Makli Hill Tombs, Unesco World Heritage Site, Thatta, Sind (Sindh), Pakistan
One of the largest necropolises in the world, with a diameter of approximately 8 kilometers, Makli Hill is supposed to be the burial place of some 125,000 Sufi saints. It is located on the outskirts of Thatta, the capital of lower Sindh until the seventeenth century, in what is the south-eastern province of present-day Pakistan.
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 (1556–1592) periods. The tomb of the Samma king, Jam Nizamuddin II (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.