Monday, June 1, 2009


Larkana or Larkano is the fourth largest city located in the Northwest of Sindh Province, Pakistan. It is located in Larkana District and is a thickly populated city which is growing rapidly. In August 2000, Larkana celebrated its hundredth year of existence[citation needed].


Larkana is as old as civilization of Mohenjo-daro that dates back five thousand years. Larkana was renowned for its production of cloth in those days. Its product of cloth was shifted from Moen-Jo-Daro to the rest of countries via water ways, in the mean time the same cloth was used for mummification in Egypt. Thus credit for unparalleled technological advancement of Moen-Jo-Daro goes to its trade of cloth. Aryans had come to Sindh in 2234 B.C. and settled in different part of Sindh, and while crossing Larkana, reached Bhanbhoor. Jhokar-jo-Daro is proof of Aryan visit. Different people came in Sindh but non could eliminate the tradition of Aryans till teachings of Gotam Bodh spread in 480's B.C whose proof is found in Moen-jo-Daro that was a center of worship for Buddhism. Sikandar (i-e Alexander) attacked Sindh in 330 B.C. His forces had crossed little known village as Mahota. It was named by his forces as Maota in Greek. After Greeks Sindh was ruled by Gupt Family from 320 CE to 525 CE. Thus, Chandias were rewarded heavily for their contribution. It was in this period that Larkana was named as Chandka. However, after demise of Jam Nizamuddin, Shah Beg Argon started ruling over Sindh. Larkano city is purely result of Construction of Cannal “Ghaar Wah”. In late 16th century, Kalhoras (also referred now as ABBASI) started their rule. In their rule, Shah Baharo was a ruler of Larkano in Kalhora period Sindhi language rose to its peak, especially in the period of Mian Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan Kalhoro Sahb. After end of Kalhora rule, period of Talpur came and Nawab Wali Mohammad Khan was made Governor of Larkano

In 1843 the English occupied Sindh and divided Sindh in three parts namely Karachi, Hyderabad and Shikarpur. Larkana was the part of Shikarpur and Dadu was part of Larkana. In 1930 Dadu was made a separate district and Larkana got its present shape during Historic movement for Pakistan. Larkanians took active role in movement of Khilafat and Higrat so on the whole Larkana is always been the centre of political activity in Sindh.

Historic Background

In history books Larkana is first mentioned in the "Tuhfatulakram", a book written in Kalhora period. Even in this book, nothing is told about the origin of the city. Larkana is discussed in later histories like "Tareekh Taza Navai Muarka", "Lab-Tareekh-e-Sindh", and in travelogues of foreign travellers. In histories of pre-Kalhora period, such as "Chach Nama", "Aeen-e-Akbari", "Tareekh-e-Masoomi", and "Tareekh-e-Mazhar Shah Jahani", nothing is found about this city. This reveals that Larkana exerted its political, cultural, and economic importance during the period of Kalhoras. This city possibly did not exist before this period or, if existed, was a small village of no imortance.

(Translated from "Larkana Tareekh je Aaeene men" by Dr Memon Abdul Majeed Sindhi) link Commercial and Official Website

Role of the City

Larkana is the most important settlement in the Western Upper Sindh. Being the hometown of many political Larkana, it exercises a country-wide influence. Being district headquarter, Larkana is also a major administrative center. Recently the city has been elevated to the status of division headquarter. On this basis it is expected that its importance will further increase.

Regarding Services, Larkana is characterised as a major center rendering a variety of services to a rich agriculture hinterland. Information collected by PEPAC in 1985 indicated a ratio of about 33 inhabitants per shop in Larkana, a figure which if compared to the national standards infers that a considerable percentage of the customers come from outside the city. The catchment population of Larkana for commercial services is estimated today at some 0.75 million people. In spite of its importance as an administrative and service center, Larkana never managed to become up to now a center of 'export oriented ' industrial activities. According to the 1981 census population figures, Larkana (with 123,000 inhabitants at that time), ranked 5th in the Sindh Province and 23rd in Pakistan.

Larkaa is performing high order functions in the health and education sectors. The beneficiaries of these services originate not only from within the district but from the entire Sindh province. Likewise in health, specialised services are available with the Chandka Medical College and Sheikh Zaid Hospitals where 50% of the patients in 1985 were from places outside the Larkana environs.


Location of the City

Larkana city is the headquarter of Larkana District. Centrally located with respect to the district, Larkana lies on 27o33' 39.60"north latitude and 68o12'27.00" east longitude (coordinates of Lahori Regulator on Rice Canal in Larkana). To see the satellite map of Larkana, click here; Lahori Regulator will be at exact centre of the map. Sukkur is at a distance of about 85 km in east. Other important towns in vicinity of Larkana are Miro Khan and Naudero. The district shares its western boundaries with Baluchistan Province.


Population of Larkana is increasing rapidly, main reason of which is movement of people from villages to the city. In 1891, population of Larkana was merely 12019 (6643 males and 5376 females). In 1941, population was 28084 (10760 Hindu males, 4411 Muslim males, 9507 Hindu females, and 3406 Muslim females). Area of Municipal Committee was 1250 acres in 1941.

Year Population 1891 12019 1901 14543 1911 16097 1931 24698 1941 28084 1951 32745 1961 48231 1971 71893 1981 123410

(Larkana Sah Sebano, Page 519)

Year Population 1951 33414 1961 48008 1972 71893 1981 123890 1990 180000 2000 254000* 2010 345000*
Estimated from 1981 and 1990 figures.

Male-Female Population Ratio Year % of Males % of Females Male/Female Ratio 1972 53.8 46.2 1.16 1985 53.5 46.5 1.15 1990 52.5 47.5 1.11 2000 51.5 48.5 1.06 2010 50.0 50.0 1.00

Sources: 1972 and 1981 Census Figures.
  1985 Socio-economic Sample Survey, Larkana ODP. Estimates


The district is bounded on the north by Balochistan Province, on the east by Shikarpur and Khairpur districts and part of Nausheroferoz district, to the south, is bounded by the Dadu District and to the west by the Kohistan area of the Khirthar range, which separates it side, adjoining the Shikarpur, Khairpur and Nausheroferoz district.


Geographically, the district is divided into three parts viz, the Kohistan Tract, Central Canal Irrigation Tract and the Eastern Tract. The Western portion of the district comprising western parts of Shahdadkot, Kamber and the Warah Talukas consists of the Kohistan area. A range of limestone hills and mountains referred to by the old writers as the “Hallar”, but generally known as the Khirthar range, extends along the whole western boundary of the district, with a breadth of 19 to 21 kilometers in a straight line.

The Khirthar range consists of an ascending series of ridges, running generally north to south with broad, flat valleys in between. These ridges are locally distinguished by different names, for example, the first line of hills is known as “Kakrio” (broken), the next as “Karo”(Black), and the third as “Pinaro” (Saffron coloured). The highest ridge of the range at its northern extremity is about 1,500 meters above the sea-level. The most elevated peak known as “Kute-ji-Kabar” (dog’s tomb) is 2064 meters above the sea-level.


The entire area of this district within the protective bounds (one on the western side to prevent hill torrents in rainy season and the other on the eastern side of the district to protect the canal irrigated area from rivers (floods) is irrigated by a network of canals viz. the Rice Canal,Dadu Canal, Warah Canal, Khirthar Canal and Saifullah Magsi Canal. The area irrigated by these canals is 870,127 acres.


There is a network of metal led and katcha roads all over the district. All the Taluka Headquarters are connected with the District Headquarter either by road or by rail.

The Pakistan Railways runs through the district from north to south. Larkana itself is a railway junction.


The total area under forests is about 25532 hectares. Some of the important forests are Salihani, Agani,Nauabad, Amrote, Keti Chandka, Khuhra, Madeji, Khokhar, Tajudero, Visar, Adamji, Sharifpur, Dasu, Behman, Hassan Wahan, Gajidero, Abrepota, Beli Gaji, Bagi, Shahbeg, Gangherko and Tatri.


Four man festivals are held annually in Larkana district, one in the honour of Pirsher at Taluka Larkana, other in memory of Mian Ghulam Siddique at Shahdadkot, the 3rd at Mirokhan Taluka in the name of Hakimshah Pat Waro and 4th fair is organized at Kambar Taluka in the memory of Mian Shahal Muhammad Kalhoro.


Majority of the population of the District is Muslim. The culture life of the Muslims is greatly influenced by the Islamic way of life. The pirs and murshids are held in high esteem and confidence amongst the Muslim particularly bym the illiterate masses of the rural areas. Urs ceremonies of pirs are regularly held at the their shrines. The Hindus also hold great confidence in Thakurs and Brahmans. The Brahmans usually perform spiritual rites of Hindus on special occasions.

The languages mostly spoken in this District are Sindhi, Balochi, Brohi and Urdu. However, Urdu is understood by a great majority of the population. Tablas, Dholaks, sarangis, alogozas changs and mutes are the main musical instruments and are played on the occasions of marriages, betrothal, Eids and melas. Songs of different kinds are sung by men as well as women on such occasions. Gharas (pitcher) are also used to make musical-rhythm. Both men and women dance jhumar is a popular dance in this area. Women do not dance in public amongst the male audience.

Religious Places

Important Mosques Eid Gah Jamia Masjid Lahori Jamia Masjid Qasmia Masjid Allah Wari Masjid (Baqrani Road) Jafri Imam Bargah is also an important religious place. Shia Madarsa is a big under-construction project. So many other mosques are constructed by people of Larkana.

Churches St Joseph Catholic Church Protestant Church Markets and Shopping Centers Shahi Bazaar Sonarki Bazaar Resham Gali Khatan (Pickle) Bazaar Seyoo Bazaar Machhi (Fish) Market Meat Market Sabzi (Vegetable) Market Sabzi Mandi John F. Kennedy Market Awami Markaz was conctructed in Shaikh Zaid Colony area during Benazir era, but the building is now used for a school.

Larkana is also famous due to ancient civilization of INDUS "Moen Jo Daro"

Mohenjo-daro (Mound of the Dead) was one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization of south Asia situated in the province of Sind, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BCE, the city was one of the early urban settlements in the world, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The archaeological ruins of the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is sometimes referred to as "An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis"[1].Rediscovery and excavation

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BC and abandoned around 1900 BC. It was rediscovered in 1922 by Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay [1], an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India. He was led to the mound by a Buddhist monk, who believed it to be a stupa. In the 1930s, massive excavations were conducted under the leadership of John Marshall, K. N. Dikshit, Ernest Mackay, and others.[2] John Marshall's car, which was used by the site directors, is still in the Mohenjo-daro museum, showing their struggle and dedication to Mohenjo-daro. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler.

The last major excavation of Mohenjo-daro was conducted in 1964-65 by Dr. G. F. Dales. After this date, excavations were banned due to damage done to the exposed structures by weathering. Since 1965, the only projects allowed at the site have been salvage excavation, surface surveys and conservation projects. Despite the ban on major archaeological projects, in the 1980s, teams of German and Italian survey groups, led by Dr. Michael Jansen and Dr. Maurizio Tosi, combined techniques such as architectural documentation, surface surveys, surface scraping and probing, to determine further clues about the ancient civilization.[3]


Mohenjo Daro was created as a very well planned out city, its original purpose was to serve as a major trading spot and for farming.
Location of Indus Valley.


Mohenjo-daro is located in the Sindh province on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River. The ridge is now buried by the flooding of the plains, but was prominent during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. The ridge allowed the city to stand out above the surrounding plain and be elevated. The site is situated in a central position between the Indus river valley on the west and the Ghaggar-Hakra on the east. In the modern day, the Indus still flows to the east of the site, but the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed is dry. [4]

Anthropogenic construction over the years precipitated the need for expansion. To accommodate this, the ridge was expanded via giant mud brick platforms. Ultimately, the settlement grew to such proportions that some buildings reached 12 meters above the modern plain level, and probably much higher above the ancient plain.[5]


Mohenjo-daro in ancient times was most likely one of the administrative centers of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. [6] It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia, and perhaps the world, during its peak. The planning and engineering showed the importance of the city to the people of the Indus valley.[7]

The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 BC, flowered 2600–1900 BC), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient riverine civilization that flourished in the Indus river valley in ancient India (now Pakistan and the present north-west India). Another name for this civilization is the "Harappan Civilization."

The Indus culture blossomed over the centuries and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The civilization spanned much of what is now Pakistan and North India, but suddenly went into decline around 1900 BCE. Indus Civilization settlements spread as far south as the Arabian Sea coast of India in Gujarat, as far west as the Iranian border, with an outpost in Bactria. Among the settlements were the major urban centers of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, as well as Lothal.

The Mohenjo-daro ruins were one of the major centres of this ancient society. At its peak, some archaeologists opine that the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million.

To date, over a thousand cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the Indus River valley in Pakistan and northwestern India.

The language of the Indus Civilization has yet to be determined, and the real name of the city as of other excavated cities in Sindh, Punjab and Gujarat, is unknown. In Sindhi "Moan" or "Moen" means "dead(plural)" "jo" means "of" and "daro" means "mound". The literal translation of Sindhi word "Moan jo daro"(देवनागरी-मोअन जो दड़ो) or "Moen jo daro"(देवनागरी- मोएन जो दड़ो) is "Mound of the Dead."[citation needed] The transliteration "Mohenjo Daro", however, is widely used outside of Sindh province in India, and is standard among English-speaking scholars.

Architecture and urban infrastructure
Mohenjo-daro, 25 km southwest of Larkana, was centre of the Indus Valley Civilization 2600 BC-1900 BC

Mohenjo-daro is a remarkable construction, considering its antiquity. It has a planned layout based on a grid of streets, which were laid out in perfect patterns. At its height the city probably had around 35,000 residents. The buildings of the city were particularly advanced, with structures constructed of same-sized sun dried bricks of baked mud and burned wood.

The public buildings of these cities also suggest a high degree of social organization. The so-called great granary at Mohenjo-daro as interpreted by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1950 is designed with bays to receive carts delivering crops from the countryside, and there are ducts for air to circulate beneath the stored grain to dry it. However, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer has noted though, that no record of grain exists at the "granary." Thus Kenoyer suggests that a more appropriate title would be "Great Hall."[8]

Close to the granary, there is a building similarly civic in nature - a great public bath, with steps down to a brick-lined pool in a colonnaded courtyard. The elaborate bath area was very well built, with a layer of natural tar to keep it from leaking, and in the centre was the pool. Measuring 12m x 7m, with a depth of 2.4m, it may have been used for religious or spiritual ceremonies.

Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. Some of the houses included rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes. A variety of buildings were up to two stories high.

Being an agricultural city, it also featured a large well, and central marketplace. It also had a building with an underground furnace (hypocaust), possibly for heated bathing.

Mohenjo-daro was a well fortified city. Lacking actual city walls, it did have towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south. Considering these fortifications and the structure of other major Indus valley cities like Harappa, lead to the question of whether Mohenjo-daro was an administrative centre. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro share relatively the same architectural layout, and were generally not heavily fortified like other Indus Valley sites. It is obvious from the identical city layouts of all Indus sites, that there was some kind of political or administrative centrality, however the extent and functioning of an administrative centre remains unclear.

Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed and rebuilt at least seven times. Each time, the new cities were built directly on top of the old ones. Flooding by the Indus is thought to have been the cause of destruction.

The city was divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. Most of the Lower City is yet to be uncovered, but the Citadel is known to have the public bath, a large residential structure designed to house 5,000 citizens and two large assembly halls.

Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and their civilization, vanished without trace from history until discovered in the 1920s. It was extensively excavated in the 1920s, but no in-depth excavations have been carried out since the 1960s.

"The Dancing girl" artifact found in Mohenjo-daro
A clay toy from Mohenjo-daro

The "Dancing girl" found in Mohenjo-daro is an artifact that is some 4500 years old. The 10.8 cm long bronze statue of the dancing girl was found in 1926 from a house in Mohenjo-daro. She was British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler's favourite statuette, as he said in this quote from a 1973 television program:
"There is her little Baluchi-style face with pouting lips and insolent look in the eyes. She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world."

John Marshall, one of the excavators at Mohenjo-daro, described her as a vivid impression of the young ... girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet.[9]

The artistry of this statuette is recognizable today and tells of a strange, but at least fleetingly recognizable past. As the archaeologist Gregory Possehl says, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it". The statue could well be of some queen or other important woman of the Indus Valley Civilization judging from the authority the figure commands.

Seated male sculpture, the so-called "Priest King" (even though there is no evidence that either priests or kings ruled the city). This 17.5 cm tall statue is another artifact which has become a symbol for the Indus valley civilization. Archaeologists discovered the sculpture in Lower town at Mohenjo-daro in 1927. It was found in an unusual house with ornamental brickwork and a wall niche and was lying between brick foundation walls which once held up a floor.

This bearded sculpture wears a fillet around the head, an armband, and a cloak decorated with trefoil patterns that were originally filled with red pigment.

The two ends of the fillet fall along the back and though the hair is carefully combed towards the back of the head, no bun is present. The flat back of the head may have held a separately carved bun as is traditional on the other seated figures, or it could have held a more elaborate horn and plumed headdress.

Two holes beneath the highly stylized ears suggest that a necklace or other head ornament was attached to the sculpture. The left shoulder is covered with a cloak decorated with trefoil, double circle and single circle designs that were originally filled with red pigment. Drill holes in the centre of each circle indicate they were made with a specialized drill and then touched up with a chisel. Eyes are deeply incised and may have held inlay. The upper lip is shaved and a short combed beard frames the face. The large crack in the face is the result of weathering or it may be due to original firing of this object.

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