Alor Sindh

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Alor is a city and district Headquarters in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Aror or Alor (Urdu: الور‎), Alrúr is the medieval name of the city of Rohri (in Sindh, modern Pakistan).

Variants of name


James Todd[1] writes that The Balas on the continent of Saurashtra, on the contrary, assert their origin to be Induvansa, and that they are the Balaka- putras who were the ancient lords of Aror on the Indus. It would be presumption to decide between these claims ; but I would venture to surmise that they might be the offspring of Salya, one of the princes of the Mahabharata, who founded Aror.

According to James Tod [2]Salya, the founder of Aror on the Indus, a capital I had the good fortune to discover. Salya is the Siharas of Abu-l Fazl. [Ain, ii. 343.]

Jat clans



According to James Todd[3] Kuru had two sons, Sudhanush and Parikshita. The descendants of the former terminated with Jarasandha, whose capital was Rajagriha on the Ganges, in the province of Bihar. From Parikshita descended the monarchs Santanu and Balaka : the first producing the rivals of the Great War, Yudhishthira and Duryodhana ; the other the Balakaputras.

The sons of Balaka founded two kingdoms : Palibothra, on the lower Ganges ; and Aror, on the eastern bank of the Indus, founded by Sahl.

James Todd[4] writes that Aror, or Alor, was the capital of Sind in remote antiquity : a bridge over the stream which branched from the Indus, near Dara, is almost the sole vestige of this capital of the Sogdoi of Alexander. On its site the shepherds of the desert have established an extensive hamlet ; it is placed on a ridge of siliceous rock, seven miles east of the insular Bakhar, and free from the inundations of the Indus. The Sodha tribe, a powerful branch of the Pramara race, has ruled in these countries from remote antiquity, and to a very late period they were lords of Umarkot and Umrasurara, in which divisions was Aror. Sahl and his capital were known to Abu-l Fazl, though he was ignorant of its position, which he transferred to Debal, or Dewal, the modern Tatta. This indefatigable historian thus describes it : "In ancient times there lived a raja named Siharas (Sahl), whose capital was Alor, and his dominions extended north to Kashmir and south to the ocean " [Ain, ii. 343]. Sahl, or Sahr, became a titular appellation of the country, its princes, and its inhabitants, the Sehraes. [See p. 21 above.] Alor appears to have been the capital of the kingdom of Sigerdis, conquered by Menander of Bactria. Ibn Haukal, the Arabian geographer, mentions it ; but a superfluous point in writing has changed Aror into Azor, or Azour, as translated by Sir W. Ouseley. The illustrious D'AnviUe mentions it ; but, in ignorance of its position, quoting Abulfeda, says, in grandeur " Azour est presque comparable a Mooltan." I have to claim the discovery of several ancient capital cities in the north of India : Surpur, on the Jumna, the capital of the Yadus ; Alor, on the Indus, the capital of the Sodhas ; Mandodri, capital of the Pariharas ; Chandravati, at the foot of the Aravalli mountains ; and Valabhipura, in Gujarat, capital of the Balaka-raes, the Balharas of Arab travellers. The Bala Rajput of Saurashtra may have given the name to Valabhipura, as descendants of Balaka, from Sahl of Aror. The blessing of the bard to them is yet, Tatta Multan ka Rao ( ' lord of Tatta and Multan,' the seats of the Balaka-putras) : nor is it improbable that a branch of these under the Indian Hercules, Balaram, who left India after the Great War, may have founded Balich, or Balkh, emphatically called the ' mother of cities.' The Jaisalmer annals assert that the Yadu and Balaka branches of the Indu race ruled Khorasan after the Great War, the Indo-Scythic races of Grecian authors. Besides the Balakas, and the numerous branches of the Indo-Medes, many of the sons of Kuru dispersed over these regions : amongst whom we may place Uttara Kuru (Northern Kurus) of the Puranas, the Ottorokorrhai of the Greek authors. Both the Indu and Surya races were eternally sending their superfluous population to those distant regions, when probably the same primeval religion governed the races east and west of the Indus.

Arab historians used the words Al-rur, Al-ruhr and Al Ror to describe Aror.[5] The basic meaning being "The Ror" as 'Al' is simply the English word 'The' in Arabic. Aror was the ancient capital of Sindh, originally ruled by the Ror Dynasty, which was followed by Rai Dynasty and then the Brahman Dynasty. Modern Rohri is now situated close to Sukkur, Sindh. In 711, Aror was captured by the army of Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim. In 962 it was hit by a massive earthquake that changed the course of the Indus River.[6]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[7] ने लेख किया है ...अलोर (AS, p.43): पाकिस्तान के सिंध में सक्खर से छ: मील पूर्व छोटा-सा क़स्बा था। यह 'हकरा नदी' के [p.44] पश्चिमी तट पर बसा हुआ था। इस प्राचीन नगर के खंडहर रोरी से पाँच मील दक्षिण-पूर्व की ओर स्थित हैं।

यह नगर अलक्षेंद्र के भारत पर आक्रमण करने के समय मुचुकर्ण या मूषिकों की राजधानी था[8] यूनानी लेखकों ने इन्हें 'मौसीकानोज' लिखा है। यूनानी लेखकों के वर्णन के अनुसार मूषिकों की आयु 130 वर्ष होती थी। 712 ई. में अरब सेनापति मुहम्मद बिन क़ासिम ने इस नगर को राजा दाहिर से युद्ध करने के पश्चात् जीत लिया था। यहाँ ब्राह्मण राजा दाहिर की राजधानी थी। दाहिर इस युद्ध में मारा गया और सतीत्व की रक्षा के लिए नगर की कुलवधुएँ चिताओं में जलकर भस्म हो गईं।

एक प्राचीन दन्तकथा के अनुसार 800 ई. के लगभग यह नगर सिंध नदी की बाढ़ में नष्ट हो गया था। कहा जाता है कि सेफ़ुलमुल्क नामक व्यापारी ने एक सुन्दर युवती की एक क्रूर सरदार से रक्षा करने के लिए नदी का जल नगर की ओर प्रवाहित कर दिया था, जिससे नगर तबाह हो गया।[9]

Alexander Cunningham on MusikaniAlor

Alexander Cunningham[10] writes about MusikaniAlor.....[p. 257]: From the territory of the Sogdi or Sodrae, Alexander continued his voyage down the Indus to the capital of a king named Musikanus, according to Strabo, Diodorus, and Arrian, 1 or of a people named Musicani, according to Curtius. 2 From Arrian we learn that this kingdom had been described to Alexander as " the richest and most populous throughout all India ; " and from Strabo we get the account of Onesikritus that " the country produced everything in abundance ; " which shows that the Greeks themselves must have been struck with its fertility. Now these statements can apply only to the rich and powerful kingdom of Upper Sindh, of which Alor is known to have been the capital for many ages. Where distances are not given, and names disagree, it is difficult to determine the position of any place from a general description, unless there are some peculiarities of site or construction, or other properties which may serve to fix its identity. In the present instance we have nothing to guide us but the general description that the kingdom of Musikanus was " the richest and most populous throughout all India." But as the native histories and traditions of Sindh agree in stating that Alor was the ancient metropolis of the country, it seems almost certain that it must be the capital of Musikanus, otherwise this famous city would be altogether unnoticed by Alexander's historians, which is highly improbable, if not quite

1 Strabo, Geogr., xv. i. 22-34 and 54. Diodorus, xvii. 10. Arrian, ' Anabasis,' vi. 15.

2 Vita Alex., ix. 8.

[p. 258]: impossible. That the territory of Alor was rich and fertile we know from the early Arab geographers, who are unanimous in its praise.

The ruins of Alor are situated to the south of a gap in the low range of limestone-hills, which stretches from Bhakar towards the south for about 20 miles, until it is lost in the broad belt of sand-hills which bound the Nara, or old bed of the Indus, on the west. Through this gap a branch of the Indus once flowed, which protected the city on the north-west. To the north-east it was covered by a second branch of the river, which flowed nearly at right angles to the other, at a distance of 3 miles. At the accession of Raja Dahir, in A.D. 680, the latter was probably the main stream of the Indus, which had been gradually working to the westward from its original bed in the old Nara. 1 According to the native histories, the final change was hastened by the excavation of a channel through the northern end of the range of hills between Bhakar and Rori.

The true name of Alor is not quite certain. The common pronunciation at present is Aror, but it seems probable that the original name was Rora, and that the initial vowel was derived from the Arabic prefix Al, as it is written Alror in Biladuri, Edrisi, and other Arab authors. This derivation is countenanced by the name of the neighbouring town of Rori, as it is a common practice in India thus to duplicate names. So Rora and Rori would mean Great and Little Rora. This word has no meaning in Sanskrit, but in Hindi it signifies "noise, clamour, roar" and also "fame." It is just possible, therefore, that the full name of the

1 See Map No. IX.

[p. 259]: city may have been Rora-pura, or Rora-nagara, the " Famous City." This signification suggested itself to me on seeing the name of Abhijanu applied to a neighbouring village at the foot of the hill, 2 miles to the south-west of the ruins of Alor. Abhijan is a Sanskrit term for " fame," and is not improbably connected with Hwen Thsang's Pi-chen-po-pu-lo, which, by adding an initial syllable o, might be read as Abhjanwapura. I think it probable that Alor may be the Binagara of Ptolemy, as it is placed on the Indus to the eastward of Oskana, which appears to be the Oxykanus of Arrian and Curtius. Ptolemy's name of Binagara is perhaps only a variant reading of the Chinese form, as pulo, or pura, is the same as nagara, and Pichenpo may be the full form of the initial syllable Bi.

The city of Musikanus was evidently a position of some consequence, as Arrian relates that Alexander " ordered Kraterus to build a castle in the city, and himself tarried there to see it finished. This done, he left a strong garrison therein, because this fort seemed extremely commodious for bridling the neighbouring nations and keeping them in subjection." It was no doubt for this very reason that Alor was originally founded, and that it continued to be occupied until deserted by the river, when it was supplanted by the strong fort of Bhakar.

Various names of the place

According to Sir H. M. Elliot[11]The name Alor is found in various forms

  • Mas'údí (p. 23) calls it Al Rúr;
  • Ibn Khurdádba writes Al Daur (p. 14);
  • Istakhrí has Al Rúz (p. 27), and Al Rúr (p. 28).
  • The Ashkalu-l Bilád has Aldúr (p. 34), and Alrúr (p. 37); who writes The country [city] of Alrúr1 is as extensive as Multán. It has two walls, is situated near the Mihrán, and is on the borders of Mansúra.[12]
  • Gildemeister makes Ibn Haukal's version to be Rúz and Alrúz; *Bírúní's spelling is ambiguous (see p. 48);
  • Idrísí has Dúr (p. 79).
  • The Marásidu-l Ittilá' has Al Rúr.

The ruins of the town lie between Bhakkar and Khairpur, and are known by the name of Alor. Lieut. Maclagan says that it is also called Aror and that the band spoken of by Burnes is really an arched bridge. [There can be little doubt of the first syllable being the Arabic al, and the real name Rúr, as it survives in the modern town of Rorí, which stands close by the ruins of Alor.

Notable persons

External links


  1. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races,p.135
  2. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Chapter 3 Genealogies continued,p.40, fn-3
  3. James Todd Annals/Chapter 4 Foundations of States and Cities by the different tribes, p.51
  4. James Todd Annals/Chapter 4 Foundations of States and Cities by the different tribes, p.51,f.n.-3
  5. "Alor or Aror of the Muslims is really Al Ror which is the same as Roruka or Roruva, the name of the ancient Sauvira capital", Page 45, History of the Punjab, Volume 1 by Fauja Singh, Published by the Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1977
  6. A glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose Vol II/A,p.17
  7. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.43-44
  8. कैंब्रिज हिस्ट्री ऑफ इंडिया, पृ. 377
  9. स्मिथ- अर्ली हिस्ट्री ऑफ इंडिया, चतुर्थ संस्करण, पृ. 369
  10. The Ancient Geography of India/Western India, pp.257-259
  11. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/Note (A).- Geographical,p.363
  12. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/V. Ibn Haukal (Ashkálu-l Bilád),p.37

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