Lakes of Pakistan-Keenjhar Lake

by on December 6, 2010
in lakes of pakistan

Keenjhar lake, thatta

Birth Water type Location Elevation Area Canals Connecting River/s
18th century Fresh water 16 km from Thatta, Sindh 21 m, 69 ft Over 100 sq. miles Aral Wah & Danister River Indus

This is also called Kalri Lake. It is one of the largest in Pakistan. It has a substantial role in the ecology of the River Indus basin. It is also a major source of drinking water for Karachi. The lake has an international fame due to the breeding, wintering and staging of several water birds including European Wigeon, Black Coot, common Pochard etc. The average count of mid winter water birds in 1980’s was 140,000 per winter. It is also an important fishing place and home to many fishermen and their families.

The famous folk lore of Sindh ‘Thee’ is connected to this area. There was once a fisherman’s daughter called Noori. The king Jam Tamachi of Sammah Dynasty fell in love with her and married her. Noori’s shrine was built in the middle of Keenjhar lake and is still there today. Her shrine is known to be dated back around 18th century. The King himself is buried in the Makli Hills. Hundreds of people come from far away areas to visit Noori’s shrine, giving Keenjar lake an added historical importance.

Reasons to visit Thatta

by on November 3, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

 

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 centre 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

Makli graveyard, Thatta Pakistan

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, its 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 man made lake and also a sanctuary for water birds during winter. Families come here for weekends and enjoy boating, fishing and swimming in the lake.

Lakes of Sindh

by on October 11, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

Manchar Lake of Sindh, Pakistan

The province of Sindh in Pakistan has some fabulous lakes which attract thousands of migratory birds during winter season.

Keenjhar Lake

Near the city of Thatta in the province of Sindh, Pakistan lies the beautiful Keenjhar Lake also called the Karli Lake. Keenjhar Lake is an artificial lake formed by combining two natural lakes Sonehri Lake and Keenjhar Lake. It supplies water to Karachi city. It is a beautiful place and is the home to countless migratory birds. Situated at a 2 hour drive from Karachi, Keenjhar Lake is a popular tourist spot. It has been well developed and has cottages and cabanas where families can stay overnight. Fishing and boating are some of the activities offered.

Keenjhar Lake also has literary importance. The folk tale of Noori Jam Tamachi revolves around Keenjhar Lake and is mentioned in the poems of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sheikh Ayaz the famous poets of Sindh.

Manchar Lake

Manchar Lake the largest fresh water lake in Pakistan is also one of the largest lakes of Asia. It is situated in the Dadu district of Sindh and is quite shallow only around 10 km deep. It was made when Sukkur barrage was constructed over the River Indus. Years ago the Manchar Lake was known for its flora and fauna. It teemed with fish and ducks and the migratory birds from Siberia, sought refuge here from the biting cold back home. The natives of Manchar Lake the Mohanas, a fisher men tribe residing in boats also lived by the banks of the lake. Manchar Lake was a popular tourist spot.

Sadly the greed and recklessness of humans has completely changed the scenario. Chemical effluents and other pollutants have been dumped into the lake which has poisoned the water. This has wiped out the flora and aquatic life to a large extent. Even the number of migratory birds has declined and those who do come here fly away after an overnight stay. The worst affected are the Mohanas, with very little fish available, they find survival extremely difficult.

All is not lost as people and the government, are trying to save this lake. The pace of work is rather slow and one can only hope that something is done before it is too late.

Haleji Lake

Situated 88km away from Karachi in the Thatta district of Sindh Pakistan is the wonderful Haleji Lake. Haleji Lake provides shelter to around 223 species of migratory birds and thus is the largest bird sanctuary in Asia.

In addition to being a bird watcher’s paradise, Haleji Lake also supplies water to the city of Karachi. It has been declared a protected area by the government of Sindh and is a Ramsar International Site too.

Hudero Lake

Hudero Lake is located 85 km from Karachi in the Thatta district Sindh Pakistan. It is a marshy area of salt water where a large variety of water birds seek refuge.

Hudero Lake has also been declared a wild life sanctuary to protect the natural habitat of these birds.

Drigh Lake

This slightly saltish water body exists in the cultivated area of Indus floodplains some 18 km west of Larkana city in the province Sindh, Pakistan.

 

The nearby canal system and occasional rains supply water to it. It is also a wildlife sanctuary to scores of resident and migratory birds.

Provinces of Pakistan – Sindh

by on October 7, 2009
in Provinces

Pakistani province Sindh's map

Sindh is an important province of Pakistan. Its significance can be judged from the fact that Sindh is known as Bab ul Islam (Gateway of Islam) as the Arab conqueror Mohammad Bin Qasim entered the Sub Continent through the shores of Sindh. Although devoid of any classically beautiful physical features, Sindh has its own charm. The upper Sindh has rich fertile soil and is covered with green fields. It is rich in mineral resources and deposits of coal, natural gas and crude oil are found here.

Some part of the great Thar Desert lies in the eastern Sindh. Thar has a beauty of its own. There are many lakes in Sindh with Manchar Lake, Karli Lake, Haleji Lake and Keenjhar Lake being most important. Manchar Lake has the distinction of being the largest fresh water lake in the Pakistan while Haleji Lake is the largest water fowl sanctuary of Asia.

Sindh can also boast of a rich history. The ruins of Moen Jo Daro dating back to 2600 BC and one of the earliest settlements are found here. Other historical buildings include the Pucca Qila, Rani Kot fort, Graveyards of Makli and Chaukhandi and the Shah Jehan Mosque.

Sindh is also famous for its handicrafts. The most famous being the Ralli (also called Rilli) quilts. Ralli is a hand made specimen of human intelligence, creativity and hard work. Multi coloured pieces of cloths are stitched together in different patterns to produce a ralli. It is an essential part of a girl’s dowry and she starts weaving it from an early age assisted by her mother. Ralli is much more than a quilt/ bed linen, it is a young girl’s dreams and hopes and her mother’s prayers for a happy future.

Ajrak a block printed cotton shawl is the trademark of Sindh. It is made from vegetable dyes with maroon as the predominant color. Ajrak is held in high esteem all over Sindh. Usually guests are presented with ajraks to show respect.

Skull caps, jackets, cushion covers, tunics, table mats all embroidered with delicate mirror work are also made in Sindh. Ethnic silver jewelry is another item very much in demand.

Sindhi people are intelligent, sensitive and liberal minded. Sindh has given many seasoned politicians to Pakistan.