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History washed away

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    History washed away

    I went very close to Badin but did not stop there sadly this year.

    History washed away

    At the centuries-old graveyard of Agham Kot in Badin, the peeping skulls seem to be
    laughing at our frivolous attitude towards heritage

    By Jai Prakash Moorani

    The recent devastating rains have not only changed the entire ecosystem of Sindh but have also damaged the socio-economic infrastructure of the province. It also washed away many historical sites, while some are on the brink of complete decay.
    One such site is centuries-old graveyard of Agham Kot or Aghamano, near village Gulab Leghari, in the Matli Taluqa, Badin district — where several skeletons have resurfaced in the radius of just a kilometre. It’s a scary sight; the peeping skulls seem to be laughing at our frivolous attitude towards heritage.
    About 2000 to 3000 years old, the site contains graves of those belonging to varied religions. History books ‘Chach Nama’ and ‘Tahfat-ul-Karaam’ mentions Raja Agham Lohana ruled the area much before Mohammad bin Qasim came to Sindh. This part of Sindh, dominated by Brahmins and Buddhist, was ruled for centuries by Raja Agham on behalf of Rai Saheeras son of Rai Sahisi of the Rai dynasty. He was the governor of the area and his capital was named after him.
    One skull in Agham Kot was in an upright position that indicated perhaps the person was buried in the sitting position — like the Brahmins or the Rajputs of the ruling class. Also, the scattered bones reflect the buried were war victims probably killed in wars with Rais, Brahmins and later on with Arabs.
    Agham Kot also houses ruins of a mosque, named Patan Wari Masjid (the mosque of the port), as this town was once situated on the banks of river Indus. There is also a stone mosque attributed to Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Makhdoom Ismael Soomro, Shah Abdul Majeed alais Baji Shah, Bibi Aisha and Shah Ismael are some of the sufis and saints buried here.
    Many Shias come to the graveyard to pay homage to Bibi Maham. A few days ago the construction of the shrine on the grave was started but due to rains it has stopped and now incomplete walls surround it. The original tombstone, now severely damaged by the ravages of nature, had text inscribed in Persian but devotees have replaced it with a marble tile.
    Locals have removed stones engraved with historical scripts and have decorated them in their bungalows — a common trend in Sindh, especially in Makli and Chowkundi. It is not that they are ignorant about its historic value but they just feel it is their right to take away the craved stones and other valuable belongings of the monuments. No one is caught, and if by any chance they are caught, the law frees them with a meagre fine.
    Apparently, many centuries ago this particular area was a battleground and many soldiers lost their lives in a massive battle. Perhaps there was no time to bury them so the bodies were abandoned and with passage of time they got covered with layers of earth.
    Agham Kot is situated near the borders of Tando Allahyar, Badin and Hyderabad districts. None of the district administrations is clearly held responsible for the preservation of the site and hence it is on the brink of absolute ruin.

    Re: History washed away

    I think Sindh's culture minister Sassi Paleejo belongs to this area (District Thatta). She has been talking much about preservation of archeological sites of Sindh.

    Although transition to a new post-devolution system is taking time, provinces are showing a promising attitude towards preserving our heritage By Kalbe Ali ISLAMABAD: Like other subjects, archeolog…

    Lets see how the players of Sindh Card act to save heritage of Sindh. Keeping the track of their dealings with alive one, I'm not hopeful of them for inhabitants of graveyards.
    We should care for each other more than we care for ideas, or else we will end up killing each other.