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Kalhora clan
Pacco Qillo Round Tower.png
Kalhora temple (masjid), Pacco Qillo, Hyderabad, Sindh.
Total population
100,000 - 200,000
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan: 50,000 - 100,000
Islam - Sunni
Related ethnic groups

The Kalhora (ڪلهوڙا) or Kalhoro, family of the Abbasi clan are a people of Arabic origin who are descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (العباس بن عبد المطلب), (c. 566 – c. 653 CE). Kalhora is now used as a surname. Abbas was a paternal uncle and sahabi (companion) of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He was the progenitor of the Abbasi khalifa (caliph) of Baghdad, Iraq and Qahira (now, Cairo, Egypt). The Kalhora dynasty ruled Sindh, a province of Pakistan from 1701 to 1783 CE. Kalhoro tribe is considered to be a warrior tribe. In the contemporary world the tribe is commonly called 'Kalhoro' and most of them reside in a small town near the border of Punjab Mirpur Mathelo. What exemplifies their current lavish lifestyle is their palace in Mirpur Mathelo.


Khudabad Kalhora masjid (temple), interior view.
Khudabad Kalhora masjid (temple), interior view, art.

In the 8th century CE, the Abbasi caliphs, a dynasty of religious and political rulers, built capitals rich in science and the arts at Baghdad and Cairo.

A caliph of Cairo, Al-Mustansir II (1261 - 1262) was the first of the Abbasi leaders to arrive in Sindh province. His objective was to enforce the law of the caliph of Sindh and to work with the rulers of the local tribe, the Samma.

Two Abbasi leaders, Qaim and his brother Ahmed, arrived in 1366 CE and 1370 CE respectively. Ahmed married Dohrang Sahta, the daughter of the rai, the local raja (king). He received one third of Sindh province in dowry. Ahmed's great great grandson, Fathu'llah, took the Bhangar territory from Dallu of Alor and Bhamanabad. He renamed the territory, Qahir Bela. In 1583, Fathu'llah's son, Chenai, entered service as a panch hazari in the Mughal forces.

When Chenai died, succession was contested by his two sons: Mohammed (founder of the Kalhora clan) and Daud (founder of the Daupota clan). Mohammed was given his father’s sword and leadership of the family. Daud inherited his father's spiritual legacy: the musallah (the place of worship), the tasbeeh (the sacred chants) and the role of murshid ( the spiritual leader).

Mohammed died shortly after and his son, Ibrahim, succeeded him. However, Ibrahim abdicated his role in order to pursue a simple spiritual life at Mount Kalho (ڪلهو), near Hyderabad. He is remembered as Kalhoro Khan (ڪلهوڙو خان), meaning one who lives a spiritual life alone.

Descendants of Ahmed Abbasi[edit]

  • (son)
  • (grandson)
  • (great grandson)
  • Fathu'llah
  • Chenai, succeeded the Mírán of Júnpur.
  • Mohammed Kalhora
  • Ibrahim
  • Shaham
  • Ranah
  • Tahar
  • Khan
  • Sahab
  • Kajan
  • Adam

Mian Adam Shah Kalhoro[edit]

The shrine of Mian Adam Shah Kalhora

Mian Adam Shah Kalhoro, (Urdu: ميان ٱدم شاھ کلھوڑو‎), the ninth descendant of Chenai, was born in a small village. He rose to prominence through the patronage of Wadera Khabar Abro of Dabah village. The small village of his birth became a centre of Islamic spiritual learning. After travelling widely, Adam Shah Kalhoro settled in Hatri, Chandukah taluk (now a rural union council of Hyderabad).

In 1591, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana took the rule of Multan. He moved his forces south into Sindh to attack the Turkhans and their supporters, the Safavids of Iran and the Portuguese. Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khanan helped a commander of Akbar to take Sindh from Mirza Jani Beg Turkhan.

Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khánán, the Nawib (a princely ruler), visited Adam Shah Kalhora to ask for his blessing, pay his respects and offer him the zamindar or parguna (an area of land) of Chándúkah, as a jagir (a feudal life estate), for support in the military campaign.Later, his blessings was accepted and Khan-e-Khánán came back victorious from the Battle. Adam Shah Kalhora later went to Multan to Makhdoom Lal Esan Qureshi, a celebrated living saint of the time and a descendant of Sheikh Baháuddín Zakariya Multani. These events had the effect of consolidating Adam Shah Kalhora's influence in north-west Sindh.

However, his travels through the lands of the local rulers and the presence of his large entourage caused discord and Adam Shah Kalhora was killed. He became a martyr among the Kalhora people. Adam Shah Kalhora has followers in a number of tribes including: the Abro, Bhatti, Jokhiyo, Junejo, Sial, Sahta, Rajputs, Kalwar, Jatoi, Khosa, Chandio, Leghari and, Talpurs.

Adam Shah Kalhora founded the Mianwal movement.[1] He had two sons: Daud Kalhora and Ibrahim Kalhora. The Kotwal (chief of police) and his supporters selected Daud Kalhora as their new leader. Daud Kalhora extended his power and authorities in Hatri village near Larkana. He had two sons, Ilyas and Ali (Shahal).

Ilyas increased holdings of land and disciple numbers. In 1620, he died in Mujawar village, Dokri taluk, Larkana district. After Ilyas' death the disciples elected Shahal Kalhora their new spiritual guide and governor of the area. Shahul Kalhora held the lands of the Abro and Sangi tribes until his death in an attack by the ruler of Bakhri in 1657 CE.

Kalhora Rulers of Sindh[edit]

Noor and Muradyad. The image is rare as portraits were contrary to the Sufi religion.
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai شاه عبدالطيف ڀٽائي Bhittai was a poet of the time of the Kalhora dynasty.
Genealogy of the Abbasi of Sindh.
Genealogy of the Abbasi clan.
Sketch of the Pacco Qillo built by Ghulam Kalhoro. Drawn by Lieutenant Edwards (c. 1845).
The Pacco Qillo, Hyderabad, is in much need of repair.

The Kalhora ruled Sindh (now a province of Pakistan) between 1701 and 1782 CE. From 1701 to 1736 CE the centre of power was Khudabad, and from 1768 - 1782 CE Hyderabad, Sindh. The official and court language was Persian and Sindhi was language of the people.

Mian Nasir Muhammad Kalhoro (1657-1692)[edit]

The first ruler of the Kalhora dynasty was Nasir Kalhoro (1657-1692). Nasir, a pious and virtuous man, was harassed by the Mughals of Bakhir, (north Sindh). He spent much of his time in the sand desert near Shahdadkot, Punjab. Eventually, he established his settlement on the plains of Kachho (an area in Sindh). He battled Mirza Pini, governor of the Siwi and the Panwhars and in a settlement truce, was exiled to Gwalior by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. Fighting continuing, until Nasir escaped with the help of Bahadur Daudpota of Shikapur. Nasir returned to lead the Mianwal movement and defeat the Mughals. Nasir died in 1692 CE and was buried in Gaarhi near Kakar taluk, Khairpur district, Dadu, Sindh. His tomb was built by his son, Yar, in 1708 CE.

Mian Deen Muhammad Kalhora (1692 - 1699)[edit]

In 1692, Nasir Kalhora was succeeded by his elder son, Deen (Din) Kalhora who fought against Mughals to consolidate his power. Deen continued to lead the Mainwal movement, becoming strong politically and increasing land holdings.

Battle between Kalhora and Mughals[edit]

In 1695 CE, Muiz ul-Din, the eldest son of Muazam Shah Alam, was appointed as Governor of Multan by his grandfather, the emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. The Mughals accused the Kalhora of making trouble and Muiz ul-din and the governors of Bakhar Sarkar and Siwistan Sarkar objected to the Mianwal movement. A series of attacks on the dairas (holdings) of the Mianwal leaders failed, leading to the battle of Garello township, Dokri taluk, Larkana district in 1699 CE. In this battle Feroze Faqir Virar (a disciple of Nasir Kalhora and a general of Deen Kalhora’s army) led the Kalhora forces who included men from Gaarhi, Kakar, Khairpur. Jehan led the Mughal forces, assisted by the Panhwar. The Kalhora persisted and Jehan died.

In 1701 CE, Muiz ul-din retaliated, marching from Lahore to Sindh. Deen Kalhora sent his brother, Muhammad Kalhora, and two advisors, Qasim and Khaman, to Bakhar, to appease Muiz ul-din. The men appeared before the prince and convinced him to return to Lahore. Muiz ul-din was on his way to Lahore when he heard news of looting and ransacking of villages by the Mianwal. He returned and a fierce battle was fought on the banks of Nai Gaj river, Dadu District. On his defeat, Deen Kalhora asked for clemency but was killed and buried in Sindh.

Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhora[edit]

After Deen Kalhora's death in 1701, Yar Kalhora, a younger son of Nasir Kalhora, took refuge with his followers at Kalat. There, he was rejected by the Baloch and lived in the Kirthar mountains where the Mian Gun peak is named for him. Eventually, he returned to Sindh and the prince, Auranzeb honoured him with the title Khudayar Khan.

Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhora[edit]

In 1736, the Mughal Emperor, Muhammad Shah, affirmed the next ruler of the Kalhora dynasty, Noor Kalhora, by naming him the Kalhora Nawab of Sindh. In 1739 CE, Sindh came under the rule of Nader Shah Durrani of Iran during his invasion of India and Kalhora rule was again affirmed with their sphere of influence extending from Multan to Thatta.[2]

A necropolis (1753), named for Noor Kalhora, is located 15 km east of Dalautpur town, Nawabshah district.[3]

Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro[edit]

In 1762, Ghulam Kalhora helped Ahmad Shah Durrani fight the Hindu Marathas during the Third Battle of Panipat in order to restore Mughal rule. Ghulam Kalhora commanded a large army and fought against the Rao of Kuchh, an ally of the Maratha and an adversary of Sindh in the Thar desert. He fought again in Kutch 1764.[3] he also build the tomb of hazrat shah Abdul latif bhattai

Battle of Halani[edit]

In 1782, the Talpur Baloch fought a religious war against the Kalhora. The Talpur Baloch difficultly defeated the Kalhora ruler by bringing a religious personality which Kalhora rulers take as their elder, Abdul Nabi Kalhora in 1783 at the Battle of Halani. At the end of rule of the Kalhora dynasty, the Kalhora settled in Khanpur, Shikarpur.The Talpur Baloch said that Kalhoro tribe is a tribe who is faithful to their friends, kind to their dependents, hospitable, brave, hardy, frugal, laborious and prudent. The Kalhora dynasty left to Sindh province a legacy of arts, science and a system of benign taxation. For example, an irrigation system of several wah (channels) was completed.

Mian (rulers) of Sindh[edit]


Contemporary patriarchs[edit]

  • Sardar Ali Murad Khan Kalhoro, 1880 - 1925.
  • Sardar Ali Nawaz Khan Kalhoro, 1925 - 1970.
  • Sardar Haji Khan Kalhoro 1970 - 2006.
  • Sardar Ali Akbar Khan Kalhoro 2006–Present
  • Hammad Ali Kalhoro 1997-Present.
  • Ammar Ali Khan Kalhoro 2000- Present.

Notable Kalhoras[edit]

  • Ashraf Abbasi, deputy speaker of the national assembly of Pakistan.
  • Safdar Ali Abbasi, PPP.
  • Munawar Ali Abbasi, MPA - PPP.
  • Mustafa Husain Kalhoro Taagrraai, historian from Ripri taluk, Gambat, Khairpur district, Sindh and chairman of the Ripri Adabi academy, Sindh.

See also[edit]

External sources[edit]


  1. ^ Fredunbeg M. K. (1853 - 1929) "History of Sind - translated from Persian books." Karachi 1902.
  2. ^ Gupta O. "Encyclopaedia of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh." Gyan Publishing House, 2006 p1156. ISBN 8182053897, 9788182053892.
  3. ^ a b "Kalhora dynasty, domes and debris." Dawn.com website 3 March 2012. Accessed 14 March 2014.
  4. ^ Mahar G. R. "Tareekh-e-Sindh Kalhora Daur." Sindh Aadabi Board, Hyderabad, Sindh 1963

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalhora — Please support Wikipedia.
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48 news items

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Fri, 22 May 2015 11:47:07 -0700

HYDERABAD: Late comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi, the pre-independence peasant leader known as Baba-e-Sindh, was remembered on his 45th death anniversary in different commemorative events held across Hyderabad on Thursday. Honouring the late leader, ...

The News on Sunday

The News on Sunday
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 17:11:15 -0700

The Kalhora dynasty ruled over Sindh for a full century from 1680 to 1783. Whereas the decline of this house of religious and military leaders owed all to inept bumblers, there were in the early years of the rise and power of this dynasty men of ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:05:26 -0700

Khairpur was annexed from the Talpurs like they had annexed Khairpur from the original rulers of Khairpur, the Kalhoras (despite swearing an oath to protect the Kalhoras, the Talpurs being generals and foot soldiers of the Kalhora army). So it's all ...


Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:19:20 -0800

This has made Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai a truly universal poet and that's why Dr T. H. Sorley, his translator, wrote: “He is the real jewel of the Kalhora age. He has written poetry that deserves a wider public than it has yet attracted. His life is an ...

Dispatch News Desk

Dispatch News Desk
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:52:30 -0800

This year, we saw pictures of snow fall in Gorakh. We also passed Khudabad, which was the capital of the Kalhora dynasty, before Hyderabad. There is a beautiful old mosque there, which was under repair. I hoped that they would preserve the original ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:20:02 -0800

Umrani said that the Kalhora period was the best period of Sindhi literature because Shah Latif came in this period. He declared the Talpur period as the worst period, saying Persian literature had affected the local literature during the time. “The ...
The Friday Times
Thu, 09 May 2013 20:40:03 -0700

Before Imran Khan met with his accident in Lahore, and the rival parties, led by Nawaz Sharif gracefully switched off their hostile rhetoric, Election 2013 had brought out the dark side of our politicians. The air was thick with defamations meant to ...
The Friday Times
Thu, 09 May 2013 20:40:10 -0700

A literature festival in Islamabad sounds a contradiction in terms. A city better known for politicos, babus and palace intrigues also patronizes the state run literary establishment. The bureaucratization of literature has only stunted the growth of a ...

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