CHITTORI: Heights Of Buried

By: Ayaz Ahmed Laghari

Motherland, Sindh have seen lots of rulers. Every ruler built many monuments including mosques, forts, shrines and graveyards to mark the majesty of their lives for the history, during their ruling periods in Sindh.

Talpurs are one of the rulers who ruled over Sindh with majesty and well leadership. Talpurs also fabricated many monuments, shrines, and many public welfare places. Talpurs have unique kind of architecture works which really reveals their fond of majestic fantasy of their time.

Chittori is one of the places; ancestral graveyard of Mankani Talpurs. It is situated about 17 miles from Mirpurkhas town on Sindhri road. From distance, it seemed me a yellowish colored and square broken tombs and Chhatries (umbrella) over many graves of Mirs. Chittori name had derived due to carved stones.                                            

As I got closer to the place, I found a great piece of man work, especially stone carved work which was reflecting Sindh's architecture, inspiring with varied constructions styles which spoke the majestic creature of Mirs. The base is mostly stabilized by the baked bricks but then big slabs of sandstone are jointly plastered but after observing bottom to top, I found workers had greatly balance the slabs on one another.  There was a line of chhatries there, might those chhatries were paying homage to the graves under them .Both shrines and chhatries had triangular sandstone work in every corner on the top of supporting pillars. There were tenuous works of sandstone, particularly in the grille of one of the tombs. Writing in Persian is also written through stone carving works. Floral patterns, circles, triangles and geometrical designs really stopped me to see and to say, great!

Though Chittori has strong representation of Baloch tribe particularly on the graves where geometrical designs had been made. But if we come to square chhatries and cutting of stone and balancing of slabs ,these represents the Rajasthan architecture. Last but not the least, tombs and Mehrab designing over there reflects the soul of Islam. It is wonder to know that all varied arts were carved by Sindhi stone carve workers.

Last year's flood in Mirpurkhas and heavy rainfall helped more to ruin the graveyard. Many graves have lost their shapes, designed sandstone slabs have cracked due to long rainfall. Base of the tombs are badly affected by flood, ground of graveyard seems fissure.

I had a question related to the Chittori as why some of these graves have such nice tribute by constructing this monument. I got my answer from an old aged man over there named  Ghulam Chandio who told me that many great Mirs are buried in this graveyard and he dragged me towards an old grave and said this is first Mir who was buried in Chittori named Faqeer Mir Masu Talpur who had his will to be buried here.

Mir Fateh Talpur, who had played a vital role of sustaining Sindh and helped peasants of the state, is also buried in the Chittori. Mir Sher Muhammad Talpur, renowned as Lion of British soldiers who due to bravery got the name of Sher-e-Sindh (Lion of Sindh).

It is very sad to see that great monuments as well as Mirs buried there are unknown to citizens of Mirpurkhas. Now, many tombs have been broken and cleaned out instead of beautiful art works. Graves have lost designs and beauty and broken stones are piled up there due to ignorance of place. Therefore local authorities should take some steps to prevent the Chittori and the residents should also take care of their historical assets.