Destinations to visit in Thatta

July 10, 2019

by Hasan Exala

The historical city of Thatta dates back to 1000 AD approximately. It is situated around 100 km West of Karachi. It was the medieval capital of the province Sindh of Pakistan, and served as the Iron Throne for three successive dynasties: Samma (1335-1520), Arghun  (1520-1555) and Tarkhan (1555-1665). Mughal Emperors ruled Thatta from Delhi via their governors.

Thatta has basically three main attractions for tourists:

  • The Makli Necropolis
  • Shahjahani Mosque
  • Keenjhar Lake

We had been planning a visit for almost months and finally decided to visit this historical city on weekend via road. Since the weather gets too hot during summers and our first destination was the Makli Necropolis we decided to leave before sunrise to avoid the scorching heat of noon. Luckily, the sky showed good signs of clouds since the early morning.

Since we were in our car we took National Highway from Karachi. On the way near Gharo (approximately after 40 to 50 mins drive) there’s a famous Cafe Imran where we planned to breakfast. If you are travelling on the same route it is recommended to visit this restaurant. The ambiance and the atmosphere specially in that area is something worth experiencing. Car parking is not much of an issue except for the fact that if there is scorching heat of the sun your car will get hot since there is no shed in the parking area.

Palla fish is considered to be quite tasty and is available in abundant in Indus river. We tried to search but could not find one.

The Makli Necropolis

Our first destination wasn’t very far from Cafe Imran and it took us the next 30 mins. Covering an area of 10 square kilometers, the Makli Necropolis is one of the largest funerary sites in the world and around 3 km from Thatta city. The moment you enter the necropolis everything seems dead silent and lost.

Makli Necropolis

There are quite a large monuments of different esteemed scholars, royalty, governors, and Sufi saints. These monuments show the typical and stunning Muslim architect. Unfortunately the government did not seem to maintain this historical site.

The tombs of different governors and their hands show how temporary power is. The site makes you feel like as if the dead are calling upon you and reminding you by saying:



ShahJahan Mosque

Named against the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who ordered it to be built for the people of Thatta after the death of his ill father, is still considered the marvel of architect specially because of its highly defined tile work. It was built from 1644 to 1647. The way it has its own self developed air ventilating system is beyond words. The Imam of the Mosque does not need a Loud Speaker to call to pray, the design itself lets the sound waves flow through the whole mosque without any external need.

Shahjahan Mosque

This mosque has no minarets and only a single which lies in the central prayer area. The best time visit the mosque is in the afternoon; one can even get to pray the Zuhr in congregation there.

Keenjhar Lake

Commonly know as Kalri Jheel and spreads over the area of 130 square kilometers, Keenjhar Lake is situated 17 km from the town of Thatta. Here you will find the migratory birds like geese, waders, flamingos, ducks, coots and gulls. Its water is also used for drinking purposes in the city of Thatta and even in Karachi. It is a popular tourist spot. People from Karachi, Thatta and Hyderabad visit the lake on picnics and enjoy swimming, boating, fishing.

I had been on boats many times in my life but never experienced the drifting. YES! The boat driving was cruising it at a speed of 40 to 50 kph which was the fastest for me ever. And boy oh boy the way he drifted. They have good boats there, if you ask for it they are experienced in it and it will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Boating at the Lake

The famous legend of Noori Jaam Tamachi took place in the vicinity of this lake and to this date the grave of Noori is situated in the middle of the lake.

According to the legend, Jaam Tamachi was the ruler of Sindh and Noori was a local girl who attracted him; he madly falls in love with her and raises her status above the royal bloodline. To this day, hundreds of devotees visit her grave. (Personally I do not believe in the legend. If you have heard of it, what do you guys think about it?)

Grave of Noori

Bhanbore: The City of Mystery

Bhanbore is actually not in Thatta. A ruined historical city which was founded in 1st century BC and abandoned in 13th century AD, and is located on the left side of National Highway between Thatta and Karachi when traveling from former to latter. This place had the port Debal from which Muhammad Bin Qasim, an Arab warrior and fighter, entered Sindh and conquered it after defeating Raja Dahir around 711 AD. This is the reason why Sindh is considered as Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway of Islam) of subcontinent.

The Grand Mosque was built here in 8th century AD and you can still find the ruins there. It is considered to be the first mosque ever to be built in the subcontinent.

We went to Bhanbore on our way back to Karachi just before sunset. The view of sunset just over the marshes was mesmerizing. The overall ruins make one feel and realize how temporary and fragile his life is just like a jug of glass.

The river Indus falls into Arabian in Indus River Delta. We did not know the route to the delta and also due to our limited time we planned to skip that to be visited later sometime. The delta is dying currently due to water scarcity in the Indus which is a serious concern for the authorities.

The sunset

Grand Mosque

Hasan Exala

By Hasan Exala

I am professionally an engineer, I love to travel and have visited most of the places of my country "Pakistan". I am here to show you the positive side of my country which media will never tell you. Also, I plan to travel the whole world in future as well. Find me on Instagram @exala.h


Leave a Comment...


July 19, 2019

Best article. Awsome compilation! Keep it up..?

Abdul Manan

July 19, 2019

Good piece of writing and well put in words. I have also visited the Makli graveyard and Shahjahan mosque and both places are worth visiting, later being an astounding Architecture. In Makli, some people told me that there are graves of two of Sahaba\'s (Companions of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) as well, I can not say for sure though.