Difference between revisions of "Sindh"
Revision as of 13:05, 26 February 2009
Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Known by various names in the past, the name Sindh comes from the Indo-Aryans whose legends claimed that the Indus River flowed from the mouth of a lion or Sinh-ka-bab. In Sanskrit, the province was dubbed Sindhu meaning "ocean". The Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BCE) knew the region as Sinda, the Persians Abisind, the Greeks Sinthus, the Romans Sindus, the Chinese Sintow, while the Arabs dubbed it Sind. It is mentioned to be a part of Abhirrdesh (Abhira Kingdom) in Srimad Bhagavatam . Sindh was the first place where Islam spread in South Asia. As a result, it is often referred to as "Bab-al-Islam" (Gate of Islam).
Sindh has numerous tourist sites with the most prominent being the ruins of Mohenjo-daro near the city of Larkana. Islamic architecture is quite prominent in the province with the Jama Masjid in Thatta built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and numerous mausoleums dot the province including the very old Shahbaz Qalander mausoleum dedicated to the Iranian-born Sufi and the beautiful mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah known as the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.
There are many villages in Sindh where it is mostly difficult to find English or Urdu speakers, it can be because sindh is the only province of pakistan where Sindhi is an official language. However, people have learned to develop gestures, and forms thereof, to help them communicate with foreigners as Sindh has seen a large growth in their position as a tourist destination.
However if you find yourself in need for real english speaking fellow, you can always visit the village's primary school(s). More often than not, you would find a teacher who speaks in English or at least understands it solves your problem.
Karachi is the main gateway to Sindh by air.
A ferry service is being run from Dubai to Karachi. This service has been discontinued.
By Plane, Train, Car and Bus.
It is the largest fort in the world, situated in the Kirthar Range about 30 km southwest of Sann, Jamshoro district of Sindh, approximately 90 km north of Hyderabad, in Pakistan. It has an approximate diameter of 9 km. Its walls are on the average 6 meters high and are made of gypsum and lime cut sandstone and its total circumference is about 29 km of which 8 km walls are man-made. While originally constructed for bow and arrow warfare it was later expanded to withstand firearms.
About 64 km east of Karachi, on the National Highway, is an interesting archaeological site, Bhambore, originally the sea-port of Debal where the young Arab warrior Mohammad Bin Qasim landed his armies in 711 AD. Three different periods in Sindh history coincide here: the Scytho-Parthians, the Hindu-Buddhist and the early Islamic. There is a museum and a rest house at the site.
Once a famous center of learning, arts and commerce and provisional capital for about four centuries in the past, Thatta is situated 98 km east of Karachi. Today, it is notable for the Jamia Masjid built by the Moghal Emperor Shah Jehan who also built Taj Mahal, and the Makli Tombs (15th - 17th centuries), a vast necropolis spread over 15.5 km², depicting exquisite specimens of architecture, stone carvings and glazed tile decorations.
Some 24 km north of Thatta, is the large man-made Keenjhar Lake, which is 30 km long and 10 km wide. The lake has facilities for angling and boating. PTDC motels offer food and accommodation.
Kirthar National Park
Located about 48 km from Karachi in the midst of the barren rocks of the Kirthar Range in Dadu district, near Thano Boola Khan is Kirthar National Park. Designed and planned with the help of the research and planning group of the [nternational Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the park is approved and recognized by international wildlife bodies. It is the last bastion of a wide variety of the region's wildlife that includes Sindh ibex, urial, deer, leopard, gray partridges and Houbara bustard. The Sindh Wildlife Management Board plans tours and provides transport from Karachi.
Situated at about 164 km northeast of Karachi, Hyderabad was the capital of Sindh during the reign of the Talpur Mirs in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, it is known for Sindh University, Jamshoro; the provincial museum; the Institute of Sindhology and the Sindhi Adabi Board and also for colourful handicrafts such as glass bangles, glazed tiles, lacquered wood furniture, handloom cloth called 'soosi', block-printed 'Ajrak', leather shoes, etc. Historic monuments include old Mud Fort, Sheikh Makai Fort, Kalhoro Monuments, Talpur Monuments and Miani Forest.
It is the oldest town of sindh located 45 km north west o Hyderabad. Famous for the Prodution of Mangoes,Khes and its Tubewells.Few archelogical sites are also present.Its the Village of Chaudry Muhammad Mansoor Majeed Arain.
Mir Shahdad jo Qubo
Tomb of Mir Shahdad Talpur (who is regarded as one of the finest military commanders of Sindh) one of the historical heritages of Sindh is at Shahpur Chakar Distt: Sanghar. This is a graveyard of the family members of Mir Shahdad Talpur. Shahdadpur a big city of Province Sindh is named behind Mir Shahdad Talpur, whereas Shahpur Chakar is named behind his son Mir Chakar Talpur.
Hala is famous for its glazed pottery and enameled wood work. Situated on the National Highway about 56 km from Hyderabad, it is frequently visited by hundreds of devotees of Hazrat Makhdoom Noah (10th century Hijra), a contemporary of Mughal Emperor Akbar and a religious divine, who converted a large number of people of Islam and also translated the Quran into Persian which is one of its earliest Persian translations in South Asia.
Situated at about 56 km from Hyderabad on the National Highway, Bhitshah is the resting place of Sindh's renowned saint and mystic poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689 - 1752). He is remembered for the compendium of his poetry called 'Risalo', a treasure house of wisdom as well as romantic folklore and fine pottery. He also founded a musical tradition of his own which is still popular. Devotees sing with fervor and frenzy his love-intoxicated Kafis to the strains of ek-tara (single string instrument) mainly on the occasion of his "Urs" held every year between 13th and 15th of Safar, the second Islamic lunar month.
Situated on the right bank of River Indus at a distance of 135 km from Hyderabad, Sehwan is an old town of pre-Islamic period. Here are the remains of Kafir-Qila, a fort reported to have been constructed by Alexander the Great. Sehwan is famous for the resting place of the great mystic poet, saint and scholar Shaikh Usman Marvandvi (1117 - 1274), popularly known as Shahbaz Qalandar whose mausoleum is visited by thousands of the devotees throughout the year. During the Urs celebrations (18th Shahban - the eighth Islamic lunar month), devotees dance rhythmically and with total abandon to the beat of drums (Naqqara Dhamal), finally ending in a spiritual trance.
About 16 km from Sehwan, Manchar, the largest fresh water lake in Asia, is as old as the Indus River. Spread over 254 km2, it is a perfect spot for relaxing and the best location for duck-shooting during winter.
Daraza Sharif, a small village, some 52 km from Khairpur, is known for the tomb of Sachal Sarmast who was a great master of Islamic learning, lived a pious life and composed poetry in Sindhi, Seraiki, Persian and Urdu. Sachal Sarmast's Urs is celebrated on 14th of Ramzan (9th month of Islamic lunar calendar).
Kot Deji is regarded as one of the world's most important archaeological sites, dating back to 3000 BC, older than Moen-jo-daro and Harappa. Excavations made in 1955 unearthed an astoundingly well-organized city with a citadel that testifies to its being the finest fortified town in South Asian subcontinent.
About 563 km from Karachi off the Indus Highway lie the world-famous ruins of Moen-jo-Daro (the Mound of the Dead), now being preserved with UNESCO's help. The museum at Moen-jo-Daro is unique and a visit takes you back centuries back when the location was a civilized city and a busy river Port. Air and train services from Karachi and an air-conditioned rest house have been built there.
Among other historical sites are Amri, Umerkot (the birthplace of Emperor Akbar) and the legendary Arab city of Mansura near Shahdadpur in Sanghar district. Other interesting places include Matiari, town of old beautiful mosques and one of the centers of 'Ajrak'. On its outskirts lie the ruins of a Buddhist stupa. Nasarpur is famous for 'Khes', exquisite embroidery, decorative pottery, and wood work. It is also a holy place for the Hindu community.
Full day tour of Thatta from Karachi
Drive from your residence or hotel at 8AM, Leave for Thatta 100 km from Karachi. On the way to Thatta stop at Chaukundi. 15 - 18th century tombs scattered on a large area. Each tomb is unique in it design and motifs. Rich carved sandstone depicting the relation of the local tribes with the neighboring Iran, central Asia and Turkey. Banbhore archeological site of Daibal excavated in 1962, is the site where Alexander established a town in 325BC and then the first Muslim conqueror in South East Asia came in 711AD.It is Beautiful site with a small museum. On arrival at Thatta Visit Makli largest cemetery of the world. Witness the beautiful Moghul Architecture in the magnificent mausoleums of the kings and ministers of 16 - 18 century. Also Visit Shahjehan mosque a master piece of Moghul architecture its blue glazed tile work is still the most well preserved in the subcontinent. visit Haleji Lake famous bird sanctuary and Keenjhar Lake, 24 kms from Thatta is the biggest man-made lake of the country. The place has been developed into a resort with boating & fishing facilities. Late afternoon return to Karachi.
Full Day Excursion to Moen Jo Daro & Sukkur city
Early morning you are transferred to Airport for your flight to Moen Jo Daro, On arrival transfer to the archeological site, the site of the great Indus civilization which flourished as an earliest Urban culture from 3000 - 1700 BC. We have a large No. of detailed sites well laid by the expert archeologists. Indus civilization was probably the most advanced urban culture in the past , From the sites we can see the complete planning of the city, a separate area for Administration/ state, a rich residential area, Industrial area and an area for poor or workers. All the streets present an excellent grid system and were maintained with covered drainage , Dustbins and Market places. It is also proved that they had binary system of weights. The state was very strict. We don't see any difference in weights found from different sites. Taxes were collected in form of wheat, Barley or sesame, and mud pots were sealed to prove the clearance of dues. They used a language with 300 Different semi-pictographic characters, which are not deciphered yet.
We start our tour with DK area It is an administrative area. We shall see the stupa of 2nd Century Ad which was built by Buddhist much later than the site it self; we then see Assembly hall, drainage, wells, state granary where taxes were collected, streets and the great bath. Then we visit DK area which is main citadel or rich Residential area we shall see the advanced life style of the people of the Indus. We also witness different levels of civilization and the planning of houses street etc.
After the sites we will visit the site museum which has some findings of the site presented in a professional manner. Rest of the day at leisure or optional tour of Sukkur/ Larkhana and nearby villages.
Tour of Ranikot from Karachi
Day 1 : 0700 hours leave by road from Karachi to Ranikot Fort. (270 kms from Karachi) approximately 21 kms from National Highway is a sandy track across rugged scrubland to be covered by jeep to the Fort.
Reach Ranikot Fort by 12.00 noon (carry lunch boxes). Ranikot is one of the largest forts in the World. The Fort’s massive 10 meter high walls of dressed sandstone are 30 kms in circumference.
Seen from a distance, portions of its ramparts resemble the Great Wall of China, as they dip and turn to the contours of the hills. The Fort was built by Imran Bin Musa Barmaki, the Governor of Sindh in 836 A.D. The Fort’s structure, encircling many hills, has a diameter of about 9 kms. The entire walls are made of Gypsum and lime cut stone. It was originally constructed for bow and arrow warfare but it was later enlarged to accommodate, fire arms.
1600 hours, leave for Sehwan Sharif (80 kms from Ranikot Fort). Reach Sehwan Sharif at 1900 hours and check in at Sindh Government Motel/Rest House. Overnight stay.
Day 2: After breakfast visit the Shrine of Saint Qalandar Shahbaz, which attracts millions of devotees from all over the world, not only Muslims but a large number of Hindus as well, seek blessing of the saint Shahbaz Qalandar. The devotees believe that their prayers and wishes are granted by Saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.
After lunch return to Karachi via a short visit to Hyderabad.
Tour of Sehwan sharif
Day 1: 0800 hours leave by road for Hyderabad via National Highway. Visit Chaukundi Tomb (30 kms from Karachi). This is the site of graveyards from 16th to 18th centuries. The sandstone tombs of these graves are exquisitely carved in relief with intricate motifs.
After visiting of Chaukundi – proceed to Bhanbore. This archaeological site is believed to be the ancient port city of Debul, which flourished in the 8th century AD. It is also where Arab conqueror Mohammed Bin Qasim first touched the shores of the sub-continent in 712 A.D. and where, after a fierce battle with the then reigning Raja, the Arabs consolidated their hold for subsequent expansion. Bhanbore is 64 kms from Karachi. Popular folklore has it that in the vicinity of Bhanbore was the trysting-place of the star-crossed lovers, Sassi and Punnu, celebrated in local stories and song.
After visiting Bhanbore, proceed to Thatta (100 kms from Karachi). Thatta is the biggest Necropolis with more then one million graves and tombs spread over an area of 15 sq.kms. There are Tombs of Kings, Queens, Saints, Scholars and Soldier of bygone eras, renowned for their culture and learning between the 16th and 18th century. The gravestones and mausoleums at Makli (Thatta) are masterpieces of stone carving and perforated stone work represented by the style of their ornamentation. Also visit Shahjehan Mosque, representative of Muslim architecture. It was built in 1647 AD by the Moghal Emperor Shahjehan.
Proceed to Hyderabad (about 90 kms from Thatta). Check in at Hotel, overnight stay at Hyderabad.
Day 2: After breakfast, take a short tour of Hyderabad and see the monuments of the Kalhora and Talpur rulers.
Proceed to Sehwan Sharif, one night stay at Sindh Government Motel/Rest House.
Day 3: After breakfast visit the Shrine of Saint Shahbaz Qalander, a religious place where million of devotees come to visit and pay homage to the Saint.
After early lunch leave for Karachi.
Four days in Karachi
Arrive in the city, transfer to your hotel & relax, at night begin your tour with a visit to the Boat Basin food street, from there take a Dhow cruise tour of the Arabian sea, also see the Water jet fountain, the tallest jet fountain in the world.
On second day begin your tour from the Clifton beach, visit its nearby attractions like Sea view promenade. Visit Beach park (entrance on fee), Ride on Victoria horse carriage, Enjoy your Lunch at Floating ship – a buffet theme restaurant, evening meals at Sea view Mc Donalds. During late evening hours visit Bagh-e-Ibn-Qasim (entrance free), a huge park with historical sites like Jahangir kothari parade, Lady Lloyd pier, an underground hindu temple, mausoleum, mosque and a century old amusement park. Visit Park towers, a shopping mall and Mohatta Palace museum (entrance on fee) located next to Bagh-e-Ibn Qasim. Enjoy your dinner at Bar BQ tonight restaurant, also see Boat Basin food street. After dinner you can go shopping at Zamzama Avenue or Gulf market and its nearby malls like Forum or enjoy the city’s nightlife.
On third day, explore the city starting from 9.00am from a visit to Quaid mausoleum & museum (entrance on fee), Masjid Tooba (entrance is free). Walk from Mereweather tower to the National museum on Dr Ziauddin road via II Chundrigar road, see Arts council, and take a tour to nearby Zainab market for shopping, later visit Frere Hall on Club road, on a short walking distance from Zainab market. Enjoy Lunch at the revolving restaurant, after that take the taxi ride to the Karsaz district for visit to PAF Museum, Maritime museums, PIA Planetarium, Karachi Expo center and Aga Khan University hospital. You can also visit Arena gaming arcade in the late evening.Enjoy your dinner at Lal Qila restaurant. Later arrive at Tariq road shopping bazaar, also visit its nearby shopping malls like Dolmen, Jumeirah and Lavish at night.
On fourth day you can visit Dream world family resort for a full day or can visit Alladin amusement park, Safari park and Go Aish Adventure Park.
On your last day you can have a last minute shopping from Makro wholesale center on your way to the Airport.
Drinking alcohol in public areas is nominally banned, and most of the top end hotels have their own bars. Try local brands like Murree Brewery, in addition to that there are other brands such as Budwieser and Barveria with non-alchoholic beer.
In soft drinks, try local limca cola which makes "pop" sound when opened. you can also try Pakola; Pakistan’s premier soft drink brand which is available in different flavors like Ice cream soda, Lychee, Orange, Raspberry, Apple sidra, Vino, Double cola, Bubble up etc.
Also try, Lassi which is a classic yogurt drink that is served either plain or sweet, and is sometimes flavored or even fused with fresh fruit. Rooh-Afza, a red-color-sweet-herbal drink. Sugar Cane Juice which is extracted by mechanical force, it is best when fresh. You would also love the Falouda and Gola Ganda which include various kinds of syrups in crushed ice.
kawah is a strong tea made with spices.
If you want to drink plain water, always prefer bottled water of a good brand, it just costs Rs. 25 for a 1.5 liter bottle of Nestle water.
Many people drink sodas from the original glass bottles that you must return to the vendor so that they can be washed and repackaged.
Security wise, Sindh province is safe and the people are very hospitable. They tend to welcome any foreigner very warmly. But, Street Crime in large cities like Karachi is at a rate you could expect from most mega cities of this size. Use common sense and avoid slums. You should always keep the emergency telephone contact numbers of your country's foreign mission in Karachi.
Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi is by far the best in the province and has world class medical care facility at an affordable cost. The public hospitals aren't up to par with what you may be used to in the west.
It is recommended not to attend any rallies, protests or religious gatherings.