Sindh (Sindhi: سنڌ; 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 is located on the western corner of South-Central Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 km from north to south and 442 km (extreme) or 281 km (average) from east to west, with an area of 54,407 mi² or (140,914 km²) of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar mountains to the west, and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain around the Indus River.
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.
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. Vermicelli, typically served as a sweetened (sometimes milk-based) dessert, is popular: Muslim Sindhis serve it on Bakri-Id and Eid ul-Fitr. Mitho lolo is also served with chilled buttermilk called Matho on various occasions.A special sweet dish called 'Kheer Kharkun' are prepared and served on Eid ul-Fitr, it is prepared by mixing dates and milk, and slowly simmering the mixture for few hours. The dish is eaten hot in winters and cold in summers. The Sindhi "Sai bhaji" is a famous curry while Sindhi biryani, the Sindhi variant of the popular biryani rice dish
Security wise, Sindh province has historically been safe and the people are very hospitable, and the people tend to welcome any foreigner very warmly. However, as a result of state-sponsored radicalisation of youth, there has been an increase in crime in the interior of Sindh, including religiously-motivated attacks on the minority Hindu and Christian populations.
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 those in the west.
It is recommended not to attend any rallies, protests or religious gatherings.