Agham.—The Lohánas.

Agham, or Agham-kot, lies about thirty miles south-east from Haidarábád, and though now almost forgotten, it was formerly a place of some consequence. Its position is not very easily identi­fied, and the name is rarely introduced into the maps. In Lt. Bur­ton's it seems to be entered under the name of “Angoomanoo,” and in the Quartermaster-General's map of 1850, under that of “Aghamama.”

The Beg-Lar Náma says it is on the Rain. The Tuhfatu-l Kirám mentions it among the towns on the Sánkra. Capt. McMurdo says it is on the Lohána Daryá; but he strangely fixes its site at Kalákot, seven miles to the west of Thatta, observing erroneously that it is not mentioned till long after the Arab conquest. Its position may be indicated at present as lying between the Gúní and the Rain; but it does not follow that it will answer to that description next year, as the course of these streams is constantly shifting.

It is also called Agham Lohána. In the Chach-náma, we find frequent mention of a chief under that name, who was governor of Brahmanábád in the time of Chach. Lohána is the designation of a powerful tribe, which at that period, under an apparent confusion of terms, is said to have included both the Samma and Lákha clans. It can merely mean that they were then in a position of comparative subordination. Under all the vicissitudes the Lohánas have under­gone, they still retain their credit, as well as their religion, and constitute the most influential tribe in Sind, whether regarded as merchants or officials. But, not confined within that narrow pro­vince, they have spread their ramifications beyond the western borders of India, and are found dispersed throughout Afghánistán, Buluchistán, and Arabia, exposed to inconveniences, insults, and dangers of no ordinary kind, in pursuit of their darling object of wealth, and final return to their native soil to enjoy the fruits of their industry.

The Lohánas derive their name and origin from Lohanpúr in Multán. The date of their emigration must have been very early, and even their own traditions do not attempt to fix it. Their sub­divisions are said to amount at least to fifty, the chief of them being the Khudábádí and Sihwání. They all of them wear the Janeo, or Brahmanical thread. Though, for the most part, they worship the Hindu deities, a few have adopted the faith of Bábá Nának. They are described, by an accurate observer, as eating meat, addicted to spirituous liquors, not objecting to fish and onions, drinking water from the hand of their inferiors as well as superiors in caste, and being neither frequent nor regular in their devotions.

As the town of Agham is mentioned as early as the time of Muhammad Kásim, we may presume that it derived its name from the Lohána chieftain above-mentioned, who was the contemporary and opponent of Chach.*