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World Heritage Site at Makli

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World Heritage Site at Makli

One of the largest necropolises in the world, with a diameter of approximately 12 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 southeastern province of present-day Pakistan.

The archaeological site of Thatta and the necropolis of Makli testify in an outstanding manner to the civilization of Sindh 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. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981 under the name, ‘Historical Monuments of Thatta’.

In continuation of its numerous interventions in the past, UNESCO is currently working on the condition survey of the shrine of Jam Nizamuddin, one of the most exquisite and comparatively better standing shrine of the necropolis. However, the structure in the recent years has been found developing a slight tilt, which may cause its standing walls to collapse over the coming years. In order to conserve this beautiful shrine, UNESCO has initiated its condition survey through Heritage Foundation, following which a conservation plan will be developed for the Site.

During her mission in Sindh in August, 2011, UNESCO Director/ Representative in Pakistan paid visit to the shrine of Jam Nizamuddin and other places of World Heritage site. The representatives of Culture Department and Directorate of Archaeology, Government of Sindh, and Heritage Foundation accompanied the Director for an overview on deteriorating condition of certain shrines.

During the floods in 2010, the World Heritage site was used as the only safe haven for thousands of flood affected families, staying here until the floods receded from their villages and towns. Resultantly, certain areas at the site have been affected by the careless human contact and with the accumulation of garbage.

Importance of cleaning of the site together with establishing of buffer zone was highlighted as the significant first steps in conservation of the World Heritage Site. Government of Sindh seems committed to take these steps as the responsibility for conserving and looking after the site has been shifted to the provincial government after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.