Umerkot is a historical town in southeastern Sindh. It is largely known for its gigantic historical fort and being the birthplace of Mughal emperor Akbar the Great, the location of which is marked by a monument.
"Umerkot lit" means the fort of Umer. It remained the capital of Greater Sindh, which also included some parts of present day Rajasthan state of India. The town became prominent during the time of the Mughals and later the British Raj. The Mughal king Akbar was born in Umerkot when his father Humayun fled from military defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri. Rana Prasad, a Hindu Sodha Rajput ruler of Amarkot, gave refuge to Humayun.
A significant folklore story relating to Umerkot is that of Umar Marvi, a young girl abducted by Umer, then-ruler and believed be the funder of the Umerkot, who wanted to marry because of her beauty. Upon her refusal she was imprisoned in the historic Umerkot Fort for many years until her release. Because of her courage, Marvi is an idol for the local people of Umerkot.
Most of the visitors to Umerkot get in through nearest major city of Mirpur Khas and can be reached easily by car on the 75-km-long Umerkot-Mirpur Khas Rd. The journey may take less than an hour. Buses and vans, both non air-conditioned and air-conditioned are easily available for Umerkot from Mirpur Khas as well from other major cities of Sindh throughout the day time. A ticket on bus from Mirpur Khas cost about Rs 150 and journey may take between an hour and an hour and a half.
One can go to different parts of the town by self driven cars, private taxis as well shared motorcycle type rickshaws. Within Umerkot, rickshaws provide cheap and quick transportation for going from one place to another as well are perfectly fine for town tour, may charge Rs 200. Taxis are generally private cars and operated by taxi companies and can be easily hailed only from the taxi stands as distinguishing between a taxi and a private car may be difficult. You can ask at a hotels to arrange a taxi as well. These taxis are usually air-conditioned, modern and clean fleet which makes them the most comfortable, luxurious way to navigate around the town of Umerkot especially in the blistering hot weather of Summer.
- 1 Umerkot Fort. This imposing and historical fort is believed to have been built in the 11th century and by some estimates in the 13th century by Soomra rulers and later. The fortification was expanded by Kalhora rulers in 18th century. The fort remained under the control of many dynasties, who ruled the region such as Kalhoro, Talpurs, Rajput , Mughals and later the Britishers. The wide walls of fortification is made of dried bricks and filled with mud plaster. The fort rectangular in shape with large circular bastions at the each corners. Two large bastions at the main gate known as Shahi Darwaza, leads to twisted entrance into the fort are still in well preserved condition and surely gives an impressive look of the fort. Remains of some old structures can be found inside the fort as well a large watch tower in the middle of the fort accessible with stairway and have many cannons mounted on the watch tower, although without proper carriages.
- Archaeological Museum Umerkot. 8AM-6PM daily. This museum comprises some small halls inside the Umerkot Fort. It has many items on display such as paintings of Mughal emperors, royal documents, armoury, manuscripts, specimens of calligraphies, jewellery showcasing the culture of Thar Desert, as well many Jain and Hindu sculptures. Rs 20 local and Rs 300 foreigner.
- Akbar Birthplace. A beautiful yet small monument with four archives built with pink jodhpur style bricks. Its dome at the top depicts the location where third Mughal emperor Akbar the Great was born on 14 October 1542 when his father Emperor Humayun and his Mughal Empress mother Hamida Banu Begum were taking refuge in Umerkotw hilst in the oasis garrison. Akbar is regarded as the greatest and most successful ruler of the Mughal Dynasty that ruled India for more than three centuries. He remained the emperor from 1556 until 1605.
- Shahi Bazaar. A large bazaar houses numerous big and small shops and works as a main shopping area of town. The bazaar is the only big marketplace of Umerkot and can be good place to hunt down the Sindhi handicraft and souvenirs. The bazaar surely gives a good example of a traditional bazaars and worth to take a stroll.
There're many basic restaurants scattered throughout the town of Umerkot, all severing Pakistani food however not all are hygienic as most of less basic restaurants. Expect to pay minimum Rs 200 for a single dish wherever and whatever you eat.
- City Heart, College Rd, ☏ +92 238 500001, +92 347 3500002. Pakistani, Continental, Chinese dishes on the menu, some Bar B Q and fast food, fresh juices and plenty of desserts. Overall, a good place to dine in. Have air-conditioned lounge.
- Chandar Foods, Thar Bazaar. Have what might be the town's best sweets, cakes, ice creams, faloodahs and rose-milk here.
- Marvi Rest House, Akbar Azam Rd (Opposite DC. House), ☏ +92 238 571895, +92 336 3841607, +92 333 3319383, +92 344 3509244, +92 347 1038421. 8 rooms. 2 single and 8 double. Some without attach baths. Some with air-condition and some without. Clean rooms. Ask your preference and they'll arrange a room according to your requirement. Rs 1,000 (non airconditioned) Rs 1,500 airconditioned.
- VIP Guest House, Thar Bazaar (near Super Mustafa Medical Store), ☏ +92 238 571444, +92 238 570615, +92 345 4111999. A basic accommodation yet very colourful and decorated, have single and double rooms. Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned. Free Wi-Fi, and attach bath. Adjoining is a good restaurant serve some good pizzas. Rs 1,000 single and Rs, 1,500 double — Rs, 1500 single air-conditioned and Rs, 2000 double air-conditioned.
- Ghosia Guest House, ☏ +92 238 571002, +92 321 3033999, +92 345 3777712. A vast hotel have some 30 rooms in total. All air-conditioned rooms with attach bath, free Wifi, fridge, cable TV and other basic amenities. Considered to be the best accommodation in town. Have a small zoo inside the hotel as well big lawns. Have basic, deluxe and super deluxe rooms. Have a good restaurant inside hotel serve some excellent food in town. Female friendly hotel guarded by security guards, razor wires, fire extinguishers and cleanest, most comfortable guest house in town. Rs, 2,500 (single) Rs 3,000 double, Rs 3,500 double, Rs 4,000 double deluxe and Rs, 5,000 (double super deluxe).