By Basharat Ali Muluk (UET, Peshawar)
I want to take your attention towards an extinct but very old Chitrali fort. “Sumaliko Noghor”, the very first fort in the border of Morder and Muxgoal villages. Chitral is 350 km from north to south and this fort lies at a distance of approximately 75-77 km from the Chitral town.
Mulkhow, previously s tehsil administrative zone, is a craddle of Chitrali culture. At an event held in Wrijun on 28th Feb 2010, former EDO education Mukaram Shah had counted seven forts from Morder to Warijun. I remember two of those – Sumalik’s and Drasun’s. There are many which are less known even to the native people. The cultural preserving associations, archaeological departments and other concerned bodies need to pay attention to these sites. Explore the unexplored and preserve the different cultural abode here.
My limited studies out of different sources, stories from elders and folklore are elaborated as under:
In 800 BC-400 B.C Darawli tribe used to inhibit here.(Chini Nixad). But when we look at the origin of Darawali/Duruwli tribe, they are Australian. How they entered here? Again a topic for research.
In the 6th century BC, there were few very great empires and philosophers:
Buddha (died 544 BC) in India (supporting the philosophy of finding peace),
Confucius in China (571 BC. His major urges: love others, educate all to eliminate social gaps, his philosophy of life was societal values) and
Iranian empire ,from Europe to Indus valley,replacing Babilyons ,median and other empires, establishing the largest empire ever by Cyrus the great. His main teaching again was centralized beurocratic system without bloodshed.
These philosophies and emperors spread wide. It can thus be said probably those people were one out of Russian emperor or Chinese empire, some nomads, warlords or others staying here at Chitral.
With ebbs and flows and at the advent of time, Rayees entered this area.According to Chini Nixad Rayees are “Chini Nixad”. Above mentioned dates support this subject. But I am confused with the name darawuli. Thus Chinese entered here, Alexander also had passed through the region.
Then Baba Ayub from Herat, a great Sufi, entered the region with Shams Tabrizi and another scholar (Dashman). Thus making this region a hub between Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and China.
I have not read any old book addressing such old ages.This fort has less been addressed. I don’t know whether Baba Mah Siyar, the very first poet-cum-historian, has written something about this fort in his Shahnama. The prose of his Shahnama was made by Mirza Mohammad Ghufran. Munshi Aziz Uddin wrote Tarikh-e-Chitral out of the translation and for the second time in 1919 Mirza Mohammad Ghufran attempted to write the history of Chitral. Back in 1880, Bidolf, the first European, also made attempts and in 1896 Colonel Robertson drafted the famous the Siege of Chitral and then the Kafirs of Hindukush followed in 1989 by Ahmed Hassan Dani. Now I request the readers to put some more light on the fort. You may have thoroughly studied these books.
According to chini nixad, in 150 A.D Bahman e kohistani used to live in Charun fort, his dominion was from baranis to parwak. He was defeated by Waranis (Rayees) in 156 AD. Thus left Charun fort and moved to Muzgoal fort. Now to strengthen the defence, waranis called a meeting at Barenis and Sumalik was made the head in 158 AD. From elders’ interlocution we have heard Sumalik was a Kalash, thus this Fort is also known as “KALASHO NOGHOR”. He defeated Bahman and banished him from Muzgoal fort. He left to tibbat. Actually this fort now called Sumaliko noghor was of Bahman e Kohistani. Wranis was controling Gilgit,the major center of Raaees state was Askardu in Baltistan. Waranis had left behind Roshta, Boyika and other tribes to support Sumalik for the battles expected.
It locates over a hill top, river Mulkhow, teeming with fishes in summer, passes infront of it. The road from Rayees villages, Raigaz and other parts of upper khow have crux with those of Biyar and lower khow just in front. It was a proper place to counter enemies and access water. But surprising news to hear is, the king had a channel of cascaded horn water channel,almost 5 km from Morder ghari,Worx,a sweet and very cold water..While making roads for upper Morder back 8 years ago, while cutting the mountain gutters and sanitation system were found there.These are the true symbol of secret tunnels to escape from enemy or could be main route of larger drainage.Similarly before the road through it to our villages,we had a passage thru it. I have observed excavations for ornaments,jewelries of Kalasha. Kalasha people have unique part of their culture.In old ages for protection they used to make holes on earth and keep jewelries buried for safety. They also used to bury their dead bodies with gems. I have observed 5 to 6 feet square holes down, with old pieces of mud potters and coal pieces scattered in the field area.
The walls and small cottages were clear to observers with full sketch of the fort even after 20+ centuries. But in the last decades population of Morder and nearby villages increased 50%-100%. All the new homes and their boundary walls, schools and govt buildings have been made from stone used from this fort. The football ground, full of sand, “Goran Shughur”, lying in front of the fort where we used to arrange challenge football matches b/w Muxgoal and Morder on weekends also has been used by whole mulkhow. With these pace if the resources will be used, then no doubt after few years there will remain no symptoms of the ruins of the fort.
This as I told was the oldest fort in the history depicting amalgamation of Chitrali cultures. Its demographic importance,remained sketch of the fort, the water channels, and much more ruins remaining there can be studied to reveal more things.