“There is a group going to Nagarparkar this week-end…“. “Yes! I am in“. And in split of a second I decided to join the trip even before my friend finished telling me whats it all about.
The reason of this quick decision was simple. Its was the realization that despite being the self-proclaimed Passionate Traveler, I had not seen any place in the state where I was born and raised. It was the guilt that I owed to the mystical land of Sindh. I had not go – no matter what!
It turned out to be a trip beyond my imagination. A trip I started with strangers and ended with beautiful friends.
The Joy Ride
We left Karachi at mid of a full moon night. Enjoying the fun ride, making jokes, laughing, knowing people. The whole group was in festive mood. We stopped few kilometers before Mithi to observe the beautiful view of full moon on one side and rising sun from the other side.
Sun Rise Above Mithi
The weather was chilling. Some of us trekked to the hill nearby and found some abandoned Thari houses made of mud and dry bushes from the surrounding. They are made in such a way that it provide insulation from the rain and heat.
Local Thari House – Nagarparkar
Mithi – The First Milestone
We reached Mithi few hours after sunrise. It is capital of Tharparkar district with population of over 25,000 people. We took rest at the guest house and after breakfast went to Gahi Bhit, the highest point in the city. It has the monument of Amar Jagdish Kumar Milai. This spot offers breathtaking panoramic view of the city. We enjoyed local folk music at this spot.
Folk Music At Gahi Bhit – Mithi
We left Mithi around noon and stopped at a small village on the way. We managed to see the local tradition and lifestyle of the desert.
Local Thari Houses – Nagarparkar
They live a tough life with water as scarce resource. They are keeping the culture alive despite all the hardship they faced on day-to-day basis. The next stop was Islamkot where we had lunch.
Full Moon Night in Karoonjhar and Sardharo Temple
We continued the journey towards Nagarparkar. It was dark and deserted and our bus was the only vehicle riding on the road. Everyone was praying for the safety. Reaching Nagarparkar was relief for everyone. Nagarparkar – a town in district of Tharparkar is situated just 15 km from Indian border. The town is surrounded by beautiful Karoonjhar Hills which are one of the biggest source of granite. The town was under the sea once. Nagarparkar is home to various historical temples and sites.
Night View of Karoonjhar Hills – Nagarparkar
We spent the night on a small plateau in Karoonjhar Hills. Organizers arranged live folk music which along with the light of full moon on mountains created magic. Around 3am we decided to trek to ancient Sardharo temple. The temple is hidden between the mountains. We walked one kilometer on the narrow trek to reach the temple. The trek was not challenging itself but the night-time made it difficult with all the bushes, sand, rocks and small water streams on the way.
Sardharo Temple – Nagarparkar
Once we reached the temple we enjoyed the peaceful and calm environment. Sitting in the temple surrounded by hills, It felt like that we are the only people left on earth. Sardharo temple belongs to Lord Shiva. The temple consists of small praying area and pond of sacred water. It is beleived that original temple is over 5,000 years old. There are few unique tress in the area which are believed to be found only in Tibet region – thousands of miles away from Nagarparkar.
Historic Bohdesar Mosque and Jain Temples
It was finally the morning to begin our return journey. After breakfast we went to visit Bohdesar Mosque. The sign board outside the mosque introduced us to the mosque. This beautiful, small but shining white mosque, standby the side of Bohdesar Dam (Reservoir), at the foot of Karoonjhar built entirely in chaste marble by Mehmood Shah Bin Muzafar Shah Bin Ghiyas-ud-Din, the ruler of Gujrat in 1505 A.D/880 A.H, it is a doomed structure with in flounce of Hindu and Jain architectural styles and decoration. The main chamber is roughly square in plan, each side measuring about 9.2 mtrs. The main chamber is supported by marble pillars and beam. The eastern side of the main chamber, which is enclosed with a perimeter wall built in dressed local stone.
Bohdesar Mosque – Nagarparkar
We walked to the nearby Jain temple beside the reservoir known as Bohdesar Temple. The region once had significant Jain population. This beautiful temple is built in classical Tibet style with fine carving on the stones.
Beautiful Stone Carving – Jain Temple – Nagarparkar
Believed to be built in 9th century, the temple is reach through series of stone steps. Unfortunately this marvel of history is not preserved well. Walls are in stable or partially collapsed.
Tibet Style Jain Temple – Nagarparkar
There was another Jain temple few hundred meters away known as Karoonjhar temple as it is standing right at the foots of Karoonjhar hills. It was stone structure as well but was with different construction style. It had small domes on the top. The was a common prayer hall inside with several isolated prayer area on three sides.
Jain Temple – Nagarparkar
Next we climbed the rocky Karoonjhar Hills from where granite is extracted. We managed to see the spectacular view of the mountain range and surrounding.
Karoonjhar Hills – Nagarparkar
Tiring But Relaxing…
The trip lasted for more than 48 hours and most of the time was spent travelling. But this tour was full of such amazing experiences that I felt more relaxed after the trip. I wish to visit Nagarparkar once again for longer period to see the wonderful sites that I could not visit due to shortage of time.
Most of the people in the group were professional photographers and they have taken amazing shots. You can see professional photographs here.
Such a historical, cultural, wonderful place in Pakistan, definitely worth a visit.
Nagarparkar such a historical, cultural, wonderful place in Pakistan, definitely worth a visit.