A majesty that is no more

pon reaching the Uch Sharif-Alipur exit on Multan-Sukkur Motorway (M-5), one needs to turn left to reach Uch Sharif. There is a tiny stream running parallel to the road. It is difficult to imagine that this was once the confluence of the mighty Rivers Indus and Chenab.

Tractor-trolleys overloaded with sugarcane are a common sight on the road that was once the main route for travellers from the Punjab to access Sindh.

As one enters the narrow main bazaar of Uch Sharif, one ends up in Muhalla Khawajgan or the nearby graveyards. Mud graves, moringa trees, hot air and humid indoors are the inescapable and memorable features of the city.

The stop close to the exit from M-5 is called Muhanay Aali Mori. The legend goes that Alexander the Great founded Uch Sharif at the confluence of two mighty rivers. It is also said that he was struck a fatal blow by muhanay or fishermen in what is today’s Mian Channu area.

From Alexander the Great (circa 325 BCE) to the invasion of Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 CE, the city was known for mystical wonders attributed to Buddist and Hindu monks.

Local people narrate their deeds as folklore.

According to these, two sisters, named Oocha and Sita Rani, used to live on the opposite banks of the River Indus. Uch Sharif was named after Oocha and Seetpur after Sita Rani. It is said that these sisters had arms long enough to share what they cooked, across the river, with each other. The river has now shifted to the edge of Seetpur.

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