Sindh is named for the great Indus River that carves its way through the plains of the province, bringing it to life. The Indus has bought favour and failure to Sindh throughout its history, nurturing the Indian subcontinent’s first great civilisation at Moenjodaro and Harappa six millennia ago, while shifting its course to push later dynasties out of the spotlight and leave the region languishing without influence until it was claimed for the British empire in the 19th century.
For the traveller to Sindh, the British legacy is everywhere to see. The damming of the Indus at Sukkur in the 1930s transformed the dry plains into rich agricultural land, turning the region into the country’s breadbasket. Its bakers – the big landowning farmers – still hold great sway in national politics today. An equally big transformation was wrought away from the river, turning a sleepy fishing town into the booming port of Karachi. In the 21st century, the city is Pakistan’s economic powerhouse and a true mega-city, sucking in migrants from across the country, all hoping to strike it rich. Those that have flaunt their wealth in trendy restaurants and expensive property near the beach.
The rest of Sindh’s attractions are more modest, from the archaeological site of Moenjodaro to the Mughal mosques of Thatta. But wherever you go you’re unlikely to run into many other travellers. Persistent political insecurity in Sindh means that taking trusted safety advice before travel is essential before setting out, as is keeping an ear to the ground when you get there.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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