Sukkur formerly Aror, is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River (Pakistan) in Sukkur District. When Arabs invaded Sukkur (Sindh) in the 10th century, they found an extreme climate (hot and cold), and called it Saqar, which means intense. Sukkur is nicknamed Darya Dino meaning the gift of river), as without the Indus the would be a desert.
The city of Sukkur, as well as being district headquarters, is the capital of Sukkur Taluka and contains one Union Council.
Geography & climate
The district of Sukkur (whose name is derived from its head quarter Sukkur city) covers an area of 5,165 square kilometres. 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. Ghotki is located on the north-eastern side while Khairpur on the south. Sukkur also shares its border with India (Jaisalmer, 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.
Sukkur has been an important strategic centre and trading route from time immemorial. Alor (or 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, the Arabs invaded Sindh, led by 17 years old Muhammad bin Qasim, and Sukkur (including all of Sindh and lower Punjab) became part of the 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 battles of Miani and Dubbo near Hyderabad , Sukkur along with the rest of Sindh was under British rule until the independence of Pakistan in 1947. 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 the 1930s, when the British built the world largest barrage here on te Indus River. After independence of Pakistan, thousands of Muslim immigrants arrived in Sukkur while a much larger number of Hindus left for India.
At the time of Pakistan’s independence in 1947, Sukkur district was 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 compare to Pakistan’s, except in late 60s 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 is chiefly dominated by Muslims that constitute 96% of the total population, of which, the Shia form a clear majority. But it also has relatively greater proportion of Hindus and Christians than the rest of the country, Hindus, mostly settled in urban areas and engaged in trade and services sector. Ethnically Sindhis share the biggest segment of population (84%), followed by Muhajirs (07%). Sukkur is also domicile of many BalochBaloch tribes, including, Rind, Chandio, Gabol, Khoso and Leghari. Amongst others like Syed, Soomro,Mangrio, Phulpoto 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 its development they perform steps ahead day and night.
Sukkur has many renowned colleges and academic institutions, some of important names include;
” Virtual University of Pakistan, Sukkur Campus
” Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur
” G.M Mahar Medical College
” College of Management Science & Information technology Sukkur (Affiliated with Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur)
” SiSTech Sukkur (Affiliated with University of Sindh, Jamshoro)
” Government Islamia Science/arts/commerce College Sukkur
” Public School and college Sukkur
” Government Degree College and Post Graduate Studies Centre
” Government Girls College Sukkur
” Government Degree Science College Pano Akil
” Government College of Physical Education
” Government College of Education
” Government M,P,L Boys high School.
” Agha Nizamuddin Girls Degree College
” Sayed Atta Hussain Shah Musavi Degree College Rohri
” Government Polytechnic Institute
” Government Modern High School
” Saint Mary’s Church And High School
” Government Double Section High School
” Government High School
” Government Comprehensive High School
” Government Double Section High School Barrage Colony Sukkur.
” Army public school and college (federal board)
The Sukkur Barrage have 66 Gates. The Sukkur barrage (formally called Lloyd Barrage), built under British Raj on the Indus river, controls one of the largest irrigation systems in the world. The work for the bridge was started in 1923 and completed in January 1932. The 5000 feet long barrage is made of yellow stone and steel and can water nearly 10 million acres (40,000 km²) of farmland through its large seven canals. Some of the canals are larger than the Suez Canal.
In November 2004, the government of Pakistan initiated a rehabilitation project to revitalize its water storage capacity and distribution efficiency. The project completed in July 2005, (with less than the allocated amount of Rs. 887 million). Experts believe that the rehabilitation of the barrage has enhanced its efficiency for another 60 to 70 years.
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.
Sukkur had a large fertile and cultivable land till few decades ago, when the Indus river was not as barren as today. Now its agricultural productivity has much reduced. It could not achieve reasonable yield per unit area over time, on account of continuous shortage of water and ignorance of modern irrigation system. Despite lack of water, during kharif, rice, bajra, cotton tomatoes and peas are cultivated whereas during rabi main crops are wheat, barley, gram and melons. Sukkur is famous world over, for its delicious dates. Sukkur also holds a large number of Riveraine forest on the course of Indus. These tropical forests are found within the protective embankments on either side of Indus. During 1997-98 the total area under forests was 510 km² which yielded 55,000 cubic feet (1600 m³) of timber and 27000 cubic feet (760 m³) of firewood besides other miner products.
Sites of interest
” Aror (ruins of historical city)
” Tomb of Shah Khairuddin Jillani
” Tomb of the Seven Maidens Sateen Jo Aastan
” Tomb of Abdul Baqi Purani, Ex-Governor of Bukkur.
” Bukkur Island
” Tomb of Syed Hakim Ali
” Minaret of Masum Shah
” Sadh Belo Temple on River Indus
” Thermal Power Station Sukkur
” Lansdowne Bridge Rohri
” Sukkur (Lloyd) Barrage
” Jafry Manzil (on Miani Road)
” Lansdowne Bridge
” Shahi Bazaar, Frere Road
” Ayub Gate
” Ladies and Children Hill Park
” Looks Parak/Qasim Park
” Barrage colony
” Purana Sukkur (Old Sukkur)
” Sheikh Shaheen Road Sukkur
” Raharki sahib
” Asadullah Bhutto (MNA) (Politician)
” Dr Nasrullah Baloch (MPA)
” Ayaz Gul (poet)
” Mumtaz Bukhari Novelist, story writer, TV drama writer, translator, columnist and journalist.
” Dr Mohammad Afzal Arain Dermatologist