"Thatta" Thatta by besal

Thatta Travel Guide: 67 reviews and 299 photos

Day trip to Thatta

In local dialect, Thatta is also known as Thatto. It was also once called the El Dorado of the east. Many years ago this city was important for being Sindh's capital city and a center where Islamic art and culture flourished.

History of Thatta dates back 2000 years. It is believed that this was the place where Alexander the Great rested his legions after their long march, and the General then headed back towards Persia. From the 14th century four Muslim dynasties ruled Sindh from Thatta. After the capital was moved away from Thatta, this once rich culture declined. Nearby excavations has revealed history dating back to first century B.C.

Thatta is situated about 98 km (60 miles) East of Karachi on the National Highway, just west of the Indus River and the Arabian Sea coast. Thatta has a very rich heritage of Muslim architecture during the era of the 16th and 17th century. The remains in and around Thatta include the tombs, mausoleums and mosques. Some of them are in very good conditions, well preserved and shows Thatta’s stylish sense.

The surrounding region includes the barren and rocky area and the swampy Indus delta. Sugarcane is the chief crop and camel breeding is significant. A day trip to Thatta, easily arranged in Karachi, lets you see ancient archeological sites, mix of barren and fertile land, Moghul architecture, eco-tourism in the form of bird watching at Haleji and Kinjhar lakes, and a taste of interior Sindh – rarely seen by any visitor to Pakistan.

What is on the way!

1/ Chaukandi Tombs (30km) – Small graveyard, dates back to 15th Century periods. Lots of stone carvings, using lots of symbols, such as jewelry/etc, to depict the status of the person resting underneath. The carvings and designs are much more attractive at Chaukandi than at Makli.
2/ Bhanbore (60 km) – Famous for Arab invasion in 712 AD, led by 17 year old General, Mohd. Bin Qasim. Also the place where Islam entered the sub-continent. In addition Bhanbore is the place of a popular folklore, equivalent to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, has it that the vicinity was the trysting-place of the star-crossed lovers, Sassi and Pannu, much celebrated in local story and song.
3/ Haleji Lake (80 km) - A water reservoir, home to Siberian migratory birds from November till February - birds lover paradise in these months; some crocs as well, and fishing place.
4/ Makli necropolis (96 km) One of world's largest necropolis with over 100K graves dating back 600-700 years+. Although I feel it is impossible to see all, but the best-preserved and attractive tombs are as you enter.
5/ Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta (98 km). Built in 1644 and 1647, was a gift from Shah Jahan to show his recognition of hospitality he received whilst seeking refuge from his dad, Jahangir.
6/ Kalri Lake: A fresh water lake situated 30 minutes drive on the National Highway from Thatta.

Further onward on the National Highway will take you to Kinjhar Lake (130 km) and then in northerly direction to Hyderabad. National highway was the old route to Hyderabad, and now everyone takes the super highway.

My personal favorite place for a trip

I have visited Thatta 9 times (first visit in summer of 1994 – ugh!) Took a German visitor to our company, and he knew more about this area and its history then we did. This gives you a hint that the best time to visit this area is between October and March, cooler and pleasant months in this area. During summer the temperature can shoot well over 40 C (105 F+).

To get a feel of what the above highlights are, see my tips for more pictures and some commentary, and do rate my travelogues and let me know of any improvements/suggestions, and if I have missed anything. I will be going there again soon.

I also consider this as my weekend adventure tour, and itching to go once again.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So much history and sights to see on a single trip
  • Cons:No proper facilities for a traveller
  • In a nutshell:A great 1-day outing from Karachi
  • Last visit to Thatta: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated Jul 16, 2011
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Reviews (20)

Comments (2)

  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Am thinking of visting Haleji Lake in coming Muharram break. I guess the Museum will not be open because of holidays. Will try the BICIC hote if I go all the way to Makli...

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    nice additions to a great destination you have made Amir. Nice pics and tips. i hope when the situation in pakistan improves, this region will see major tourism boost.

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