Ruins of ancient fort ‘accidentally’ discovered in Thatta after two decades of research

Updated 03 Jul 2020

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THE site identified as the fort of Sama dynasty warrior Doolah Darya Khan in Makli.—Dawn
THE site identified as the fort of Sama dynasty warrior Doolah Darya Khan in Makli.—Dawn

THATTA: Historian Prof Dr Mohammad Ali Manjhi and his team of history lovers have succeeded in discovering and identifying the site of the fort of Doolah Darya Khan, the great warrior of Sama dynasty (1350-1520), after two decades of exploration and research on the many archaeological sites scattered in and around Makli.

An exuberant Dr Manjhi told Dawn on Thursday that he had learnt from a research paper The origin of Thatta by Dr N.A. Baloch and Bheru Mal’s book Sindh jo selani that the fort was somewhere in Makli but they did not know exactly where.

He then embarked on research and exploration work to identify the exact site of the fort and at last stumbled on it one day “thanks to builders’ mafia, who accidentally exposed the fort’s remains while trying to extract mud from a foothill site.”

He said that he had gone there out of his way to protest against the illegal extraction and then noticed a brick plinth where they had dug up. He removed mud and dug deeper and found to his great amazement it was the very site of the fort he had been searching for years, he said.

He said that he approached the then deputy commissioner of Thatta to help protect the site and the officer deputed armed security men to avert further damage to the historical remains.

Dr Manjhi said that he had also sought help of an octogenarian history lover and former MNA Baboo Ghulam Hussain, local historian Sain Abdullah Gandro, Prof Kazi Zakir, Prof Dost Mohammad Qureshi and other veterans who too visited the site and confirmed it was the exact site of the fort.

Thatta Historical Society has urged Thatta district council to help document the status of the fort’s ruins and put it on the record of archaeology department to appreciate and preserve the research work done by Dr Manjhi.

History lovers warned the fort’s ruins faced constant danger from encroacher’s mafia as well as a drain passing near the archaeological site, which could damage the remains before they were fully unearthed. They demanded the government take adequate measures to protect and conserve the site.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020