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Humshehri: Thinking Pakistan's History

Thinking Pakistan's History

Mansura

Urdu Version

Mansura was the capital of the Arab kingdom of Sindh. Its exact current location is still a matter of debate.

Last Updated: 13 Sep. 2013

Overview

Mansura was the capital, and one of the eleven principal towns, of the ancient Arab kingdom Al-Mansura in Sindh. It was founded by Amr, the son of Muhammad bin Qasim, around 734 AD. This once-bustling commercial city was built on the west bank of the Indus River and was surrounded by another branch of the river in such a way that it appeared to be an island. Mansura had four gates, Bab al-Bahr, Bab Turan, Bab Sandan, and Bab Multan, indicating the direction of trade routes by which commerce was conducted with its neighbors.

The present day site of this ancient city is still debated amongst scholars. One view is that Mansura is present day site of Brahmanabad, located about 69 km from the town of Hyderabad, in district Sanghar. Another view holds that the present day site of Bhiro or Bhambre-jo-Thul is in fact the city of Mansura.

Archeological discoveries

Coins from Amirs of Sindh
Coins from Amirs of Sindh
(Wikimedia Commons)

The site of Bhiro is identified as Mansura due to a number of archeological discoveries. The bricks used in the construction of buildings are small and thin which were known to be used primarily by the Muslim population. A large collection of coins found at this site bear the names of Arab governors of Sindh and the Habarid rulers of Al-Mansura. In addition, ruins of three mosques within a very small area identify it as a predominantly Muslim city and its location and size correspond with the narratives of famous travelers.

Banu Habbar dynasty

The Banu Habbars were the predominant rulers of Al-Mansura from 855 to 986 AD. During their reign, the kingdom of Al-Mansura experienced peace and prosperity because they were able to control warring factions. It was also during their time that the Quran was translated into the Sindhi language for the first time. In 986 AD Mahmud of Ghazni sacked the town and took Sindh under his dominion.

Find out more

Books & Articles

Pathan, Mumtaz Husain. Arab Kingdom of Al-Mansurah in Sind. Hyderabad: Institute of Sindhology, University of Sind, 1974.

Panhwar, M.H. “Sindh, The Archeological Museum of the World”.


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