I had been told that Nagarparkar would be different so it was not totally unexpected when it came. But i must say that it was more different that I thought it to be. It is different from rest of the Sindh and even from rest of Tahrparkar itself because of its landscape. It is fertile and most important of all, it has mountains.
Nagarparkar is one of the four tehsils(taluqa) of district Tharparkar. It is surrounded from the south and west by low altitude mountains which are part of the Karoonjhar range. Karoonjhar range has a unique reddish rock structure which is believed to contain large Granite deposits. The range is spread over an area of around 16 kilometers with a maximum altitude of around 330 meters. While peacocks can often be heard there, they are the not the only species found in the range. Some of the posionous snake species are also present here.
Nagarparkar city is a small town very near to the Indian border. Because of its proximity with the Indian border, there is always a lot of army/intelligence activity here. Every vehicle coming in or going out must get itself registered at the rangers check post before the city. Even the local people see strangers with skeptical eyes probably because not many outsiders come here. This is something that i did not feel in other parts of Sindh. Therefore, if you intend to visit this part of the country, you must have your identity with you. Nagarparkar has a Hindu majority. One comes across different temples while walking in the town. The famous fourteenth century Jain temple is also located at the western end of bazaar. It has been declared as a national heritage by government.
Some four or five kilometers on the south in the karoonjhar mountains, lies the Sardhara temple which is the main place of worship for local Hindu pilgrims. It has a pond of water which is called as local Ganga. Hindus from the surroundings put the ashes of their dead ones here. A concrete road has been developed in the karoonjhar to reach this temple that starts a little ahead of the Jain temple.
To reach Nagarparkar, one has to reach Islamkot from where local buses run regularly for Nagarparkar till evening. Islamkot can itself be reached via two routes. One comes via Naukot and Mithi or alternatively it can be reached via Umerkot and Chachro. The bus ride takes 80-90 mins from Islamkot. The best time to visit Nagarparkar is from Otober – December.
(Tharparkar. 6-8 December 08)