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Necropolis: City of silence

April 11, 2010


Like other districts of Balochistan, Lasbela is host to a number of historical and archaeological sites among which, the necropolis of the Jams of Lasbela is quite prominent. Located some eight kilometers away from Lasbela at Bara Bagh, there are tombs of the former rulers of Lasbela. This necropolis contains more than 100 tombs of which 40 belong to the royal family of the Koreja Jams.

Legend has it that the Jam Aali Korejo attacked Lasbela from his ancestral area of Kanrach valley and snatched Lasbela from Mai Chagli who was wife of Malik Pahar Khan Burfat, the cultural hero of the Burfats. Jam Aali popularly known as Khathurio was believed to have laid the foundation of Jam dynasty in 1742.

They ruled over Lasbela for over two centuries and produced nine able rulers namely Jam Aali Khathurio Korejo (1742-1760), Jam Ghulam Shah Korejo (1760-1776), Jam Mir Khan Korejo I (1776-1830), Jam Aali Khan II , Jam Mir Khan II, Jam Mir Khan III, Jam Kamal Khan, Jam Ghulam Muhammad Khan, and Jam Ghulam Qadir Khan.

The Jams of Lasbela are belived to have claimed their ancestry from Samma of Sindh who ruled over Sindh from 1351 to 1524. One of their ancestors Jam Araddin migrated from Sindh and settled in Kanrach during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Later, one of his descendents of Jam Araddin, Jam Rabno or Rab Dino became known for his bravery and generosity.

At that time, Lasbela was under the rule of the Burfats; before whom, the Gujars, the Ronjha Jams and the Joongha Jams ruled over Lasbela. Except the Gujars, all others are the clans of the Samma tribe of Sindh.

After the death of Malik Pahar Khan Burfat, his wife Mai Chagli became the new ruler of Lasbela. The Roonjha tribe served as the administrators of Mai Chagli.

They feared the rising power of the Jams of Kanrach and in order to crush the Jams of Karachi valley, they killed Jam Digar one of the chiefs of the tribe. In order to avenge the death of his brother, Jam Aali along with his tribesmen invaded the capital of Mai Chaglai and killed those who murdered his brother Jam Digar.

Mai Chagli took her infant son Malik Izzat Khan and went to her ancestral place Taung and later on shifted to Kotri where her tomb is located just behind the government degree college.

Jam Aali ruled Lasbela very wisely and prudently. He had strong relations with the Khan of Kalat. During the tribal battle between the Jokhias and Burfats, he fought at Siri in Thatta and sided with Jokhia chief Jam Bijar Jokhio.

After death of Jam Aali in 1760 A.D, his son Jam Ghulam Shah Jamote became the new ruler of Lasbela. During his rule, life and property was safe in the Lasbela. Mir Naseer Khan, then ruler of Kalat gave his daughter to Jam Ghulam Shah.

Unfortunately, all the tombs of Jams of Lasbela are falling to pieces. There is row of five tombs built over platform in dilapidated condition.

The first tomb belongs to Jam Aali followed by Jam Dagar, Jam Dina or Dinar and Jam Jangi. There is no inscription on the fifth tomb. To west of these tombs is a chhatri or canopy of Jam Ghulam Shah under which lie three tombs; the first belongs to Ghulam Shah with the inscription Ghulam Shah Walid (son of) Jam Aali quom (caste) Jamote 1190 (circa 1776 A.D). Close to his tomb is a grave of possibly his wife with an inscription that says; Bibi Mithi Ajiza Ghulam Shah 1190.

The third is the tomb of Sukh Bai Ajiza Jam Bijar Johkia. The tomb of Bibi Mithi depicts jewellery and one does not find the imposing canopy nor such splendid jewellery carving in the whole of Baluchistan. The tomb of Sukh Bai is also decorated with jewellery. The tomb of Mai Asudi in Hindan graveyard 20 south of Durrji also depicts fine jewellery. Mai Asudi was wife of one of the Jakhra chiefs because this necropolis belongs to the Jakhra tribe, a clan of the Sammas.