Sunday, December 28, 2008

Road Trip Contd...

The next part of my journey took me to interior Sindh, that is Sehwan and Hyderabad. We started off early in the morning and reached the famous old and historic city of Sehwan in 3 hrs and 40 mins. The road is quite remarkable especially from Jamshoro to Sehwan.

Road is double between Karachi and Jamshoro, called as Super Highway,it was fun to drive on it. All the heavy traffic moving up country moves through this road, so one must keep in mind to respect these "big guys" otherwise trouble is not far off.

As we left the highway and turned left towards Jamshoro, i was appalled to see the sight of so many universities all around. Our guide told us that there were around five universities in total in this tiny place, WOW.

As we sped past the town there was a sight i will never forget. There is a big power generation unit along the road just on the outskirts of Jamshoro. The steam that was coming out was so thick that it engulfed the entire area along with the huge chimneys that were there beside the plant. It was a scene out of a sci fiction movie, simply amazing.

The road here is single but is in excellent condition, there is not much to see around less some small cities and and a massive area of barren and semi stony area all around.

The main towns en route are Sun and Amri. If someone remembers the Sindhi nationalist leader GM Sayed, well he hails from this town, we were fortunate enough to see a little glimpse of his ancestral home (havali). The family has given a small portion of their building to the bank and we had tea and snacks at the bank before some of the parts of this historic building was shown to us.

There is a famous fort there as well, but as it was few kms down the dirt track, so we regretted the offer and went ahead towards Sehwan.

The other fascinating place was "air conditioned mahjid", sounds strange, it did to me as well. This is a small masjid built at the mouth of a large cave and and is cooled by the icy winds that come through the cave and make you feel as if one has entered an air conditioned room. This part is famous for its ultra high temperatures exceeding 60 degrees during summers, and such cool atmosphere in the middle of the scorching heat attracts flocks of crowds mostly truck drivers and bus passengers who stay there cool off a bit and move on to their destination.

The next destination was the shrine of Lal Shebaz Qalander. It is is situated in the heart of the city and one has to travel through crowded and narrow roads and streets to get to it. But it is beautiful place to be at, there are many other personalities that are burried along the Qalander.

The trip to the shrine complex was great, first we went to the main shrine, there the person at the grave hit me with a peacock feather, then gave me a shawl, we went outside there was another grave there, there the procedure was to move from counter clockwise direction for the visit, we did that.

Came out in the open space where the "dhaml" was going on. "Dhamal" is a dance done along the beat of a drum and the dancer(s) move in circles to the tune of the beat and this is really a sight to watch. It can be best described as a final moment of a cricket, football or a NFL match, where the decision can go either way.

After witnessing that upbeat performance, we beg leave and started back to our journey to yet another old but beautiful city that is Hyderabad.

It is situated along river Indus and is a beautiful city, but alas a missmanaged city now. We were there by noon and after having a little rest went out to explore the city.

There is a famous market known as "resham gali" or silk street, very romantic name but totally opposite ion appearance. Next stop was the two forts in the city now totally inhibited by the locals and no tourist can have a in depth visit, just a broad brush.

Then there are several beautiful markets and shopping arcades in the down town called as "sadar". The best "rabri" is available there and the mention of hyderabad will be incomplete without mentioning the famous, Bombay bakers. I went there on demand, but honestly i was so thrilled once i entered the shop but all that went down the drain once i saw it from the inside. All my imagination just came shattering down as it was not the shop that every one told me about, but then as the tradition goes i also got a chocolate cake from there and went out in dismay.

Last but not the least, the big attraction for the night was the dinner at hyderabad gymkhana. It is located just in the center of all the mess but the place itself is beautiful, and the we had the best they had to offer.My persoanl favourite was chiken wings and mutton brown and the icing on the cake was fruit triffle.

That was the end of the trip and i don't remember that i woke up for a single second till the moment the car stopped at the hotel in Karachi.

The next adventure point is Coastal Highway, so stay tuned for the adventure there as well.

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