Neroon Fort and Division in Dadu Aziz Kingrani
A Neroon fort that we are going to discuss is not an old and disputatious name of Hyderabad city, but it was a fort and division of Sehwan sarkar (government) in the period of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. I am opinion of that the Neroon Kot or Fort is wrongly mentioned in history as Hyderabad. Actually it is old name of Rani Kot as stated in “Chach Nama”. The name Neroon is denoted by Nai + Roon. Roon was an ancient name of present nai Raini or Rani flowing through the Fort or Kot at the time of invasion of Arabs on Sindh.How ever here we have to search Neroon Fort and division in the boundaries of Dadu district as stated in “Tareekh-e-Mazhar-Shah Jahani”. In Mughal period, Sindh was divided in to three sarkars (governments), Bakhar, Sehwan and Thatta. History of many places has been ignored due to same names or ambiguous mention of those places in history. On other hand, unfortunately time has wiped out the signs or remains of such places. The same case is here with Neroon fort or division at Johi, District Dadu.
Neroon fort or Neroon Jo Qilo is only mentioned in “Taareekh-e-Mazhar-e-Shah Jahani” written by Yousif Merik and republished by Sindhi Adabi Board Jamshoro in 1994. Book has been translated from Persian to Sindhi with out any observation and research of mentioned villages and areas. Therefore much confusion is remained about the geographical conditions of places. The author also has not given the proper or perfect locations and geographical positions of many places along with Neroon fort, but his ostensibly ambiguous statements indicate the location and geographic position of Neroon fort and division (Pargana). The author states that “In old days it was called “Wahi”; here an aqueduct (Karaiz) of water comes out from mountains to deserted area, which divides in to four brooks, people cultivate their fields. First it was village of Machhis (Solangi tribe), who were very crooked. They were putting hitches to give land tax. Bakhtiar Baig Turkman attacked and lashed them.
He named it Akbarabad and gave to Penhwars. Four brooks were given to four Penhwars, Moosa, Essa, Daud and Jalal. Before this it (Wahi) was a part of Baghban (village of Makhdoom Bilawal) division. In the period of Shamsher Khan Uzbek, it was named Neroon fort, excluded from Baghban and included with Sehwan. In the period of Ahmed Baig it became ruined”. (1).Further he writes “Mirza Yousif intended to attack on villages of Penhwars, such like Arari (Araro, a deh of Johi taluka) and Wahi of Akbarabad, which were not under control .” (2). Yousif Merik states about the fort that “Second division (of Sehwan) is Neroon fort, for the maintenance of this fort it would be better to appoint 20 riders and ten gunmen at the fort. (3). The author has mentioned that “Sixth division (of Sehwan} is Neroon fort, its border ends 2 miles near to Sehwan and it is surrounded by the divisions of Sehwan Hawaily, Boobak and Gaaha (Village Sayed Bahar Shah, Johi)(4). Showing geographical conditions of villages mentioned in this book of history , MH Penhwar guesses about an aqueduct that it should be river Gaj and those four villages should be in the borders of Johi and Sehwan Talukas near to Lake Machhar.(5). This is not logical opinion. The auther Yousif Merik has not stated about four villages of Penhwars. He has mentioned only possession of four brooks given to four persons by Bakhtiar Baig Turkman. The author has given only two names of villages of Penhwars. First Wahi or Wahi of Akbarabad and second Arari. Wahi was not actual village of Penhwars, but it was possessed. Secondly, at that time the flow of Gaj was in the east. Its flow was not in the south towards Lake Manchhar. A branch of Gaj nai might have flown through a steam of Shole (Sole) nai towards Lake Manchhar. But in ancient times the direction of flow of Gaj was towards the Western Nara Canal or Indus River through its old stream of Suk Nai. Later, digging of Johi barrage in 1932, the flow of Gaj was diverted by a diversion band to Lake Manchhar through the stream of Nai Shole. It is impossible that water of springs flowing through the stream of Gaj may reach near to Lake Manchhar, because there is a large distance between Gaj and Lake Manchhar. No doubt, regarding to a statement about an aqueduct the auther is wrong. He might have understood the natural flow of water through mountains as an aqueduct. The system of an aqueduct was not prevalent in Sindh.
Now we have to search the actual location of an aqueduct (Karaiz) and village Wahi with the help of statements. The author has clearly mentioned three names of village. First old name Wahi, second Akbarabad or Wahi of Akbarabad, named by Bakhtiar Baig and third name Neroon fort, which was given, in the period of Shamsher Khan Uzbek. Author writes about the location of village that “This village (Neroon or Wahi) is 50 miles away from Sehwan fort.”(6). Giving the location of Neroon fort, MH Penhwar says “Fort was 50 miles far from Sehwan, straight in to the mountains. Division was starting from mountains, including Lake Manchhar; it was surrounded by divisions of Gaaha, Boobak and Sehwan Hawaily” (7). Author Yousif Merik writes,” Othal and Arari (Near pat Suleman Johi) are 32 miles away from Sehwan.”(8).
When we consider over above mentioned references, three points are clear. The first is that the actual or old name of Neroon fort was Wahi. Bakhtiar Baig changed its name and kept Akbarabad or Wahi of Akbarabad. In the period of Shamsher Khan Uzbek, the name of village was changed as Neroon kot or Neroon Jo Qilo. Still village Wahi exists as a main village of Taluka Johi, district Dadu. In this time the distance between Sehwan and village Wahi will be near to 50 miles. The water of natural springs flows through Nai Nalli and it comes out of mountains in to the deserted area of Kachho near to village Wahi. People of four tribes, Laghari, Lashari, Brihmani and Rustamani are cultivating their fields. Secondly the fort was straight in to the mountains in the west of Wahi. In these days the ancient fort is still laying or existing on the bank of Nai Nalli, in to the mountains, straight in the west of village Wahi. The local people call it Mian Jo Kot.
Third thing is mention of Village Arari. Still the graveyard and the remains of an ancient village Araro are laying in a way to village Wahi. Araro is a name of a “Deh” of Taluka Johi. It is near to village Wahi (Pandhi). The location Araro will be about 32 miles away from Sehwan Sharif.
In the light of above discussion, we can easily say that the Neroon fort And division was an old name of Mian Jo kot, which lies still on the bank of Nai Nalli, in the mountain area, in the west of village Wahi (Pandhi). Neroon was also a name of division of Sehwan Sarkar (government) in Mughal dynasty, but its central village was Wahi (Pandhi), Taluka Johi of district Dadu. The area of fort will be about 176 square feet. Walls of fort will be four feet wide and about eight feet high. The south-east embrasure is high just like hillock. The walls are mostly destroyed. Near the fort, there is a little valley of Nain Nalli Local people cultivate it with the water of springs, flowing through the stream of Nai Nalli.
Here a question arises that have yousif Merik indicated to Neroon kot (Rani Kot)? I think no. Because of, four reasons. One, the four brooks are not flowing from nai raini or roon to the deserted area. Second, the first name of
division was Wahi; third reason is that it was near to Baghban (Area of Makhdoom Bilawal).Fourth reason which writer Merik mentions village Arari.Arari is at the
North of Sehwan in taluka Johi. So, the opinion to think Neroon Jo Qilo, mentioned in Tareekh-e-Mazhar-Shah Jahani as Rani kot, is only presumption.
1, Yousif Merik, Translation Niaz Hamayooni, Preface, MH panhwar, Tareekh-e-Mazhar-e- Shah Jahani, Sindhi Adabi Board Jamshoro/ Hyderabad, second edition, year 1994, page no: 163.
2, same reference, page no: 239.
3, same reference page no: 281.
4, same reference page no: 285.
5, same reference page n: 20.
6, same reference page no: 281.
7, same reference page no: 31.
8, same references page no: 285.