. From Mansúra to Túrán is fifteen days' journey, which also agrees well enough with Haidarábád. From Mansúra to Kandábel (Gandáva) is eight days' journey, which also agrees very well.-"He who travels from Mansúra to Budha must go along the banks of the Indus as far as Sihwán,"-which shows Mansúra to be close on the Indus, as, indeed, it is elsewhere expressly declared to be, and not so far removed as Nasrpúr. From Mansúra to Cambay is twelve days' journey. Here the distances are long, but the desert must have made continuous travelling indispensable, as the halting places were necessarily reduced to the smallest possible number.

The widest departure from the ordinary distance is that between Mansúra and Multán, which is set down by Ibn Haukal at only twelve days' journey. This is very rapid, considering that about four hundred miles separate them, requiring an average of thirty-three miles a day. But though the average be high, it is certainly not beyond the means of conveyance where camels are abundant, as in Sind.

Bírúní lays down the distance at fifteen parasangs from Multán to Bhátí, another fifteen from Bhátí to Alor, and twenty from Alor to Mansúra-making the entire distance only fifty parasangs from Multán to Mansúra; while, at the same time, he gives it as thirty parasangs from Mansúra to Loharání Bandar (p. 61). There is here also a surprising abridgment of the former distance, which, may perhaps be accounted for by considering the frontier to be reckoned from in one instance, and the capital in the other. Still, such an error or inconsistency in a space so frequently traversed, is not easily accounted for, occurring as it does in two such trustworthy authorities as Ibn Haukal and Birúní; and it would have been satisfactory to find some more plausible solution. Mas'údí, with a much nearer approach to correctness, gives the distance as seventy-five

[p.374]: parasangs between Multán and Mansúra, and his statement may be considered a sufficient corrective of the other geographers (p. 24).

It may be proper to add, that none of these ancient places, mentioned in this and other Notes, have sites assigned to them in any modern maps. Burnes, Wieland, Vivien de St. Martin, Berghaus, Zimmermann, all reject them. D'Avezac enters some, but all erroneously, except Debal,-at least, according to the principles above enunciated. Even Kiepert, in his valuable Karte von Alt-Indien , Berlin, 1853, drawn up for the illustration of Professor Lassen's Indische Alterthumskunde, enters only Bráhmanábád; and that he places on the right bank of the presumed ancient course of the Sindhu, which he has laid down as flowing far to the eastward of the present Indus. As he has admitted other names more modern than these, he should not have ignored them all.

[Since the death of Sir H. Elliot the remains of a buried city, supposed to be the ancient Bráhmanábád, have been discovered and explored by Mr. A. F. Bellasis, of the Bombay Civil Service. The exact position of the ruins is stated to be forty-seven miles northeast of Haidarábád, and if their investigator is right in believing them to be the ruins of Bráhmanábád, the question of the position of that city is put at rest. The identification has presumption in its favour, though it has not yet been satisfactorily proved; and one circumstance is strongly against it:-Large numbers of coins were discovered among the ruins; but the great bulk of these were Muhammadan, and the few Hindu coins that were brought to light "seem to be casual contributions from other provinces, of no very marked uniformity or striking age." Were the ruins those of an old Hindu city, Hindu coins of a distinct character would probably have been found. The coins discovered were those of Mansúr bin Jamhúr, Abdu-r Rahmán, Muhammad 'Abdu-lláh and Umar (see supra, p. 127).*]

Alexander Cunningham on Brahmana or Brahmanabad

Alexander Cunningham[4]writes Brahmana or Brahmanabad:

[p. 267]:From Sindomana Alexander " marched back to the river, where he had ordered his fleet to wait for him. Thence, descending the stream, he came on the fourth day to a town through which was a road to the kingdom of Sabus." 1 When Alexander quitted his fleet at Alor (the capital of Musikanus) to march against Oxykanus, he had no intention of going to Sindomana, as Raja Sambus, having tendered his submission, had been appointed satrap of the hilly districts on the Indus. 2 He must therefore have ordered his fleet to wait for him at some point on the river not far from the capital of Oxykanus. This point I would fix somewhere about Marija Dand, on the old Nara, below Kator and Tajal, as Mahorta, which I have identified with the chief city of Oxykanus, is about equidistant from Alor and Kator. Thence, descending the stream, he came on the fourth day to a town, through which there was a road to the kingdom of

1 Curtius, Vita Alex., ix. 8. " Alexander. . . . rursus amnem, in quo classem exspectare se jusserat, repetit. Quarto deinde die, secundo amne, pervenit ad oppidum, qua. iter in regnum erat Sabi."

2 Arrian, 'Anabasis,' vi. 16: <greek> ?

[p. 268]: Sambus. From Marija Dand, the point where I suppose that Alexander rejoined his fleet, the distance to the ruined city of Brahmana, or Brahmanabad, is 60 miles in a direct line by land, or 90 miles by water. As this distance could have been accomplished with ease in four days, I conclude that Brahmana was the actual city of Brahmans which is described by Alexander's historians. The king of this city had previously submitted, but the citizens withheld their allegiance, and shut their gates. By a stratagem they were induced to come out, and a conflict ensued, in which Ptolemy was seriously wounded in the shoulder by a poisoned sword. 1 The mention of Ptolemy's wound enables us to identify this city with that of Harmatelia, which Diodorus describes as the " last town of the Brahmans on the river." 2 Now, Harmatelia' is only a softer pronunciation of Brahma-thala, or Brahnana-sthala, just as Hermes, the phallic god of the Greeks, is the same as Brahma, the original phallic god of the Indians. But Brahmana was the old Hindu name of the city which the Muhammadans called Brahmanabad ; hence I conclude that the town of Brahmans captured by Alexander corresponds both in name and position with the great city of Brahmanabad.

The narrative of Arrian after the capitulation of Sindomana is unfortunately very brief. His words are, "he attacked and won a city which had revolted from him, and put to death as many of the Brahmans as fell into his hands, having charged them with being the authors of the rebellion."! This agrees with the

1 Curtius, Vita Alex., ix. 8.

2 Hist. Univers., xjii. 56.

3 ' Anabasis,' vi. 16. <greek>

[p. 269]:

statement of Diodorus, who mentions Alexander "was satisfied with punishing those who advised the resistance, and pardoned all the others." From a comparison of the three narratives, I infer that Harmatetia, or Brahmana, was in the dominions of Musikanus ; for Curtius states that the king of this city had previously submitted to Alexander, while Arrian says that he had revolted, and Diodorus adds1 that Alexander punished the advisers of the rebellion.

Now, all these facts apply to Musikanus, who had at first submitted, and then revolted, and was at last crucified, " and with him as many of the Brahmans as had instigated him to revolt." This identification is of some importance, as it shows that the dominions of Musikanus must have embraced the whole of the valley of the Indus down to the head of the Delta, with the exception of the two outlying districts of Oxykanus and Sambus, under the western mountains. This extension of his dominions explains the report which Alexander had previously received from the people, that the kingdom of Musikanus " was the richest and most populous throughout all India." It also explains how Sambus was at enmity with Musikanus, as the southern territories of the latter were bounded on the west by those of the former. The king of this city, where Ptolemy was wounded by a poisoned arrow, is called Ambiger by Justin, 2 which was probably the true name of Musikanus, the chief of the Musikani, in whose territory Brahmana was situated. It is much to be regretted that none of the names reserved by Ptolemy can be certainly identified with this city of the Brahmans. Parabali corresponds with

1 Hist. Univers., xvii. 56. 2 Justin, Hist., xii. 10.

[p. 270]: it in position, and partly also in name, as the first two syllables, Parab, are not very different from Baram, and the termination, ali, may represent thala of Brahmathala, or Harmatelia. After Ptolemy's time we know nothing of Brahmana until the Muhammadan conquest, a period of nearly six centuries. From the native histories, however, we learn that Brahmana was the chief city of one of the four governments1 into which Sindh was divided during the rule of the Rais dynasty, or from A.D. 507 to 642, and that it continued to be so until the accession of Dahir in A.D. 680, who made it the capital of the kingdom, after the destruction of Alor by the Indus.

In A.D. 641 Sindh was visited by Hwen Thsang, whose account has already been noticed. He found the kingdom divided into the four districts, which for greater distinctness I have named 1. Upper Sindh, 2. Middle Sindh, 3. Lower Sindh, and 4. Kachh.

The first has already been described in my account of Alor.

The second, O-fan-cha, I have just identified with Brahmanabad. M. Stanislas Julien transcribes the Chinese syllables as Avanda, for which it is difficult to find an exact equivalent. But I have a strong suspicion that it is only a variation of the name of Brahmana, which was pronounced in many different ways, as Bahmana, Bahmana, Babhana, Babhana, Bambhana. 2 Speaking of Mansura, which we know was quite close to Brahmanabad, Ibn Haukal adds that the Sindhians call it Bamivan3 which Edrisi alters to Mirman. But in

1 Postans, Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1838, pp. 93-96.

2 See Dhauli inscription of Asoka for Babhano, Babhana, and Bambhana : edicts iii. iv. viii. ix., in Journ. Royal Asiat. Soc, vol. xii.

3 Sir Henry Elliot, ' Muhammadan Historians of India,' p. 63.

4 Jaubert's ' Edrisi,' i. 162.

[p. 271]: his list of places in Sindh, Edrisi adds after Mansura the name of Wandan, or Kandan, 1 which I take to be only a various reading of Bamanwa, or, as the Sindhians would have pronounced it, Vamanwa, and Vanwa. The Chinese syllable fan, which is the wellknown transcript of Brahma, is a notable example of this very contraction, and tends to confirm the opinion that Avanda is but a slight variation of Bahmanwa, or Brahmanabad.

Shortly after the Muhammadan conquest Brahmana was supplanted by Mansura, which, according to Biladuri, was founded by Amru, the son of Muhammad bin Kasim, the conqueror of Sindh, 2 and named after the second Abasside Khalif Al Mansur, who reigned from A.D. 753 to 774. But according to Masudi 3 it was founded by Jamhur, the governor of Sindh, under the last Omnicad Khalif, a.d. 744 to 749, who named it after his own father Mansur. The new city was built so close to Brahmanabad that Ibn Haukal, Abu Rihan, and Edrisi, all describe it as the same place. Ibn Haukal' s words are, " Mansura, which in the Sind language is called Bamiwan." 4 Abu Rihan states that it was originally called Bamanhwa, and afterwards Hamanabad, for which we may read Bahmanabad, by simply adding an initial B, which must have been accidentally dropped. It was

1 Jaubert's 'Edrisi,' i. 160.

2 Reinaud, ' Fragments Arabes ; ' and Jaubert's ' Edrisi,' i. 162.

3 Sir Henry Elliot's 'Muhammadan Historians of India,' p. 57.

4 Sir Henry Elliot's ' Muhammadan Historians of India,' Dowson's edition, p. 34; and Jaubert's 'Edrisi,' i. 162. " Le nom de la ville (Mansura) est en Indien Miriman." In Gildemeister's 'Ibn Haukal,' this name is Tamirman, which is an obvious mistake for Bamiwan, or Bamanwas.

[p. 272]: situated on the eastern branch of the Mihran, or Indus, and was 1 mile in length, and the same in breadth, or just 4 miles in circuit. Its position is approximately fixed in the neighbourhood of Hala, by the number of days' journey in the routes to different places. It was 12 days from Multan, 8 from Kandabil, via Sehwan, and 6 days from Debal, via Manhabari, which was itself 4 days from Mansura. It was therefore at two-thirds of the distance from Multan to the mouth of the Indus, or very nearly in the same parallel as Hala.

Now in this very position the ruins of a large city have been discovered by Mr. Bellasis, to whose zeal and energy we are indebted for our knowledge of this interesting place. The ruins are situated near an old bed of the Indus, at 47 miles to the north-east of Haidarabad, 28 miles to the east or east-north-east of Hala, and 20 miles to the west of the eastern Nara. 1 The place is known as Bambhra-ka-thul, or " the Ruined Tower," from a broken brick tower which is the only building now standing. The present appearance of the site, as described by its discoverer, is "one vast mass of ruins, varying in size according to the size of the original houses." Its circumference, measured by a perambulator, is within a few yards of 4 miles. But besides the great mound of Bambhra-ka-thul, there is, at a distance of about 1-1/2 mile, "the distince and ruined city of Dolora, the residence of its last king, and 5 miles in another direction is the ruined city of Depur, the residence of his Prime Minister, and between these cities are the ruins of suburbs extending

1 Journ. Asiat. Soc, Bombay, v. 413; and Thomas's Prinsep, ii. 119. Eastwick's ' Handbook for Bombay,' p. 490.

[p. 273]: for miles far and wide into the open country." The great mound of Bambhraka-thul is " entirely surrounded with a rampart, mounted with numerous turrets and bastions." In the time of Akbar there were "considerable vestiges of this fortification," which Abul Fazl 1 says "had 140 bastions, one tanab distant from each other." The tanab was a measuring rope, which the emperor Akbar ordered to be changed for bambus joined by iron links. Its length was 60 Ilahi gaz, which, at 30 inches each, give 150 feet for the tanab; and this multiplied by 140, makes the circuit of the city 21,000 feet, or very nearly 4 miles. Now it will be remembered that Ibn Haukal describes Mansura as being 1 mile square, or 4 miles in circuit, and that Mr. Bellasis's measure of the circumference of the ruined mound of Bambhraka thul was within a few yards of 4 miles. From this absolute correspondence of size, coupled with the close agreement of position, which has already been pointed out, I conclude that the great mound of Bambhra ka thul represents the ruined city of Mansura, the capital of the Arab governors of Sindh. The Hindu city of Brahmana, or Brahmanabad, must therefore be looked for in the neighbouring mound of ruins now called Dilura, which is only 1.5 mile distant from the larger mound.

Mr. Bellasis, the discoverer of these ruins, has identified the great mound with Brahmanabad itself ;

1 ' Ayin Akbari,' ii. 115. Gladwyn's translation has 1400 bastions, which. would give to the city a circuit of 40 miles ; the MSS. have 149. The Ilahi gaz contained 41.5 Sikandari tanghas, and as the average breadth of 62 Sikandaris in my collection is 7234 inches, the length of the Ilahi gaz will be 30.0211 inches. Mr. Thomas, ii. 133, found exactly 30 inches.

[p. 274]: but to this it has been justly objected by Mr. Thomas1 that amongst the multitudes of mediaeval coins found during the excavations, " the number of Hindu pieces was very limited, and that even these seem to be casual contributions from other provinces, of no very marked uniformity or striking age." The local coins consist exclusively of specimens of the Arab governors of Sindh, with the name of Mansura in the margin ; and so far as I am aware, there is not a single piece that can be attributed to any of the Hindu rajas of Sindh. It is therefore to be regretted that Mr. Bellasis did not make more extensive excavations in the smaller mound of Dilura, which would probably have yielded some satisfactory evidence of its superior antiquity.

According to the native histories and traditions of the people, Brahmanabad was destroyed by an earth quake, in consequence of the wickedness of its ruler, named Dilu Rai. The date of this prince is doubtful. M'Murdo has assigned a.h. 140, or A.D. 757, 2 as the year in which Chota, the brother of Dilu, returned from his pilgrimage to Mekka ; but as Mausura was still a flourishing city in the beginning of the tenth century, when visited by Masudi and Ibn Haukal, it is clear that the earthquake cannot have happened earlier than A.D. 950. Dilu and Chota are said to have been the sons of Amir, the Rai or ruler of Brahmanabad. But it is difficult to believe that there were any Hindu chiefs in Brahmana during the rule of the Arab.-; in Mansura. The fact is that the same

1 Prinsep's Essays,' vol. ii. p. 121, where all the local coins are most carefully described and attributed,

2 Journ. Royal Asiat. Soc.. i. 28.

[p. 275]: stereotyped legend is told of all the old cities in the Panjab, as well as of those in Sindh. Shorkot, Harapa, and Atari, are all said to have been destroyed on account of the sins of their rulers, as well as Alor, Brahmana, and Bambhura. But the same story is also told of Tulamba, which we know to be false, as I have been able to trace its downfall to its desertion by the Ravi, at a very recent date. The excavations of Mr. Bellasis have shown conclusively that Brahmana was overwhelmed by an earthquake. The human bones " were chiefly found in doorways, as if the people were attempting to escape ; others in the corners of the rooms ; some upright, some recumbent, with their faces down, and some crouched in a sitting posture." 1 The city was certainly not destroyed by fire, as Mr. Richardson notes that he found no remains of charcoal or burnt wood, and that the old walls bore no traces of fire. On the contrary, he also found the human remains crushed in the corners of the rooms, as if the terror-stricken inhabitants, finding their houses falling about them, had crouched in the corners and been buried by the falling material. 2 Mr. Richardson also picked up a brick which had " entered cornerways into a skull, and which, when taken out, had a portion of the bone adhering to it." His conclusion is the same as that of Mr. Bellasis, " that the city was destroyed by some terrible convulsion of nature."

The local coins found in the ruins of Bambhra ka- tul belong to the Arab governors of Mansura, from the time of Jamhur, son of Mansur, the reputed founder of the city, down to Umar, the contemporary of

1 Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bombay, v. 417.

2 Ibid., V. 423.

[p. 276]: Masudi 1 It was therefore in existence during the whole of that time, or from A.D. 750 to 940, or even later. This agrees exactly with what I have already noted, that the city was still flourishing when visited by Masudi and Ibn Haukal in the first half of the tenth century ; and I would therefore assign its destruction to the latter half of that century, and not earlier than A.D. 970. It is true that Mansura is mentioned by Abu Rihan in the beginning of the next century, and at a still later period by Edrisi, Kazvini, and Rashid-ud-din ; but the last three were mere compilers, and their statements accordingly belong to an earlier age. Abu Rihan, however, is entirely original, and as his knowledge of the Indian language gave him special facilities for obtaining accurate information, his evidence is sufficient to prove that Mansura was still existing in his time. In speaking of the itinerary of Sindh, he says, 2 " From Aror to Bahmanwa, also named el Mansura, is reckoned 20 parasangs; from thence to Loharani, at the mouth of the river, 30 parasangs." Mansura therefore still existed when Abu Rihan wrote his work, about A.D. 1031 ; but as it is mentioned by only one author in the campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, it is almost certain that it no longer existed as a great fortress, the capital of the country, otherwise its wealth would have attracted the cupidity of that rapacious conqueror. I conclude, therefore, that Mansura was already very much decayed before the accession of Mahmud, and that the earthquake -which levelled its walls and overthrew its houses, must have happened some time before

1 Thomas in Prinsep's ' Essays,' ii. 113. 2 Reinaud, ' Fragments Arabes,' etc. p. 113.

[p. 277]: the beginning of the eleventh century. It is probable that most of the inhabitants who escaped the great catastrophe would have returned to the ruined city to look after their buried property, and that many of them again reared their houses on the old sites. But the walls of the city were fallen, and there was no security ; the river was gradually failing, and there was a scarcity of water ; and the place was altogether so much decayed, that even in a.h. 416, or A.D. 1025, when the conqueror of Somnath returned through Sindh, the plunder of Mansura was not sufficient to tempt him out of his direct march ; so he passed on by Sehwan to Ghazni, leaving the old capital unvisited, and even unnoticed, unless we accept the solitary statement of Ibn Athir, that Mahmud on this occasion appointed a Muhammadan governor to Mansura.

Jat gotras

Notable persons


External links


  1. Alexander Cunningham: The Ancient Geography of India/Western India,p.271
  2. James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II,Annals of Haravati,p.414-416
  3. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/Note (A).- Geographical,pp.369-
  4. The Ancient Geography of India/Western India,pp.267-277

Back to Jat Places in Pakistan