ANOTHER Hidden GEM … This Time SINDH!

April 27, 2021

So off we went, the five of us, on Friday to Ranikot & Mohenjo-Daro.  3½ hours from Karachi, life completely changed once we got onto the N55 H’way.

For me, it was a photo & astro-photography trip; for my friends, already pros, had photography work with the Sindh Culture department.  Naturally, we couldn’t have chosen a “better” time to go … 40⁰+C in the day (but it dropped to 18⁰ at night and early morning).

We arrived Ranikot Fort around 5.30pm and promptly started our photography sessions of Merikot Fort. Within Ranikot Fort, are additional defensive walls and another Fort- Merikot Fort. This was apparently the palace of the royal family.

History of Ranikot is available at https://antiquities.sindhculture.gov.pk/index.php/antiquities-sites/fort/rani-kot-fort-jamshoro & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranikot_Fort and I’m not going into the history at this point; suffice to say, it was a very different experience from what I envisaged.  The Fort itself is built like the Great Wall of China- connected over mountain tops, spanning around 30 km, with guard towers, fortified walls (see below) and even another fort on the mountain top.  This is the OUTER and main defense. 

After a delicious meal prepared by the restaurant owner, Abdul Qader Gabol, we started light photography.  We couldn’t do any astrophotography as it was very dusty and the the Milky Way wasn’t visible the whole night. 

Light photography was a new experience for me!

I slept at 1.30am late night and got woken at 5.45am to see the sunrise.  What a temperature difference- it was so cool and pleasant on waking up.

Next day, after a simple yet delicious breakfast, we set off to see one of the four entry gates of Ranikot.  Absolutely amazing.

I climbed up 300 steps (apprx. 300 feet) and yet there were about another 200 steps to go, at which time I decided to call it quits and walk down again.  Looking at the Wall from where I stood, reminded me of Mulan (movie)- it felt so real.

Not only will I return, with my family, but we’ll walk to the top of the entry wall!  Let it not be said the Fort conquered our will & stamina 😊!

From there we made our way another 3½ hours to Mohenjo-Daro on the N55.

Walking around, albeit in the heat, was still an experience – this site reminded me of our visit to Pompei in the ‘1970s!

After another delicious dinner, we packed off to bed at 9pm! … so as to awake at 3am for the astrophotography.

This was an absolutely new experience for me.  Using the controls of the camera to capture the stars and the Milky Way and no flash or astronomy equipment.

The purpose of writing this is to show just one of many tourist sites Pakistan has to offer, in this case in the province of Sind.  Over these 3 days, I came to identify multi-tourist activities for a variety of interests/enthusiasts –

  • Overlanding
  • Off roading
  • Adventure
  • Historical/cultural interests
  • Hiking/mountain climbing
  • Photography & Astrophotography
  • Wildlife photography (there are wolves here!)
  • Flora & fauna
  • …or just plain bumming (chillin’) away!

What’s the problem you ask?  The problem is these “gems”, like so so many others, is not promoted to – forget foreigners – our domestic tourists.  It’s taken 53 years for me to get here- how many others are missing this experience!?

One amateur/novice photographer (me) in a lot of four other professionals … a great learning experience!

Next Stop – MITHI !

Our Ultimate MOTHER … Earth!

January 23, 2020

Courtesy- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM&feature=emb_title

Several posts this week made me sit up and think critically … “what are we doing to our mother Earth!

Firstly, Conservation International’s “Nature is Speaking”, on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM&feature=emb_title, impacted me the most – I implore you to see this short video but it’s MOST STRIKING excerpts are given below-

QUOTE

“             … I don’t really need people.  But people need me.  Yes, your future depends on me.

When I thrive, you thrive.  When I falter, you falter.  Or worse.

How you choose to live each day, whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me.

Your actions will determine your fate.  Not mine.  I am nature.  I will go on …”

UNQUOTE

                              CHILLING …yes!

Then, Denmark’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Rolf Holmboe, opined in https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/601152-who-s-afraid-of-renewables.  Again, an EYE-OPENER and again I request you to read this short and very interesting piece, the excerpts of which are –

QUOTE

  1. Globally performing economies are the ones transitioning fastest to renewable electricity production
  2. Renewable energy [can] form the baseload in producing electricity (more than 80 percent of electricity used in Denmark is now generated from renewables)
  3. The only way to make the energy sector viable in Pakistan is transitioning to renewable [which can] offer affordable prices to consumers

UNQUOTE

Pakistan is RICH in solar, wind & water sources – just misused!  There are but a few countries in the world that can boast these resources concurrently.  A few business houses like GUL AHMED have started wind turbines but more needs to be done by more people.

Then, there’s 17-year old Greta Thunberg’s message on climate change “Our House Is Still on Fire”https://nyti.ms/3auVR0m.

Here, we have young, teen activists bringing our doom to our attention – why can’t we, as adults, understand our actions are killing the very ‘hand that feeds us’Mother EarthWhy can’t we think of our future!?

Lastly, I had written about recycling & harvesting rain water https://dinshawavari.com/2019/08/08/and-the-rains-are-upon-us/ in August 2019. 

We have rain…we have water from our melting snows… It’s just a matter of harnessing natural sourcesto sustain … LIFE!

               Indeed, as Rolf concludes, “Where does Pakistan want to be?”