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Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta

Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta

The capital of three successive dynasties and later ruled by the Mughal emperors of Delhi, Thatta was constantly embellished from the 14th to the 18th century. The remains of the city and its necropolis provide a unique view of civilization in Sind.

Monuments historiques à Makli, Thatta

Capitale de trois dynasties successives, puis possession des empereurs moghols de Delhi, Thatta n'a cessé d'être embellie du XIVe au XVIIIe siècle. Les vestiges de la ville et de sa nécropole offrent un témoignage unique sur la civilisation du Sind.

نصب تحتا التاريخية

كانت عاصمة أنظمة الحكم الثلاثة المتتالية، ثم مِلكاً لاباطرة مغول دلهي. كانت تحتا تُجمَّل على الدوام من القرن الرابع عشر حتى القرن الثامن عشر. فتدلّ آثار المدينة ومقبرتها الكبيرة على حضارة السند وهي الشاهد الوحيد على وجودها.

source: UNESCO/ERI

塔塔城的历史建筑

塔塔城连续被三个王朝选作国都,后来由德里的莫卧尔国王统治。从14世纪到18世纪塔塔城一直在装修。这座城市的遗迹和公共墓地是信德省文化中独特的景观。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Исторические памятники в городе Татта

Столица трех местных династий, а затем управляемый императорами династии Великих Моголов из Дели, город Татта последовательно улучшал свой облик в XIV-XVIII вв. Остатки города и его некрополь представляют собой уникальные свидетельства цивилизации в исторической области Синд.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Monumentos históricos de Thatta

Capital de tres dinastías sucesivas, antes de caer bajo la dominación de los emperadores mogoles de Delhi, la ciudad de Thatta se embelleció continuamente entre los siglos XIV y XVIII. Los vestigios de esta urbe y de su necrópolis son un testimonio excepcional de la civilización del Sind.

source: UNESCO/ERI

タッターの文化財

source: NFUAJ

Historische monumenten in Makli, Thatta

Thatta is de hoofdstad van drie opeenvolgende dynastieën en werd later geregeerd door de Mogol keizers van Delhi. De oude stad werd van de 14e tot de 18e eeuw voortdurend verfraaid. Binnen het brede geheel van islamitische monumenten vertegenwoordigen die van Thatta een bepaald type waarbij verschillende invloeden zijn versmolten tot een lokale stijl. Hierbij is de Grote moskee van Shah Jahan uniek met zijn blauwe en witte gebouwen afgedekt met 93 koepels. De overgebleven (bak)stenen monumenten zijn van hoge kwaliteit en de overblijfselen van de stad en haar necropolis geven een uniek beeld van de beschaving in Sind.

Source: unesco.nl

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View of Nizam al-Din Tomb with polygon pavilion © UNESCO
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Near the apex of the delta of the Indus River in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh is an enormous cemetery possessing half a million tombs and graves in an area of about 10 km2. Massed at the edge of the 6.5 km-long plateau of Makli Hill, the necropolis of Makli – which was associated with the nearby city of Thatta, once a capital and centre of Islamic culture – testifies in an outstanding manner to the civilization of the Sindh from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

The vast necropolis of Makli is among the largest in the world. Kings, queens, governors, saints, scholars, and philosophers are buried here in brick or stone monuments, some of which are lavishly decorated with glazed tiles. Among the outstanding monuments constructed in stone are the tombs of Jam Nizamuddin II, who reigned from 1461 to 1509, and of lsa Khan Tarkhan the Younger and of his father, Jan Baba, both of whose mausolea were constructed before 1644. The most colourful is that of Diwan Shurfa Khan (died in 1638). The unique assemblage of massive structures presents an impressive order of monumental buildings in different architectural styles. These structures are notable for their fusion of diverse influences into a local style. These influences include, among others, Hindu architecture of the Gujrat style and Mughal imperial architecture. Distant Persian and Asian examples of architectural terra-cotta were also brought to Makli and adapted. An original concept of stone decoration was created at Makli, perhaps determined by the imitation of painted and glazed tile models. The historical monuments at the necropolis of Makli stand as eloquent testimonies to the social and political history of the Sindh.

Criterion (iii): The historical monuments at Makli, Thatta testify in an outstanding manner to the civilization of the Sindh region from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The site preserves in a state of exceptional integrity an imposing monumental complex comprised of the remains of the necropolis, massed at the edge of the Makli plateau and covering an area of about 10 km2.

Integrity

Within the boundaries of the property are located all the elements and components necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including the tombs and graves located in the necropolis of Makli. Nevertheless, a number of the historical monuments have reached an advanced stage of degradation. The integrity of the property is threatened by the significant decay caused by the local climatic conditions (earthquakes, variations in temperature, winds containing salts and humidity, heavy rains, natural growth) and the shift of the riverbed. In addition, encroachments and vandalism threaten the site, and damage and loss by pilferage have assumed colossal proportions.

Authenticity

The historical monuments at Makli, Thatta, are authentic in terms of their forms and design, materials and substance, and locations and setting. Because elements of the property are in an advanced state of decay and disintegration, however, the authenticity of the property is threatened, particularly concerning the materials and forms of the monuments. Unless scientific action is taken to reduce the threats to the property, irremediable damage will be caused.

Protection and management requirements

The Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta, is a protected antiquity in terms of the Antiquities Act, 1975, passed by the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Constitution (18th Amendment) Act 2010 (Act No. X of 2010), bestowed the Government of Sindh with full administrative and financial authority over all heritage sites located in its province. The Culture Department of the Provincial Government of Sindh is responsible for the management and protection of the Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta.  The site is staffed by a curator, archaeological conservator, technical assistant, supporting staff, and attendants. Funding comes from the Provincial Government of Sindh; this funding is recognised as inadequate.

Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time will require developing and implementing an emergency action plan to address urgent measures necessary for the security and the stabilisation of structures; completing, approving, and implementing the Comprehensive Master Plan and a Management Plan for the property; defining the precise boundaries of the property and the buffer zone; preparing a condition report for all monuments and tombs; taking appropriate measures to stabilise the tomb of Jam Nizamuddin II; and implementing an overall monitoring programme.

Long Description

The archaeological site of Thatta and the necropolis of Makli testify in an outstanding manner to the civilization of Sind from the 14th to the 18th centuries. Within the broad family of Islamic monuments, those of Thatta represent a particular type, notable for the fusion of diverse influences into a local style. The effect of the Grand Mosque of Shah Jahan with its complex of blue and white buildings capped by 93 domes is unique.

From the 14th to the 18th centuries, Thatta played an important role in the history of Sind, as the city, which commanded the delta of the Indus, had been successively the capital of the Samma, Argun and Tarkhan dynasties before being governed from 1592 to 1739 in the name of the Mughal emperors of Delhi.

From 1739, when the province of Sind was ceded to the Shah Nadir of Iran, Thatta entered into a period of decadence and neglect. The site preserves, in a state of exceptional integrity, an imposing monumental complex with the remains of the city itself in the valley and especially those of the necropolis, massed at the edge of the Makli plateau, covering a distance of about 12 km.

The four centuries that comprise the golden age of Thatta have left their traces on the form of monuments of high quality in stone and brick. Among those in stone are the tombs of Jam Nizammudin, who reigned from 1461 to 1509, and those of Isa Khan Tarkhan the Younger and of his father, Jan Baba, both of which were constructed before 1644. Among the edifices in brick and glazed tiles are the mosque of Dabgir, that of Shah Jahan (1644-47) and numerous mausolea, and tombs of which the most colourful is that of Diwan Shurfa Khan (died 1638).

If the tomb of Jam Nizamuddin establishes evident ties with Hindu architecture of the Gujerat style and the influence of Mughal imperial architecture, it is in no way a simple copy. At Thatta, an original concept of stone decoration was born, perhaps using glazed tile models. Even in the area of architectural terracotta, the distant examples of Persia and Asia were transposed. Neither in their technique nor in their colour do the monuments of Thatta resemble those of Lahore.

The salt air carried by the monsoons has an extremely harmful and corrosive effect on the brick, rendering the preservation of a large number of monuments of the Makli plateau highly precarious.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC