Sukkur at Glance

Clock Tower Sukkur Sukkur is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River (Pakistan) in Sukkur District. Sukkur (read as Suck-khar, or sometime Sukhar) is a local variant of Arabic word Saqar which means intense. In the 10th century AD when Arabs invaded Sukkur (Sindh), they found extreme (hot and cold) climate, and called it saqar. Sukkur is given a title of Darya Dino (means the gift of river), as without the Indus this would be like Egypt deprived of Nile. Sukkur is the central city of Sindh province in Pakistan.

Geography & climate

The district of Sukkur (whose name is derived from its head quarter Sukkur city) covers an area of 5,165 square kilometers. Geographically it is spanned from 27°05' to 28°02' north latitudes and from 68°47' to 69°43' east longitudes. The city of Sukkur is located at an altitude of 220 feet (67 m) from sea level, having terrestrial coordinates 68°52' east and 27°42' north. It is also the narrowest point of the lower Indus course.

Sukkur district shares northern border with Shikarpur and (recently constituted) Kashmore districts. Ghokti is located on the north-eastern side while Khairpur on the south. Sukkur also shares its border with India (Jaisalmir, Rajasthan). Sukkur is also connected by road air with all major cities of Pakistan.

The climate of the Sukkur is characterized by hot and hazy weather during summer days while dry and cold in winter. During January, temperature ranges from 7 to 22 °C (44 to 71 °F). The summer (month of June before monsoon) temperature averages 35 °C (95 °F) though it often reaches up to 52°C (107 °F). Generally the summer season commences in March - April and ends before October. The average rainfall of the district is 88 mm, (ranges from 0.59 mm to 25.62 mm) per annum.

History

Sukkur has been an important strategic centre and trading route from time immemorial. Alor (present Aror, Sukkur) held the status of capital under the reign of Musikanos, when Alexander invaded India in 326 BCE. The ruins of this ancient town still exist, 8 km east of Rohri, in Sukkur district. In 711 CE, Arab invaded Sindh, led by 17 years old Muhammad Bin Qasim, and Sukkur (including whole Sindh and lower Punjab) became part of Umayyad Caliphate. Later Mughals and many semi-autonomous tribes ruled over Sukkur. The city was ceded to Mirs of Khairpur between 1809 and 1824. In 1833, Shah Shuja (a warlord of Kandahar, Afghanistan) defeated the Talpurs near Sukkur and later made a solemn treaty with the Talpur ruler, by which he relinquished all claims on Sindh. In 1843, the British (General Charles James Napier) defeated the Talpurs at the battle of Miani and Dubbo near Hyderabad and ruled the Sukkur (including Sindh) until independence of Pakistan. The (current) district of Sukkur was constituted in 1901 out of part of Shikarpur District, the remainder of which was formed into the Larkana District. Sukkur saw a significant socio-economic uplift after 1930s, when British Raj built the world largest barrage here on Indus River. After independence of Pakistan, thousands of Muslim immigrants arrived in Sukkur while a much larger number of Hindus left for India.

Demographics

At the time of Pakistan's independence in 1947, Sukkur district comprised approximately 200,000 habitants, mostly engaged in agricultural pursuits and fishing industry. Over time, Sukkur has seen a moderate rise in population (2 to 2.5% per annum) as compared to Pakistan's, except in late 1960s and early 70s when population growth rate reached 4.43% (1972 census) due to internal migration and establishment of some large bridges on river Indus. According to official census of 1998, Sukkur has 908370 habitants and density of 175.9 persons per square kilometre. The current estimate (on the basis of 2.88% annual growth) shows that Sukkur population has surpassed 1 million.

Sukkur district is chiefly populated by Muslims, that constitute 96% of the total population, of which, the Sunni form a clear majority, about (80%). It also has a sizeable population of Shias (16%), Hindus (3.28%) and Christians(0.51%). Hindus are mostly settled in urban areas and are engaged in the trade and services sectors. Ethnically,Sindhis share the biggest segment of population in Sukkur and Rohri city areas(70.50%), followed by Urdu (15.50%); Punjabi (7.50%); Pashto (2.50%); Seraiki (1.00%); Baluchi (1.00)and others (2.00). Baloch tribes include, Mirani Rind, Chandio, Gabol, Khoso and Leghari. Others include Indhar, Ansaris, Mahers, Syed, Mughals, Soomro, Mangrio, chijjan, Phulpoto, Palh and many more. There are Memon, Punjabi and Siraiki sections. Traditionally Memons were associated with trade and retail business but during last two decades they have ascended as an active social and economic front. Soomro are basically associated with educational and social fields; for their development they perform steps ahead day and night.Terhaily family are basically saraiki speaking,and mostly are associated with profession of law, medical and education.

Following are the demographic indicators of the district (including Kashmore Dist) as per the 1998 census of Pakistan:

Religion

Islam: 96.13%
Hinduism: 3.28%
Christianity: 0.51%
Ahmaddiya: 0.04%
Others: 0.1%
Hindus and Christians are mainly concentrated in the urban areas

Languages

Sindhi: 74.07%
Urdu: 13.82% (mainly concentrated in the urban areas)
Punjabi:6.63%
Pashto:1.53%
Baluchi:1.47%
Seraiki:0.99%
Others:1.49% (mainly Memon and Gujarati)

Economy

  • Industry
    Sukkur is a hub of many small and large scale industries. Among important industries are cotton textiles, cement, leather, tobacco, paint and varnish, pharmaceuticals, agriculture implements, hand pumps, lock making, rice-husking, and sugar. Small-scale cottage industries comprise hosiery, boat making, fishing accessories, thread ball spooling, trunk making brass-wares, cutlery and ceramics.
  • Agriculture
    Sukkur had a large fertile and cultivable land area until a few decades ago, when the Indus river was not as barren as today. Now its agricultural productivity has been much reduced. It has not achieved a reasonable yield per unit area over time, on account of continuous shortages of water and ignorance of modern irrigation systems. Despite the lack of water, during kharif, rice, bajra, cotton, tomatoes and peas are cultivated; whereas during rabi the main crops are wheat, barley, graham and melons. Sukkur is famous, world over, for its delicious dates. Sukkur also has a large Riveraine forest along the course of the Indus. These tropical forests are found within the protective embankments on either side of the Indus. During 1997-98 the total area under forests was 510 km2 which yielded 55,000 cubic feet (1,600 m3) of timber and 27,000 cubic feet (760 m3) of firewood besides other mine products.

Sites of interest

  • Rohri Arore ( ruins of historical city )
  • Shrine of Syed Sadar-Ur-Din-Shah
  • Tomb of Shah Khairuddin Jillani
  • Tomb of the Seven Maidens Sateen Jo Aastan
  • Kot Mir Yakoob Ali Shah Rohri
  • Tomb of Abdul Baqi Purani, Ex-Governor of Bukkur.
  • Bukkur Island
  • Tomb of Syed Hakim Ali
  • Minaret of Museum Shah
  • Sadh Belo Temple on River Indus
  • Thermal Power Station Sukkur
  • Lansdowne Bridge Rohri
  • Sukkur (Lloyd) Barrage
  • Sukkur Museum
  • Shikarpur Road connecting Quetta via Shikarpur
  • Shrine of Qazi Baba
  • Adam Shah je Takri
  • Dadu Choke conneting Shikarpur Road, Waritar Rd & Hussaini Rd
  • Lab-e-Mehran
  • Lansdowne Bridge
  • Shahi Bazaar, Frere Road
  • Ayub Gate
  • Ladies and Children Hill Park
  • Looks Park/Qasim Park
  • Purana Sukkur (Old Sukkur)
  • Raharki sahib
  • Jinnat (Genie's) Building, Old Sukkur
  • Hyderi Masjid, Old Sukkur
  • Tomb Syed Mukhdoom Shah Badshah Shah Khair ud din Shah Badshah (G. A. Shah) - Old Sukkur