Chaukhandi Tombs: A Unique Necropolis With Intricate Carvings

Chaukhandi Graveyard is an early Islamic necropolis located in Karachi, Pakistan. The tombs are mainly made from sandstone and are famous for their intricate stone carvings. The funerary architectural style of the Chaukhandi tombs is unique to the province of Sindh in Pakistan and is not observed in any other works in the Islamic world. They were mainly built during the Mughal rule when Islam dominated the region. Since there are few inscriptions on the tombs, it is not possible to assign exact dates to them. The origins of the name ”Chaukhandi” are still uncertain.

Chaukhandi Tombs

The Chaukhandi Tombs are attributed to the Jokhio, a Sindh tribe, and are known as the family graveyard of the tribe. But members of the other tribes, mainly Baloch, also have been buried here.

The construction of the graveyard is unique due to its orientation from north to south. Historians were able to recognize the site as an Islamic necropolis because all the tombs were in the direction of the Holy Kaaba. The graves are constructed either as single graves or in groups of eight graves, raised on a single common platform.


They are embellished with geometrical motifs including figural representations like jewelry, mounted horsemen, and hunting scenes. The tombs of the women are embellished with jewelry carvings. At the north end, there are jewelry carvings worn on top of the body while at the southern end, there are carved anklets, indicating that the feet are at the end of the grave. Men’s tombs are decorated with riders, armor, and weapons carvings. This craftsmanship displays the richness of the Chaukhandi funerary art.


The tombs are designated as a UNESCO tentative site. Locals think that the graveyard is haunted and prevents people from going there at night.

Chaukhandi Tombs
Chaukhandi Tombs
Chaukhandi Tombs