Bhambore Fort: The Ruins of a Civilization
People often complain about how there are no exciting destinations within Karachi. Well, just a few kilometers from toll plaza lies an ancient heaven; the Bhambore fort. This fort has been occupied on and off by civilizations spanning from the great Indus Valley Civilization to the base camp of Muhammad Bin Qasim. The stronghold from which he spread Islam across modern-day Pakistan, eventually abandoned because of a change in the course of the Indus River.
No one really knows why this magnificent structure was eventually deserted. It is home to the oldest mosque in the subcontinent dating back to 727 AD. The historical significance of this site is brought to life by the on-site Bhambore museum curated by Government of Sindh. There are hundreds of historical artifacts to appreciate, dating from as far back as 100 B.C. The tour guide has extensive knowledge of the history of the area, he narrates mystical stories of love and destruction centered around the historical fort. You can get a snapshot of the lives of people who used to live in these prehistoric times, with well-preserved artifacts from all areas of their lives, e.g. currency, pottery, kitchen utensils, etc. The fort itself is a beauty, with a nominal admission fee. For PKR 1500 you can rent a guest house right outside the fort boundary; anyone can enjoy these sights of a breathtaking sunset over the Indus River Delta.
I enjoyed resting the guest house garden, overlooking the fort and imagining the thousands of ships of Bin Qasim’s army being docked at the port. The scenic beauty is amazing, by nightfall stars illuminate the horizon. Be sure to stay on your best behavior, as littering and vandalism is strictly not allowed. The government of Sindh is trying to get Bhambore registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One negative of this site is that it doesn’t have any eatery or nearby shop available for refreshments or food, this means you’ll have to bring everything you need with you. For a meal, you can always drive to nearby highway restaurants, a mere 10-minute drive. This is definitely a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the concrete jungle of Karachi.