Pakistan : A journey to the Thar desert in the Sindh province reveals hidden historical and cultural gems, waiting to be discovered. The desert’s harsh temperatures contrasts the soft, welcoming side of the Thar people. It is a fitting juxtaposition; yet Man and nature have supported each other through the years, amidst this contrast. -Text by Liyana Low, Photos by Syafiqah Omar and Liyana Low
“Thar and my heart are the two names of the same desert”, once wrote Mazhar-ul-Islam, the famous writer. Upon first hearing this, it seemed nothing more than a romanticised idea of a desert. After all, how much magic can sand cast on one?
In the distance, you can heard music being played; the air was festive, in line with Eid Milad-un-Nabi. Green flags for the Prophet’s birthday were hung beside Holi’s colourful lights, the Hindu religious festival that was to fall on the following day.
With Hindus making up almost half of Mithi’s population, possibly the largest number of Hindu population in Pakistan, this meant that the people of Mithi have been practicing harmony and tolerance for centuries.
This peaceful co-existence of both religions was also seen during partition when Mithi was denied any real bloodshed, seeing that both religious groups sought to protect each other. The only type of migration that took place was only in the form of Hindu elites who crossed the sandy terrains over to India.