Hitchhiker’s guide to Sindh (Episode 3)

We sat on a local bus to go to Kot Digi Fort.  It was at the distance of few kilometers from Sukkur . It took almost half an hour to reach there and  few of us completed their sleep in those thirty minutes.

Kot Digi Fort also known as Ahmedabad Fort is situated about 25 miles east of Indus river at the edge of Nara Relistan Desert. Fort was built by Mir Suhrab Khan Talpur. The Fort is built on a limestone hill which is about 110 feet high. The walls of Fort rise 30 feet high. The walls of Fort are segmented by 50 bastions and its 18km outer perimeter follows double crescent shaped contours of hill. The Fort is divided by three elephant proof doors into three overlapping levels. The Fort was built to get advantage on the enemies. It was considered invincible and throughout history it was never been attacked.

Though the time has taken its toll, the magnanimity of this Fort was still obvious. The corridors in the Fort were inter connected thus they seemed perplexing. The Fort was three storyed and designed to guarantee the safety of the royals. The Kings courtyard and the royal kitchen are on the third story of the Fort and are a display of ancient architecture.  The third storyed was constructed with the intention of providing security to the royals till the last moment in case of invasion. As we walked through the corridors, our curious minds kept thinking how safe this Fort actually was for the royals during wars. Therefore we began to narrate an imaginary war story set in this wonderful Fort.  Our imaginary war story was heavily inspired by the “Game of Thrones” hence the brave prince in this story was trapped inside the Fort despite fighting with valor. There was a mention of fire breeding dragons in the story that flew to distant jungle before the Fort was finally blown up by the enemy.  It took us a while to cook up this imaginary tale.  However Majid and Zeeshan were annoyed when I informed them of my desire of making a movie based on this story one day.  One has to admit that historic places usually maintain an aura of mystery hence visitors are often compelled to think how these places actually looked.

 Our next destination was “Ghambit” where our friend Arslan was supposed to be waiting for us. Ghambit despite being a small town had many places worth visiting. Arslan had still not arrived so we decided to take tea  meanwhile. The tea was very good and so was the tea seller. Arslan after some time arrived accompanied by his friend Sameer and Vishwas. The object of interest in this was the Shrine of of “Hazrat Sachal Sarmast”. Lgend has it that water drawn from the well at the back of the shrine was used by the sick in hope of health and blessings. It is believed that this particular well has an unground connection to the well at Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine. Qawali being greatly admired by the visitors attracts large crowds to this particular shrine. One of our purposes of visiting Multan to was to hear Qawals perform live however our desired could not be fulfilled there. However here we got a chance to listen to live Qawali. Arslan’s friend knew the caretaker of the shrine , so an exclusive Qawali session was arranged for us away from the large crowd of visitors. We listened to the qawwals performance on  the poetry of Sarmat’s  in Sindhi which was later translated by Arslan for our understanding. Some parts from Sarmat’s poetry translated into Urdu were also recited. We had the experience of dancing which was beyond words and still makes me excited as I recall those moments. . The Qawali session ended with Ho Jamalo thus fulfilling our desire of listening live Qawali. We were taken to a popular restaurant for dinner by our hosts where we had the privilege of having a delicious fried chicken with a squeeze of lemon. This dish was so delicious and we often feel like having it again but none of the restaurants in our home town offers this dish.  The night was spent peacefully at a guest house however in the morning after breakfast we expressed our desire of visiting the shrine of “Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jellani”. Unfortunately we were informed that we could not visit the shrine as it was being renovated. Therefore we said to ourselves that we have already visited so many shrines hence skipping this particular shrine is not a big deal.

To Be Continued



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