Thatta is one of the most important cities of the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Historically it is the richest city. The sands of Thatta have seen many great men. It provided Alexander the Great and his troops a comfortable resting place before they moved further. It welcomed the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan.
Thatta bore the atrocities of Nadir Shah an invader from Persia who mercilessly plundered and destroyed the city. From 14th century onwards it came under the Muslim rule. It served as a capital to four dynasties for centuries.
Later the Mughal Empire took it under its patronage. Being at the banks of River Indus, it was a center of trade and commerce. With over 40 educational institutes, it was also the seat of learning as many locals and people from Asia came here in pursuit of knowledge.
The changing course of River Indus changed its destiny as then Hyderabad was chosen capital due to its proximity to the Indus. Every ruling dynasty has left its mark on this amazing city in the shape of monuments. These monuments still stand tall to tell the tales of their past glory.
Some places worth seeing in Thatta are:
1. Shah Jehani Mosque
It is by far the most beautiful specimen of Mughal architecture. It was built by Shah Jehan to express his gratitude to the people of Thatta for the warmth and hospitality shown to him.
This mosque has 99 domes and 33 arches and no minarets at all. The construction of the mosques is such that the voice of the prayer leader reaches the four corners of the mosque without any loud speakers. The mosque is adorned with blue glazed tiles with intricate and exquisite patterns on them.
2. Makli Hills Graveyard
One of the largest graveyards of the world, it is the final abode of many Sufi saints, warriors, rulers and members of the royal family. Etched on the graves are beautiful patterns as well as inscriptions from the Holy Quran. The tombs of the rulers are worth seeing.
3. Chaukhandi Tombs
Chaukhandi tombs date back to the 12th century. The style of structure of these graves is unusual and quite different from the typical Islamic architecture. The graves have crosses, swastikas, geometric patterns, flowers and a host of other symbols inscribed on them.
4. Keenjhar Lake
A favorite picnic spot, it is a beautiful manmade lake and also a sanctuary for water birds during winter. Families come here for weekends and enjoy boating, fishing and swimming in the lake.