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Mohenjo-daro is an archeological site located in the Larkana district of Sindh. It was built around 2600 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major urban settlements. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE, and was not rediscovered until 1922.
As mentioned above, mohenjodarho is located in the Larkana District of Sindh, Pakistan. It can be found on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River Valley, around 28 kilometers from the town of Larkana. The ridge because of its prominence allowed the city to stand above the surrounding plain, but past flooding activities has taken that prominence away.
A well-planned street grid and an elaborate drainage system shows that the people of Mohenjo Daro were actually skilled urban planners with an admiration for the control of water. But the identity of the occupants of this ancient city in modern-day Pakistan during the third millennium B.C. remains a puzzle.
Mohenjo-daro has a planned layout based on a street grid of rectilinear buildings. Most were built of fired and mortared brick while some incorporated sun-dried mud-brick and wooden superstructures.Estimates of the area covered by the city range from 85 to 200 hectares, with a “weak” estimate of peak population at around 40,000.
The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel, a mud-brick mound around 12 meters (39 ft) high is known to have supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000 citizens, and two large assembly halls. The city had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Waste water was channeled to covered drains that lined the major streets.
Some houses, presumably those of wealthier inhabitants, include rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, and one building had an underground furnace (known as a hypocaust), possibly for heated bathing. Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors that opened onto side-lanes. Some buildings had two stories
Mohenjo-daro had no series of city walls, but was fortified with guard towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south. Considering these fortifications, it is postulated that Mohenjo-daro was an administrative center.
Ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick city structures act as a proof for this cities great wealth.
Makli hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world. It is located on the outskirts of Thatta. It has a diameter of approx 8 kilometers. It is the burial site of some 125,000 local rulers, sufi saints and others.
Many legends about its inception exist but it is quite often believed that the cemetery grew around the shrine of a fourteenth-century Sarwa, Muhammad Hussain Abro. Many sourses claim that the credit for the establishment of Makli goes to the immigrant saint and scholar by the name of Sheikh Hammad Jamalia and the then loca ruler, Jam Tamachi.
Tombs and gravestones here have been build using local sandstone while others are plastered brick buildings. The royal mausoleums in this area are divided into two major groups;
• The Samma period (1352–1520)
• The Tarkhan period (1556–1592).
The Arghun and Mughal periods are also represented in this graveyard. The tombs and mausoleums of Jan Beg Tarkhan, the King Jam Nizamuddin II, Isa Khan Hussain II, Mirza Jani & Mirza Ghazi Baig are some of the famous attractions in Makli Hills.
The Shah Jahan Mosque is located in Thatta. It was built during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The mosque was built in 1647 as a gift to the people of Thatta who gave shelter to him during his exile before his ascension to the throne and what a gift it was.
The mosque is built with red bricks with blue colored glaze tiles that give off a vibrant look. It has a total of 93 domes. One of the most unique features of the mosque is that all four of its four ‘wings’ have separate, complex and elaborate designs on the ceiling which are further complemented by matching pillars and glazed tiles that enhance its magnificence.
The architect’s true skill lies in the glorious acoustics of the mosque which are designed in such a way that the Imam’s voice carries itself to all the wings of the mosque which is in its own way quite amazing.
Remarkable display of calligraphy between the mosaics of tiles depicts an era of architectural and artistic expertise. Regrettably, there are cracks in the walls of this beautiful piece of art and clear signs of aging in the building’s structure suggesting years of neglect by the authorities.
Kot Diji Fortress
The Kot Diji Fort, the Majestic structure of war formally known as Fort Ahmadabad, dominates the city of Kot Diji. The fort was built between 1785 to 1795 by founder of the Kingdom of Upper Sindh, Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur,. The fort, due to obvious reasons was considered invincible by the locals and the rulers and served as the residence of the Emirs of Khairpur in times of peace. It was designed for defending the rulers and their families against any kind of army but was ironicallynever attacked throughout its history.
Kot Diji is a very practical and well thought fort constructed on a limestone hill with kiln-baked bricks. Bricks were used in this structure because the locally available limestone rock was very brittle and would have shattered easily on when showered with cannonballs. The hill is about 110 feet high, above which the walls of the fort rise another 30 feet. Three strategically placed towers about 50 feet tall.
A lot of thought was put in the construction and design of this fort. Different levels were made in a way that if one level was lost, the defenders could ascend to the above level and halt the further advances of the enemy. The most interesting thing I find about this fort is that its location was strategically chosen so that the enemy would have to cross a whole desert to reach its gates and in the process lose morale and energy.
The fort is over half a kilometer long. Its walls are segmented by about 50 bastions. A bastion is a structure protruding on a wall and is used for defensive purposed. On the east entrance, it has three elephant proof gates. The walls and bastions contain arrow slits. Multitude of stations for cannons are also present.
On first sight, this looks like the Great wall of China. But no, this is a place n Sindh. One of the most mysterious and amazing structures on the planet none of us know about. This is the Great wall of Sindh.
Ranikot Fort is a historical fort in Sindh. Ranikot Fort is also known as The Great Wall of Sindh. It is believed to be the world’s largest fort with a circumference of approximately 35 km. The wall’s origins and why it was built is unknown. Many theories surround the mystery architects of this fort. Greeks, Persians and others are rumored to be the builders of these walls.
Within these walls are three inner forts named Miri Kot, Sher Garh and Mohan Kot. Together they make up up what is generally regarded as the largest fort anywhere in the world. A for which covers a staggering number of 65 kms.
Banbhore is yet another ancient city dating to the 1st century BC located in Thatta, Sindh. The ruins of this city can be foundl on the N-5 National Highway, east of Karachi. It dates back to the Scytho-Parthian era and has been controlled by Muslims from 8th to 13th century after which it was abandoned. The reasons for this abandonment are not exactly known Theories exist.
The city of Banbhore dates from the 1st century BC to the 13th century AD. Archaeological records reveal remnants of three distinct periods on the site.
I. Scytho-Parthian (1st century BC to 2nd century AD)
II. Hindu-Buddhist (2nd century AD to 8th century AD)
III. Early Islamic (8th century AD to 13th century AD )
Remains of houses, streets, and other buildings have been found both within and outside the citadel. Existing stone buildings from the three periods have also been uncovered in the area including a palatial stone building with semi-circular shape, a Shiva temple from the Hindu period, and a mosque. Three gateways were also uncovered during excavations which belong to the citadel.
The site was also an important trade route and a military post during different periods. It is also famous for the folk love story of Sassui and Punhoon. Scholars also theorize about Bhanbore being ‘Debal’, the famous port which was conquered by Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 AD. The most widely believed theory its collapse state that it was caused by the change in the path of river Indus in the 13th Century.
This fort has been constructed by Mir Karam Ali Khan in 1814, the main purpose was to strengthen his power and to make steady and effective arrangements to collect revenue, and another purpose was also to hold back Thar. Naukot fort is located at a distance of 63km from south of Mirpur Khas, the town Naukot is located at the edge of the desert. This tremendous fort attracts the view instantly from the road of Mithi from almost 3km on the road.
The makers of the fort have chosen burnt bricks in mud mortar for building of the fort, which has the length of almost 11m and its width is 98m. The only access to inside of the fort is the narrow passage which is squared shape and is on the southern side of the fort, which is about 15mx13m. a narrowing look has been given to all the walls and bastions. There are two heavy and semi-circular bastions which surround the narrow entrance; the bastions are about 9.5m high and with the diameter of 42m at the base. The arched entrance to the fort is about 7m high and 4m wide, a causeway type hall approaches to the interior which itself is a fortress and makes a part of the squared construction. The fort is guarded by nine semi-circular bastions; two at the main entrance, rest of the four at the corners and one of each in the middle of northern southern and western walls. Fort is surrounded by a 4m wide wall, two staircases also made of burnt-bricks in the interior of the fort. Some residues inside of fort suggest that these were the residential quarters; a dungeon like small constructed room suggests that it could be a barood kahan or a place to store ammunitions. Water supply was readily available throughout the fort by digging wells inside the fort.
Naryan Kot Fort
This fort was constructed by a Hindu named Raja Naryan, it is located in Hyderabad and is known as Naryan Kot. But this kot was later destroyed by Arabs and after sometime a ruler Miya Ghulam Shah Kalhoro decided to re-enact and restore the city as his capital, he allocated the task of building a fort at the site of the city to Diwan Gidmul. Gidmul came to a village opposite to giddu bander at Hyderabad known as Kotri, with the boats loaded with money. Gidmul constructed two forts one solid also known as Pako made of stone and another Kactcho, made of mud material. Ghulam Shah Kalhoro has been visiting the city time to time to supervise the construction and he used to stay at the kactcho qilo. The construction of Pako Qilo was completed in 1768 and the Katcho Qilo was then donated to Shah Mikai’s Dargah.
The fort is also famous by for a story told by believer of Shah Mikai (1946), that during the days of Raja Naryan, Hazrat Ali (R.A) also known as “Hyder” and Shah Mikai had visited the city, it has been told that foot prints of Hazrat Ali called “Qadam Shah” were potted in the dargah, which is situated at the foot of Qilo. And to honor his visit the city, previously known as Naryan Kot has been changed to Hyderabad.
The above picture depicts high-rise constructions; drainage, fungus and plantation have grown. The internal structure of fort has been completely wiped out, due to the ignorance of government many illegal tenants have made their houses inside the fort, as the fort is situated in the heart of City therefore it is not difficult for government to look after this historical work of art. Also the local, provincial and federal government after creation of Pakistan has shown no interest in the preservation of this fort and its remaining. The illegal occupation in the fort had begun after the creation of Pakistan and particularly after unplanned migration of illiterate migrant from India
Masoom Shah Minar
Sakhar is the third largest city of Sindh and is famous for its most momentous landmark Minar-e-Masoomi, also known as The Tower of Masoom. This tower was built in 1605-1607 A.D, by Masoom Shah, who was the governor here at the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The purpose of building this tower was to keep an eye on all over the area. One of the references shows that the tower was completed in 1607 A.D.
The architect of the tower is however not well defined but the uniqueness of it is notified that the number 84 is significant to the tower, i.e. the tower is 84ft high, the number of steps in the tower is 84 and the circumference of the base of tower is 84feet. There is an observation balcony on the top of the tower, which is enclosed by iron railing. A pavilion of sandstone is made right next to the tower which has the graves f Masoom shah and his family; the coffins are carved with the tradition of Chaukandi Tomb.
This lake is situated in Thatta, which is 70km from Karachi; total area of lake is about 19km, whereas the main water reservoir covers an area of 10.59sq km and is about 5.18m deep. This lake is Asia’s largest bird asylum and is also known as the paradise for bird lovers. It has been recorded that 223 bird species have been found in the locality of the lake, which includes Osprey, Pallas’s fish eagle, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons, Widgeon, Coot, Shoveller, Pintail, Teals, Mallard, Heron, Jacana, Flamingos and sometimes Berwick’s swan. The two existing islands are Pelican and Cormorant Island, which are the resting places of birds, it is said that there are marsh crocodiles too in the lake
The lake was not of the same size as it is now in the beginnings; this was a small lake whose capacity was increased during World War2 by British Government of Sindh by introducing a feeder canal from Sindh River. The work on expansion of lake was started on war footing and was completed within 24 months; the water to troops was supplied from Hakeji Lake. The lake was formed by seasonal water which has been collected in depression and was originally a salt-water lake, but during WW2 troops were stationed in Karachi and to fulfill the need of fresh water, salt-water was drained out of the lake and a mound was constructed around the lake and it was fed by fresh water through a canal. It has become one of the major sources of water supply for population of the city.
Kirthar National Park
The park is situated in Kirthar Range Mountains in Jamshoro district in Sindh Karachi. It was founded in 1974 and covers the area of 3087km; it is the second largest national park after hingol national park. The park is visited for recreation, education and research purposes. Kirthar is the first Pakistani park to be included in UNs listing of National parks in 1975; it has also been qualified for the strict criteria of IUCN IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) for the category II protected area, mainly designated for ecosystem preservation.
The park species include leopards, striped hyenas, wolves, ratels, urails, chinkara gazelles and rare Sindh wild goats, blackbucks antelopes are kept in field for the reintroduction project at the park. The last leopard was shot in 1977.
The rolling valleys and twisted rugged lines of the hills are the comfort zone for urial sheep, ibex and chinkara gazelle. If one is extremely lucky he can even see jungle cat, desert cat or even leopard or desert wolf in the park, whereas pangolins, porcupines and monitor lizards are found more often. The park is also famous for other historic places which include Chaukundi style tombs at Taung and, Rani Kot fort also exists within the park.
This lake is also known as Kalri Lake and is located in Thata district Sindh about 122km from Karachi. The area of lake is almost 24km long and its width is 6km with a depth of 26feet. This lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes of Pakistan and also Indus River flows parallel to it. This lake has been formed by the union of two lakes Sonehri and Keenjhar, the main purpose of this formation was, fresh water supply to thatta districts population. The lake has its importance for wildlife and is a favorable place for winter birds like duck, geese, flamingos, cormorants, herons, coots and gulls. Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai admired this lake in his poetry; also a famous Sindhi folklore Noori Jam Tamachi has association with this place.
In the middle of the lake there is a tomb known as Noori’s tomb which was constructed by Jam Tamachi, the ruler of Sindh, for his wife Noori. There is also a restaurant for tourists named after her, the Noori Restaurant. This lake is also a source of drinking water supply for Karachi. Khanjeer Lake is also famous for breeding and staging of different water birds, which includes Eurpeon wigeon, black coot and common pochard etc. according to 1980 statistics the average count of winter water birds, was 140,000.
There are also cottages for tourists stay PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation) Cottages in the lake, which are booked through PTDC offices in Karachi