I feel elated at the opportunity to write about a monument, that I first time saw
some fifteen years ago, while traveling by road to Shikarpur city from my
village. Conspicuous from the roadside the site is in Lakhi town. I still
remember, it was a standing structure of red bricks, built on a high
artificial mound and at first glance, I felt as if I was experiencing the past
from my window. I hadn’t even had the chance to collect my thoughts
before the van conductor yelled, ‘Lakhi Lakhi . . . Halli acho Lakhi
wara …,’ and the van stopped. Intrigued and confused by the expression
of fascination on my face, the passenger next to me asked me what I was
looking at. Perplexed I replied, “Hnmm…chaa” (which means “what?”
in Sindhi). He said plainly, this is ‘Lakhi Munaro’ and then there was
silence . . .
The monument or the site is known by various names such as,
‘Lakhi Munaro,’‘Lakhi Minar’ and ‘Lakhi Thul’ (this term was
suggested by Dr. Fatah) .The Sindhi word ‘Thul’ is used for ‘Pillar’ or
‘Column’. Lakhi Thul,’ therefore, means ‘Lakhi Pillar’ or the ‘Pillar
of Lakhi’. It is also known as ‘Lakhi Waaro Maaro’ which means the
‘Lakhi [Battle’s] victory symbol,’ due to its association with the Battle
of Lakhi (A.G. Daudpoto, personal communication, August 26, 2018).
Of all its different names the popular term for this site however, is
‘Lakhi Munaro.’ 'Munaro’ is a Sindhi word that is basically a
Sindhised form of the Urdu word ‘Minar’ which means ‘Minaret.’
The Battle of Lakhi
The Battle of Lakhi (1602 CE) was fought between the Daudpotras
(an Abbasid clan) and Mahers – the then rulers of Lakhi area.
According to the historical account ,‘Gulshan-e-Abbasia,’
Molvi Noor Muhammad writes that, “The conflict between the two
ethnic groups had arisen on account of chopping off of the tails and
ears of the horses of Daudpotras’ Ameers by the people of Karim
Dino Mehar-the then chief of Mehars.” After a long bloody fight,
the Daudpotras won the battle and established their rule over the
Mehar territory. It was then, that they erected a monument there,
as a symbol of power and so that they may be remembered in
Foundation of Shikarpur City
In 1617, Ameer Bahadur Daudpotra laid the foundation of the
Shikarpur city, fifteen years after the victory in the Battle of Lakhi.
It was primarily built as the capital city of Daudpotra territory. The
previous year, a programme was organised on the Fourth Centenary
(400 years) Celebration of Shikarpur to mark its foundations and to pay
tribute to founders and other Shikarpurians.
Current State of the Monument
(The following is an account of the author’s own observations
and interactions with the local population)
A few years ago, the Lakhi pillar was rehabilitated by the Town Committee
of Lakhi, district Shikarpur, Sindh. Unfortunately, the conservation and
rehabilitation of the monument was done by unskilled local workers,
who had no idea about archaeological conservation. As a result,this historic
monument now looks like a new building.
Both Kalhora and Daudpotra Abbasid Architecture in Sindh consist of mosques,
tombs, forts, fortresses, towers. The Lakhi Pillar is one of its kind in Sindh, of the
Daudpotra Abbasid Architectural style, which tells the story of the Daudpotra
conquest of the region.