“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” and that joy is Bhambore because
“…on every morrow are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth
Spite on despondence of inhuman dearth”
That’s why most of us find the city of past the most soulful that make the shelter for itself in our hearts.
Bhambore, an ancient town or city surrounded by rocks and
citadel where Alexander the Great established his town in 325 BC, is in Sindh
at a distance of 37 miles of north of Karachi.
According to Humera Naz, the professor of General History at Karachi University, the city, near Gharo in Sindh, was named after Bhambo Raja who made it his capital in 10th century when it used to be the trade route to China and Middle East.
An ancient city is famous for the entrance of Muhammad Bin
Qasim in Sindh though its seaport or DEEBAL in 712 AD and fought against Raja
Dahir with his army at the age of 17. The ruins of the castle which the boy
destroyed was still present there.
And secondly, Bhambore hides and slumbers the story of one of the Seven Queens of Sindh, Sassi and Punhu in which the daughter of Bhambore Raja who was ten adopted by dhobi and son of Badshah of Balochistan, Mir Dostan Khan fell in love. The inhumane world, then, separated them after their marriage but the truth kept them together.
According to Humera Naz’s article “Bhambore: The City of Mystery and Romance”, the story of Sindhi girl and Balochi boy took place in Soomra period, the period of chivalry and romance.
Furthermore the writer says that the story was spread by Bhats and Charans.
The love story of Sindhi Queen was narrated by Shah Abdul Karim Bulri (grandfather of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai) for the first time.
The few lines of the poetry are:
“Sussui says, “When I came outside Bhambore and cried out, if my cries would have been heard by my beloved, he would have not left me.”
The poets of Sassi and Punhu (Shah Abdul Karum Bulri, Mir Muhammad Masum Bakhari and Mian Shah Inayat) pronounced the city either as BANBHORE or BHOMBHORE which shows what the name of it for its residents was.
An ancient had the three clashing periods of
- Hindu-Buddhist, and
- Early Islamic
From 1st to 13th century.
Scytho-Parthian kingdom remained there from 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. It is believed to be discovered by Parthians.
Hindus in majority and Bhuddists in minority lived there from 2nd century AD to 8th century AD. There are the ruins of temples. There was also Shiva temple once.
Muslims ruled there from 8th to 13th century AD. Muslims pottery was also found from there along with the remains of first masjid of sub-continent.
There is also a little museum in Bhambore. The museum had
- The remains of utensils and pottery:
Many civilizations lived there. Each had their own lifestyle. That’s why different kind of utensils were there. Some were made of elecphant’s teeth, some were carved. There was
- The glass pottery of Muslims
- Large pots of Brahamnical Period
- Big stone of Sassanian Period
- White sand made pots
- Chinese pottery
- Old Tank of water made from white sand
- Stones on which ayats were carved without Ahrab and much more.
There is the replica or model of catapult outside the museum that was used there in old days.
- Model of City Plan:
There was also model in museum which shows how much the city is excavated and how the city was built.
According to the model, the remains of 15 ACto 23 AC were excavated.
And it showed the city was quite well planned and modern. At very entrance there is the old map of the city of romance.
The museum and history shows the city was prosperous. It had grand houses and rich lifestyle along with traditions and culture.
According to Humera Naz, the houses of rich people was built
of sandstones that used to come from hillocks and mud bricks were used to make
It was estimated that 55 acres was occupied by people although its only 10 percent is discovered. David Ross writes in his The Land of the Five Rivers and Sindh: Sketches Historical and Descriptive
“There are ruins of great antiquity in ‘Bambura’, comprising
ramparts, bastions, towers and houses which show a large population and trace
at one time”
According to Fathnama-i-Sindh alias Chachnama, Bhambore had Shiva temple at its hillock once which was later turned into Grand Masjid or Jamia Masjid.
Jamia Masjid is the oldest and first masjid of Sub-continent. It was established by Muhammad Bin Qasim after destroying the temple near sea.
It was believed that the city was DEEBAL initially.
Henry Cousens, British author and historian, writes in Antiquities of Sind
“Natives of Sindh consider it as the oldest port of the province.”
According to Periplus, the book about trading routes and
seaports, the city was delta seaport when Alexander the Great came there in 324
BC and built his town in Bhambore.
The facts shows that Parthian came here because of seaport. Because its trade route linked the kingdom to Iraq.
Furthermore, the trade route, in 10th century, passed through China and Middle East.
That time it was 20 km away from River India but now the distance has increased to 35km.
And historians agree with its being seaport because of following three reasons
- The ruins of it were found near the River Indus
- Dead bodies of textile and textile worders were found near the ruins, and
- Sassi ran through this route to meet Punhu
Today the land is very quiet. It has pin drop silence but.
No one now lives there.
It was believed that civilizations disappeared long ago due to either
- Major change in the course of River Indus that deserted the city, or
- Occurrence of major earthquake in 1250 AD, or
- Civil war/ foreign invasion in which Bhambore was set on fire, or
- Invasion of Sindh by Jalal al-Din Khwarzim Shah in 13th.
But no one knows the actual reason. And that’s why no one
can come up with final conclusion about it, still.
The city has the absence of human voice today but still it echoes with the thuder sounds of wind that rush around this little part of South of Sindh which is linked to Kuch Valley.
There are many tales and folk stories about Bhambore but no
one knows whether this place existed as modern city in old days or not because
there is lack and absence of authentic proves and information that witness
about its being established.
Many historians think that it was populated long ago and then has become part of folk stories.
No one knows its reality but between the mysteries of its
existence there lies the funniest part! The city is named Bhambore, according
to Abdul Rehman (who told us about it), because Bhamboo Raja used to make
little pony tail upside on his head. And people used to call that pony
As you dive into the water more and more, you tangle
yourself more and more into an onscure world.
Same thing applies at Bhambhore whose naming is also mysterious.
No one knows whether it is named because of that “Bhambhar” or it is called Bhambore because people used to call Buddhists’ temple, Van-Vihara, as “Ban Bahar”.
Ohhh, the place is very mysterious and that’s why its curiosity provoking one!
Bhambore is a historical place whose history and ruins
provokes you to find out more about, which provokes you to go deeper into it
and which provokes you feel its very presence.
And when you come back to your home again, you can still remember its very presence just like the poem of Shelley
“Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.”
The city has its own odour and presence which prevails inside its silence and peace that quenches your thirst of experiencing the state of nothingness.