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Sindh (Urdu:سندھ) 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). The provincial Pakistani region of Sindh covers an area of 54,407 mi² or (140,914 km²).
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.
Karachi is the main gateway to Sindh by air.
Karachi is a major trading hub for dhows from around the Indian Ocean. Travellers wanting to arrive in the city this way will probably need to make their own arrangements with the captain of the vessel.
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 one of oldest town of sindh located 45 km north west of Hyderabad. Famous for the Prodution of Onions,Mangoes,Khes,Ceramics and its Tubewells.Few archelogical sites are also present. It is located at 25°31'0N 68°37'0E with an altitude of 12 metre.Nasarpur Remained the Capital of Sindh (when whole subcontinent was Hind and Sindh), but After the diverange of Great Indus River Nasarpur lost it place as Capital and Main City.Nasarpur has some Historical palces which belong to era o Aurang Zaib.Misri Shah (poet) also called King of Kafiyas live most of his Life in Nasarpur.Julay Lal a Hindusim religious Scholar also belonged to Nasarpur.
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.
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.
The daily food in most Sindhi households consists of wheat-based flat-bread (phulka) and rice accompanied by two dishes, one gravy and one dry. Beh (Beh simply means 'Lotus root' in English. A high quality lotus root is grown in the North of Sindh which is then cooked in clay-pot using various spices, which then results in an excellent delicacy that is famous all over Pakistan.) Sindhi Biryani (Boiled rice steamed and mixed with special sindhi recipe of spices) Sindhi Curry - (chick pea flour and vegetables like lady finger, potato and eggplant. seyal Mani (Cooked Chappati in green sauce with tomato, coriander and spices). Seyal Dab-roti (variation of above, but instead of Chappati, use bread) Seyal Bhaji (mixed vegetables cooked with onion garlic paste) Sabu dal chawar ( yellow daal with rice) Koki (thick chapati can be made with onions and coriander or just plain salt and pepper) Loli/Lolo/Lola (a thick chappati with ghee, onion and coriander). Loli Du-dh (as above, but served with yogurt. Some Sindhis will eat Loli with pickles, but many Sindhis don't consider it good form to mix yogurt and pickles). This is a popular dish served at breakfast or brunch. Pappad (a crisp and thin snack. Sindhi will generally eat this after a meal to digest food and in particular after an oily meal). Dhodo Chutney (A thick roti with garlic paste and served with mint chutney) Sai Bhaji (a spinach based gravy, sai means green - the colour of spinach) Bugha Chawar (a browned rice) Bhugal Bheeha (lotus root in thick curry) Dhangi Fulko (moong beans with roti) Curry Chawal (a tomato curry eaten with white rice - served with aloo took, a potato cutlet) Besan ji Bhaji (vegetable made of gram flour) Bhugal Teewarn (a mutton dish) Jera & Bhukiyoo (Fried liver, Kidney of goat) Dal Tikkhar (daal yellow pulses) cooked in gravy eaten with crisp fried very thin matthi) Tikhi Dal khichdi (thin yellow pulse served with variation of rice) Bhugge Chawal (rice cooked in flavoured spices beige/ golden brown in colour with vegetable assortments) Pava (goats legs) Pakkwan Dal (lentil and solid crunchy puri) Curry Chawal (It's Kathi Curry eaten with Rice Phote waro Tivan (Lamb meat in cardamom) Keemo (ground lamb meet) Seyal Pallo (pomfret fish in garlic sauce) Fishes like king fish (surmayee), paplet (paplait), cod (dhanbro and other river fishes)
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.