|Elevation||13 m (43 ft)|
|• Estimate (2009)||155,400|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Postal Code = 78100|
Shikarpur (Urdu: شكار پور), (Sindhi:شڪارپور) is small city and the capital of Shikarpur District in Sindh province of Pakistan. It is situated about 29 km west of the right bank of the Indus, with a railway station, 37 km north-west of Sukkur.
According to a few historians the city of Shikarpur was revived during the Kalhora rule and that was what brought about a turnaround in making it the financial capital of not only South Asia but also of Central Asia. Some people[who?] think that the city was founded by Kalhoras' cousins Daudpotas --- and it was named Shikarpur because the Talpur Mirs were fond of shikar (hunting). Another school of thought believes Shikarpur was admittedly there before the shikar-loving Talpurs arrived on the scene; for another, Shikarpur has always been a trading centre, and never a hunting lodge.Some experts think that Shikarpur is really Shakaripur --- the "town founded by the vanquisher of the Shakas", the Scythians.
Shikarpur, the seat of civilisation, culture, trade and commerce acquired political and economic importance because of its strategic location on the map of Sindh, being directly accessible to those who came from Central and West Asia through the Bolan Pass. In the early 17th century this emerald city in the northern Sindh province of Pakistan became the nucleus of a historical trade center on a caravan route through the Bolan Pass into Afghanistan. Shikarpur became the core of manufactures including brass and metal goods, carpets, cotton cloth, and embroidery. Its great bazaar (covered because of the summer heat) is famous throughout Turkistan and southern Asia.
Cultural minded Shikarpuris were fond of and knowledgeable about classical music. There was a Natak Sabha theatre on the bank of Beggary Canal surrounded by pipal trees where during the days of Holi (seven days) they used to organize 'Hando' of holi. Renowned and famous artistes from Sindh and India like Waman Rao, Patwardhan, Pandit Vyas, Omkarnath, Khan Sahib Mubarak Ali, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, singers like - Kajari Inayat Bai and Mukhtiar Begum, were invited to sing and the people used to listen to them for days together. They were duly respected and flooded with costly gifts. They were accommodated with due care in the bungalows of Hindu seths. Thakurdas Nagrani, Sessions Judge, Aga Sufi, Maharaj Tejbhandas and others established the first dramatic society - Dharamupkars Amateurs Society.
Shikarpur was also forefront in the field of literature. It produced vedantic titans like Saami, one of the three pillars - Shah, Sachal and Saami of Sindhi poetry. Saami wrote his slokas in popular idioms for the masses. 4000 such slokas were later found by Prof. Jhamandas, though earlier about 2100 were already published in Sindhi. Shikarpur has produced the greatest modern poet of Sindh, 'Sheikh Ayaz' whose contribution is also as unparalleled as it is unconventional. As regards education, Shikarpuris were marching ahead even in 1930. According to one Survey there were about 70 graduates in the city of Shikarpur in 1930; whereas, in the rest of Sindh there were only 7 graduates then. The first Sindhi college, Satramdas Chellasingh College, was also started in Shikarpur.
Dawood Potan built a mud fort around Shikarpur in the ancient days. It had seven gates Lakhi Dar, Hazari Dar, Hathi Dar,Khanpuri Dar, Karan Dar, Wagano Dar and Sevi Dar. It had a deep channel around these gates, which was later filled up by the Britishers and a circular road was built over it. The remnants of the mud fort could be seen till 1940. The city was clean and well paved with bricks and surrounded by greenery. The areas with the names of these gates still exist in Shikarpur.
The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus migrated to India while the Muslims refugees from India settled down in the Shikarpur District.
The famous poets of Shikarpur are Agha Sofi, Saami, Shaikh Ayaz, Moulana Abdul karim chishti. The famous personalities of the Shikarpur are Maulana Deen Mohammad Wafai, Shaheed Allah Bux Soomro,Mazhar Ali Soomro(Chief Engineer) Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, veteran politician & senator Agha Abdul Nabi Khan, Maj. Agha Atta Muhammad Khan, Agha Tariq Khan, Agha Siraj Khan Durani, Agha Saleem Khan (Writer English & Sindhi)Junaid Ahmed Soomro, Iftikar Ahmed Soomro,Mir Ghulam Qambar Abro, Imtiaz Ahmed shaikh, Bedal Masroor, Mir Abdul Nabi Khan Mengal, Mir Abdul Ghafoor Khan Mengal, Mir Ghulam Rasool Khan Brohi, Aftab Shahban Mirani, Mr. Barkat Ali Brohi, Dr. Ibrahim Jatoi, Sardar Ali Akbar Khan Kalhoro, Mughal Brohi, Agha Temoor Khan, Babal Khan Bhayo, Maqbool Ahmed Shaikh, Sardar Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar & many others.
The Shahi Bagh, was known for its thriving vegetation and scented flowers. Shahi Bagh had zoo with number of lions, cheetahs, bears and wild boars. These animals were later shifted to Karachi Zoo. The garden had a wooden pavilion that was designed by Perston Phel and constructed by Sir W. Merewether on September 1871. Many other public and private gardens and open spaces of Shikarpur have vanished.There was an society namely "GREEN CELL SOCIETY" founded by Agha Ziauddin Khan and Agha Sofi which worked as remarkable services to the common people to provide interest free loan, stipend to the poor farmers and needy person to settle their lives in a befitting manner. Shikarpur remained the center hub of the Education through out the Sindh Province.The location of this city has great importance in the region because it is center route point of all provinces of Pakistan. The Water Sewerage and drainage system was networked by the British which has almost similarity with the city of Lahore and London. The people of Shikarpur are very humble, educated, submissive and caring.
The Covered Bazaar, Contemporary cities of that time - Bukhara, Samarkand, and Istanbul - had bazaars with covered streets. Shikarpur's main bazaar too was covered. The long, narrow bazaar lined with shops on both sides almost pass through the centre of the old city.
The population of Shikarpur is estimated to be 225,000 in 2011. The predominant population is Sindhi. There are significant Urdu, Baloch, Brahui, speaking communities in Shikarpur. The population is mainly Muslim with Sunni majority and significant Shia minority. There is a small Hindu minority in the city as most Hindus migrated to India after independence in 1947.
District Shikarpur, with an area of 2640 square kilometers, has a population of 880,000. It is divided in four "taulkas": Shikarpur, Lakhi, Garhi Yasin and Khanpur. Its borders meet with districts of Larkana, Jacobabd, Khairpur & Sukkur. Two National Highways (N-65 & N-55) intersect in the city of Shikarpur, so it can well be termed as,one of the junction points of the four provinces.
District Shikarpur has a total road length of 920.0 kilometers, including 125.0 kilometers of National Highways and 195.0 kilometers of Provincial Highways. It is, thus, deficient in road density (0.35 km/Km2) compared with recognized international parameters of development (1 km/Km2). During the last few years, creeping development activity has taken pace and 71.0 kilometers of road, 94 schools and a number of schemes in drainage, health and other sectors have been completed, under various Programs. Basically, agrarian economy of district Shikarpur is dependent upon non-perennial irrigation system, so the district is always in semi-drought conditions. The last spell of drought is particularly notable as it created heavy unemployment and unsustainable poverty, which without doubt created serious law and order situations.
Gates of Shikarpur
The town consists of eight gates and one window named Lakhi-dar, Hathi-dar, Hazari-dar, Civi-dar, Karan-dar, Wagono-dar, Khanpur-dar, Naushero-dar and Siddique Mari (Window).
There are several clinics and hospitals in Shikarpur. Rai Bahadur Udhaudas Tarachand Hospital, Hiranand Gangabai Ladies Hospital and the Civil Hospital are located in Shikarpur.
There are many schools and colleges in Shikarpur. Shah Abdul Latif University has a campus in Shikarpur. Chellaram and Seetaldas College, Two old High Schools now known as school No:1 and 2 and Girls College here, are some dignified and marvelous towers.
- Markovits, Claude The Global World of Indian Merchants 1750-1947 Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 65–217.
Persons from Shikarpur
- Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah
- Dr. Syed Abdul Mujeeb
- Professor Syed Muhammad Saleem
- Muhammad Asim Lohar
- Ram Jethmalani, Former Union Minister and Lawyer, India
- Ustad Bukhari , famous sindhi peot ,
- Agha Sufi , famous sindhi peot ,