Traveling to Karachi and looking for things to do? On my last trip to Pakistan I ended up in Karachi again and visited the Chaukhandi graveyard on a day trip from Karachi. In this guide I will tell you everything you need to know when planning to visit this Karachi tourist spot. At the end of this blog you can also find my vlog about visiting the Chaukhandi Tombs including drone footage.
1. About the Chaukhandi Tombs
The Chaukhandi tombs date back to the Mughal era and most of tombs here are from between the 15th and the 18th century of the Jokhio Tribe and warriors of the Saloch families, Sindhi tribes.
This Islamic graveyard consist of around 1,500 tombs, though only about 500-600 are still intact. Most of them broken however, the ones still standing are an impressive site and a great place to visit when traveling to Karachi.
The Chaukhandi tombs burial site is on the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites and is open to the public. Visitors are welcome to walk around the tombs and get a close look at the elaborately decorated yellow sandstone slabs that are stacked on top of each other forming small pyramids.
The male tombs and female tombs can easily be identified as male tombs represent carvings of horsemen, arms, swords, bow and arrow and the female tombs show jewellery, necklaces, etc.
Pretty remarkable for that era is that the tombs are built in a south-north direction, which apparently is not seen anywhere else in the region. There is a lot to discover at this graveyard so don't skip it when you go sightseeing in Karachi.
For a complete history lesson about the Chaukhandi Tombs visit their Wikipedia Page.
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2. Location Chaukhandi graveyard
Although the Chaukhandi Tombs are regarded one of the things to do in Karachi it is located 29 kilometer (18 miles) Northeast of the city. Seems very nearby, but traffic in Karachi is a bitch and it can take up to 1 hour to reach this tourist attraction.
The location on Google Maps is correct, however when navigating there then just before you reach the burial site ask the locals for the main entrance, because Google Maps will send you wrong.
They probably won’t speak any English, but showing them a picture of the Chaukhandi tombs on your phone always works.
3. How to get there
When visiting Karachi and you don’t have a car then the easiest way to visit the Chaukhandi Tombs is to get an Uber or Careem that brings you there. They will happily wait while the meter keeps on running. Don’t worry Uber and Careem in Pakistan is cheap or you can even come to an agreement with the taxi driver before your trip.
My Karachi travel tip is to write down the Whatsapp number of a good nice taxi driver when you come across one on your visit. In that case you can always call him and arrange a trip with him. Taxi drivers are more than happy to drive foreigners around the city. To go and come back to the Chaukhandi Tombs expect to pay around 3,500 PKR ($20 USD).
You could also rent a car and combine visiting the Chaukhandi Tombs with the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Hatta, the Historical Monuments at Makli. This place to visit near Karachi is about 90 kilometer from the city center. Combining these two places to see near Karachi makes a good day trip.
When all of this seems too much hassle then get in contact with the guys from @roverpakistan. I have done several Karachi day trips with these guys and it was good fun. Definitely recommending this Karachi based adventure tour company and you also have a guide that can actually tell you some cool interesting things about the places you visit. They have tours all over Pakistan by the way.
4. Official opening hours
The Chaukhandi Tombs are open from 07.00 AM till 07.00 PM. However, in winter when the sun sets earlier they tend to officially close at sunset. There is an official gate, which also marks the main entrance. Behind the gate there is a parking where there is also a welcome sign with information about this Karachi tourist attraction and some facts about the Chaukhandi Tombs in Urdu as well as in English.
5. Entrance fee
There is no entrance fee! Visiting the Chaukhandi Tombs is one of the free things to do in Karachi. There will for sure be a local showing up and try to explain some things about the graveyard. Especially when a foreigner comes to visit. The ‘local guides’ speak very broken English, but they can point out some cool carvings in the sandstone tombs. Giving them a dollar or 2 for their effort doesn’t hurt and you actually support the locals living around the graveyard.
6. The Chaukhandi graveyard is haunted
At least that is what the locals say and according to the legends. If you are a daredevil and want to try it out you can easily visit the Chaukhandi tombs at night. There is a big iron gate that surely will be closed if you come outside the official opening hours. You can park your car in front of it though and walk around the gate.
Check out my short vlog from me visiting the Chaukhandi Tombs, it is just 3 minutes including some cool drone footage!
I hope all these tips, tricks and facts about the Chaukhandi Tombs were helpful. Don’t forget to check them out on your next trip to Karachi. Have you been and you would like to add something or just show your appreciation then please leave me a comment.
Enjoy your trip to Karachi!