Exploring the Ancient Wonders of Thatta, Pakistan

Thatta, an ancient city in Sindh, Pakistan, is home to approximately 9,82,138 inhabitants. Situated 100 kilometres away from the bustling metropolis of Karachi and around the same distance from Hyderabad, it holds significant historical importance. Despite facing challenges due to certain government policies and educational shortcomings, Thatta’s architectural wonders and literary heritage still make it a must-visit destination in Pakistan.

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Often regarded as the “Rome of Pakistan,” it has a storied past that dates back centuries. Unfortunately, various factors have led to its current status as a relatively small city with diminished significance. Nevertheless, the remnants of its splendid architecture and literary achievements continue to draw visitors from far and wide.

Graana.com has gathered information on Thatta, unveiling its enchanting attractions and shedding light on its vibrant past.




an landscape picture of thatta


Thatta, once a prominent city situated at the delta of the Indus River, served as the capital of Lower Sindh for around 95 years under the rule of the Soomro Tribe. From 1592 to 1739, it was governed under the Mughal emperors of Delhi until it was ceded to Nadir Shah of Persia following the Battle of Karnal. Afterwards, Thatta fell into neglect due to changing river courses.

There are speculations that Thatta might be the location of the ancient city of Patala, which was a significant port during the time of Alexander the Great. The Indus River’s changing course over the centuries has made identifying the precise site of Patala challenging. Some scholars suggest that Patala may refer to a city, and Thatta, with its strategic location and historical importance, is a likely candidate for this identification.


Shah Jahan Mosque


Shah Jahan Mosque Thatta


Thatta boasts several remarkable monuments, including the Jamia Mosque, also known as the Shah Jahan Mosque or Badshahi Mosque, which was constructed by Shah Jahan in 1647-49 and adorned with glazed tiles. This magnificent structure comprised 101 domes and was intelligently designed to carry the imam’s voice to every corner without the need for amplification. 

Additionally, Thatta houses the tombs of Jam Nizamuddin, Satihoo Seven Soomro Sisters, various Tarkhan rulers, and Mughal officials. The nearby Makli Hills are home to an extensive ancient necropolis with thousands of graves, making it one of the largest necropolises in the world. The tombs and mausoleums in Makli provide valuable insights into the communal structure and cultural history of Sindh from the 14th to the 18th century.


A Treasure Trove of UNESCO World Heritage Sites


a tomb in thatta


Thatta proudly boasts one of the largest numbers of UNESCO-listed monuments in Pakistan. From the time of Alexander the Great to being a favoured city of scholars, poets, and rulers, Thatta has witnessed a tapestry of historical events. Notably, Shah Jahan, the visionary behind the Taj Mahal, also constructed a mosque in Thatta that rivals the beauty of the iconic Taj Mahal and stands in remarkably good condition even today.

Thatta’s Proximity to Karachi: A Weekend Getaway

The strategic proximity of Thatta to Karachi makes it a favoured destination for visitors, especially during weekends. Karachi residents often escape to Thatta to explore its historical sites, bask in its cultural charm, and experience a refreshing change of scenery from the bustling metropolis.


Embrace the History and Culture of Thatta

Thatta, despite facing challenges, stands proud of its rich history and vibrant culture. For those seeking to immerse themselves in Pakistan’s glorious past, this ancient town offers an unforgettable journey through time. Whether it’s exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, marvelling at the Shah Jahan Mosque, or simply soaking in the atmosphere of a bygone era, Thatta promises an enriching and awe-inspiring experience.


The Mystique of Keenjhar Lake

Just a short distance away from Thatta lies the enchanting Keenjhar Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Pakistan. The lake offers a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts. Boating on the calm waters as the sun sets over the horizon is an experience that lingers in the heart. Legend has it that the tragic love story of Noori and Jam Tamachi immortalised in Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s poetry, is connected to this very lake.


Exploring the Ancient City Walls

As you wander through the streets of Thatta, you’ll encounter remnants of the city’s ancient walls. These were once enclosed in the city, providing protection and security. These walls stand as a silent witness to centuries of history, evoking a sense of nostalgia and wonder. Walking alongside these ancient fortifications, you’ll find yourself transported back in time, imagining the hustle and bustle of life within these walls during the city’s heyday.


The Allure of Kothari Parade: A Shopper’s Paradise

For those seeking a taste of local culture and craftsmanship, a visit to Kothari Parade is a must. This bustling marketplace offers a wide array of traditional handicrafts, exquisite textiles, and intricate jewellery. Moreover, the vibrant colours and intricate designs of the products are a testament to the skill and creativity of the local artisans. Exploring the bazaars of Kothari Parade is not just a shopping spree; it’s an immersion into the cultural essence of Thatta.



In conclusion, Thatta, a city steeped in history and cultural splendour, invites travellers to unravel its mysteries. From the awe-inspiring Shah Jahan Mosque to the ancient city walls, every corner of Thatta narrates a story of a bygone era. The Makli Necropolis and Keenjhar Lake add to the city’s allure, making it a destination that intrigues both history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.



Q: Where is Thatta located?

A: Thatta is a city in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is in the southeastern part of the province, near the delta of the Indus River.


Q: What is the historical significance of Thatta?

A: Thatta has a rich historical past and served as the capital of Lower Sindh during the 14th century. 


Q: Is Thatta considered to be the ancient city of Patala?

A: There are speculations that Thatta might be the site of the ancient city of Patiala. It was a major port during the time of Alexander the Great. However, the exact location of Patala remains a subject of conjecture.


Q: What are the famous monuments in Thatta?

A: Thatta is home to several notable monuments, including the Jama Mosque (Shah Jahan Mosque or Badshahi Mosque). It features impressive glazed tiles and 101 domes. The city also has various tombs of historical figures and a vast necropolis at the nearby Makli Hills.


Q: What can be seen at the Makli Necropolis?

A: The Makli Necropolis, located a few kilometres away from Thatta, is one of the largest necropolises in the world. It houses numerous tombs and mausoleums. They provide valuable insights into Sindh’s history and cultural heritage from the 14th to the 18th century.


Q: How was Thatta affected by the 2010 floods?

A: In August 2010, Thatta experienced significant devastation during the floods that struck Pakistan. The combination of flooded river water and high tide. It caused extensive damage, forcing many residents to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.


Q: What is unique about the Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta?

The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta. This mosque, known for its exquisite tile work, features 33 arches and 93 domes of different sizes.


Q: How can one reach Thatta from Karachi?

A: Thatta is located approximately 100 kilometres from Karachi. By road, the journey takes around two to three hours, depending on the mode of transportation and traffic conditions.


Q: What is the current condition of Thatta’s historical monuments?

The authorities protect Thatta’s historical monuments, including the Jama Mosque and the Makli Necropolis, due to their cultural significance. They make efforts to preserve and maintain these structures in order to showcase the city’s rich heritage to visitors and tourists.

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