Karoonjhar is the only hill and mountainous range situated in Sindh. The term Karoonjhar is a formation of two Sindhi words; ‘karo’ meaning black and ‘jhar’ meaning dots. The region is extremely popular for a host of reasons.
Consisting of granite rocks of the Aravalli range, these rocks are known to be some of the oldest rocks of the Earth’s crust. They are also incredibly rich in minerals. Moreover, many plants in the region have strong medicinal values which locals use to treat various ailments.
The mountainous regions are also home to popular historical sites including the 16th century Jain Gori Temple and the Bhodesar Mosque. It’s highest peak is 1000 feet above sea level and is known as Tarwat’s peak.
Apart from the immense geographical significance, the region also holds cultural significance.
Shaikh Ayaz, an internationally reputed Sindhi poet, visited the region in the 1960’s and, upon witnessing the beauty of the hills, declared that the area was a symbol of the freedom of human thought and mysticism.
The mountains are also a prominent feature in many folklore tales such as Parasar, the story of Sadwant and Saranga, Bherio garori and Moondre ji sati phool.
Due to the beauty and symbolism of the mountains, many locals irrespective of their faith consider it to be a sacred area. Hindus consider it to be the second holiest place after the Ganges river and many use it as a location to perform religious rituals.
Additionally, the region is precious for the local animals as well. The region provides a safe space for peacocks, deers, wolves and hyenas
The intense emotional connection the locals have for these hills is narrated in a popular local tale about the story of Kaisu Ba. In the tale, Ba refused to move back to India with his family after the partition. His family then sent a thug to go get him but he still refused to leave saying ‘if you take me from here then take all of Karoonjhar with you’.
The deep connection can also be felt in the popular local saying ‘Karoonjhar yields 100 kilos of gold a day’, further emphasising the economic value of the mountains.
Sadly, because of the rich land and economic value attached to it, the local government and various corporations have been seeking out the lands for mining and digging purposes to extracting granite for the building infrastructure. This has started to leave many bald spots in the region and reduce the overall beauty of the historic region.
Karoonjhar adds to the beauty of Sindh and is loved and revered by many. For many, it is imperative to maintain the natural beauty of the mountains. As a result, this week saw the hashtag #SaveKaroonjhar trending on Twitter.
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