Makli Hill
One of the largest necropolis
A necropolis is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek νεκρόπολις - nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead"...

es in the world, with a diameter of approximately 8 kilometers, Makli Hill is supposed to be the burial place of some 125,000 local rulers, Sufi saints and others. It is located on the outskirts of Thatta
Thatta is a historic town of 220,000 inhabitants in the Sindh province of Pakistan, near Lake Keenjhar, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Thatta's major monuments especially its necropolis at Makli are listed among the World Heritage Sites. The Shah Jahan Mosque is also listed...

, the capital of lower Sind
History of Sindh
Sindh is one of the provinces of Pakistan. Sindh was home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization.-Paleolithic and Mesolithic era:...

 until the seventeenth century, in what is the southeastern province of present-day Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981 under the name, Historical Monuments of Thatta.


Legends abound about its inception, but it is generally believed that the cemetery grew around the shrine of the fourteenth-century Sufi, Hamad Jamali. The tombs and gravestones spread over the cemetery are material documents marking the social and political history of Sind.

Imperial mausoleums are divided into two major groups, those from the Samma (1352–1520) and Tarkhan
Tarkhan is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Indo-European Tarkhan (Old Turkic Tarqan; Mongolian: Darkhan; ; ; ; alternative spellings Tarkan, Tarkhaan, Tarqan, Tarchan, Tarxan, Tarcan or Targan) is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Indo-European Tarkhan (Old Turkic...

 (1556–1592) periods. The tomb of the Samma king, Jam Nizamuddin II
Jam Nizamuddin II
Jám Nizámuddín II , جام نظام الدين ثاني ) was the most famous Ruler of the Samma Dynasty, which ruled in Sindh and parts of Punjab and Balochistan from 1351-1551 C.E. He was known by the nickname of Jám Nindó...

(reigned 1461–1509), is an impressive square structure built of sandstone and decorated with floral and geometric medallions. Similar to this is the mausoleum of Isa Khan Tarkhan II (d. 1651), a two-story stone building with majestic cupolas and balconies. In contrast to the syncretic architecture of these two monuments, which integrate Hindu and Islamic motifs, are mausoleums that clearly show the Central Asian roots of the later dynasty. An example is the tomb of Jan Beg Tarkhan (d. 1600), a typical octagonal brick structure whose dome is covered in blue and turquoise glazed tiles. Today, Makli Hill is a United Nations World Heritage Site that is visited by both pilgrims and tourists, but in need of conservation and maintenance.

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