You’ll find a lot of people telling you how it’s just a single gigantic wall in the midst of sand fields, bare rocks and minimum vegetation BUT if you’ve been diagnosed with an incurable travel bug where hunger for exploring new places regardless of terrain and landscape is a common symptom, then Ranikot should be on your list of must – visits
And there are other reasons too, such as…
It’s hardly 5 hours away from Karachi
Even less, if you don’t count the hotel and washroom stops, which you can conveniently make at Nooriabad or Jamshoro, that has some decent food joints and bathroom facilities, like Mast Qalandar or Quetta Hotel.
The Changing Landscapes
It’s all pretty brown but it changes from dry patches to crinkled dunes, then onion and other vegetable farms and finally into jagged dry peaks leading all the way up-to the dry hills where the series of forts are situated. These forts will instantly remind you of the Great Wall of China which is how these forts are also recalled most of the time: The Great Wall of Sindh!
History, History and More History
Dating back to 17th century, Ranikot obviously carries a lot of History to itself. Locals tell it was built in the times of Cyrus the Great as a forefront protection against enemies and as watch towers since the location had an advantage of altitude over the surrounding areas. Later in the 18th century, the Talpurs or Kalhoras most likely ruled over these battlements prior to British invasion of the Fort.
Free Foot Therapy at Paryon Jo Tar
Roughly an hour and a half trek from MiriKot (one of the Forts in Ranikot) leads to a series of beautiful natural water formations known as Paryon Jo Thar or Fairies Pond, where supposedly fairies gather on certain nights giving the water an unusual glow (story keeps changing)
However these ponds are full of toothless carp fish that nibble on dead skin and the mineral laden water helps relax the feet. Something for which we pay a hefty price at spas is available completely free of cost here.
A Night Under The Open Sky & Marvellous Sunrise
Try visiting around Full Moon time and camp within the walls of the Fort under the open sky. It wasn’t cold in the day hours since we were in a desert but it got pretty chilly at night hence you better be prepared.
Ranikot isn’t the place for sunsets, not every place is, you see. But this is definitely the place for Moon and Sun rises. When I say, visit around full moon, I don’t just say it without reason. Full moon rising against the black burnt hills behind the fort is simply mesmerizing in its own way.
The black hills in the back were a result of a volcanic activity some years ago.
Promote Tourism Locally
The last and one of the most important reason is to promote tourism locally. The fort provides accommodation in their single built room for roughly a Rs 1000/ night and camp site fee is also pretty cheap. Our contribution will help the authorities to build more convenient options for travelers and renovate the fort as well.
So before it gets really hot and unbearable to visit the interior, I suggest you pack your bags and look for reasonable tours or plan your own road trip to Ranikot the next weekend.
Rover Pakistan and it’s team were a great resource to travel with – not only did they manage a large group of 350 people beautifully but they were highly cooperative and very well accommodating in all possible ways – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Now enjoy watching the video…