Sindh (Sindhī: سنڌ, Urdu: سندھ) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhis. Different cultural and ethnic groups also reside in Sindh including Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees who migrated to Pakistan from India upon independence as well as the people migrated from other provinces after independence. The neighbouring regions of Sindh are Balochistan to the west and north, Punjab to the north, Gujarat and Rajasthan to the southeast and east, and the Arabian Sea to the south. The main languages are Sindhi and Urdu. The Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BCE) knew the region as Sinda. The Persians as Abisind, the Greeks as Sinthus, the Romans as Sindus, the Chinese as Sintow, in Sanskrit, the province was dubbed Sindhu meaning "Ocean" while the Arabs dubbed it Al-Sind.
Origin of the name
The province of Sindh and the people inhabiting the region had been designated after the river known in Ancient times as the Sindhus River, now also known by Indus River. In Sanskrit, síndhu means "river, stream". However, the importance of the river and close phonetical resemblance in nomenclature would make one consider síndhu as the probable origin of the name of Sindh. Later phonetical changes transformed Sindhu into Hinduš in Old Persian. The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus, when the British conquered South Asia, they expanded the term and applied the name to the entire region of South Asia and called it India.
The Indus Valley civilization is the farthest visible outpost of archaeology in the abyss of prehistoric times. The prehistoric site of Kot Diji in Sindh has furnished information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the history of India by at least another 300 years, from about 2500 BC. Evidence of a new element of pre-Harappan culture has been traced here. When the primitive village communities in Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji one of the most developed urban civilization of the ancient world that flourished between the year 25th century BC and 1500 BC in the Indus valley sites of Moenjodaro and Harappa. The people were endowed with a high standard of art and craftsmanship and well-developed system of quasi-pictographic writing which despite ceaseless efforts still remains un-deciphered. The remarkable ruins of the beautifully planned Moenjodaro and Harappa towns, the brick buildings of the common people, roads, public-baths and the covered drainage system envisage the life of a community living happily in an organized manner.
This civilisation is now identified as a possible pre-Aryan civilisation and most probably an indigenous civilization which was conquered by the invading Aryans. The Brahui language is possibly a remnant of the civilisation which flourished in this region.
Sindh is located on the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 km from north to south and 442 km (extreme) or 281 km (average) from east to west, with an area of 140,915 km² (54,407 square miles) of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west, and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain around the Indus river. The devastating floods of the river Indus are now controlled by irrigation techniques.
Karachi became capital of Sindh in 1936, in place of the traditional capitals of Hyderabad and Thatta. Other important cities include Shaheed Benazeerabad District, Sanghar, Sukkur, Dadu, Shahdadkot, Sehwan, Mirpukhas, Larkana, Shikarpur, Nosharoferoz, Kashmore, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Ranipur, and Moro.
Main article: Climate of Sindh
Aerial view of Karachi
A subtropical region, Sindh is hot in the summer and cold in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C (115 °F) between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C (36 °F) occurs during December and January. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. The southwest monsoon wind begins to blow in mid-February and continues until the end of September, whereas the cool northerly wind blows during the winter months from October to January.
Highest and lowest temperatures
The highest temperature throughout Pakistan are usually recorded in - Shaheed Benazeerabad District (Previously called Nawabshah District) and Sibbi from May to August each year which rises to above 48 degree centigrade. The climate is dry and hot but sometimes falls to 0 degrees Celsius and falls to lower than minus seven in December or January once in a quarter of the century.
Sindh lies between the two monsoons - the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon, deflected towards it by Himalayan mountains — and escapes the influence of both. The average rainfall in Sindh is only 15 to 18 cm per year, but the loss during the two seasons is compensated by the Indus, in the form of inundation, caused twice a year by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season. These natural patterns have changed somewhat with the construction of dams and barrages on the Indus.
Climatically, Sindh is divided in three sections - Siro (upper section centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (middle section centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (lower section centred on Karachi). In Upper Sindh, the thermal equator passes through Sindh. The highest temperature ever recorded was 53 °C (127 °F) in 1919. The air is generally very dry. In winter frost is common.
In Central Sindh, average monsoon wind speed is 18 km/hour in June. The temperature is lower than Upper Sindh but higher than Lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are summer characteristics. Maximum temperature reaches 43-44 °C (110-112 °F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the south-western winds in summer and north-eastern winds in winter and with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. The maximum temperature reaches about 35-38 °C (95-100 °F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m7 and higher on the Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snow fall is received in winters.
Demographics and society
The 1998 Census of Pakistan indicated a population 30.4 million, the current population can be estimated to be in the range of 48 to 52 million using a compound growth in the range of 2% to 2.8% since then. With just under half being urban dwellers, mainly found in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazeerabad District, previously called as Nawabshah District, Umerkot and Larkana. Sindhi is the sole official language of Sindh since the 19th century. Going just by language, Sindhi speakers make up 59.38%; Urdu speakers make up 21.04%; Pashto (4.19%); Punjabi (6.99)%; Gujarati/Memon (3.0%); Baluchi (2.09%); Seraiki (1.00%) and others (2.31%). Other languages include Kutchi (both dialects of Sindhi), Khowar, Thari, Persian/Dari and Brahui
Sindh's population is mainly Muslim (91.32%), but Sindh is also home to nearly all (93%) of Pakistan's Hindus forming 7.5% of the province's population. A large number of the Sindhi Hindus migrated to India at the time of the independence. Smaller groups of Christians (0.97%), Ahmadi (0.14%); Parsis or Zoroastrians, Sikh and a tiny Jewish community (of around 500) can also be found in the province.
The Sindhis as a whole are composed of original descendants of an ancient population known as Sammaat, various sub-groups related to the Seraiki or Baloch origin are found in interior Sindh. Sindhis of Balochi origin make up about 30% of the total population of Sindh, while Urdu-speaking Muhajirs make up 20% of the total population of the province. Also found in the province is a small group claiming descent from early Muslim settlers including Arabs, Turks, Pashtuns and Persian.
Main article: History of Sindh
The first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave r the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization rivalled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in both size and scope numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems. It is known that the Indus Valley Civilization traded with ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt via established shipping lanes. In ancient Egypt, the word for cotton was Sindh suggesting that the bulk of that civilisation's cotton was imported from the Indus Valley Civilization. A branch of the Indo-Iranian tribes, called the Indo-Aryans are believed to have founded the Vedic Civilization that existed between Sarasvati River and Ganges River around 1500 BCE and also influenced Indus Valley Civilization. This civilization helped shape subsequent cultures in the South Asia.
Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, and became part of the Persian satrapy (province) of Hindush centred in the Punjab to the north. Persian speech had a tendency to replace 'S' with an 'H' resulting in 'Sindhu' being pronounced and written as 'Hindu'. They introduced the Kharoshti script in the region and established links to the west.
In the late 300s BCE, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. The region remained under control of Greek satraps only for a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BCE. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.
Mauryan rule ended in 185 BCE with the overthrow of the last king by the Sunga Dynasty. In the disorders that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Under the reign of Menander I many Indo-Greeks followed his example and converted to Buddhism.
In the late 100s BCE, Scythian tribes shattered the Greco-Bactrian empire and invaded the Indo-Greek lands. Unable to take the Punjab region, they seized Sistan and invaded India by coming through Sindh, where they became known as Indo-Scythians (later Western Satraps). Subsequently, the Tocharian Kushan Empire annexed Sindh by the 1st century CE. Though the Kushans were Zoroastrian, they were tolerant of the local Buddhist tradition and sponsored many building projects for local beliefs.
The Kushan Empire were defeated in the mid 200s CE by the Sassanid Empire of Persia, who installed vassals known as the Kushans. These rulers were defeated by the Kidarites in the late 300s. By the late 400s, attacks by Hephthalite tribes known as the Indo-Hephthalites or Hunas (Huns) broke through the Gupta Empire's North-Western borders and overran much of Northern and Western India. During these upheavals, Sindh became independent under the Rai Dynasty around 478 AD. The Rais were overthrown by Chachar of Alor around 632 CE.
Arrival of Islam
Sindh in 700 AD, under the Brahmin dynasty.
During the reign of Rashidun Caliph Umar, an expedition was sent to conquer Makran. This was the first time that Muslim armies had entered Sindh. The Islamic army defeated the Hindu king of Sindh, Raja Rasil, on the western bank of the Indus. The armies of the Raja accordingly retreated to interior Sindh. Caliph Umar, on getting the information about the miserable conditions of Sindh, stopped his armies from crossing the Indus and, instead, ordered them to consolidate their position in Makran and Baluchistan. Umar's successor Caliph Uthman also sent his agent to investigate the matters of Sindh. Upon getting the same information of unfavourable geographical conditions and the miserable lives of the people, he forbade his armies to enter Sindh. During the Rashidun Caliphate only the southwestern part of Sindh around the western bank of the Indus, and some northern parts near the frontiers of Baluchistan remained under the rule of the Islamic empire.
In the year 711 Sindh was finally conquered by Umayyad Arabs from Damascus, led by the young Muhammad bin Qasim with the aid of local leaders such as the Ibn Wasayo, Thakore of Bhatta, Mokah Basayah, Jat and Mid tribes. The Umayyads defeated Raja Dahir and his Hindu followers, the fall of the Brahman dynasty was made easier by the tensions between the Buddhist majority and the repressive ruling Hindu' weak base of control.
Sindh became the easternmost province of the Umayyad Caliphate referred to as Al-Sindh on Arab maps with lands further east known as Hind". These maps resemble the current border between the nations of Pakistan and India.
The Arabs redefined the region and adopted the term Budd to refer to the numerous Buddhist idols they encountered, a word that remains in use today. The city of Mansura (near present Sukkur) was established by the Umayyads as a regional [[Misr]' or capital.
Sindhis Muslims like other converts were known as the Mawali and were discriminated by the Umayyads authorities and thus actively supported the general Abu Muslim Khorasani leader of the Abbasid revolution in the year 750 and still accociate themselvs with Abbasid rule.
During the Abbasid era Sindhis introduced medicinal plants known in Sindh as Bhang a plant native to the Indus Valley widely used by mideval Muslim Surgeons who used the word Hindiba drug, Cannibis; the invention of starcharts (Zij) such as the Zij al-Sindhind was studied by Muhammad ibn Müsa Al-Khwarzimi and the Hindu-Arabic numerals by Sind Ibn Ali and historians such as Abu Mashar al-Sindi, sailors such as Sindbad whose origins were from the port city of Debal Sindhis also introduced shipbuilding and navigation techniques used by Arabian Dhows
Arab rule lasted for nearly three centuries. A vast majority of the local nobility, fishermen, yogis and sailors from the port city of Debal many of them maintained trade links and migrated to Basra. A fusion of cultures produced much of what is today modern Sindhi society. Muslim geographers, historians and travellers such as al-Biruni and Ibn Battutah visited the region and also sometimes used the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.
Arab rule ended with the ascension of the Soomro dynasty, who were the first local Sindhi Muslims to translate the Quran and into the Sindhi language they also introduced Sufis known as the Jhummar who spread Islam in Punjab and Kashmir. The Soomros controlled the Sindh directly as vassals of the Abbasids from 1058 to 1249.
Turkic invaders such as Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered the area by 977 CE rulers the region loosely became part of the Ghaznavid Empire and then the Delhi Sultanate under Muhammad Ibn Tughluq which lasted until 1524.
Though a part of larger empires Sindh enjoyed a certain autonomy as a Muslim domain.
During the rule of the Samma Dynasty Sindh was ruled by Jam Nizamuddin II Nindo (reigned 1461-1509) he greatly expanded the new capitol Makli and Thatta which replaced Debal he patronized Sindhi art, arcitecture and culture. Important court figures such as Jam Firuz, Sardar Darya Khan and Kazi Kazan. But the capitol Thatta was a port city, unlike garrisons it could not mobilize large armies against the Arghun Mongol invaders who killed many Mirs and Amirs loyal to the Samma.
The ruthless Arghuns and the Tarkhans sacked Thatta during the rule of Jam Feroz and established their own dynasties in the year 1519. In the year 1524 the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and helped Babur defeat his Arghun enemies.
In 1540 a deadly mutiny by Sher Shah Suri forced the Mughal Emperor Humayun to withdraw to Sindh where he joined the Sindhi Amir Hussein and married Hamida Bano Begum a Sindhi woman, she gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542.
In the year 1603 Shah Jahan visited the provence of Sindh and at Thatta he was generously welcomed by the locals after the death of his father Jahangir. Shah Jahan felt a close kinship with the Sindhis, he ordered the construction of the Shahjahan Mosque, which completed during the early years of his rule the unique mosque containes 101 domes and numerous arches.
It was during the of Shah Jahan many Sindhi, Shaykhs and Seyyeds served as Mansabdar for the Mughal Empire they introduced muskets and cannons in Sindh Others like the metallurgist, astronomer Muhammad Salih Tahtawi created a seamless celestial globe by using a secret wax-casting technique in 1660 it contains inscriptions in Arabic and Persian.
After the death of Aurangzeb the Mughal Empire and its institutions began to decline. The Mughals rebuild the region and their rule lasted for three centuries.
The Mughals streingthened various Sindhi Amirs such as the Kalhoras and Talpurs who patronized Sufi Poets and literature in Sindhi language throughout the provence.
The Sindhi Sufis played a pivotal role in converting the millions of native people to Islam.
Rohri - Sukkur, by James Atkinson, 1842
The among most famous Sindhi Sufis is the Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai through his poems he expresses love of God, The Prophet Muhammad, history, folklore and adventures such as that of Sindhi sailors who voyaged to Malabar, Sri Lanka and Java where Sindhis were known as the Santri.
Others Sindhi Sufis like Sachal Surmust a master poet of seven different languges gained thousands of followers.
But Sindh faced many threats, Mian Yar Mouhammed Kalhoro Khudabad challenged the invader Nadir Shah but failed according to legend: he sent a small force to kill Nadir Shah and protect the Mughal Emperor during the Battle of Karna in 1739.
Sindh faced even greater threats from Sikh and Rajput raids. The Kalhoras built the Fortress Kotdiji and the Talpurs built Imamgarh in responce to these defiling incurisions.
Very soon Sindh became a vassal-state of the Afghan Durrani Empire by 1747. from 1783.
Flag House, colonial styled building built during the British Raj.
Map of "Sind" in 1880.
British and Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles Napier arrived in Sindh in the 19th century and conquered it in 1843. It is said that he reported the conquest by sending back to the Governor General a one-word message, "Peccavi" – Latin for "I have sinned" (a pun on "I have Sindh"), these words later appearing as a cartoon in Punch magazine. The first Aga Khan helped the British in the conquest of Sindh and was granted a pension as a result.
After 1853, Sindh was divided into provinces, each being assigned a Zamindar or Wadera to collect taxes for the British (a system adopted from the Mughals). In a highly controversial move, Sindh was later made part of British India's Bombay Presidency much to the surprise of the local population, who found the decision illogical. Shortly afterwards, the decision was reversed and Sindh became a separate province in 1935. The British ruled the area for a century and Sindh was home to many prominent Muslim leaders including Muhammad Ali Jinnah who strove for greater Muslim autonomy.
Modern History after independence of Pakistan
On August 14 1947 Pakistan gained independence from colonial British colonial rule. The province Sindh attained self rule, the first time since the defeat of Sindhi Talpur Amirs in the Battle of Miani on February 17, 1843.
The first challenge faced by the Government of Sindh was the settlement of Muslim refugees. Nearly 7 million Muslims from India migrated to Pakistan while nearly equal number of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan migrated to India. The Muslim refugees known as Muhajirs from India settled in most urban areas of Sindh. Sindh at the time of partition was home to a large number of Hindus who accounted for 27% of the total population of the province. They were more concentrated in the urban centres of the province and had a strong hold on the province's economy and business. Although the relations between the local Muslims and Hindus were good but with the arrival of Muslim refugees in the urban centres of the province, Hindus started to feel unsafe. This along with unstable future in a Muslim country and better opportunities in India made a large number of Sindhi Hindus to leave the province.
Sindh did not witness any massive level genocide as other parts of the Subcontinent (especially Punjab region) did, comparatively there were few incidents of riots in Karachi and Hyderabad but over all situation remained peaceful mainly due to the efforts of the Chief Minister of Sindh Mr. Ayub Khuhro. At present there are roughly 2.9 million Hindus in Sindh forming 7.5% of the total population of the province. Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan (i.e caste Hindus accounting for 86% of the total Hindu population of Pakistan as of 1998 census) are mainly into small to medium sized businesses. They are mainly traders, retailer/wholesalers, builders as well as into the fields of medical, engineering, law and financial services. However the scheduled caste Hindus (Dalits) are in a poorer state with most of them as bonded labour in the rural areas of the province. Most of the Muslim refugees are settled in urban areas of Sindh especially in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Since Pakistan's Independence in 1947, Sindh has been the destination of a continuous stream of migration from South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Burma, and Afghanistan as well as Pashtun and Punjabi immigrants from the North West Frontier Province and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to Karachi. This is due to the fact that Karachi is the economic magnet of Pakistan attracting people from all over Pakistan. Many native Sindhis resent this influx. Nonetheless, traditional Sindhi families remain prominent in Pakistani politics, especially the Bhutto, Zardari and Soomro dynasties. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, was from Karachi, Sindh but was a Gujarati.
Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly
The Sindh assembly was the first British Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. G. M. Syed, an influential Sindhi activist, revolutionary and Sufi and one of the important leaders to the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly. G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism.
Main article: Government of Sindh
The Provincial Assembly of Sindh is unicameral and consists of 168 seats of which 5% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women. The provincial capital of Sindh is Karachi.
Sindh is a strong hold of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The PPP is the largest political party of Sindh. And Sindh is known as PPP's home. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is the second largest political party of Sindh with concentration in the city Karachi. There are many separatist parties as well in Sindh.
There are 23 districts in Sindh, Pakistan.
Tando Muhammad Khan
Main article: List of cities in Sindh
Tando Muhammad Khan
A view of Karachi downtown, the capital of Sindh province
GDP by Province
Sindh has the 2nd largest Economy after Punjab in Pakistan. Historically, Sindh's contribution to Pakistan's GDP has been between 30% to 32.7%. Its share in the Service sector has ranged from 21% to 27.8% and in the Agriculture sector from 21.4% to 27.7%. Performance wise, its best sector, is the Manufacturing sector, where its share has ranged from 36.7% to 46.5%.
Endowed with coastal access, Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy ranging from heavy industry and finance centred in and around Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.
Agriculture is very important in Sindh with cotton, rice, wheat, sugar cane, bananas, and mangoes as the most important crops. Sindh is the richest province in natural resources of gas, petrol, and coal.
Flora and Fauna
The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir) (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees.
Mango, date palms, and the more recently introduced banana, guava, orange, and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants, and the inshore Indus deltaic islands have forests of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region.
Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), wild sheep (urial or gadh) and black bear are found in the western rocky range, where the leopard is now rare. The pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat, is found in some areas. In the Kirthar national park of sind, there is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants .
Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There are a variety of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper), and the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim's breath in his sleep. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus and the eastern Nara channel. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the Sind coast. The pallo (sable fish), though a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn.
Arts and crafts
The skill of the Sindhi craftsman continues to exhibit the 5000-year-old artistic tradition. The long span of time, punctuated by fresh and incessant waves of invaders and settlers, provided various exotic modes of arts which, with the passage of time, got naturalized on the soil. The perfected surface decorations of objects of everyday use - clay, metal, wood, stone or fabrics, with the floral and geometrical designs - can be traced back to the Muslim influence.
Though chiefly an agricultural and pastoral province, Sindh has a reputation for Ajrak, pottery, leatherwork, carpets, textiles, and silk cloth which, in design and finish, are matchless. The chief articles produced are blankets, coarse cotton cloth (soosi) camel fittings, metalwork, lacquered work, enamel, gold and silver embroidery. Hala is famous for pottery and tiles; Boobak for carpets; Nasirpur, Gambat and Thatta for cotton lungees and Khes. The earthenware of Johi, metal vessels of Shikarpur, relli, embroidery, and leather articles of Tharparkar, and lacquered work of Kandhkot are some of the other popular crafts.
The pre-historic finds from different archaeological sites such as Mohenjo-daro, engravings in various graveyards, and the architectural designs of Makli and other tombs provide ample evidence of the people in their literary and musical traditions.
Modern painting and calligraphy have also developed in recent times and some young trained men have taken up commercial art collections.
Main article: Sindhi culture
Mohenjo-daro was the center of the Indus Valley Civilization 3000 BCE-1700 BCE
Sindh has a rich heritage of traditional handicraft that has evolved over the centuries. Perhaps the most professed exposition of Sindhi culture is in the handicrafts of Hala, a town some 30 kilometres from Hyderabad. Hala’s artisans are manufacturing high quality and impressively priced wooden handicrafts, textiles, paintings, handmade paper products, blue pottery, etc. Lacquered wood works known as Jandi, painting on wood, tiles, and pottery known as Kashi, hand woven textiles including Khadi, Susi, and Ajrak are synonymous with Sindhi culture preserved in Hala’s handicraft.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEDA) is planning to set up an organization of artisans to empower the community. SMEDA is also publishing a directory of the artisans so that exporters can directly contact them. Hala is the home of a remarkable variety of traditional crafts and traditional handicrafts that carry with them centuries of skill that has woven magic into the motifs and designs used.
Sindh is known the world over for its various handicrafts and arts. The work of Sindhi artisans was sold in ancient markets of Armenia, Baghdad, Basra, Istanbul, Cairo and Samarkand. Referring to the lacquer work on wood locally known as Jandi, T. Posten an English traveller who visited Sindh in early 19th century said, the articles of Hala could be compared with exquisite specimens of China. Technological improvements were gradually introduced such as the spinning wheel charkha and treadle pai-chah in the weavers’ loom, to increase refinement in designing, dyeing and printing by block. Painting process amounted for a much higher volume of output. The refined, lightweight, colourful, washable fabrics from Hala became a luxury for people used to only woollens and linens of the age.
Ajrak has been in Sindh since the birth of its civilization. Blue colour is dominantly used in Ajrak. Also, Sindh was traditionally a large producer of indigo and cotton cloth and both used to be exported to the Middle East. Ajrak is a mark of respect when it is given to an honoured quest, friend or woman. In Sindh, it is most commonly given as a gift at Eid, at weddings, or on other special occasions - like homecoming. Along with Ajrak the Rilli or patchwork sheet, is another Sindhi icon and part of the heritage and culture. Every Sindhi home will have set of Rillis - one for each member of the family and few spare for guests. Rilli is made with different small pieces of different geometrical shapes of cloths sewn together to create intricate designs.
Rilhi is also given as a gift to friends and visitors. It is used as a bedspread as well as a blanket. A beautifully sewn Rilli can also become part of a bride or grooms gifts. Rural women in Sindh are skilful in producing Sindhi caps. Sindhi caps are manufactured commercially on a small scale at New Saeedabad and Hala New. These are in demand with visitors from Karachi and other places and these manufacturing units have very limited production due to lack of marketing facilities.
The Sindhi Language
Main article: Sindhi language
Sindhī (Arabic script: سنڌي, Devanagari script: सिन्धी) is spoken by about 15 million people in the province of Sindh. The largest Sindhi-speaking city is Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is an Indo-European language, related to Kutchi and other Indo-European languages prevalent in the region with substantial Arabic, Turkish and Persian loan words. In Pakistan it is written in a modified Arabic script.
Places of interest
See also: Places of Historical Interest in Sindh
Gorakh Hill Top
Faiz Mahal, Khairpur
Sindh has numerous tourist sites with the most prominent being the ruins of Mohenjo-daro near the city of Larkana. Islamic architecture is quite prominent in the province with the Jama Masjid in Thatta built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and numerous mausoleums dot the province including the very old Shahbaz Qalander mausoleum dedicated to the Iranian-born Sufi and the beautiful mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah known as the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.
Aror (ruins of historical city) near Sukkur.
Chaukandi Tombs, Karachi.
Forts at Hyderabad and Umarkot
Gorakh Hill near Dadu.
Kahu-Jo-Darro near Mirpurkhas.
Kotri Barrage near Hyderabad.
Makli Graveyard, Asia's Biggest, Makli, Thatta.
Minar-e-Mir Masum Shah, Sukkur.
Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi.
Rani Bagh, Hyderabad.
Ranikot Fort near Sann.
Ruins of Mohenjo-daro & Museum near Larkana.
Sadhu Bela Temple near Sukkur.
Shahjahan Mosque, Thatta.
Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Bhit Shah.
Shrine of Shahbaz Qalander, Sehwan Shairf.
Sukkur barrage, Sukkur.
Kot Diji Fort, Kot Diji
Talpurs' Faiz Mahal Palace, Khairpur (princely state).