Neroonkot or Neroon Jo Qilo in Dadu

Neroon Fort and Division in Dadu District, Sindh, Pakistan
Aziz Kingrani
A Neroon fort that we are going to discuss is not an old and controversial name of Hyderabad city of Sindh, but it was a fort and division of Sehwan sarkar (government) during the period of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. I am of the opinion  that the Neroon Kot or Fort is wrongly mentioned in history as Hyderabad in the light of mythical stories. Actually it is old name of Rani Kot Fort as stated in “Chach Nama”. The name Neroon is denoted from compound word Nai + Roon. Roon was an ancient name of present nai Raini or Rani flowing through the Fort or Kot up to the time of invasion of Arabs on Sindh. However, 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. Unfortunately, history of many places has been distored due to the same names or ambiguous mentions of those places in history. On other hand, time has wiped out the signs or remains of such places. The same case is here with Neroon fort or division in the boundaries of Johi Taluka, 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 scientific research about mentioned villages and areas. Therefore a lot of confusion is remained about the geographical conditions of such places. The author Yousuf Merik also has not given the proper or perfect locations and geographical positions of many places along with Neroon fort, but his unclear and ambiguous statements indicate the location and geographic position of Neroon fort and division (Pargana) of Sehwan Sarkar. The author states that “In old days it was called “Wahi” (Wahi Pandhi); here an aqueduct (Karaiz) of water comes out from mountains to deserted area, which divides in to four brooks or canals, people cultivate their lands. First it was village of Machhis (Solangi tribe), who were very crooked or desputive. They were putting hitches to give land tax. Bakhtiar Baig Turkman attacked and lashed them and named Wahi as Akbarabad and gave  to Penhwars. Four brooks or natural canals were given to four Penhwars, Moosa, Essa, Daud and Jalal. Before this it (Wahi) was a part of “Baghban” (village of Makhdoom Bilawal) division.
Furthermore, Marik writes that during the period of Shamsher Khan Uzbek, it was named Neroon fort, excluded from Baghban and included with Sehwan. During the period of Ahmed Baig it became ruined”(1). Further he writes, “Mirza Yousif intended to attack on villages of Penhwars, like Arari (Araro old village, now a deh of Johi Taluka near Wahi Pandhi) and Wahi of Akbarabad who (Penhwars) 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  Sehwan and it is surrounded by the divisions of Sehwan Hawaily, Boobak and Gaaha (Village of Doolah Derya Khan and now Sayed Bahar Shah, Johi)(4). Showing geographical conditions of  mentioned villages 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 close to the Lake Machhar (5). This is not logical opinion of MH Penhwar. The auther Yousif Merik has not stated about four villages of Penhwars. He has mentioned only possession of persons and four brooks or canals 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 with help of  Bakhtiar Baig Turkman . Secondly, at that time the flow of Gaj was towards the east. Its flow was not towards south to the 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 before this towards Indus River through its old stream of Suk Nai. Later, introducing  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 up to Lake Manchhar, because there is a large distance between Gaj and Lake Manchhar.
No doubt, regarding 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 either during Mughal period or other reigns  in Sindh.
Now we have to search the actual location of an aqueduct (Karaiz) and village Wahi with the help of statements of Merik. 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, during 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 patt Suleman Johi) are 32 miles away from Sehwan.”(8).
When we consider over above mentioned references, three points are clear.  First, the actual or old name of Neroon fort was Wahi. Bakhtiar Baig changed its name and kept Akbar Abad (Mughal Empror Akbar) or Wahi of Akbarabad. During  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. At this time the distance between Sehwan and village Wahi will be approximately about 50 miles. The water of natural springs flows through Nai Nalli and it comes out of mountains towards  the deserted area of Kachho near  village Wahi. People of four tribes, Laghari, Lashari, Brihmani and Rustamani are cultivating their lands. Secondly the fort was straight in the mountains toward the west of Wahi.
Now a days, the ancient fort is  situated or existed on the bank of Nai Nalli, in the mountains, straight towards the west of village Wahi. The local people mistakenly call it Karokot which is acual Mian Jo Kot, later named after Mian Naseer Muhammad Kalhoro. While, Karokot is separate ancient site.
Third  is mentioned Village Arari.  Araro is the deh of Johi yet. Araro graveyard (Butta Quba) including the remains of an ancient village Araro are sited on a way to village Wahi towards north of village Patt Suleman village. These are close to village Wahi (Pandhi). The location of 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 is located on the bank of Nai Nalli yet, in the mountain area, towards 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-west embrasure is high just like hillock. The walls are mostly destroyed. Near the fort, there is a little valley of Nain Nalli. Local people lift the water of Nai Nalli and cultivate crops in the area of fort. Water flows through the area of Fort like aqueduct (Karaiz). The water of natural springs flows toward lands of Kachho and people still cultivate crops as well.
Badar Abro thinks it as Ranikot Fort Division but here a question arises that had yousif Merik indicated  Neroon Kot to Rani Kot? I think no. Due to four reasons it cannot be believed. First, the four brooks or canals are not flowing from Nai Raini out of Ranikot Fort towards deserted area. Even there is no deserted area near Ranikot Fort. Secondly, the first name of division was Wahi; third reason is that it was near  Baghban (Area of Makhdoom Bilawal).Fourth reason which writer Merik mentions village Arari. Meanwhile, Arari is towards  north of Sehwan in taluka Johi. Thus, the opinion to think Neroon Jo Qilo, mentioned in Tareekh-e-Mazhar-Shah Jahani as Rani Kot is only presumption. The Mian Kot fort and Wahi Pandhi is mentioned as Neroon Kot Fort and division by Yousif Merik in his book of history.


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.

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