Chaukhandi Tombs – A Haunting Remnant from the Past
In this blog, I aim to shed light on a place that is not very well documented over the internet. This place is a remnant of the glorious past of the Jokhio tribe. I am talking about Chaukandi – the sandstone necropolis. Some say its haunted, others use the term in a different connotation. I am not sure what holds true, but one thing is for sure, the place is mesmeric.
Relics and belongings retrieved from the people bygone indicate that they loved to put up epitaphs and elaborate ornate tombs and mausoleums to honor their deceased. This practice is best reflected by the Jokhio tribe who have adorned the final resting place of their beloved with marvelous architecture.
The necropolis of Chaukandi is located near Landhi Town, off the national highway. All the information I could muster over the internet included that the site was set up to commemorate the warriors who fought in battles to protect their tribe’s sovereignty.
I was with my kin on this trip. I wanted my children to witness the tombs at the historic cemetery. It took 3 hours to reach the site, which was completely abandoned. Once there, I could not believe my eyes. The place is criminally underrated, the tombs are so detailed that one cannot bring themselves to believe that this masterful creation took place in the 15th century.
I remember my son asking me, “Dad what tools did they use to build them and which year was it?” Yes, he was stunned when I told him that the spectacle before him was created in the 15th century. My wife, on the other hand, was clutching on my shoulders, she had an exasperated look on her face; as if the dead would leap out of their tombs and take her.
Despite negligence from the government, almost the entire necropolis is in neat and tidy condition. Most of the graves are constructed of what I could identify buff-colored sandstone, giving them a unique look. The craftsmanship on the graves are simply remarkable. Exploring further, I noticed a pattern that the graves were either in a group of 8 or independent.
The Land of the Dead
We also came across sarcophaguses that consisted of 6 vertical slabs, protecting the tombs. The tombs also had several horizontal slabs on top of which are embellished ancient geometrical shapes and figures like mounted horsemen, serpents, elephants and other deities. The slabs are delicately placed to give the tombs a pyramid shape.
We were halfway through exploring the site before I realized that only 30 minutes remained before the sunset. I recalled hearing from friends that the site is haunted, so I decided to end our little adventure. It was one of a kind experience and one that my children certainly enjoyed to the fullest. I can safely say that the Chaukandi Necropolis can give the Gaza Pyramids a good run for their money. I highly recommend this place to people who are even remotely interested in history; but be forewarned, pack your bags to leave the place before the sun sets!