Makli Hill – Thatta, Pakistan - Atlas Obscura

Makli Hill

Thatta, Pakistan

One of the largest necropolises in the world is home to a stunning array of historic Middle Eastern tombs. 


Dominating an area over 26,000 feet in diameter atop a Pakistan hilltop, the aptly named Makli Hill is a sprawling city of the dead that is made of beautifully crumbling tombs. 

From around the 14th century through to the 18th century CE, the Thatta region was inhabited by local royalty who used Makli Hill as their communal burial site. Each new succession of rulers would build elaborate burial structures, often differing wildly from one another, creating a massive and varied cornucopia of historic graves unlike anything else on the planet. Kings, queens, scholars, holy men, and other figures of import are buried on the hilltop in their ornate stone tombs. Around 120,000 people are thought to be buried on the hill.

Hindu, Islamic, Asian, and other styles can be picked out among the collection of tombs, which have been split into four distinct periods of creation corresponding to the ruling society of the time. Some of the tombs have tall columns, while others are decorated with sweeping arches. All together, the hill is like some sort of archaeological dreamscape.

The site, while in need of a great deal of preservation, is able to be visited by tourists and necropolis fans. The latter especially will not be disappointed.    

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