Uchch (in 1878 A.D.)


Of the seven large villages, constituting the present (1878 A.D.), Uchch, that in witch the tomb and shrine of the Sayyid, Jalal-ud-Din, Husain, Bukhari, is situated, is call Uchch-i-Sharif, and Uchch-i-Jalali; and that in which is the tomb and shrine of the famous Makhdum-i-Jahan-gasht is known as Uchch-i-Makhdum. The village in which the governors on the part of the Badshahs of Dihli dwelt is named Uchch-i-Mughal, and so on, all seven places having separate names, but the rest are quite local.

The rivers Hariari or Gharah, the Chin-ab, and the Sindh, unite above six kuroh to the north of Uchch, and the combined waters are known under the name of Sindh or Ab-i-Sindh, which, flowing through the country of Sindh, finally reaches the salt sea. The ancient name was Mihran.

These seven villages constituting the present Uchch are in the possession of the Sayyid’s descendants and those of Shaikhs, and they hold them rent free, and have no taxes whatsoever to pay. The are under allegiance to Timur Shah, Sadozi Durrani, Badshah of Kabul, as are, likewise, the rulers of Sindh, and the chief of Bahawalpur, who is a Daud-putrah.

At the present time Uchch consists of but three small towns, the principal ones named above, which stand on high artificial mounds, the neighborhood having been at all times liable to be wept away by the Indus, which, as related by the writer of the above account, in his time, as in former years, flowed much near to Uchch than it does at present. Such an inundation threatened to destroy it in the time of the Khwajah, Yahya-i-Kabir, the Bakht-yar Afghan saint, at the time he was the disciple of the Sayyid, Jalal-ud-Din, Husain, Uchch’s greatest saint. These three places are contiguous to each other, and are connected by a wall of brick, in a dilapidated state.

All round the place vast ruins of the former city and fortifications lie scattered about, and testify to the solidity of the buildings. They are constructed of burnt bricks, like all the solid structures of these parts, where stone is not procurable; and some of the buildings, even in these days, are in a good state of preservation.

During the latter years of the Lati or Kalhorah power in Sindh, and the rise of the chiefs of Bahawalpur, shortly before the time these surveys were made, there used to be constant hostility between the Makhdums of Uchch and the Daud-putrah chiefs, but, subsequently, they made up their differences.

Uchch is a place of considerable antiquity. As early as the time of Sahi, ruler of Sindh, son of Sihras Rae, who was killed in battle with the Arabs, Uchch was one of the principal fortified cities of Sindh, the strength of which Sahi increased—according to the Sindhi annals— by raising the height of the mounds on which they stood.

In after times, when Sindh and Multan formed separate Muhammadan provinces, and were subject to Ghaznin and afterwards to Dihli, also when Sindh formed an independent state under sultan Nasir-ud-Din , Kaba-jah, and likewise after the invasion of Hind by Amir Timur, the Gurgan, Uchch was not included in Sindh, but formed an integral part of the Multan Province.

Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din, Muhammad, son of Sam, the Shansabani Tajzik ruler of the Ghurian empire, in (1173-74 A.D.), with some difficulty, expelled the Ghuzz Turks from Ghaznin and its dependencies, after they had been twelve years in possession, after which he conferred the sovereignty over that State upon his brother, Muizz-ud-Din, Muhammad, who had previously been in possession of Tigin-abad and its dependencies. This sultan, in (1178-79 A.D.), some say in the following year, possessed himself of Uchch, when on his way against Nahrwalah of Gujerat.

At this time Uchch was in the possession of a chief of the Bhati tribe of the Jats, and in the tracts around, and as far east as Bhatindah, they are still located.

The feudatory of Uchch, Malik Nasir-ud-Din, Aetamur (having been killed in the battle with the forces of Khita and the Maliks of Turkistan near Indakhud, also called Andkhud, in (1204-5 A.D.), in which Sultan Muiz-ud-Din, Muhammad-i-Sam, was defeated, he, on his return to Ghaznin, conferred the fief of Uchch upon another of his slaves, Malik Nasir-ud-Din, Kaba-jah. He was I-bak’s son-in-law, and, as before stated, I-bak was the son-in-law of I-yal-duz, for the Sultan promoted these matrimonial connections among his mamluks.

After the sudden death of Sultan Kutb-ud-Din, I-bak, at Lahore, from an accident he met with, whilst playing at Chaugan, Kaba-jah assumed independence and the title of Sultan at Uchch, and possessed himself of Multan, Sindh-u-stan and Dibal, and their dependencies, as for as the sea coast, and brought all Sindh, as well as the country east of the Wahind or Hakra, as far as the limits of Tabarhindah, Kuhram, and Sursuti, under his sway. He was ousted from Multan and Uchch on one occasion by Sultan Taj-ud-Din, I-yal-duz, who, for a time held possession of Lohor, but, after the latter’s defeat, imprisonment, and death, at the hands of Shams-ud-Din, I-yal-timish, the slave, son-in-law, and successor of Sultan Kutb-ud-Din, I-bak, after the short reign of Sultan Aram Shah,, who was the adopted son of I-bak , but who is, by some historians, call his son, Kaba-jah received those cities and their dependencies once more.

Sultan Nasir-ud-Din, Kaba-jah, soon after this, had to contend with an army of infidel Mughals, under the Nu-in, Turtae, who invested Multan for a period of forty two days. He came from the northwards down the Sindh-Sagar Do-abah, in which, it is necessary to remember, both Multan and Uchch were at this time situated; for those rivers of the Punj-ab, which now flow west of Multan, then united many miles to the northward of it, and passed both it and Uchch some distance on the east. They united with the Biah about twenty-eight miles below Multan, and with the Hakra or Wahind about twenty-five miles south-east of Uchch. The excessive heat, for it was the hot season, drove Turtae to abandon the investment, although the place must have surrendered in a few days more; and he retired, plundering the provinces of Multan and Lohor, re-crossed the Indus, and marched towards Ghaznin.

Sultan Nasir-ud-Din, Kaba-jah, having now established himself over the territories of Uchch, Multan, and Sindh, during the calamities which arose in Bukhara, in Khurasan, Ghur, and Ghaznin, consequent on the overthrow of the Musalman sovereigns by the infidel Mughals, a great number of the chief men, Amirs and Ecclesiastics, of those parts, took shelter in Sindh. Those who came into Kaba-jah’s dominions were amply provided for. It was at this period that one of the most venerated of the saints of Uchch, Sayyid Jalal-ud-Din Husain of Bukhara, who is also known as Shah Jalal-ud-Din came into these parts and took up his residence in Uchch. At this time Shaikh Baha-ud-Din Zakriya was alive.

Had he scarcely been rid of Turtae and his Mughals than Sultan Jalal-ud-Din Mang Barni, the Khwarazm Shah who, after he had escaped from the meshes of the Mughals by plunging into the river Indus, had received shelter with Khokhar -chief of Koh-i-Jud or Salt Range—who was hostile to Kaba-ja, sent a force in Thal and captured Mankera. He re-assembled a number of his dispersed followers. They, making a forced march, made a night attack and surprised Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Kaba-ja. After having to pay down a considerable some of money, Sultan Jalal-ud-Din and he returned to Salt range.

The author of the Tabakat-i-Nasiri flying from his country near Herat reached Uchch. Being an Ecclesiastic of note, the charge of Firuzi College of Uchch and Kaziship were conferred upon him.

I-yaltimish moved against him secured Multan and appeared before Uchch on becoming aware of the hostile movements; Kaba-ja embarked his forces and treasures on vessels retired to his fortress of Bakhar. I-yaltimish dispatched his Wazir Nizam-ul-Mulk against Bakhar. The Wazir having march drown the river and appeared near Bakhar. Kaba-ja dispatched his son to I-yaltimish to sue for terms of peace but he was detained and the investment of Bakhar was pushed on with vigor.

Preferring death to surrender and captivity, Kaba-ja cast himself from the walls of the fortress into Indus and was drowned. He had reined over Sindh, Uchch and Multan for a period of twenty two years.

Soon after the retirement of the Amir Timur beyond Indus, Sindh became independent for a time; Multan and Uchch fell into the hands of the Langah rulers, several rulers of this tribe ruled Multan for four generations. Mirza Shah Husain Arghun took Uchch from the Langah and his Baloch supporters. Mirza Shah Husain commanded that a new fort should be built at Uchch.

When Kyuk son of Uktae son of Chingiz Khan succeeded his father in (1241 A.D.), he gave direction for the dispatch of several armies into difference part of Asia. Mangutah, who was at the head of the Mughal mings in Tukharistan was directed to invade states of Sindh, and he accordingly marched his forces towards Uchch and Multan. He took Multan and marched against Uchch. At this time, the governor of this city was one Khwajah Sara (eunuch) Salah. Mangutah advanced to foot of the walls of the Uchch, inverted it, and the fighting commenced.

The garrisons in Uchch continued steadfastly to defend a breach. The following night, in the third watch of the night, when the defenders had gone to sleep, Mangutah himself appeared on the top of the breach. The defenders, however, have mixed a vast quantity of water and clay together in rear of the breach and had prepared a quagmire more than a spear’s depth. The Mughal Bahadur fell into the quagmire and sank therein. The next day the Mughals deputed persons requesting the defenders the give up Bahadur in order that the army might withdraw the investment and depart. As that accursed one had gone to hell and had sunk into the slimy mud, to give him up was impossible; so the people of fortress denied having taken him prisoner. In the mean time a force from Dihli approached and the Mughal forces retreated.


By: Ijaz Baloch

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