The 11th century Umerkot Fort
|Metropolitan Corporation||Pre-islamic Hindu-era|
|Time zone||UTC+05:00 (PKT)|
Umerkot[a] (Urdu: عُمَركوٹ, Dhatki عُمَركوٹ), Sindhi (عمرڪوٽ) formerly known as Amarkot, is a city in Umerkot District in the Sindh province of Pakistan. The city was the birthplace of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
Local Language is Dhatki which is one of the Rajasthani languages of the Indo-Aryan language family. It is most closely related to Marwari. Sindhi, Urdu and Punjabi are also understood by the citizens.
The city is named by its Hindu founder Maharaja Amar Singh, who originally built the Amarkot Fort here. The name of the city was later changed after a local Ruler of Sindh Umer Soomro of the Umar Marvi story which also appears in Shah Jo Risalo and is one of the popular tragic romances from Sindh.
Umerkot province was ruled by Sodha rajput clan of Hindu Rajputs from medieval times until 1947 Partition of British India. The city held prominence during the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. Mughal Emperor Akbar was born in Amarkot 14 October 1542 when his father Humayun fled from the military defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri. Rana Parshad, the Sodha Rajput ruler of Umarkot, gave him refuge. Later on, Akbar brought northwestern India, including modern day Pakistan under Mughal rule.
Umerkot was annexed by Jodhpur State in the 18th century and its rulers were reduced to Vassals. Umerkot and its fort was later handed to the British in 1847 by the Maharaja of Jodhpur in return for reducing the tribute imposed on Jodhpur State by Rs.10,000. Due to this the Rana of Umerkot did not have much say in whether to join India or Pakistan, although he expressed his desire to join Pakistan because of his Sindhi roots. Umerkot was the only state with a Hindu majority and a Hindu King, that acceded to Pakistan. Rana Chandra Singh, a federal minister and the chieftain of the Hindu Sodha Thakur Rajput clan and the Umerkot Jagir, was one of the founder members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Umarkot, seven times with PPP between 1977 and 1999, when he founded the Pakistan Hindu Party (PHP). Currently, his politician son Rana Hamir Singh is the 26th Rana of Tharparkar, Umarkot and Mithi.
Points of interest
Umarkot has many sites of historical significance such as Akbar's birthplace, Umarkot, Umerkot Fort and Momal Ji Mari.
The story of Umar Marvi is that Marvi was a young Thari girl abducted by then-ruler, Umar, who wanted to marry her because of her beauty. Upon her refusal she was imprisoned in the historic Umerkot Fort for several years. Because of her courage, Marvi is regarded as a symbol of love for one's soil and homeland.
The city has more than 100 schools, 20 colleges and one polytechnic college. One of the prominent educational institute is Knowledge Inn Coaching Academy & Pre entry Test Preparation Center Umerkot.
- Also spelled as Umarkot.
- Historical Forts in Pakistan
- Shaikh Khurshid Hasan (1 January 2005). Historical Forts In Pakistan. National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University. ISBN 978-969-415-069-7.
- Part 10:..the birth of Akbar Humayun nama by Gulbadan Begum.
- Part 10:..the birth of Akbar Humayun-nama by Gulbadan Begum.
- "Hindu Leader, Ex-minister Chardar Singh is Dead". Khaleej Times. 3 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Guriro, Amar (2 August 2009). "Chieftain of Pakistani Hindu Thakurs dies". Daily Times. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- "Amarkot (Jagir)". Chiefa Coins. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Footprints: Once upon a time in Umerkot, Dawn (newspaper), 16 January 2015.
- Pakistan's Umerkot gets a new Hindu ruler, The Hindu, 30 May 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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