Thatta is a city situated about 100 kilometers from Karachi, with a great historical importance and now, famous for its archaeological sites and centuries old monuments.
According to historians, Thatta was once the main port on the Indus in the time of Alexander the Great’s invasion. Thatta was the capital of three successive dynasties, the traces of which are evident in the Makli necropolis, which spreads over a twelve square kilometer area. These dynasties are: Samma (1335-1520), Arghun (1520-1555) and Tarkhan (1555-1665).
There are archeological sites in the city and on its outskirts. The most famous of these sites is the Makli Graveyard, Kenjhar Jheel, Shahjahan Masjid and Sonda Graveyard.
Makli, the heart of interior Sindh is counted among one of the largest necropolis in the world and located a few kilometers away from Thatta. The vibrant archaeological site covers about 15-1/2 square kilometers. It is said to be the resting place of more than a million people including various nobles, saints, scholars, soldiers etc belonging to the different eras.
The necropolis has a unique style of the graves, which are beautifully decorated with glazed tiles or made in a building like structure. Quranic verses are embossed on the graves of saints whereas, the graves of warriors have craving of weapons.
Kenjhar Jheel or Kalri Jheel is located in Thatta District and situated about 122 kilometers from Karachi. The maximum depth of the lake is around 26 feet and about 24 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide. The river is Pakistan’s largest fresh water lakes of Pakistan.
To supply fresh water to the people of Karachi and Thatta District, two lakes were formed by the union of lakes named Sonehri and Kenjhar. This jheel is considered an extremely important place for wildlife as it is a favorable place for habitat of winter birds like duck, geese, flamingos, cormorants, herons, coots, and guls.
Noori Tamachi, a beautiful fisher girl and a wife of Sindh ruler Jam Tamachi is associated with this lake. Her tomb in in the middle of it and is a source of attraction for tourists.
Shah Jahan Mosque
The Shah Jahan Mosque, also known as the Jamia Masjid of Thatta, is a 17th century building that serves as the central mosque for the city of Thatta.
The mosque was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. As a token of gratitude, Shah Jahan bestowed the mosque to the city. The mosque is considered to have the most elaborate display of tile work in South Asia, and is also notable for its geometric brick work.
The best feature of this mosque is its unique dome design which circulates sound all over the mosque without any need of loudspeakers. More than 20,000 peoples can offer prayers in this mosque at a single time.
Sonda graveyard is situated on the east side of the National Highway, 14 km (9 miles) beyond the entrance to Kenjhar Lake. It is famous for its Chaukhandi-style tombs. Almost all the tombs are decorated with a carving of a horse and rider, or of jewelry.
In March 2004, some thieves had taken away precious carved stones from the decades old graves of the historical Sonda graveyard.