about 98 kms (61 miles) east of Karachi. At one time Thatta was important
as Sind's capital city and as a centre for Islamic arts. From the 14th
century four Muslim dynasties ruled Sindh from Thatta, but in 1739 the
capital was moved elsewhere and Thatta declined. It was believed that
this was the place where Alexander the Great rested his legions after
their long march.
The town is dominated by the Great Mosque built by the Moghuls Emperor
Shah Jehan which has been carefully restored to its original condition.
The mosque's 33 arched domes give it superb acoustics and the tile work,
a whole range of shades of blue, is equally fine. Situated on the outskirts
of the new town it is surrounded by narrow lanes and multi-story houses
made of plaster and wood which are top by badgers, the wind catchers designed
to funnel cool breezes down into the interiors of buildings. They are
also quite common in Hyderabad.
The bazaars of Thatta are known for hand-printed fabrics, glass bangles
and Sindhe embroidery work in laid with tinny mirrors, one of the more
world known handicrafts of Pakistan. Thatta is a fascinating town which
appears to have scarcely moved out of the 18th century and is only slowly
catching up with the modern world.
At Moenjodaro (Mound of dead) in the west bank of the Indus in Sindh have
been found the remains of one of the earliest and a most developed urban
civilizations of the ancient world. Discovered in 1922 Moenjodaro once
metropolis of great importance forming part of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Moenjodaro 4,000 years old brick ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization
city of Moenjodaro.
The Indus Valley Civilization flourished from 3,000 to 15,00 BC, making
it contemporary with the ancient civilization of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
At its height, it comprised at least 400 cities and towns along the Indus
and its tributaries, covering most of the present-day Pakistan and stretching
north-west as far as modern Kabul and east as far as modern Delhi. The
water ways were the main highways connecting the empire, and flat bottomed
barges almost identical to those still use today plied the rivers from
city to city. Few of the cities have been excavated. The most imposing
remains are those of the great bath which consisted of an open quadrangle
with verandahs on four sides, galleries and rooms at the back, a group
of halls on the north and a large bathing pool. It was probably used for
religious or ceremonial bathing. Nearby are the remains of the great granary,
possible public treasury where taxes were paid in kind. Testifying to
the high developed and artistic sensibility of the Moenjodaro people is
discovery of necklaces pendants of beads ear rings and anklets of ivory
and mother-of-pearl, vessels of silver, copper and browns and polished
stones weights and measures which suggest the existence of strangest civic
From coins and poetries discovered, archaeologists believe trade and cultural
links existed between Moenjodaro and the contemporary civilizations of
Mesopotamia and Egypt. Various objects d'art found at Moenjodaro include
burnt clay male and female figurines, and models of the bird, steatite
bust of a noble man or a priest- king, wearing a loose robe on which the
trefoil pattern is engraved and small dancing girls in the browns with
slim figures and flat Negroid features. Figural art is best illustrated
by steatite seals bearing life like representations of animals and mythological
creates such as is the unicorn. The ruins of this Indus Valley Civilization
face eminent danger from the rising water tables and salinity. Government
of Pakistan in cooperation with UNESCO is making all possible efforts
to avert this danger and save Moenjodaro.