Sindh me a postcard: For those who think it's a bad idea to travel to Sindh

Formerly a prince state and known as Faiz Mahal, its king and his family still reside in this mahal.

Syed Areeb April 06, 2015
Moderate or cold weather is best for sight-seeing, which is why many people opt to travel in the January-February period.

This February, I decided I needed to discover my very own motherland, Sindh – a place I had only read about in historical or archaeological books and could not find tales of any visitor’s journey, unlike the rest of the places in the world. Though I haven’t travelled that excessively but I always had a desire to explore or at least see the province that I inhabit.

Having had my ancestors serving at top bureaucrat posts throughout the province, with their names still mentioned in their respective offices, I was even keener to explore Sindh. And that is when I decided to take a trip to the heart of my province; mainly the cities of Larkana, Sukkur and Khairpur.

A landscape view of the Bhutto family mausoleum in Larkana. Photo: Syed Areeb

Travelling has its own charm; things that seem ordinary on a regular day become spots of wonder. For example, waking up in the middle of the night to arrange duffle bags in the car-boot and leaving as soon as the first ray of light cracks the night sky in itself is exhilarating. On any other day, I would have cringed at the thought of waking up this early, but for this trip, I couldn’t contain my excitement.

Passing through the districts of Jamshoro, Mitiari, Nawabshah and Dadu, I felt I had either just woken up to take in the exquisite beauty of our country, or that I had been transported to a different country. The mountainous terrain, folding itself along the road as we head from Jamshoro towards Sehwan is a sight to be seen.

My first stop was at MohenjoDaro, an archaeological site believed to be the remains from 1500 BC.

The stupa as it is on the Rs20 note. Photo: Syed Areeb

While taking in the scenery was overwhelming in itself, I couldn’t help but wonder just how people lived here thousands of years ago. The Great Bath, the rest rooms and everything else were exemplary, even in today’s age of technology. This heritage, in my opinion, is a great aid to us for the advancement of technology and life style. I was told by the tour guide that the swimming pools we see at five star hotels were made keeping the model of the Great Bath in mind. Though I have no source to verify his words, it is not hard to believe it considering the unique construction design that the Great Bath had had been built many human races ago.

It had a sauna, changing rooms and a shower area exactly like we see today at posh swimming clubs. The green park that surrounds MohenjoDaro also adds to the beauty of the site giving the otherwise deserted look a much more pleasant vibe. The Sambara Hotel of Larkana of the tourism department where I stayed was a cosy place, I would recommend in case you plan your trip that way. They served great food too!

A pleasant morning in the lawn of Sambara hotel, Larkana. Photo: Syed Areeb

The next morning, we headed to Sukkur and visited the Sukkur Barrage, another master piece of architecture and engineering. The Sadh Bela temple in Sukkur is an inherited temple from centuries ago and is considered scared for many Hindu pilgrims. Situated on an island-like structure, the temple is a beautiful sight to see, especially before sunset. It is a set in designs of art and architecture, preserving within it many important emblems of the Hindumat.

The Shiv mandir and its ganga. Photo: Syed Areeb

On the last day of our trip, we went to Khairpur – a district known for its date palms. Formerly a prince state and known as Faiz Mahal, its king and his family still reside in this mahal. In fact, the king is even referred to as ‘His Highness’. Although it is not a visiting site or government property, it should most definitely be considered as a place on your ‘Must see’ list. Just seeing its elegant design and structure under the morning light is a delight.

The Faiz Mahal. Photo: Syed Areeb

We continued our visit at Khairpur by going to the Mehrano Shikargah which has hundreds of different kinds of deer and other rare animal species and moved on towards Kot Diji Fort.

Kot Digi - a view from its entrance gate. Photo: Syed Areeb

Contrary to what people believe about interior Sindh, especially about the route being problematic, unsafe and crooked, the Mehran Highway was anything but that description. Smooth and infrastructurally sounds, it was a pleasure to drive on it. With regards to security, I was travelling during the day and didn’t feel insecure or in harm’s way for a second.

People who think touring Sindh is a waste of a vacation are missing out on an experience of a lifetime. Take my advice, make the plunge, give your own country a chance and I assure you, you will not be disappointed. Far from it actually. If Sindh can manage to keep its law and order situation in check, tourism in the province will skyrocket. This province has its own flair, culture and beauty, definitely worth seeing.
Syed Areeb A dentist by profession, who is socially quite active and likes to travel for hunting and leisure.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.