Tombs of the chiefs
March 02, 2012
Like other districts of Baluchistan, Lasbela is host to a number of historical and archaeological sites. Among such historical sites, the necropolis of the Jams of Lasbela is quite prominent. This necropolis is located some eight kilometers away from Lasbela at Bara Bagh where there are tombs of the rulers of Labela. This necropolis contains more than 100 tombs of which 40 belong to the royal family of the Kaureja Jams.
Legend has it that the Jam Aali attacked Labela from his ancestral area of Kanrach valley and snatched Labela from Mai Chagli who was wife of Malik Pahar Khan Burfat, the cultural hero of the Burfats. Jam Aali Khathurio was believed to have the founder of Jam dynasty of Lasbela who laid the foundation of Jam dynasty in 1742. This family ruled over Lasbela for over two centuries and produced nine able rulers namely Jam Aali (1742-1760), Jam Ghulam Shah (1760-1776), Jam Mir Khan Korejo I (1776-1830), Jam Aali Khan II (, Jam Mir Khan II, Jam Mir Khan III, Jam Kamal Khan, Jam Ghulam Muhammad Khan, Jam Ghulam Qadir Khan.
Jams of Lasbela are belived to have claimed their ancestry from Samma of Sindh who ruled over Sindh from 1351 to 1524. One of their ancestors Jam Araddin migrated from Sindh settled in Kanrach during the reign of Mughal emperor Janhangir. Later on one of his descendents of Jam Araddin, Jam Rabno or Rab Dino became known for his bravery and generosity. Jam Rabno had four sons namely Jam Aali, Jam Digar, Jam Dodo, and Jam Jangi. At that time, Lasbella was under the rule of the Burfats. After the death of Malik Pahar Khan Burfat, his wife Mai Chagli became the new ruler of Lasbela. The Roonjhas very famous tribe of the Lasbela was the administrators of Mai Chagli. The Roojhas were very scared of the rising power of the Jams of Kanrach and killed Jam Digar one of the chiefs of the tribe. In order to avenge the death of his brother, Jam Aali along with his tribesmen invaded the capital of Mai Chaglai and snatched the govermenet of Labela from her and killed those who murdered his brother Jam Digar. Mai Chagli took her infant son Malik Izzat Khan and went to her ancestral place Taung and later on shifted to Kotri where her tomb is located just behind the government degree college.
After supplanting the rule of the Burfats, Jam Aali became the new ruler of Labela. He ruled the Labela very wisely and prudently. He had strong relations with Khan of Kalat. During the tribal battle between the Jokhias and Burfats, fought at Siri in Thatta he sided with Jokhia chief Jam Bijar Jokhio.
After death of Jam Aali, his son Jam Ghulam Shah Jamote became the new ruler of Labela. He was very wise ruler. During his rule, life and property was safe in the Lasbela. Mir Naseer Khan, then ruler of Kalat gave his daughter to Jam Ghulam Shah.
The necropolis of the Jam rulers is located eight kilometers away from Lasbela at Bara Bagh. Unfortunately, all the tombs of Jams of Lasbela are falling to pieces. There is row of five tomb built over platform which are in dilapidated condition. The first tomb belongs to Jam Aali followed by Jam Dagar, Jam Dina or Dinar and Jam Jangi. There is no inscription on the fifth tomb. To west of these tombs is located a Chhatri or canopy of Jam Ghulam Shah. There are three tombs that lie under the chhatri. The first tomb belongs to Ghulam Shah which carries following inscription: Ghulam Shah Walid (son of) Jam Aali quom (caste) Jamote 1190 (circa 1776 A.D). Close to his tomb is a grave of possibly her wife with inscription, Bibi Mithi Ajiza Ghulam Shah 1190. And nearby is the tomb of Sukh Bai Ajiza Jam Bijar Johkia. The tomb of Bibi Mithi depicts the jewellery. One does not find such refined jewellery carving in the whole Baluchistan. Even, there is no such imposing chhatri of Ghulam Shah located elsewhere in Baluchistan. The tomb of Sukh Bai is also decorated with jewellery. I have visited many graveyards in Lasbela but have not seen such splendid jewellery depictions. In the graveyards at Bala near Winder, Bhawabni Serai at Hub artists have not worked so diligently as at the necropolis of Jam of Lasbela. However, there is a tomb of Mai Asudi in Hindan graveyard 20 south of Durrji which depicts fine jewellery depictions. Mai Asudi was wife of one of the Jakhra chiefs because this necropolis belongs to the Jakhra tribe. Jakhras are the one of the clans of the Sammas.
The tomb of Jam Bijar Jokhio, then ruler and cultural hero of Jokhio tribe is located north of the chhatri of jam Ghulam Shah. The tomb of Jam Bijar Jokhi is built over a platform and lie in rather crumbling condition.