Mosques of Pakistan-Shah Jehan Mosque Thatta

by on January 12, 2011
in Exploring Amazing Pakistan

Thatta Shah Mahan Mosque

The Shah Jehan Mosque was built in the 17th century (1647 to be precise) on the orders of Moghul Emperor Shah Jehan. It is said that the city of Thatta welcomed Shah Jehan with open arms after he was exiled from Delhi by his father Emperor Jahangir. To express his gratitude, Shah Jehan ordered a mosque to be built in this city.

Shah Jehani Mosque is beautiful, unique and quite unlike other Moghul mosques. First of all marble; the favorite building material of the Moghuls has not been used in the construction, secondly there are no minarets in the mosque and thirdly instead of the typical three dome structure, the Shah Jehani Mosque features a single dome. Other Moghul mosques usually have an ablution tank right in the centre of a large courtyard but in case of the Shah Jehani Mosque, the tank lies in the eastern side.

The Shah Jehani Mosque is a prime example of clever engineering. It has 93 domes and 33 arches and together they constitute the amazing acoustics; anything uttered in one end of this large mosque is echoed on the other side. The building is made of Redstone and the domes and arches are decorated with blue tiles. Different shapes and sizes of tiles are joined together to form decorative panels. Blue color is extensively used along with yellow, white and purple.

The Shah Jehani Mosque is known for its unique architecture and beautiful tile work.

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.

Mosques of Pakistan

by on October 11, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

Masjid-e-Tooba, Karachi Pakistan

Mosques are places of worship of the Muslims. Pakistan being a Muslim country has a number of mosques, around 2 or 3 in each locality. The Muslim rulers who ruled over the sub-continent constructed mosques too. Join me on a brief of some of these mosques.

Shah Jehan Mosque, Thatta

The Shah Jehan mosque was built in Thatta city in interior Sindh. It was built on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan hence the name. This mosque is a splendid example of Mughal architecture. The mosque has no minarets but it has 93 domes. Its 33 arches are another special feature. Shah Jehan mosque is also known for its beauty. Blue tiles have been used in this impressive building. The intricate and beautiful designs of these tiles are matchless even today. A must see place.

Bad-Shahi Mosque, Lahore

The Badshahi mosque was built during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1673. Situated in the heart of the city, it is the second largest mosque of Pakistan where 55,000 worshippers can offer their prayers. This grand structure is made of red bricks and is also a major tourist attraction.

Masjid Wazir Khan, Lahore

This mosque was also built during the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan. It is named after Sheikh Illum-ud-din the then governor of Lahore. Located in the inner city, it is made with bricks and decorated with glazed tiles.

Moti Masjid, Lahore

Also built during the tenure of Emperor Shah Jehan, this mosque lies within the premises of the Red Fort. It is a graceful structure made with white marble.

Masjid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar

Masjid Mahabat Khan is located in the inner city of Peshawar. It is named after Mahabat Khan Mirza Lerharasib who served as a governor of Peshawar during the reigns of Emperor Shah Jehan and his son Emperor Aurangzeb. The mosque is a fine example of Mughal style of construction. It was saved from destruction by the faithfuls when the great fire of 1898 broke out.

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

Faisal mosque is located in the federal capital Islamabad. It is surrounded by the scenic Margalla Hills. Faisal mosque is named after the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who generously funded its construction. It is the largest mosque in Pakistan.

Masjid-e-Tooba, Karachi

This mosque is located in the city of Karachi. Built in 1969, it is the largest single dome mosque in the world. The diameter is around 72 meters. Because of its shape, it is also called Gol (round) Masjid. White marble has been used in its construction.

Historical Places in Pakistan

by on October 4, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

Pakistani Buddhism Buddha Valley  Gandhara-style

Pakistan is a land of rich history and culture. It is an abode of two of the world’s oldest civilization. The ruins of the Gandhara-Buddhist civilization lie in Taxila. Swat valley also has Buddhist monuments and statues of Buddha.

The remains of Moen Jo Daro in Sindh tell the tales of the Indus Valley Civilization. Moen Jo Daro was one of the earliest settlements of the world. Located on the banks of River Indus, it was one of the earliest planned cities of the world. It dates back around 2600 BCE. It was discovered by the archeologists in 1930. The remains of Moen Jo Daro are carefully preserved by the government.

Harappa is another specimen of Indus Valley Civilization belonging to the same era 2600 BC. It is located in west Punjab. Its ruins were excavated in 1920 and depict the lifestyle and culture of the people of that time. The ruins are well preserved and a haven for all those interested in archeology and history.

Two other special places in Sindh worth mentioning are the Chaukhandi Tombs.

Chaukhandi Tombs lie 29 km East of Karachi. There are around 100 tombs in an area of 2 km built by the Balochi and Baurpat times. Chaukhandi tombs are famous for their unique style of construction. The architecture is dissimilar to the Islamic architecture. The graves are made of buff sandstone and exist as either a single grave or in clusters. They are rectangular in shape and have unique patterns, motifs, crosses, geometrical designs on them.

Makli Hill Tombs in Thatta are another historical place worth visiting. Makli Hills are one of the largest necropolises of the world with a diameter of 8 km. They are the final abode of around 125,000 Sufi saints and rulers of Sindh dating back from 13thto 15th century. The grandeur of the tombs is amazing and predicts the glory of that period.

A host of buildings built by the Mughals all over the country also add to the historical significance of the country.