Exploring the Legacy of Thatta

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On Saturday, 17th of February 2018, a group of 41 students of grade VII along with 5 teachers visited Thatta and Makli city. After offering Fajar prayers in Husami Masjid, we left Karachi. Children were keyed up in anticipation of the wayfaring that waited ahead. The way to the city of Makli was breathtakingly beautiful because of the foggy and chilly weather that covered the roads.

MAKLI NECROPOLIS:

Distance from Karachi: 98 km east of Karachi.

Time Duration required for travelling: 2 hours.

Makli necropolis was the first stop, where children explored the somber silence in the grand graveyard. The site houses approximately 1 million tombs built over the course of 400 years. The necropolis also features several funerary monuments belonging to royalties, various Sufi saints and esteemed scholars. The children were awed after witnessing the carvings on the tombs. While leaving the necropolis, the children insisted on watching the famous mongoose and snake fight show which was exhibited by the snake charmer.

Learning Outcome:

Students were able to identify the historical landscape of Makli city. They came to know that it is one of the historical heritage sites of the world other than being the biggest necropolis of the world, where people from all walks of life including saints, royals, scholars and common man are buried. This was integrated with their Social Studies lesson whereby they are encouraged to learn about the sights and people of Pakistan as well as its rich history.

 

 

 

KELRI LAKE (KEENJHAR):

Distance from Karachi: 122 km east of Karachi.

After visiting the necropolis at the city of Makli, the group set forth to the Kelri Lake that is also called Keenjhar Lake. It is the second largest fresh water lake in Pakistan. The children were excited to see the vast reserve of water as they have already studied that it is responsible for the water supply of Karachi city and Thatta district.

The children were also fortunate to see migratory birds over there like duck, geese and flamingos. Children were informed that because of these migratory birds, Kelri is considered a wildlife sanctuary. The Sindhi legend of Noori Jam Tamachi took place around the lake. To this day there is a shrine in the middle of the lake marking Noori’s grave. Every day hundreds of devotees visit the shrine. The students visited the shrine by a boat ride. The ride was stimulating. Everybody was delighted at the end of the ride.Learning Outcome:

Students were able to compare and contrast the geographical conditions of the lake with that of Sea view in Karachi. They saw the shrine of Noori and realized that the epic folk love tale related to the cultural history of the area. They also discovered that the lake is now protected by the government as wetland.

The boat ride in itself was an experience many enjoyed for the first time. It was an ideal example of learning with fun and creating lifetime memories.

 

CHILYA BAND DAM, THATTA:

It is a dam built for storing the water of Kelri Lake and supplying it to Karachi and Thatta district. The students saw the dam on the way to ShahJahani mosque, Thatta. Locals were playing by diving in the fresh water of the dam. Children had a brief 15 minute stay at the dam as it was on the way to Thatta city.

Learning outcome: The structure of the dam and its working was explained and integrated with the Pakistan Studies chapter on resources of Pakistan. They learnt how water is stored and how its presence is an asset for the people of a country.

SHAHJEHANI MOSQUE, THATTA:

Distance from Karachi: 108.9 kms

The students were eager to visit the next stop that was, Shahjehani mosque in the city of Thatta. The Shah Jahan mosque of Thatta is a 17th century building that serves as a central mosque for the city of Thatta. The mosque is renowned for its famous brick work and geometric patterns- a decorative element that is unusual in Mughal architecture. The mosque was built by emperor Shahjahan, who bestowed it to the city as a token of gratitude. There, students interviewed a local who told them that the mosque is influenced by central Asian architecture. The students also spotted the Persian inscriptions on the walls of the mosque.

Learning Outcome:

Students were able to apply their mathematical skills when they spotted the brick work geometrical designs. The students were excited to behold the actual mosque whose picture they have seen in their Social Studies text book.

Students also found out the historical significance of architecture and the ways of preserving it for future generations, so that they can reflect the grandeur of the Mughal era and the importance of Sindh as a province.

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