Urban Traditions and Historic Environments in Sindh: A Fading Legacy of Shikarpoor, Historic City
Shikarpoor, Historic City (Sindh, Pakistan), nominated to the 2008, 2010, and 2014 World Monuments Fund Watch List, historically enjoyed great significance as a pivot of caravan trade due to its strategic geographic location, distinguished as the gate of Afghanistan, Khelat, Khorasan, and Central Asia. Recognizing its historic significance, the Government of Sindh's Department of Culture, through a notification in September 1998, declared "Shikarpoor Historic Town" a protected heritage site under the 'Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act 1994'; furthermore in March 2012 declaring 1,203 properties, including open spaces, urban elements, and buildings as enlisted sites. Mere notifications have, however, proved insufficient to curb the ongoing destruction of the city's unique historic fabric.
Established in the early decades of the 17th century, Shikarpoor developed as a multicultural urban centre, reaching a zenith of prosperous times during the 18th and 19th centuries. Developments in Sindh after that period caused a gradual decline in Shikarpoor's economic and socio-political strength, drastically transforming its urban composition. Remnants of Shikarpoor's unique past are now evident only through its surviving historic fabric, presently threatened by insensitive developments and a lack of appreciation.
Urban Traditions and Historic Environments in Sindh: A Fading Legacy of Shikarpoor, Historic City ventures to capture the lost spirit of this fading legacy, lamenting upon its potential for an economic and urban revival through a heritage conservation campaign.