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 regulations.
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.