History of Kandhkot

Introduction

Kandhkot is the Tehsil and district headquarters of Kashmore district. The word Kandhkot is made up of the Sindhi language’s two words.

Kandh + Kot. 

Kandh means Neck or Rivers Bank and Kot refers to a fort or wall to protect the infrastructure.  

Kandhkot refers to a fort or defensive wall created by humans, carrying building materials on their shoulders.

The city is spread over an area of 654.0 km2. It is located on the northern bank of the Indus River, at coordinates 28.250599, 69.176842, and 76m (about 220 ft above sea level). Kandhkot is the district headquarters of Kashmore, known as Kashmore @ Kandhkot.

From 1841 to 2004, Kandhkot remained under the administrative control of District Jacobabad as a Tappa, Sub-division and division, and Tehsil. The Jacobabad district was bifurcated on 13-12-2004 and the new district Kashmore @ Kandhkot came into being.

The tehsil is bordered by the River Indus in the north, Tangwani in the south, Kashmore Taluka in the east, and Shikarpur in the west. Some of its areas come under the territories of river indues, i.e., Dari, Haibat, etc. There are 11 Union Councils (UCs), 8 Tapas (Revenue Villages), and 10 Tapas (Circles).

Kandhkot is famous for its triangular shape clock tower, Balochi Embroidery, Traditional footwear (Embroided Shoes), and Balochi Mutton Sajji.

The famous triangular clock tower of Kandhkot Sindh Pakistan - Baloch Photography
The famous triangular clock tower of Kandhkot

Kandhkot Chronology

In 326 BC, Alexander marched at Musicanus (the head of River Indus) with 2000 warships via river Indus. Musicians surrendered and presented Gold and elephants. Historian believes that Musicanus was king of upper Sindh exactly of Kandhkot and Kashmore. In 150 BC, this area was under the Kushan Rule.

In 1330 AD, Ibn-e-Battuta traveled between Kandhkot and Thul via River Indus during the Sumra Dynasty.

In 1396 AD, Kandhkot was under the control of the Delhi Sultanate. Muzafar Shah attacked Jareja and Samma Chief. That Dahar had no control over the Lower Sindh is also reflected in the migration of Kathia, a Sindhi tribe, to Kutch in about 700 AD, the time of his taking over the Lower Sindh. By about 725–740, they established themselves in Eastern Kutch with a capital at Kandhkot. Soon they migrated to Kathiawar, to which they gave their own name.

According to the historian, the credit of Kandhkot goes to the Kalahora. Because this city was built during the last days of the Kalhora dynasty (1719-1783).

According to Momin Bullo’s district Kashmore now and then, page No. 24, Khan-e-Baloch Meer Noori Naseer Khan, Ahmed Zai Qambrani (1749–1794) built a protective wall or fort alongside the river Indus. Kandhkot was named after the construction of that fort by the Khan-e-Kalat Mir Noori Naseer Khan.

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Also, Kandhkot remains as a sub-division during the Talpur era (1783-1843).

According to the Gazetteer of the Province of Sind 1876, Kandhkot was Tappa (a town) of Kashmore Taluka during the British Raj and had a population of below 800 habitants. This entails proving that Kandhkot was elevated to the status of Tehsil after 1876.

As per The Imperial Gazetteer of India: Travancore to Zira, Vol. XXIV 1908, Kandhkot is described as one of the five talukas of the district of Jacobabad. 

Why Kandhkot is called Kandhkot

 There are many cities that were formed and destroyed alongside the river Indus. Some of these ancient cities on the shore of the River Indus still exist. Kandhkot city is one of the oldest cities built along the riverside. The city is about two hundred years old.

Since the creation of Kandhkot as a Tehsil of Jacobabad by the British Raj, it has been fabricated in the literature that there was a very large forte on the river’s bank; hence this city is named Kandhkot.

The truth is something else. The above statement is biased because there were many forts, walls, and cantonments built on the bank of the river Indus. Some still exist, while the ruins of deserted cities and walls can still be seen. Despite the presence of many populated locations nearby the Indus, not a single one has been named Kandhkot or similar to it.

According to the History of Kashmore by Ardo Utradi, one of the famous underrated Sindhi writers and historians, the old Kandhkot city was located 4 kilometers south of the current city. While there is nothing of archaeological significance or ruins in the old city of Kandhkot, people think that Kandhkot is not too much older than 200 years.

The history of Kandhkot probably starts from the last period of the Kalhora rule, about 1780 AD. The river Indus used to flow near the place where Kandhkot is located today, but with the passage of time, the river Indus has changed its pace.

In the meantime, the residents of the Jatoi Baloch tribe settled on the bank of the Indus River, where Kandhkot is now located. They began capturing locals, travelers, and wanderers that passed through their area. They used these captive individuals as loaders for the construction of a boundary wall. The building materials, particularly bricks and mud, were transported on the shoulders of the prisoners. As a result of the horrible act of constructing a wall, this location got the name Kandhkot.

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Two of these inmates fled throughout the dark night. They made their appearance in the mansion of the Chief of Haibat City, Mir Haibat Khan Sundrani Buledi. Haibat was a riverfront town located 3 kilometers from Kandhkot at the time.

After hearing the painful story of those two fled prisoners, Mir Haibat Khan Buledi sent his messenger to the head of the Jatoi Clan, where a wall was being built. He conveyed the message in a very strong and harsh Balochi language, as both tribes are the Baloch. The English translation for that Balochi Poetry is :

After the tenth of Chaitra (the first Hindi month) month, I will be your guest and ride on my beautiful horse with an attractive saddle and bridle.

This poem depicts the spring season. As soon as Mir Haibat Khan Buledi’s word was received, the leader of the Jatoi tribe dispatched his spy dressed as a beggar. The Jatoi Tribe’s head directed the spy to determine Mir Haibat Khan Buledi’s true age.

If he is too young or too elderly, there is no need to be concerned about the threat posed by Buledi’s chieftain. Because the younger one is inexperienced, he just exhibits his excitement for a few days, then he forgets the circumstance. An elderly person lacks the ability to fight and can only speak but not act.

At the front entrance of Mir Haibat Khan Buledi’s guesthouse, the beggar shouted for alms. Mir Haibat Khan sent the Baksheesh through his servant since he was in a jirga. The beggar bluntly refused handouts from the servant, claiming, “I am the beggar who always receives charity from the master’s hand.”

The servant returned and narrated the whole tale of the beggar. Mir Haibat Khan then brought the beggar inside his guest home and personally deposited alms in the panhandler’s pan.

The spy returned and informed Jatoi Sardar that Mir Haibat Khan was known to be a lively, smart, and strong man. He had some white hair growing in his beard. After hearing the spy, Jatoi Sardar said that he is a man of his words, and he will fight.

However, with the passage of time, the Jatoi people forgot about the warning of Buledi’s leader. They proceeded to drag the oppressed deeper into the darkness of their tyranny and forced them to do the work on the fort walls for free.

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Mir Haibat Khan Buledi and his warriors appeared in front of the main gate; at dawn on the Chaitra month’s scheduled day; and banged the combat drum. After a long and grueling battle, he was victorious.

The Buledi chieftain treated the Jatoi tribe in the same way as they treated the captives. He placed the materials for wall construction on the shoulders of the Jatoi tribe and sent them to the Shikarpur area.

Population of Kandhkot

According to the Population Census of Pakistan, the population of the Kandhkot is 366,111 with a 2.7% annual growth rate as compared to the 1998 census, which was 217,447 souls. Considering a 2.7% fertility rate the estimated current population in 2022 should be 415,535 souls. However, the population was 30,369 in 1891; 48,723 in 1901, and 53,134 in 1921.

The majority of the population is rural and the urban is 23.75%.

Crops of Kandhkot

There are two seasonal crops in the Kandhkot, Kharif, and Rabi. Kharif’s crops were Jowar, Bajri, Rice, and sesame. As per the Statistical Atlas of the Bombay Presidency 1904, Wheat, Gram, Jambho (White Mustard), Chickling Vetch (Matarr), and Sarhein (Rapeseed) were cultivated in Rabi Season. The Jowar, Bajri, Rice, Wheat, and Rapeseed were the main corps. Nowadays, the culture of Rice and Wheat is famous, while Chickling vetch is grown in the Katcha area.

Historical Places of Kandhkot

The Mukhtiarkar Office Kandhkot

Mukhtiarkar Office was erected in 1902. It is located in the center of the city.  Nowadays the Mukhtiarkar office is used as Mukhtiarkar, Treasury office, and Jail.

Wadia Veterinary Dispensary

The Wadia Veterinary Dispensary is one of the oldest buildings established in 1919. The datestone paved on the forehead of the building has the date 1919. The Veterinary Record 1916-05-13 discloses that this veterinary dispensary was 12th in the Sindh and was opened in August 1914.

The above is an untold history of Kandhkot, if you have any literature regarding the Kandhkot’s history feel free to share using the contact form

PS:  In the historical literature, the term Kandhkot appears in the following forms:

  • Kundkote, Kundcote, Kundcot, KundaKote, Kinkote, KantKot, KanthKot, KandhKhot, Khund Kote, RundKote