Written by Zoya Imran
Zara taking a selfie of the group.
The following report was written by Zoya Imran, granddaughter of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employee Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan of Karachi, Pakistan.
As the saying goes, "Sudden and unexpected trips are the best ones." And I completely agree. My family and I decided to go to Keenjhar Lake on the 5th of September 2021 with two of my cousins and my Mamu and Mami.
According to Wikipedia, "Keenjhar Lake is located in the Thatta District of the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the largest freshwater lake in Pakistan and an important source of drinking water for Thatta District and Karachi city. Through the construction of a bund on the eastern side, it is said that the lake was formed by the union of two lakes: Sonehri and Keenjhar.
Taha Khan (Mamu), Samia Siddiqui (Mami), Erum Imran, Fareena Shaikh, Umair Shaikh & Zara.
Zara, Fareena and Zoya sitting on a bench, sun-kissed.
A beautiful view of the Restaurant.
Family group selfie at Al Habib Restaurant.
Taha, Zoya and Zara making the butterfly pose.
"Keenjhar Lake has been declared a Ramsar site, a wetland site designated to be of international importance,
and a wildlife sanctuary. It provides a favorable habitat for winter migratory birds like ducks, geese, flamingos, cormorants, waders, herons, egrets, ibises, terns, coots, and gulls.
"Keenjhar Lake is a popular tourist resort. Many people from Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta visit to enjoy picnics, swimming, fishing, and boating.
Graves at the Makli Necropolis.
Sign outside the Tomb of Baqi Baig Uzbek.
Zoya Imran’s sun-kissed selfie.
Samia, Taha, Zara and Zoya outside another ancient opening at Makli.
An amazing shot of Fareena and Zara.
Zoya posing in front of the ancient structure of Makli.
"The famous folklore of Noori Jam Tamachi who was a fisherwoman is connected to the lake. There is a shrine in the middle of the lake marking Noori's grave, which is visited by devotees."
After preparing all the necessities needed for the trip, we left our house early in the morning, around 6 AM, stopping to pick up my cousins along the way. The weather was very pleasant. Our first stop was at Al Habib Restaurant located along the Super Highway where we had a delicious breakfast of parathas and cholay masala. After an appetizing, flavorful breakfast we set off again.
Zoya, Zara and Taha posing for a funny picture.
Umair, Fareena, Imran, Erum, Samia, Zara and Zoya smiling for a group picture.
Zara posing for a picture.
The grave of Noori in the center of Keenjhar Lake.
The sign outside the reservoir.
The majestic Keenjhar/Kurly Lake.
Upon reaching Thatta, we stopped at Makli Necropolis. According to Wikipedia, "Makli Necropolis features several large funerary monuments belonging to royalty, various Sufi saints, and esteemed scholars. The site houses approximately 500,000 to 1 million tombs built over the course of a 400 year period." It is also very famous for its lavish architecture and opulently decorated monuments. We looked at all the beautiful construction and also bought handmade Sindhi handicrafts.
After a journey of 2 hours, we reached Keenjhar Lake, around 11 AM. At first glance, we all audibly gasped looking at its beauty. It is a vast lake and entirely blue. The soft sound of water flowing was so soothing that we wanted to stay right there. Unfortunately, being Sunday, many locals had come to have a picnic there which is why we felt a little uncomfortable diving right in. We eventually did, however.
Taha and Samia enjoying the cold water of the lake.
Zoya and Samia in lifejackets, ready for the boat journey.
A group picture in the boat, a wonderful experience.
The water was freezing cold even in the scorching heat and with the sun shining right on it. We had fun in the water for a while enjoying ourselves with family and taking in the pleasant weather. We rented a boat, which had the capacity to hold 8 people and we all took our seats and put on our life jackets. I was immensely excited as it was my first time sitting on a boat.
The boat ride started off slow and breezy but in a whirl, it swooshed in the water. Next, the water was splashing all about and our screams weren’t stopping. Hands down, it was genuinely one of the best experiences of my life.
Two of the handicrafts we bought from Makli graveyard.
Flowers blooming early in the morning at Habib Restaurant.
An aesthetically pleasing picture of a cloud.
Just like that, it was time to go because, of course, all good things come to an end. We enjoyed our way back, eating brownies and munching on chips. By 2 PM we had reached our homes, content and happy!
I am hoping to go back soon and relive this experience while enjoying the beauty of Interior Sindh, Insha’Allah!