Friday, November 27, 2009
Sehwan Sharif is situated some 100 kilometers from Hyderabad Sindh, Pakistan. It is famous for the shrine of Hazarat Lal Shahbaz Qalander, a distinguished sofi saint of Muslims. Sehwan is held in high esteem by local Muslims and Hindus alike.Sehwan is one of the most ancient towns of Indus valley. Its history dates back to the second ancient belt of this valley after the ancient culture of Moen jo Daro. At the time of Maha Bharat when Brahmans were settled in this valley, they founded many towns on the bank of Indus. Sehwan occupies a first place in those old ancient towns. It is not known what its original name was in those days but at the time of the invasion of Alexander the Great, this town occupied a cardinal place and Alexander encamped here on his return march homeward. In memory of his victory he built a fort, the ruins of which are still in existence in the north of the present town.
At the time of invasion of Alexander the Great, Sehwan was called "SEVESTAN" and ruled over by Raja Mati. During the decay of Empire of Raja Mati, it was ravaged by Raja Chhach. This part of country thus ruled by Raja Chhach and his followers until Raja Dahar who was defeated at he battle of Debal in 711 A.D .by Mohammed Bin Qasim. While Sindh was subject to the Emperors at Delhi, Sehwan or Sevastan, as it was then called appears to have been generally the seat of Governor. When the Samas came in to the power, one of the first things which they did was to seize Sehwan, and when Shah Beg Arghun took the kingdom from the last of Samas he had to fight, a second battle for possession of the town. Under his son Miraz Shah Hussain the fugitive Emperor Humayun made a determined when Sindh again lost its independence and Daudpotas,
Kalhoras and Panhawar were fighting of the right bank of the Indus. Sehwan declined. The victorious Kalhoras made their capital at Khudaabad thirty-two kilometers to the north, but this capital in its turn, was superseded by Hyderabad.
At the time of British conquest, this part of the country was ruled by the Talpurs (Mirs). After the battle of Miani, Sir Charles Napier took possession of the Sindh and made Karachi as his headquarter.
Administrative expediency demanded the reconstitution of the boundaries of the district in 1901 when Larkana district was created and some talukas, which were earlier part of Shikarpur district, were linked with it. The people of this part, with the passage of time and change in circumstances, could not adjust themselves of the political and administrative environment of Larkana district and they demanded their severance from it. This resulted into creation of Dadu district in 1931with its headquarters at Dadu.
Ethnicity and Tribes
The majority of the population is Muslim. They can be divided into two major groups Samats and Baloch. The Samat includes Panhwar, Solangi, Qureshi, Sheikh, Siddiqui, Qazi and others.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sufi Dance (Dhamal)
sufis in front of Shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar ( R.A )'s Khalifa Hazrat Sikandar Bodla Bahar ( R.A ) preparing for dhamal (special sufi dance) at the time of (Maghrib)sunset.
SOME PICTURE OF SHRINE.
Friday, November 13, 2009
A town of unimpeachable antiquity, Sehwan, some eighty miles north-west of Hyderabad, lay on the opposite bank of the Indus. Most historians have accepted the link between Sehwan and the Greek settlement of Siwistan. It was significant enough during the 8th century to be conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim in 711 A.D., and two centuries later by Mahmud of Ghazni. An abortive attempt was made by the Mughal emperor Humayun to capture it on his way to Umarkot but it finally fell to his son Akbar. Apart from the remnants of the ruins scattered about its environs, the most famous monument in Sehwan remains the shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.
RUINS AT SEHWAN, c. 1838
Lithograph published in Sir K.A. Jackson Views of
Affghaunistan (London, 1841), plate 12.
The accompanying notes provided by Jackson read: 'On the north side of the town is the ruined castle or fortress of Sehwaun, by which it is completely commanded; this is perhaps the most extraordinary building on the Indus, and no doubt constructed before the invasion by Alexander the Macedonian. It consists of a natural mound sixty feet high, encased in many parts with burnt brick. In fact, the fortress and mount are so amalgamated, that it is difficult now to distinguish what portions of it are the work of art. The gate is opposite to the side of the town, and has evidently been an arched one. The Emperor Humaioon in A.D.1541, attempted to take it, and was unsuccessful, it was invested by his son Acbar for seven months, who at length succeeded in its capture.
Captain Del Hoste of the Bombay Army, writing in 1839, provided this additional description: 'It is an artificial mound 80 or 90 paces high; on the top is a space of 1500 by 800 feet, surrounded by a broken wall. We examined the remains of several old towers of brick, and I took a hasty sketch of the gateway, which is remarkably lofty. The mound is evidently artificial, and the remains of several towers are visible. The brickwork seems to extend to the bottom of the mound, or, at any rate, to a considerable depth, as we could see down the the parts washed away by the rains. A well, filled up, was observed. We were told that coins and medals were frequently found in and near the place' (quoted in Hughes (1876), 724).
Ruins at Sehwan 1838
ENTRANCE TO SEHWAN, 1844
Lithograph by Charles Haghe based upon a sketch
by William Edwards,1844. Published in Sketches in
Scinde (London, 1846), Plate 7.
Edwards described the entrance and situation of Sehwan in the following words: 'The approach to Sehwan is through a grove of beautiful tamarind and palm trees. The city is built' on a rising ground on the banks of the river Arul, and is distant about two or three miles from the mighty and classic Indus. In the environs are many fine mosques and tombs, and within the city is a remarkably splendid musjid, built in honour of the celebrated Muslim saint, Lal Shah Baz. An object of great interest is the old castle of Sehwan, which, although now in ruins, is yet sufficiently perfect to attest its former strength.' About its most famous patron Edwards wrote:
'Lal Shah Baz was a saint of Khorassan, said to have been buriecFhere about 600 years since. His sanctity and miracles are in such repute that pilgrims flock from Afghanistan and India, and even the Princes of the country did him homage.'
Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a Persian by origin, died in 1272. His real name was Shaikh Usman Marwandi. An initial tomb for the saint built by Malik Iktiyaruddin in about 1356 was expanded by two rulers of the Tarkhan dynasty, Mirza Jani and his son Mirza Ghazi, and later in 1639 improved and embellished by Nawab Dindar Khan. The gateway and the balustrade of hammered silver around the tomb had been reputedly provided by Mir Karam Au Talpur. The Urs of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qal~ndar is normally held on the 18th of Shaban each year.
Entrance to Sehwan, 1844