The Remarkable Historical Cemetery known as The Chaukhandi situated 29 km (18 miles) east of the city Karachi on National Highway near the Landhi Town. Once it was Part of Malir in Sindhi know as ” Mulk Malir ” in ancient stories which is now merged with the huge massive metropolitan city of Karachi. The Chaukhandi tombs are remarkable for the elaborate and exquisite stone carving, almost the same presents the Makli’s Historical Art work.
The style of architecture is typical only to the region of Sindh, and unique in that it is found nowhere else in the Islamic world. Generally, the elements are attributed to Jokhio also known as the family graveyard of Jokhio tribe, some people of Baluch tribe also buried were built between the 15th and 18th centuries.
This type of graveyard, in Sindh and Baluchistan, is unique with their orientation from south to north. These graves are constructed in buff sandstone. Their carved decoration presents exquisite craftsmanship. These graves were constructed either as single graves or as groups of up to eight graves raised on a common platform.
Their primary sarcophagus has six vertical slabs, with two long slabs standing on each side of the grave covering the length of the body and the remaining two vertical slabs covering the head and foot side. These six slabs are covered by a second sarcophagus consisting of six more vertical slabs similar but in size giving the grave a pyramid shape. This upper (second sarcophagus) is further covered with four or five horizontal slabs and the topmost (third) sarcophagus is set vertically with its northern end carved into a knob known as a crown or a turban. These tombs are embellished, besides with geometrical designs and motifs, with figural representations such as mounted horsemen, hunting scenes, arms, jewellery etc..
These Historical Treasures are disappearing quickly since the government is not paying proper attention at all, It was my first visit there in my whole life.
I was sad to see the 70 percent of the graves has been destroyed, some of which are remaining I was able to see someone has given the extra pillars to them stand, There was no proper boundary, it is almost covered by Oil Tankers auto parts and repairing open garages when you turn from Nation Highway, It’s difficult to even find the Chukhandi Sign Board, but Thank God It is still there, Once you make a turn to enter, you will be surprised to see that Historical Site’s Main Gate There is no security Guard nor in has properly Wall to wall covered. Does our Government Consider this as History Cemetery anymore or not?
The Resemblance just as the Makli one of the Ancient and Historical Cemetery, Not far from Chukhandi It has the same SandStone Art Work can be seen, In The Cemetery even new graves as built, mostly Marble next to the old Stone work but beside all these, I was amazed to see the Glass Art work inside the dome very finely crafted and finishing, which personally I was not expecting.
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Seeing from outside you wouldn’t be expecting such a spectacular Sandstone and Glass Art work from side but surely the outlook will gives you the hint, that either this one has been well-preserved or recently added.
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Since there was no one to guide me all I was able to find out what was mentioned above that This It’s Late JAM Madad Ali Khan S/o JAM BijarKhan Jakhio, Birth : 24th December, 1923 and Died on Friday 8th February 2008. I Wish Happy Belated Birthday to since I was just a day after he was born 25th but almost the turn of the century, after paying my respects ( Fatiah ) May Allah Place his Soul in Jannat Ul Firdos. I moved on exploring more from this Historical Cemetery from which mostly I was disappointed to see that Historical Treasures aren’t being treasured as the way they supposed to be, World over The Nations give importance to Historical places, such as this one many others exists in entire Pakistan, But Specially in Sindh I have noticed that Only Bhambhore City (Gateway of Islam in Sub Continent ) , Mohen Jo Daro ( The Death Valley ) Indus Civilization and Malki Grave Yard ( known as the City of the Silence ) so far preserved by the Archaeology department, Rest are all left on their own and Chukhandi is one of those prominent Historic sites which requires attention by Tourist and Archaeology Department and proper setup to preserve this Historical Cemetery.
I wouldn’t talk about entire Pakistan which so far I have explored 75 percent and I have seen the beautiful landscapes and Historical Sites but the Sindh Province which has highly valuable Historic Sites, from Indus Civilization , Umer kot ( Thar Parkar ) , Chukhandi , Bhambore , Sukkur , Hyderabad, Makli ( Thatta ) , Ranikot , Fort DG ( Ranipur ) etc… These are the fine traces of the history of this remarkable land which I call Home, I feel proud to be the son of this Soil.
If we didn’t save these Historical sites now than next generations wouldn’t even bother to know anything, It is up to the people, just as the way Recently added in 2008 in the same manners of ancient tradition we must highlight these issues and request the government not only to preserve them but promote Tourism at-least at National level, because I am sure, 80 Percent of the people in Karachi never been here nor they know does it even exists, it is because there is no Safe passage to reach this area nor the properly guided on the Map.
It doesn’t make any sense to me that there is no physical route guidance highlighted but we all have to use Google Maps or GPS Navigation to reach Chukhandi.
Great Nations are known with the historical backgrounds, so far all I can say that People of Pakistan are very fortunate but literally they are under estimating the value of these Historical Treasures.
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By: Farhan Imaan F.Abro