Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Sassi Palejo in the city of Sassi and Punno


Banbhore is an archaeological site, located about 64 kms (40 miles) east of Karachi. Archaeological excavations revealed a well planned city. Some scholars identify Banbhore with Debal, the port of city where the Arab General Mohammed Bin Qasim invaded in 712 AD who later marched north up the Indus and within a few weeks had taken Multan. A small museum at the site traces the history of the port. It has a good display of pottery of various types. After the young General conquered the city, Muslims built mosques other residential buildings and fifteen walls around the town.

Banbhore is also associated with the famous romance of Sassi and Punhu admired by sufi poets and folklore. Sassi belonged to Banbhore. The museum at the site houses a rich collection of painted pottery, coins and beads etc. About the 10th century it was the capital of a chief Bhambo Raja and was named Bhambor after him. This town was later destroyed in 1250 A.D. In the centre of a semi-circular palatial building remains of a mosque with numerous Kufic inscriptions carved on dressed stone slabs reveal that this was the earliest yet known mosque of the sub-continent. Its discoveries throw light not only on the Muslim era but also on pre-muslim times. They tell us about the civilization of early centuries of the Christian era. Some human skeletons have also been found in streets and houses. The Hindu temple of the pre-Muslim era has also been unearthed along with coins belonging to Khilafat period. Other stone, glass and ivory objects, pottery, jewellery, arms and certain human skeletons with arrows in their heads show that this town came to a violent end.

This is the site of a large town that existed at least 1400 years ago. The pieces of pottery found by archaeologists are similar to those found at Taxila and known to be of the 1st century B.C. Banbhore has given museums a strong archaeological heritage. One which attracts tourists from all corners and all continents.