The Watch

Thatta Monuments

Thatta, Pakistan

2006 World Monuments Watch

Located about 100 kilometers east of Karachi, this windswept World Heritage Site in the Indus Valley was once a well-watered and revered destination for medieval worshippers and celebrants. Thatta was controlled by Samma rulers in the fourteenth century when the earliest Sufi monasteries and mosques at the site were built, several of which still stand. In time, numerous tombs and funerary monuments were added to the complex. The monuments, which are spread over more than ten square kilometers and located on a ridge, are exposed to harsh winds and rain while shifting of the local riverbed has caused a loss of ground water and topsoil erosion. Despite its designation as a World Heritage Site, the government lacks the resources to conserve or effectively manage Thatta.

Since the Watch

In September 2014, the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation awarded more than $260,000 for restoration of the tombs of Mir Sultan Ibrahim, the ruler of the Turkhan dynasty, and Amir Sultan Muhammad at the Makli necropolis. The Sindh government is also in the process of developing a master plan for Makli in coordination with UNESCO, which includes the construction of a boundary wall around the necropolis to protect it from encroachment. October 2014

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