Some Historical Places in Sindh

 

Mohen-jo-daro      A Civil Engineering Wonder      Watch Simulation Research video Documentary produced by Japan (NKH) and BBC exploring the life of Indus people and tracking their trade routes and culture

Mohen-jo-daro, discovered in 1922, is situated on the West Bank of the river Indus. It has one of the earliest and the most developed urban civilizations of ancient world. It forms a part of the Indus River civilization and was discovered in 1921. It is located 1287.48 km away from Mohen-jo-daro. The Indus River civilization flourished from somewhere third till the middle of second millennium B.C. before it vanquished from the world.

Mohen-jo-daro had mud-brick and baked-brick buildings. Covered drainage system in addition to this, soakpits for disposal bins, a large state granary, a spacious pillared hall, a collage of priests, a large and imposing building (probably a palace) and a citadel mound which incorporates in its margin a system of solid burnt brick tower.

Mohen-jo-daro looks like a planned, organized and master architecture of urban settlement. Beneath the citadel, parallel streets, some 30 feet wide, stretched away and are crossed by other straight streets, which divide the town into a great oblong block, each 400 yards in length, and 200 to 300 yards in width. The most imposing remains are those of a Great Hall which consisted of an open quadrangle with verandahs on four sides, galleries and rooms on the back, a group of halls on the north and a large bathing pool. It was probably used for religious or ceremonial bathing.

Nearby are the remains of Great Granary, possibly a public treasury where taxes were paid. We can assume the sensibility of the artistic mind by the discovery of necklaces, pendants of beads, earrings and ankles of ivory and mother of pearl, vessels of silver and bronze and stone weights and measures which suggests the existence of stringent civic regulations.

When the first seal was found in Harappa in 1875 it was thought to be of a foreign origin. A humpless bull with an illegible inscription comprising six characters, were engraved on dark brown jasper.

The significance of this, and the multitude of other seals to follow, was felt when it was realized that the engraved characters and pictures are not only indigenous to the Indus civilization but a thorough understanding of engravings can give a comprehensive account of the true nature of the Indus civilization. First it was thought that the pictograph and the ideograms were related to Brahmi characters or where perhaps the forerunner of Brahmi. It was also suggested that the seal was ideo-phonographic and resembled the Hieroglyphic seal.

On the other hand work was being carried on to prove that Dravdian had inherited many Indus signs thus proving the Dravdic affinity of the Indus seal. Its destruction was by the hands of invading Aryan hordes, as some historians believe, or was triggered by an earthquake, or flood the remains of which are yet to be established. The Mohen-jo-daro museum, close to the site of excavation, houses price-less relics found there, including these engraved seals, ornamental utensils, pottery, weapons and toys. Some of the precious things have been recently shifted from the site museum to the local government treasury.

Interestingly, the bullock carts, boats, drinking jars, toys used even today in the all the towns of Sindh, bare strong resemblance to those used by the ancient citizens of Mohen-jo-daro. Through the discovery of coins and potteries, archeologists believe that trade and cultural links existed between Mohen-jo-daro and the contemporary civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Various objects d'art found at Mohen-jo-daro include burnt clay male and female figurines, and models of bird, a steatite bust a noble man or a priest-king, wearing a loose robe on which the trefoil pattern is engraved and a small dancing girl of bronze with slim figures and flat Negroid features. Steatite seals bearing lifelike representation of animals and mythological creatures such as the unicorn best illustrate the figural. They bear short inscription in a remarkable pictographic script, which has yet to be deciphered.

The various layers of the excavated site show that upon the debris of the ancient civilization rose the buildings and edifices of a much latter settlement dating back to the Kushan period (between the first and the third centuries A.D.). The remains of the Buddhist stupa and the monastery, rising to the height of 10.66 meters (35 feet) above the surrounding area, are of this later period. How this remarkable civilization came to an end after 1800 B.C. remains a mystery. Human skeletons show signs of violent end. Weather this came as a result of massacre is not certain.

According to Father Heras the vertical fish sign meant a star, because in most of the Dravidian languages both the star and the fish are referred to as mint. There are many other examples of a similar nature quoted in his works. All this inspired many scholars including, Soviet, Scandinavian and Pakistanis, to start looking into the matter more seriously. Mohen-jo-daro promises tourists, a journey spread over thousand years in one single excursion! source

Mohen-Jo-Daro: A Civil Engineering Wonder

Useful links: UNESCO links   Mohen-jo-daro.net

Watch NKH Japan and BBC Documentary ( 1 hr video Simulation in English) Who were Mohen Jo daro people? Where did they go? Whom did they trade with? How wonderful were they? Shall you need the DVD or CD, please contact. I will try to send a copy free. You can also buy this from www.ebay.com (£25+postages).

 

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Kot diji fort

Kot Diji is situated between Ranipur and Khairpur on the highway from Hyderabad, at the east bank of the Indus close to Rohri. The discovery of Kot Diji provides the evidence that there is a civilization before Mohen-jo-daro. Archaeologists say that the discovery of this pre-historic site has furnished information of high significance since it pushed back the pre-historic of Pakistan by at least another 300 years from about 2,500 B.C. to 2,800 B.C.

Evidence of new cultural elements of pre-Mohen-jo-daro time has been found at Kot Diji. Excavations have proved that the Indus Valley Civilizations borrowed or developed some of the basic cultural elements of the Kot Dijians.The site consists of two parts: one comprising of the citadel area on the high ground where the ruling elite lived and an outer area inhabited by common man.

 

The Kot Diji culture is marked by well-furnished, well-made pottery and houses built of mud-bricks on solid stone foundations. In fact, the Kot Dijian ceramics, though different in form and technique, are in no way less artistic than the sophisticated back-on-red pottery of Mohen-jo-daro civilization.

A real image from Kotdigi Qilla entrance. The front door has huge protective iron nails from elephant attack. The door is situated in a 45 degree turn to avoid a straight army attach.

While taking this photo a bullock cart was captured in the photo which was passing accidentally through as a part of their regular travel to local town. Similar bullock cart was in use in Mohen-jo- daro about 2500 BC years <click here to see the image>. Amazingly a Pajero jeep was parked at the entrance of fort, which can be seen in the shadow of fort. This shows a historical display of modern machine and ancient Mohen-jo-daro civilization both in practice.

The Mohen-jo-daro civilization borrowed some of the basic cultural elements from Kot Dijians. They decoration designs, such as the "fish scale " intersecting circles and the piped leaf pattern were all evolved from the Kot Dijian decorated elements like the horizontal and wavy lines, loops and simple triangular patterns. There is, however, no proof yet of the place or the region from where these Kot Dijians arrived in The Indus Valley. There is so much to see and explore that tourists and researchers find themselves lost in a never ending excursion of a rich archaeological past. source

useful links:

 

 

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Runni Kot

Runnikot is the biggest ever-prehistoric stone fort of the world with its walls resembling closely with Great Wall of China stretching over 20 miles and 2 furlongs. It is situated 18 miles in west of Sann town of Dadu district in the Khirthar range of Sindh’s mountains. It has in all sixty towers and four gates in the west, east, north and south direction. The Sann gate opens to east, the Amri gate is located in the north, Shahpur gate in the south and Mohan gate in the west. There are two small forts within the fort namely Miri and Shergarh. A torrential river Mohan passes from its midst providing water resource to the fort. Besides, there is a also natural spring within periphery of the fort as last resort for water supply in times of war.

 

According to experts, the fort was basically constructed for bow and arrow warfare but later on machicolation was enlarged on the walls for better play of cross-bow and also to accommodate the fire arms. Runni kot is not only a wonderful example of architecture but also a very skilful work of military engineering. One can feel very impressed by the mind behind this engineering. The best utilization of the rock formation as defence can be seen on the western boundary of the fort. The greatest work of engineering can also be witnessed at the eastern side that forms the gate, the dam and a drawbridge.

The fort's massive 10 meter high walls of dressed sandstone are 29 km around. Portions of its ramparts resemble the Great Wall of China, as they dip and turn to the contours of the hills. He terrain inside the fort is partly cultivated and green with vegetation, being watered by nearby 'Rani' River, which runs through the fort and a perennial spring within it. Water from both sources has formed pools, teeming with fish. Close to the fort, fossils of a Petrified Forest can be found. The fort lies roughly 90 km north of Hyderabad. The route is through Sann the town of Saiin G.M Syed, from where the remaining 28-km distance is a depilated road. Inside the fortification walls the land is cultivated. The Rani River and a perennial spring support the vegetation in the fort. The remains of a Petrified Forest are not much different from the ones that are found in the Khirthar National Park.

useful links:

Runni kot Fort: Its odd location and why? Scholarly article by M.H Panhwar

Runni Kot from Nadeem Jamili

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Naukot Fort <taken from SNC website (as it is: for public awareness): http://www.thesindh.com/

Some 63km south of Mirpur Khas, Naukot town lies at the edge of the desert. Another 3km on the road to Mithi an awe-inspiring fort attracts the eye in the wilderness. It is said to have been constructed by Mir Karam Ali Khan in 1814 to consolidate his power in the desert and to subdue the Than and make effective and forceful  arrangements to collect dhal, revenue.

The fort is built of burnt-bricks in mud mortar and measures about 1 13m in length and 98m in width. Another squarish construction on the southern side of the fort, measuring 15m x 13m has in it the only entrance and narrow access to the interior of the fort. All the walls and bastions give tapering look. The narrow entrance is approached through ~a crooked passage formed by two heavy and semi-circular bastions. The bastion close to the doorway, and making a part of the squarish construction, is about 9.5m high with a diameter of about 42m at the base.

The arched entrance is around 7m in height and about 4m in width. The approach to the interior of the fort is through causeway type hall and room, which make part of the squarish construction, itself a fortress. The fort has nine semi-circular bastions, two of them guarding the main entrance, four at the corners and one each in the middle of the northern, southern and western walls. A 4m wide wall runs on the four sides of the fort. It has two burnt-brick stairs to climb the wall top, from the interior of the fort.

Inside the fort there are a few remains of rooms etc., which may go to suggest that these were the residential quarters. A small construction like a dungeon could have been the barood khana, or the place to store ammunition. The water seems to have been easily accessible by digging wells inside the fort. Even now a hand-pump serves the visitors well.

 

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Thatta and Makli Graveyard

Thatta, also called Thatto in Sindhi language, ninety-eight kms (60 miles) East of Karachi, on the National Highway, just west of the Indus River and the Arabian Sea coast. Thatta was once called the El Dorando of the east. At one time Thatta was important for being Sindh's capital city and as a center for Islamic arts. From the 14th century four Muslim dynasties ruled Sindh from Thatta, but in 1739 the capital was moved elsewhere and with it Thatta declined. Thatta has a very rich heritage of Muslim architecture during the era of the 16th and 17th century. The history of Thatta goes back some 2000 years. It is now a mere vestige of its former greatness as 16th-century capital of the Samma dynasty in Lower Sindh. It was Incorporated as a municipality in 1854. The Makli Hill near Thatta is the world largest graveyard spread over 15.5 sq. kms, having millions of graves. Here in eternal sleep lie kings, queens, Scholars, Philosophers and soldiers of a by-gone era-an era renowned for its culture and learning. It is believed that this was the place where Alexander the Great rested his legions after their long march. The surrounding region includes the barren and rocky Kohistan area and the swampy deltaic land of the Indus. Sugarcane is the chief crop; camel breeding is significant. Nearby excavations reveal occupations dating from the first century B.C.

We can see the masterpieces of stone carvings over the gravestones and mausoleums. These grave stones and mausoleum stones represent the different era's and dynasties. There are monuments of Summa period (14th to 16th centuries), the Tarkhan & Arghun period (16th century), and the Mughul period (16th to 18th centuries). You can examine the minute and delicate workmanship on the tombs of famous Mughal governor's. The structure is strong and beautiful exemplifying its immaculate beauty. The main stone used in the construction of these monuments are; marble and granites which have a tendancy to last for generation's. You could easily see a rhythmic construction in these monuments. The largest and the most impressive tomb among the tomb's is the tomb of Isa Khan Tarkhan who died in 1644 who was known for his tyrny towards locals. Isa khan had personally observed the construction of this tomb in his lifetime. After a partial completion of that tomb, Isa khan cut off the hand's of most talented craftsmen, so that no other emperor could engage them to copy the same monument again. Besides the most preserved monuments are, the tomb's of Mirza jani Beg, Mirza Tughral beg and Diwan Shurfa Khan.

In Thatta district, there is the Shah Jehan Mosque, which is the masterpiece of Mughal construction. This mosque was built by the constructor of Taj Mahal in 1647 A.D. Build towards the middle of the 17th century, this sets a glorious example of Muslim architecture and heritage. This mosque was build by Mir Abdullah under the order of The Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan. Shah Jehan mosque is a superb example of crafty tile work. Its 93 domes and 33 arches with varying sizes add to their architectural beauty. The domes have been exquisitely laid in a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles. Thatta with so much offering poses to be a prime choice of visitors.

 

useful links: useful link1        useful link2

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Banbhore

Banbhore is an archaeological site, located about 64 kms (40 miles) east of Karachi. Archaeological excavations revealed a well planned city. Some scholars identify Banbhore with Debal, the port of city where the Arab General Mohammed Bin Qasim invaded in 712 AD who later  marched north up the Indus and within a few weeks had taken Multan. A small museum at the site traces the history of the port. It has a good display of pottery of various types. After the young General conquered the city, Muslims built mosques other residential buildings and fifteen walls around the town.

Banbhore is also associated with the famous romance of Sassi and Punhu admired by sufi poets and folklore. Sassi belonged to Banbhore. The museum at the site houses a rich collection of painted pottery, coins and beads etc. About the 10th century it was the capital of a chief Bhambo Raja and was named Bhambor after him. This town was later destroyed in 1250 A.D. In the centre of a semi-circular palatial building remains of a mosque with numerous Kufic inscriptions carved on dressed stone slabs reveal that this was the earliest yet known mosque of the sub-continent. Its discoveries throw light not only on the Muslim era but also on pre-muslim times. They tell us about the civilization of early centuries of the Christian era. Some human skeletons have also been found in streets and houses. The Hindu temple of the pre-Muslim era has also been unearthed along with coins belonging to Khilafat period. Other stone, glass and ivory objects, pottery, jewellery, arms and certain human skeletons with arrows in their heads show that this town came to a violent end.

This is the site of a large town that existed at least 1400 years ago. The pieces of pottery found by archaeologists are similar to those found at Taxila and known to be of the 1st century B.C. Banbhore has given museums a strong archaeological heritage. One which attracts tourists from all corners and all continents. source

useful links:

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Keenjhar lake

An hours drives east of Karachi on the way to Thatta is the famous tourist spot called Keenjhar Lake. A resort which offers lake fishing, boating, bird watching and a very peaceful atmosphere. The lake is famous picnic spot for interior Sindh and as well Karachi and Hyderabad. It has great attraction also because of very historical attachment to it. It has a tomb of a queen 'Nori' in the middle of the lake. Nori was one of the beloved queen of King Jam Tamachi, once a famous king in Sindh. Nori has been praised great sufi poets for her attachment with poor family and heritage. Students from University, local people and visitor always visit and pay their regards by travelling into boat to reach the tomb. The lake is beautiful resort and shelters where visitor stay during hot summer days.

useful links:

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Kirthar national park

This park may be visited for recreation, education or research purposes but shooting is forbidden here. A Super Highway (for 4 WD vehicles only) takes the visitor deep into the heart of Kirthar National Park. Measuring over 3,000 square kilometers in the Kirthar hills and a good destination for a 3-day trip. October to February is the most comfortable...that is, the coolest time to visit this park but the flowers blossom during the (relatively) wet monsoon in August. Kirthar was designated a national park by the Sindh Wildlife Department in 1974, the first of Pakistan's parks to be included in the UN's listing of National Parks of 1975. In addition, Kirthar qualifies for the strict criteria fixed by IUCN for a Category II protected area, designated mainly for ecosystem preservation,

Kirthar National Park is the habitat of rare species that include the Sindh Ibex, Chin Kara, Gazelles, Leopards, Wild sheep, and other animals. The best season to visit is from October to February. However, it is the greenest in August during the monsoons. Five furnished rest houses with cooking facilities and running water are situated on the edge of a wide valley in the centre of the park at Karchat. They are bookable through the Sindh Wildlife Management Board, which also hires out tents to those who wish to camp. Some food is available if ordered well in advance, but it is better to take your own food, drink and bedding.

The rolling valleys and rugged lines of the Kirthar hills form a natural haven for urial sheep, ibex and chinkara gazelle. Jungle cats, desert cats and even the occasional leopard or desert wolf also prowl the park, but you would be extremely lucky to see them. Pangolin (scaly anteaters), porcupines and monitor lizards are in vast numbers.

Other attractions in the park are the 18th century Chaukundi style tombs at Taung and pre-historic archaeological remains at Koh Tarash. The enormous Runni Kot Fort is also within the park, two hours by jeep from Karchat. Runii Kot is about four hours from Karachi via the Super and the Indus Highways.

Wildlife: Mammals in the park include Asiatic leopard, Stripped Hyena, Desert Wolf, Indian Fox, Sindh Wild Goat (Ibex), Urial (Gad), Honey Badger, Indian Pangolin, Caracal, Jungle cat, Jackal, Chinkara Gazelle, Black Buck (Reintroduced), Hedgehog, Porcupine, Mongoose, Cairo Spiny mouse and the Rock Mouse. Birds may include; Lammegier vulture (Winter Migrant), Bonnelli's eagle, Griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Close-Barred sandgrouse, Houbara bustard, Grey partridge, See partridge, Stone Curlew, Finche larks, Hoopoe, shrikes and Wheatears.

Reptiles found in the park are The Rock python, Sindh cobra, Russell's viper, Sawscaled viper, Sindh krait, Royal rat snake, Tortoises, Monitor lizard, Sindh Crocodile (possibly extinct) and different species of lizard and chameleon. The Kirthar Park is undoubtedly, amongst the best maintained recreation parks of Pakistan.

useful links:

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Sukkur_ Masoom Shah jo munaro

Masoom Shah Jo Munaro, (Munaro in Sindhi Language for Minaret) which is situated in the middle of the city. It has 84 narrow steps in a spiral shape stair. Minaret was built by Historian and knight Mr. Masoom Shah in 18th century. It is believed that the stones used in the stairs were soiled in real butter Ghee for 84 days. While moving upward there are few small stoppages with windows in the walls for brightness and air. At the top there is a lovely balcony from where a spectacular view of the River Indus and its two bridges and almost entire city can be seen.

Sukkur has a rich history. It has the oldest barrage with more than one mile length and 66 huge gates. Modern Sukkur was built by the British general Sir Charles Napier in the 1840s, the first English invader of Sindh. [see his book: I have Sind].

Sukkur Barrage on the Indus River was opened in January 1932, following almost a century of deliberations by the Government of Bombay Presidency. The largest irrigation project ever undertaken, it brought nearly 7 million acres under cultivation. Some of the project's individual canals were larger than the Suez Canal. It paved the way for an economically depressed Sindh to become a full province, with its capital in the rapidly growing port city of Karachi. Fifteen years later, Karachi became the capital of a new country, Pakistan.

Near Rohri Railway station towards Sukkar there is a shirine that claims to hold a holy Hair Mobarak of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). It is beleived locally that there are thousands of sufis and saints in Rohri and its suburbs. Ruines of 'city of Aror' which is located only 9 Kilometers from Sukkur is the site where Mohammed bin Qasim built a famous Mosque in 726 AD which is present even today and an Imam still performs prayer there . If you possess an archaeologist mind you may hike to the citadel and probably can find some coins of that period of 8th to 13 Century. This shows how ignored is the historical place where government claims Sindh as bab-ul-islam (door to Islam in sub-continent) yet the first ever built mosque on the land of South East Asia is not preserved.

Near the Sukkur barrage there is a Hindu/ Sikh temple known as Sadh belo. This is situated in the middle of the river Indus.At a short distance from Sukkur, there are few Hindus temples of Kali Mata & Durga. It is beleived that Kali when travelling to Hanglag (Baluchistan ) stayed there. Many Hindus come for a pilgrmage (Teerat ) and go through a dark cave to perform their ritual. The people here are very friendly and it can be really interesting to see how rituals are performed. On the way to the caves you can also stop at Ganjo Takar a small temple on top of a gigantic bolder if you want to test your rock climbing skills this is perfect place.

Useful inks:

History was made in 1941 see video footage

Sadh belo: Link from Nadeen Jamil's page

Sukkur page (offical)

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Hyderabad fort (Pakko Qilo or Meeran-jo-Qilo)

Hyderabad, Nayrun Kot as it was originally known, was constructed by Raja Nayrun, a Hindu. This Nayrun Kot, was destroyed by Arabs. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro decided to reconstruct and revive the city as his Capital and decided to build a new Fort at its site. He deputed Diwan Gidumal (Gidwani), the task. Diwan Gidumal, with two boat loads of money, landed at Kotri, (a village opp. Gidu Bunder at Hyderabad) on the bank of Sindhu river, and on the other bank set up a Camp for his crew. This Camp came to be known as Gidu Jo Tando, now called Gidu- Bunder. Diwan Gidumal constructed Two Forts (Qila or Qilo). One solid (Pako), made of stone, and other katcho or katcha, made of earthen materiel. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro would visit Hyderabad from time to time to supervise and would stay at Katcha Qila. In the year 1768, construction of Pako Qilo was completed. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro then donated Katcho Qilo to Shah Makai's Dargah.

The Trustees of Shah Makai's Dargah, until 1946, acknowledge that during the days of Raja Nayrun, Hazrat Ali and Shah Makai, had visited Hyderabad. Foot prints of Hazrat Ali are preserved in a Dargah called "Qadam Shah", situated at the foot of Qila Chari Kalhoras were of Shia Faith, followers of Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Ali was also known as "Hyder", meaning Snake Killer. Hazrat Ali during childhood, had killed a snake, hence the name. To honour the visit of Hazrat Ali (Hyder) and as a remembrance, Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro, changed the Nayrun Kot to "Hyderabad". The city was then sparingly inhabited as Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro had yet to shift to live there. However, he did not live to enjoy it's comforts. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro expired in the year 1771 and is buried at Hyderabad. After him, the Throne was inherited by Miya Sarfirar Khan Kalhoro. He built a new capital city in the year 1772, a mile and half from New Halla, known as New Khudabad. But, he is buried at Hyderabad. Towards the end of reign of Kalhoras, Talpars, (Mirs), took control of the Government. In the year 1783, their reign began. New Khudabad continued as Capital city with many Amils and Bhaibunds still living there till 1789. 

In the above picture one can see clearly the high-rise constructions, drainage water flowing through the walls and consequently huge trees, fungus and plantation have grown. These illegal occupations and their irresponsible way of life has damaged the historical fort and many walls have collapsed. The internal structure of fort has been completely erased. This is due to the ignorance of government that many illegal occupiers had made their houses inside the fort otherwise this fort is situated in the heart of City therefore it is not difficult for government to look after this historical masterpiece, however the local, provincial and federal government after creation of Pakistan has shown no interest in the preservation of this fort and its remaining. In 1980's the famous museum attached to its rich history was looted and eventually set on fire. Its illegal occupation begun after the creation of Pakistan and particularly after unplanned migration of illiterate migrant from India source

useful links:

Historical images of Pakko Qilo Hyderabad from Nadeem Jamali's website Pict1   Pic2   Pic3   Pic4

wikipedia link 

unofficial links 

Pictures of present Hyderabad

Hyderabad Tour private link 

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Karachi_ the Capital of Sindh

Pakistan's cosmopolitan city Karachi, is located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Sea. It is the capital of Sindh and the former capital of Pakistan. With a population of nearly 10 million (which is rising rapidly), Karachi is undoubtedly the largest city of Pakistan accommodating people from all regions and religions. Being the largest and the most populous city of Pakistan, Karachi presents an interesting and colourful combination of the old and new traditions. The narrow twisted lanes and alleys of the old city throb with life along-side the wide metalled roads and elegant modern buildings. Within the city, one may find talented artisans with age-old skills producing handicrafts of exquisite beauty.

Karachi is Pakistan's busiest commercial city hosting great activities in trade, industry, education etc. It is an ultra-modern city, equipped with the most modern cinemas, recreational clubs, hotels and restaurants. The sea is the most exciting and romantic part of Karachi. There are beautiful beaches at Sandspit, Sommiani and Hawks Bay. These places are excellent picnic resorts and with their peaceful and tranquil surroundings they provide adequate fun and enjoyment to tourists and locals alike. Adding to tourist attraction are numerous water related activities like yachting, water-skiing and cruising etc. The presence of huge and tall buildings have given Karachi a grandeur and majestic appearance. The Quaid (Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah) mausoleum is the most important monument in Karachi. With all its splendour and beauty, The Quaid Mausoleum stands gracefully in the heart of Karachi whereby combining classical oriental architecture with modern day architectural designs. The Quaid's birthplace, Wazir Mansion, has also been preserved as a national archive. Although there is still argument about the original birth place town as described Jhirak near thatta [Ref1] [Ref.2], Where there are still famous palaces of Aagha Khan family. See the close view of a Marble slab. It is believed that all the TEXT BOOKS in Sindhi language published before 1960 showed Jhirak as the birth place of Jinnah. For some political reasons, it has been changed!

To provide convenience to tourists, Karachi has a state-of-the-art international airport accommodating flights from all over the world. It has thus become the "Gateway to Pakistan". Karachi welcomes people from all parts of the world. It pictures a mingling of varieties; old and new, east and west. It looks as if, Karachi has truly absorbed the charm and beauty of modern and conventional way of life. Offering a host of cultural and social activities, Karachi has truly positioned itself to become a famous tourist temptation.

Defense Mosque: Masjid-e-Toba, otherwise known as the Defense Mosque for being situated in the Defense residential area, is Karachi's up mark. An excellent example of modern Islamic architecture., built in 1969, this Mosque is famous for its dome. It is 72m in diameter and is claimed to be the world's largest concrete shell dome.

Mahata Palace:  This palace is situated in the area of Clifton, built in 1933 in a Mughal Ghothic style with imposing domes and cupolas. The palace was used as the residence of Quid-e-Azam's sister, Fatima Jinnah until her death in 1967. It is also known as Qasr-e-Fatima Jinnah.

Clifton Beach:This beach is very near from the main city and is famous for weekend outings. Developed as a health resort in the 19th Century by the British, Clifton is now one of Karachi's most exclusive residential area. People of all ages comes here to enjoy. Camel and horse owners offer beach ride, there is a point called Clifton view point. The yellow sand stone pavilion on the promenade, offers good views of the surrounding area. Close by, there is a Hindu Temple called Shree Ratnewswar Mahdevi known as the caves of Mahdevi and mentioned in the Hindu ancient religious book Ramayana.

Fish Harbour: A visit to Karachi Fish Harbour can be particularly rewarding when one sees hundreds of colourfully decorated and designed boats bringing in their daily catch. Karachi has one of the best natural harbours in the entire region and there is an abundance of prawns, crabs, and different fish. It is a 15-minute drive from the main city.

Haleeji Lake: 80 Km North of Karachi, on the way to Thatta, 5km before the village of Gharo, forming the end of a chain of street lakes, lie the beautiful waters of Haleeji. Approximately one hundred thousand birds including over 75 species of waterfowl alone find sanctuary here during the winter time. Flamingoes, Pelicans, Purple Gallinules, Pheasant, Tailed Jacanas, Herons, Ducks, and the many migrant Cyberian birds can be seen here. This spot is one of the best birds watching Paradise in the region.

Makran Cost / Gawadar: Gawadar port is being currently built by the Chinese Government. The Makran Cost line extends over 754km from Lasbela near Karachi along the Arabian Sea. The whole area is rich with sandy unspoiled golden sunny beaches and offering variety of Arabian sea food. Many of the Makrani people are dark skinned and have African features with curly hair. Most Makrani people live on fishing, date farming and camel breeding. In 326BC the Alexander marched half his army home along the inhospitable, Muhammad Bin Qasim a Muslim invader, came from Baghdad to Sindh through Debal port to Makran Cost in 711 AD. source

useful Links:

Historical Buildings of Karachi City Buildings in Karachi 

Beautiful images of Karachi city Karachi picture Gallery

 

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Chaukundi

While travelling on the national highway, 17 miles from Karachi, one can see clusters of unusual graves in the shape of stepped rectangles. Built between the 15th and 19th centuries by Balochis and Burpats the tombs are of various sizes and designs but fall into two basic types. One which support roofs on pillars while other which consist of solid oblong pyramids standing two to four meters high and completely covered with finely carved geometric designs. The stone of these graves are exquisitely carved in relief with intricate motifs. The small rosette is a frequent motif that may have some forgotten connection with pre-islamic sun-worship, as may the sunflowers wheels and chrysanthemums, which also suggest the sun. Squares, diamonds, triangles, zigzags and crosses are also used in every possible combination.

Chaukundi means four cornered and thus the site became famously known as chaukundi. The distinguishing feature of these graves is the superb carving and engraving on the slabs with various designs of jewellery; floral patterns, horses and even their riders. The tomb slab of a woman's grave is embellished with designs of jewellery, necklace, earrings and rings resembling those still worn today. The men's graves bears stylised stone turban on top, carvings of weapons of war or animal heads, horses and riders. This design may have originated in the Rajput custom of temporarily burying a fallen soldier in the battlefield and marking his grave with his upright sword crowned with his turban. source

useful links: Choukundi

 

 

Government of Sindh, Pakistan (official page)

 

 

 

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