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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 9, p. 47.


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R UKKUP 47
the towns of Sukkur and Rohri. Population (igoi), S,o62. Bukkur
is a rock of limestone, oval in shape, Boo yards long by 300 wide,
and about 25 feet in height. The channel separating it from the Sukkur
shore is not more than zoo yards wide, and, when the river is at its
lowest, about 15 feet deep in the middle. In 1903 this channel dried
up for the first time on record. The eastern channel, or that which
divides it from Rohri, is much broader, being, during the same state of
the river, about 400 yards wide, with a depth of 6o feet in the middle.
The Government telegraph line from Rohri to Sukkur crosses the river
here by the island of Bukkur, and the railway passes by a cantilever
bridge over the wider branch. The Lansdowne Bridge, which crosses
the Indus via Bukkur, was completed in 1889 at a cost of 382 lakhs.
The largest span between Bukkur and Rohri is 820 feet. A little to the
north of Bukkur, and separated from it by a narrow channel of easy
passage, is the small isle of Khwaja Khizr, or Jind Pir, containing
a shrine of much sanctity; while to the south of Bukkur is another
islet known as Sadh Bela, covered with foliage, and also possessing
some sacred shrines. Almost the whole of the island of Bukkur is
occupied by the fortress, the walls of which are double, and from 30 to
35 feet high, with numerous bastions; they are built partly of burnt and
unburnt brick, are loopholed, and have two gateways, one facing Rohri
on the east, and the other Sukkur on the west. The fort presents a fine
appearance from the river, but the walls are now in disrepair. Until
1876, Bukkur was used as a jail subsidiary to that at Shikarpur.
That Bukkur, owing to its insular position, must always have been
considered a stronghold of some importance under native rule is evi-
denced by its being so frequently a bone of contention between different
States. So early as 1327, when Sind was an apanage of the Delhi
empire, Bukkur seems to have been a place of note, from the fact that
trustworthy persons were employed by the emperor Muhammad bin
Tughlak to command here. During the rule of the Samma princes,
the fort seems to have changed hands several times, being occasionally
under their rule, and at times under that of Delhi. In the reign of
Shah Beg Arghun, the fortifications of Bukkur appear to have been
partially, if not wholly, rebuilt, the fort of Alor being broken up to
supply the requisite material. In 1574 the place was delivered up
to Keshu Khan, a servant of the Mughal emperor Akbar. In 1736
the fortress fell into the hands of the Kalhora princes, and at a sub-
sequent date into that of the Afghans, by whom it was retained till
captured by Mir Rustam Khan of Khairpur. In 1839, during the first
Afghan War, the fort of Bukkur was ceded by the Khairpur Mirs to the
British, to be occupied by them, and it so remained till the conquest
of the whole province in 1843. Bukkur was the principal British
arsenal in Sind during the Afghan and Sind campaigns.
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