Memories of Manjhand

Updated Sep 15, 2013 06:16pm
The iconic Shiva Temple.
The iconic Shiva Temple.
Quaint niches for lamps.
Quaint niches for lamps.

Several towns and villages in Sindh can trace their roots to ancient times, and the village of Manjhand is one of them. Located on the banks of the river Indus in the area of Kacho, the old Manjhand was washed away over the centuries. The present day Manjhand stands on the remains of the old village with a crumbling Shiva temple being the only remaining symbol of Manjhand’s past glory.

An active river harbour, Manjhand prospered from the time of the Talpurs right through to the British period, thanks to its flourishing trade. The traders belonging to the Manjhand Hindu community were known all over the world and their trade spread up to Java, Sri Lanka, Gujarat, Persia, Iraq, Rome, Africa and Europe.

Professor Abdullah Magsi in his book, Sindh-Ji-Tareekh Jo Jadeed Mutaleo, writes that the Hindu communities had built magnificent, tall buildings in the town. According to local legends, there was a beautiful garden known as the ‘Priest’s garden’ and a dharam shaala near the temple. The garden was irrigated by the charkhi or naar — an ancient method of irrigation.

Located 2km north-east from the present-day Manjhand, the temple is approximately 30 feet in length, 25 feet in breadth and 16 feet high. An arched entrance extends from the north-east while detailed brick carvings and beautiful fresco paintings adorn the outer and inner walls of the temple.

The compound wall built with baked bricks surrounding the temple has vanished over the centuries along with the veranda. The beautiful burnt bricks of the temple wall were laid using a gypsum paste or cheeroli.

The construction and the carving on the arches of the inner part of the dome resemble the inner side of Jamia Masjid of Khudabad, Masjid of Samtani and the tomb of Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro in Dadu District. The temple walls have several niches which were probably used for sculptures or lamps.

According to locals, the dharam shaala near the temple was used for the lodging and boarding of Hindus who came from other parts of Sindh at the time of the annual fair held at the temple where famous Sindhi singers such as Bhagat Kanwar Ram would perform.

The ancient Shiva temple is a unique monument and a part of our prestigious heritage. It is dilapidated and there is an urgent need to protect and conserve this rich legacy.

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Comments (13) (Closed)


Ashok Sharma
Sep 15, 2013 06:42pm

I reqest the people and Govt. of Pakistan to preserve and protect their heritage, their ancient monuments, these rare not the property of a particular religion or community, ita a property of a nation, of a culture...don´t discriminate according to faith or religion. Its our past glory....Thanks

maharaja
Sep 15, 2013 06:59pm

i love some of your esteemed newspaper for writing articles about the state of neglect and threats faced by ancient hindu monuments. also appreciate the dawn for its articles on the poor treatment of hindus sikhs christians etc in current day pakistan

atif
Sep 15, 2013 09:19pm

No dates?

Rocky
Sep 15, 2013 10:01pm

While mogul era buildings like Humayun Tomb and Qutub Minar in Delhi are being refurbished at a considerable cost, who is going to even bother to repair a Hindu temple in Sindh?

harsh
Sep 15, 2013 11:52pm

egyptian never cursed their pyramids being muslim,greek never sacked their temples being christian.but we both look at each other with such a hate.we admire others thier rich culture and proud history but never appreciated our own.modern day pakistan have most vital remains of our rich culture.in the history of last 2500 years i believe our ancestors were as diverse and rigid in faith(buddhism,animism and diffrent sects of hinduism) as we are today.but we are now intended to destroy our own identity as an ancient cultural land. we will have nothing to hand over to our future generation .

SBB
Sep 16, 2013 12:10am

Very informative.. thank you for writing this. Memories of Sindh have been erased over time, but they're a great people wherever they are.

SBB
Sep 16, 2013 12:11am

I read this again, and I'm sure that the Hindu Sindhis will be happy to rebuild the Shiva temple and other structures of this town. If only tolerance for them can be assured, many things are possible.

Sapno_ka_saudagar
Sep 16, 2013 03:07am

Dear Brethern, It is of paramount importance for us to search our souls for our true identity? Not what we are made to believe but who we really are? Our heritage is what lies in ruins around us from distant past or our heritage is what was brought to this beautiful historic land from outside? Maybe its the combination of both, but in my humble opinion, majority of our community believes that we are the descendants of noble culture that brought light from west and enlightened this dark land. My self belief tells me otherwise. I am the son of the soil and must add a proud one. My lineage and DNA are fundamentally rooted in the legacy of this land. But at the same time, I am a proud muslim and I do not have any qualms accepting that my ancestry belongs to this land and many centuries ago accepted the faith that I proudly follow today. I am at peace with both. I hope rest of my fellow countrymen embrace this concept as well. Thanks for the article Azizbhai.

Rashid
Sep 16, 2013 03:20am

Is it right to preserve a place of idol worship (Mandir)? Just asking?

victor
Sep 16, 2013 05:52am

I have high regard for Dawn and its publishers for publishing true stories even though they may be politically incorrect in a charged country like Pakistan.The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth should be the motive of good journalism. Bravo. Victor. P.S You have brought out this wonderful story about your ancestors only.What a great culture they had?

Munaf
Sep 16, 2013 08:27am

Thank you for the article. It is hoped that the present government will give funds to the Pakistan Archeological society to save this heritage monument.

Fahad Sahito
Sep 16, 2013 12:26pm

This is very knowledgeable and informative as well as. thanks to the writer.

Amir M.Daudpota
Sep 16, 2013 01:20pm

The description was a mirror of our past history visible from the old these monuments. However, we must protect and preserve them to behave as a living nation.