west bank of the Indus, 350 miles from Karachi lies
Moenjodaro (Mound of the Dead), an archaeological site which
has been rated amongst the most spectacular of the world's
ancient cities. Considered one of the earliest and most
developed of urban civilizations, Moenjodaro flourished from
the third to the middle of the second millennium B.C., when
it vanished, leaving only traces of its culture. Moenjodaro,
along with Harappa - some 800 miles away - formed part of
the Indus valley civilizations and it is now generally
believed that these were the cities, referred to in the
Rigveda, that were destroyed by Aryan invaders.
The urban planning at Moenjodaro was pragmatic and at a high
level. Its main thoroughfares were some 300 feet wide and
were crossed by straight streets that formed blocks 400
yards in length and 200/300 yards in width. The walls of the
city's mud-brick and baked-brick houses were designed to
ensure the safety of its occupants so that in times of
earthquakes the structures collapsed outwards. It had an
elaborate covered drainage system, soak pits for disposal
bins, a state granary, a large and imposing building that
could have been a palace, and a citadel mound with solid
burnt-brick towers on its margin. Judging from the remains,
the Great Hall was probably the most striking of its
structures, comprising an open quadrangle with verandahs of
four sides, galleries and rooms at the back, a number of
halls and a large bathing pool perhaps used for religious or
Hyderabad, once the capital of Sindh and now the third largest
city of Pakistan, is one of the oldest cities of the sub-continent.
Its history dates back to pre-Islamic times, when Ganjo
Taken (barren hill), a nearby hilly tract, was used as a
place of worship. The city traces its early history to Neroon,
a Hindu ruler of the area from whom the city derived its
previous name, "Neroon Kot" (Fort of Neroon).
The next important phase of its history began when the Indus
changed its course from Khudabad.
The monuments of the Kalhora and Talpur rulers and the
bazaars of the city are worth visiting. Stretching from
Hyderabad fort to the Market Tower is Shahi Bazaar, where
well-stocked shops are housed on both sides of a winding
street, and alongside a maze of tiny lanes that run off
it. Good buys are calico, embroidery, bracelets, lacquered
wood furniture, hand-loom cloth, "sousi" and "ajrak",
"rilli", block printed colorful "chadars"
(shawls) bangles, shoes and glazed tiles. Hyderabad is connected
with the main cities of the country by road, rail and air
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