Saturday, 31 March 2012

Uch Sharif, Bahawalpur Pakistan (Part-I)



Uch Sharif , PAKISTAN
Uch or Uch Sharif Urdu: اوچ شریف) (Greek: Alexandria En Indo Potamo) is located in 75 km from Bahawalpur in Bahawalpur District, South Punjab, Pakistan Uch is an important historical city, being founded by Alexander the Great. Formerly located at the confluence of the Indus and Chenab rivers, it is now removed to Mithankot, some 100 km from that confluence. It was an important center in medieval India, as an early stronghold of the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th century during the Muslim conquest. Uch Sharif contains the tombs of Bibi Jawindi, Baha'al-Halim and Jalaluddin Bukhari, which are considered master pieces of Islamic architecture and are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list.

(Panorama of a farm view in Ali Pur in Uch Sharif)
It is believed that in 325 BCE Alexander the Great founded a city called Alexandria on the Indus at the site of the last confluence of Punjab rivers with the Indus. Nevertheless, some historians believe that Uch predates the advent of Bikramjit when Jains and Buddhists ruled over the area, and that Mithankot[1] or Chacharan Sharif[2] was the true settlement of Alexandria. In AD 712, Muhammad bin Qasim[3] conquered the city and during the Muslim period Uch was one of the centres of Islamic studies of South Asia. There are several tombs of famous mystics (Sufis) in Uch, notably the tombs of Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari[4] and his family. These structures were joined by a series of domed tombs; the first is said to have been built for Baha’ al-Halim by his pupil, the Suharwardiya Sufi saint Jahaniyan Jahangasht[5] (1307–1383), the second for the latter’s great grant daughter, Bibi Jawindi[6], in 1494, and the third for the latter’s architect.


Children are reading in a Madrassa Uch Sharif

Govt. Gilani Degree College Uch Sharif


A Street view of Uch Sharif


A Street view of Uch Sharif

Traditional Cycle Rickshaw, Uch Sharif




A Spicy shop in Uch Sharif


A Shrine in Uch Sharif




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References:

[1] Mithankot is located in southern Punjab, Pakistan.

[2] Mithankot is located in southern Punjab, Pakistan.

[3] Chacharan Sharif is located in southern Punjab, Pakistan.

[4] Sayyid Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari (c. 595-690 AH, 1199-1291 CE) was a prominent Suhrawardi Sufi saint and missionary. Bukhari was called Surkh-posh ("Red-clad") on account of the red mantle he often wore.

[5] Makhdoom Jahaniyan Jahangasht (b 1308- d 1384) was a famous Sufi saint from the South Asia. His descendants are known as Bukhari and are a prominent lineage of Suhrawardi Saadat. Makhdoom was born on 19 January 1308 AD (14 Shaban 707 AH) in Uch near Bahawalpur. His father, Syed Ahmed Kabir, was the youngest son of Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari, who came to the South Asia in 630 AH (1232 AD) from Bukhara.

[6] Bibi Jawindi, the great granddaughter of the saint Jahaniyan Jahangasht, was known for her piety. Her tomb is considered one of the most important, and the most ornate, sites in the town of Uch, which was the centre of Sufism under the Delhi sultanate.

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