The site is located approximately ten kilometres south-west of Jhangara village, ten kilometres north-west of Bandhni, and seven kilometres south-east of Nuka. The site is 320 meters N-S long, 300 meters E-W wide, 26 meters high and covers an area of 96,000 square meters. Damb Buthi is located near the north-eastern end of the Bado Range of Sindh Kohistan. At the southern end of the site is a spring known as Pir Ari Wahi. The spring issues from the foot of the Bado Range and flows eastward in a shallow channel. There are no present -day habitations near the site.
In its north-western portion a sharp motif is evident in the form of a conically-shaped hill. This hill, or buthi, occupies about one-fourth of the total area of the site. The base of the buthi measured approximately fifty meters noth-south and forty-five meters east-west.
Jam Bijar fort is situated close to small hamlet of Deh Palejam near Ran Pthani Railway Station. It is not a fort in the real senses of the word but a pucca high platform, an irregular pentagon in shape, surrounded by stone faced retaining wall with towers at irregular intervals. The platform consists entirely of earth and debris. In the corner of this platform is a small platform which is said to be the seat of Jam Bijar, sitting from where he held his open court. The interesting point of this place is the gateway.
The site of Banbhore is situated on the northern bank of the Gharo Creek, about 40 miles east of Karachi on the highway to Hyderabad.
Excavation at this site exposed the earliest Muslim settlement of the sub-continent. Spade operation began here in 1958 by the Department of Archaeology and eight consecutive years of excavation since then have exposed the remains of a well planned city with cultural materials of three distinct periods the Scytho-parthian, Hindu-Buddhists and the Islamic datable from the 1st century B.C to the 13th century A.C.
Excavations at Banbhore have brought to light a well fortified citadel enclosed by a massive fortification wall having semi-circular bastions at regular intervals, three gateways, one each in the east, north -east and the south respectively, an anchorage near the southern gate, alike mosque which is considered to be the earliest mosque in the sub-continent besides residential houses with streets, lanes and bye-lanes cutting one another at right angles. The residential houses were all provided with wells and drains and they were mostly Lime plastered.
Apart from the structural remains a large number of antiquities and other cultural materials have been brought to light from Islamic period levels which show four phases of the Umayid, Abbasid, Sultanate and the late period of the 13th century A.C. the finds from these levels include a board of pottery, coins, inscriptions, metal, ivory, bones ang glass objects and terracotta objects. The Muslim period pottery are characterised by their thin and thick texture, floral-cum-geometric patterns in relief applied or incised. Large heavy textured jars of deep blue-green glaze decorated with floral pattern, bunches of grapes, way lines and bands in high relief suggest their Sassanian origin. The coins-finds from the Islamic level include mostly copper and silver coins except one gold coin of the ninth Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad Abu Jafar Harunal wasiq Billah (824 A.C – 847 A.C), other coins from Banbhore belong to the Caliphs of Baghdad or their local Governors. Two of the many inscription from Banbhore mosque make it the earliest known mosque of the sub-continent.
Among the numerous building remains of pre-Islamic level of Banbhore, a Siva temple is worth mentioning. Covered with coatings of red paint on lime plaster this mud brick temple housed a Siva Lingam which has been found in situ.
A large collection of interesting materials from this level include terracotta figurines, both human and animal, fragmentary stone sculptures and various other household objects containing plain, painted and stamped pottery. Some of the pieces of storage jar bear inscriptions in proto Nagari of 8th century A.C.
Area : 1.410 Acres (16G-49y)
The most significant brick building of Thatta is the Shahjehan mosque also called Jami masjid (1644-1647). This massive structure is centred around a courtyard, 169’x97’. The prayer chamber on the west is balances on the covered by large domes. On the north and south two-aisled galleries open by means of arcades on the courtyard. Ninety three domes cover the entire structure, and are probably the cause of remarkable echo which enable the prayers in front of the Mihrab to be heard in any part of the building. The mosque contains the most elaborate display of tile work in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. The two-main chamber in particular, are entirely covered with them. Their domes have been so exquisitely laid in a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles that they have the appearance of starry vaults. Stylised floral patterns, akin to seventeenth century Kashi work of Iran, decorate the spandrels of the main arches, and elsewhere geometrical designs on square tiles are disposed in a series of panels. The construction of the mosque was begun in 1644 A.D, Nawab Abdul Baqa Amir Khan on the orders of Shahjehan. The eastern wing of the mosque was added later in 1658.
Area : 0.068 Acres (2G-84y)
The brick structure lies to the north of Jam Nizam’s Tomb. Presently a portion of Mehrab is left whereas all sides of structures have been disappeared. The floor is covered with Persian blue Kashi tiles. It is perhaps the tomb of Sh. Hamd Jamali.
Area : 0.016 Acres (77y)
It is a stone canopy raised on carved circular pillars with capital etc. resting the corbelled arch roof of the pavilion made of stone with carving etc, on the ribs of stone ring with a beautiful pendant in the centre. The graves under the canopy are un-identified
Two pavilions on stone pillars to south-west of Jam Nizam tomb. One is the tomb of Jam Kikhander Shah, Makli Hill
Area: 0.019 Acres
To the east of Fateh Khan sister’s tomb exist two stone structure roofed by pavilions, each carried on 8 stone pillars. The northern structure contain on the lintel of the western opening, a Persian inscription a portion of which is abraded. The remnant of the inscription reads:-
It is surmised that Jam Tuhglaq and Sikandar Shah were the sons of Jam Tamachi and successively occupied the throne of Sindh sometime in the latter half of the 15th century A.D.
Area: 0.016 Acres
The tomb of Isa Khan Tarkhan, a fine example and of considerable originality, it is erected in the centre of a square court, surrounded by high stone walls, with an arched pylon like feature in the centre of its sides, one of which is the entrances. The massive structure, built of very large stone comprises a domed chamber surrounded by as tow tiered gallery. The pillars of the interior wall s are almost covered with surface tracery similar in treatment to the work at Fatehpur Sikri. The double storeyed pillared galleries have in the centre of each side a group of three tall, narrow and multi cusped arched surmounted by side parapet, and clearly show the influence of Akbar’s architecture.
The carving of this building is as profuse and illumination as the tile decoration of the brick buildings, and many patterns may be identified as modified copies of tile work a plastic reproduction of the coloured from of decoration.
Area: 0.033 Acres
The tomb of Habshad Bai and her daughter is situated south of tomb of Amir Sultan Muahammad and Mirza Baqi Tarkhan on the high bank of the dried up river, at Makli Thatta. The graves are lying under a stone canopy standing on eight stone pillars.
There are three graves in the enclosure of which the central one is assigned to Habshad Bai, who died in 994 A.H (1586 A.D). the other grave to the right contains the ashes of one Fath Rani presumably daughter of the Bai. The date 1000 A.H (1591 A.D) is engraved on this tomb which is the date of demise of Fath Rani. The third grave appears to be of a child and does not bear any date.
A study of the above fact indicates that the nobles and princes of lower Sind were inter related with those of Gujarat and Rajputana States.
Area: 0.212768 Acres (8G-52y)
The enclosed brick mosque is situated west of the tomb of Diwan Shurfa Khan at Makli, District Thatta. It stands very close to the tomb. The mosque is constructed on the similar plan as that of Nawab Shurfa Kahn’s tomb and in it is indiciated a glazed course of bricks alternated by and un glazed one.
Area: 0.013 Acres (64y)
This is a canopy, which rests on ta raised platform. It is supported on stone pillars over which exists a has fallen circular dome. The monument lied south of the tomb of Mirza jani Beg.
Area : 0.548 768 Acres (21G-111y)
At a little distance to the north of Hasbshad Bai tomb, on the side of the dried up river is built an extensive walled courtyard which contains four separate enclosed apartments, each comprising a group of graves of the Tarkahn family. The central apartment of this series has five tombs of important personnel with name and date inscribed on them. They are briefly described seriatim as under:-
Apartment I, from left to right
1st Tomb:- Sahibazada Shah Rukh Khan son of Muhammad Baqi Tarkahn, died in 993 A.H, 1585 A.D.
2nd Tomb: Mirza Muhammad Baqi son of Muhammad Isa Tarkhan, died on Thursday, the 8th Shawal 993 A.H (October, 1585 A.D)
3rd Tomb: Abdul Garth son of Mirza Ghazi Baig tarkhan; date indistinct.
4th Tomb: Mirz Abdul Ali, died on the 9th Rajab 1040 A.H (March, 1631 A.D)
5th Tomb: Blank
The tomb of Jan baba (d. 1608) on the south of the younger Isa Khan’s tomb, is a small quadrangle which was originally covered by three domes, the central one is still surviving. The surface especially on the mihrab has richly carved tracery both inside and out, and looks as if it had been covered with fine brown lace. The wall have beautiful designed carvings, each and other intricate geometric and arabesque designs are so nicely intermingled that the eye cannot detect the deliberately symmetrical nature of the patterns. The twelve pillared porch on south side, at the main entrance, was added subsequently to the tomb.
Area : 0.47 Acres (1G-107y)
The tomb of Mirza Tughral Baig, (d. 1679) and the canopy on the right of Jani Baig Tarkhan’s tomb deserve attention for their elaborate construction. The corners of these square structures have been cut to form an octagon, the dome being supported by two pillars in each of the four sides of the pavilions. Every alternate side of the sixteen side figure above the octagon is supported by corbels in the angles above the capitals. The sixteen sides are further divided by cross arches upto the base of the dome. The pillars are richly carved in arabesque work and are surmounted by honeycombed capital. Lotus blooms and sunflowers are carved in relief in the niches. The interior of the dome is a reproduction in stone of the zigzag pattern in coloured tiles set in the dome over Diwan Shurfa Khan’s grave.