The Stupa in Kachho Region

Kachho is derived from Sindhi word “Kachh” which means armpit. The deserted area close to the edge of the mountains, starting from the Lake Manchhar up to Qamber Shahdadkot, Jacobabad and ahead up to Dhadhar or Sibi of Balochistan Province is Kaachho. In Balochistan it is called Kachhi. Before the barrage irrigation system, there were two areas; one Kacho which is spread near the bank of Indus River and second Kaachho which was near the edge of Khirthar the mountainous range. But later, after barrage system, third part appeared as Pakko. The area of Kaachho is also divided into two parts. One is called Kandhi (Area near mountains) and second is called Patt (Deserted area).  The area of Kaachho is historically and archaeologically flourish region of Sindh. The remains of different historical periods, religions and archaeological ruins have been traced out in this region. The region of Kaachho also remained the centre of Buddhism which can be traced out through the ruins of Stupas in this area. According to “Chach Nama” this area was “Buddhia Pargano (Division)” of Sindh. Dr. Nabi Bux Khan Baloch suggests that the area of “Buddhia Pargano” probably started from Sehwan towards north. Most likely Buddhist’s this area was spread on the area between Khirthar Mountainous Range and The River Indus, from Sehwan, Naig and Manchhar to Sivi of Sibi of Balochistan. The petroglyphs of stupas have also been explored engraved and chiseled on the rocks in Khirthar Range. The Stupas are the main remains of Buddhism. The history of Buddhism spans the 6th century BC to the present, starting with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama on the Indian sub continent, in what is now Lumbini, Nepal. This makes it one of the oldest religions practiced today. Before Buddhism, in Vedic period, the society was encircled by the religious and social discrepancies of miserable customs. Brahmans were more powerful and fighters in Vedic era. Their religious traditions were very expensive for lower classes, such as the birth of child, marriage, death, to grow and harvest crops had different and so difficult customs and at the time of completeness of every custom Brahmans were worshiped. The discrepancies of caste became very strict. There was large difference between Raja (King) and Pirja (common people). The people including shudders and peasants became more helpless. In these circumstances Buddhism brought attraction to such people, who were treated as mean. When Buddhism was started to preach, mostly mean and scheduled castes came in to its fold. So, Buddhism spread widely among those common people who were treated with low manners. People might have felt spiritually and socially relaxation in this new faith. Where ever Buddha went and halted, barbers, weavers, curriers (Shoes maker) and poor peasants circled around him and became his followers. The history reveals that in the third century BC, after his conversion to Buddhism, the emperor Ashoka had spread Buddhism and built stupas in South Asia including India. According to Brahmi, kharoshti, Pali and Sanskrit edicts Ashoka had constructed 84,000 stupas all over the south Asia but regarding this the confirmed reference is needed. Hitherto, the stupas at the eight places related with the life of the Buddha continued to be of particular importance. Accordingly, the importance of a stupa changed from being a funerary monument to being an object of worship. A stupa is pronounced as stūpa in Sanskrit,”thūpa” in Pāli and “Toop” or “Thul” in Sindhi.Literally it means “heap” which is a mound-like or semi-hemispherical structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the ruins of Buddhist monks, used by Buddhists as a place of meditation. A stupa is a place where all the Buddhists are abiding. A stupa is the most sacred monument found in all of the ancient Buddhist countries. Unique amongst all forms of sacred architecture, it is the typical symbol of enlightenment. Stupas are filled with sacred images, mantras and the relics of holy beings. History suggests that stupas evolved into large hemispherical structures with features including the “torana” (gateway), the “vedica” (fence-like enclosure evolved from the Vedic villages), the “harmika” (a square platform on top of the stupa), “chattrayashti” (the parasol or canopy) and a “mehdi” (a circumambulatory path around the stupa). But in Sindh, the structures of stupas are quite different. These are mostly simple and hemispherical. Some of them are semi-rectangular heaps in shape. In Sindh the research regarding the remains of Buddhism was started earlier. In 1922 AD, during exploration of stupas and monasteries of Buddhism, some miles away from larkana, at Mohan-Jo-Daro, around the four monasteries of Buddhists, the remains of the most glorious and greatest civilization of Sindh were explored. The remains of stupas of Buddhism are found in all over the Sindh. But here in the area of right bank of the River Indus from Sehwan to Jacobabad, stups are found in much quantity. The name of Thul town and taluka head quarter of Jacobabad is also derived from thul (stupa). There might be stupa near Thul town but unfortunately it is vanished. All the stupas lying in this area are constructed at some distance away from the villages. It is stated that in comparison with world’s other stupas, these are not constructed well. Some people have joke like opinions about the stupas lying in the area of right bank of the river Indus. They are of the opinion that these are watch towers built along the ancient route for the guidance of travelers or trade caravans, as they might reach up to their destinations. Here question arises that are all the stupas on same route or direction or same lines? The stupas are not on same route or direction. The book “Sindh Ji Iqtasadi Tareekh” by S.P Chablani enlightens on only one ancient trade route leading to Sindh from western countries which remained busy in ancient times from Maula pass to Manchhar Lake in Sindh. However, the village Mazar Bhurgri, village Hairo Khan, village Thul, village Chhini, village Kingrani, Village Dodo of buthi area of taluka Johi, Johi town of Dadu District and village Maado of Dadu District, village Gorandi and Naig of Jamshoro District, Thull town of Jacobabad District, village Dhamraho and Mohen-Jo-Daro of Larkana, village Mir Muhammad Khoso of Kashmor-Kandhkot, Lakhi Ghulam Shah town of District Shikarpur are not on the same historical and ancient trade route or way. So these are not watching or watch towers but worship places of Buddhism.   Stupa near village Thull The village Thull is about 15 kilometers away from Johi town of Dadu, towards south-west. The name of village is derived from the Thull (stupa) a meaning of stupa in Sindhi language. The stupa is at a distance of one kilometer in west of village Thull, on a hill. The height of stupa included hill is about 50 to 60 ft. Its diameter may be about 10 square ft. Its base is built with stones. The inner side of stupa is constructed with baked bricks up to top and outer side is made up of unbaked or clay bricks. A ladder made-up of clay bricks lead to the top from the surface of the hill which is now damaged. The top of stupa may be 5 X 6 ft wide as a room. It might have wall like battlement but in present time it is destroyed. It seems that a figurine of Buddha was fixed with Gypsum type of material (Cheeroli) on the top of stupa in the centre of baked bricks at the top of the stupa. Later it has been vanished. Near the stupa potsherds are scattered at a large scale which indicate to the settlements or monasteries of monks (Bhikshus) near it. It is near to vanish. Stupa near Hairo Khan The village Hairo Khan is ancient village of Johi Taluka. It is about 16 kilometers away from Johi town towards the north-west. Stupa is at some distance from the village in the west. It is round about 50 ft high from the ground level. Its diameter is about 10 ft, but it becomes narrow up to the top of stupa. The base of stupa is built with baked bricks. The upper portion of stupa is completely built with clay or mud bricks. From the south side, at ground level, it seems a monastery like construction having curved gate, is built in to the stupa. A ladder made-up of clay brick, leads to the top of the stupa from north side. The top of stupa is round about 7 ft wide. The heavy rains from long time have damaged the stupa like the stupa of village Thull. Stupa near Johi Town On the bank of wiped-out pond closed to Johi town towards south, there was  stupa having height of about 40 to 50 ft. Above half of it has been demolished and the sitting place of Sayed Najaf Ali Shah Lukyari has been built. The stupa was completely madeup of mud. I my self had observed it whole when it was in good condition in early seventies (up to 1974-75). It is painfully stated that at present time its original position and condition is disappeared. This was a sole symbolic sign of the antiquity of Johi town that probably it existed from the period of Roy dynasty in Sindh. Stupa near Village Kingrani This village near Kingrani was 2 kilometers away from Johi town in south. Now it is called village Gul Mohammad Gumb which is located at the same location of ancient village Kingrani, on the right side of Johi-Bhan road. Stupa is situated in the south-west of the present village Gul Muhammad Gumb. Later the stupa was called “Thull of Hutu Mast”. This stupa has been also demolished by local people. In sixties it was about 40 ft in height. Its diameter is about 20 to 30 ft. It had ladder madeup of clay bricks from north-west side. Some damaged houses were in the east of stupa, where now Khosa community is settled. I had observed partially damaged old houses and whole stupa during primary education in sixties (after 1967). The top of stupa was surrounded by battlement like wall. Demolishing top of stupa, local people have made cemented grave of unknown saint on it. Now it is not in same original condition and position. Stupa near Village Mazzar Bhurgri Mazzar Bhurgri is a ancient village of Johi Taluka. Stupa is towrds the north of village Mazzar Bhurgri at a distance of one kilometer from the village on the bank of a pond. Stupa is completely collapsed. Whether the natural disasters have ruined it or the local people have demolished it. Some people have opinion that it was constructed by Talpurs as a sitting place for hearings. I do not second it, because before or during the dynasty of Talpurs, their first settlement was at village Drigh lower (Hatheen Drigh) and later they shifted to Drigh upper (Bala). It is possible that for a time being, Talpurs might have used this stupa as hearing place, but it not constructed by them. It is a monument of the stupa, a worship place of Buddhists. Stupa near Naig Sharif Naig valley is 40 kilometers away from Sehwan Sharif towards south-north in the mountainous area of Jamshoro District. The stupa is located at a distance of two kilometers from village Naig towards north on a top of the hill. It is built with stones. The stupa has a ladder from south ward. Its height will be approximately 15 fit. Stupa near village Chinni This stupa is very close to village Chhinni of Dadu District in its south-west on a hill. The stupa is made-up of unbaked bricks. It will be 10 fit high on the hilltop and 6 x 7 in length and breadth. Some people think that it is bastion having battlement but its construction clarifies as stupa of Buddhists. Maaroo-Jo-Thul Maroo-Jo-Thul (Stupa) is located on a mound, in the north of village Fareedabad of taluka Mehar at a distance of about 5 kilometers. The height of the mound from ground level will be approximately 20 to 25 ft. The Stupa will be about 15 ft high on the mound. The diameter of Stupa may be 15 ft. The construction of this Stupa is very different in comparison with other Stupas of Dadu district. It is constructed in two portions attached with each other. One portion is completely made up of clay and unbaked bricks, whereas the other portion is completely made up of baked bricks. Stupa had 6/7 ft sitting place on the top of it.  It had a ladder but now it is completely destroyed. The whole Stupa is near to disappear. It was worship place of Buddhists. Probably later Maroo named person settled here so the Stupa was called Maroo Jo Thul. The potsherds is scattered on the mound at large scale, which show the ancient settlement here on the mound near stupa. Stupa in the Valley of Gurandi The Gurandi valley is situated near Naig Sharif, taluka Sehwan, District Jamshoro. It is surrounded by the Gurandi hills. Here NG Majumdar had explored two archaeological mounds. The stupa was on top of one pile of the archaeological site. Majumdar has briefly mentioned regarding stupa in his book “Explorations in Sindh”. I had also observed the stupa in my childhood in sixties (1966-67), when my maternal uncles were settled in Gurandi valley. The stupa was on the eastern side of the heap and the partial damaged houses were on the western side of the mound. The potsherds were scattered at a large beside the houses. The stupa might have 15ft high from the level of the mound and the mound is 10 ft high from the ground level. The stupa was made-up with rectangular stones and it was cylindrical in shape. Stupa had about 6×7 ft sitting place on its apex.  The stupa is disappeared now. Stupa (Toop) near Mir Muhammad Khoso This stupa is sited near the village Mir Muhammad Khoso in Kashmore-Kandhkot District. Locally it is famous as ‘Toop’ which seems distortion of thupa of Pali. This monument is vanishing now. It should be preserved. The stupa near village Dhamraho The stupa of Dhamraho village is locally called as ‘Miran-Jo-Tower’. I am of the opinion that it is not tower built by Talpurs but it is a monument is Buddhist’s worship place or stupa. History does not suggest that the watch towers had been built in the period of Talpurs. Dodo –Jo- Thul Stupa near village Dodo or Dodo-Jo-Thul is in the area of Buthi taluka Johi, Dadu District. It is in verse condition. It has been destroyed by local people. Thul Lakhi Ghulam Shah Lakhi Ghulam Shah is taluka head quarter of District Shikarpur. The Thul (stupa) Lakhi Ghulam Shah is situated in the premises of taluka hospital Lakhi Ghulam Shah along Sukkur Jacobabad National Highway. The stupa is not in an ancient position. The local administration has tarnished its original ancient out look. Its antiquity has been disappeared with renovation with tiles and the fountains have been formed around it.  The stupa is on a heap. It will be round about 15ft high. The pile will be about 30ft high from ground level. Stupa near Village Lashari The stupa near village Lashari is situated between the village Lashari and Khairo Dero, taluka Rato Dero of District larkano.  The village Lashari is in the east of Rato Dero. The stupa is vanishing. Stupa near Bhanbho Khan Chandio The village Bhanbho is situated towards north of Miro Khan Town of District Qamber-Shadadkot. The stupa is near village Bhanbho Khan Chandio. It is in very verse condition. Stupa near village Drip Chandio The stupa is near village Arbab Sheikh, taluka Miro Khan District Larkano. The village Drip Chandio is situated at a distance of 25 kilometers from Larkan. The stupa is 12ft high. It has two portions. One portion is squire in shape made-up of unbaked bricks and second is cylindrical in shape made-up with baked bricks. The diameter of cylindrical portion will be about 12ft.   Stupa near village Nemat Khoso The stupa is located at village Nemat Khoso, Deh Dhing, tapo Jamali, taluka Shahdadkot District Qamber-Shahdadkot. The stupa is sited at a distance of 16 kilometers away from Shahdadkot. The stupa is on a heap. Stupa is constructed with baked bricks. The shape of the stupa is like the stupa near Piryaloe of Mirpurkhas District and Lakhi Ghulam Shah of Shikarpur District.   Stupa near village Gaji Khuhawar The stupa was near village Gaji Khuhawar, Deh Gaji Khuhawar, taluka Warah, Distric Qamber-Shahdadkot. According to local people the stupa was on a mound. It might have 15ft high. The stupa was constructed with baked bricks. It had two portions. The lower portion was squire and upper portion was cylindrical. The stupa is now vanished. These monuments are the heritage of Sindh which are completely ignored. We must have to pay a head regarding the preservation of these main hereditary monuments related to Buddhism.

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