Bhawani Sarai

Chaukhandi graveyard of Bhawani Sarai near Hub, Lasbela District is very close to the RCD Highway.
Along the coastal belt of Sindh and Baluchistan, lie a testament to a people long passed. These statements are not writings, images, historic and monumental palaces; forts or homes; but clusters, enclosures and pavilions of graves. The carved stone graves, particular to a vast region in Sindh and Balochistan comprising of over a hundred sites scattered over the expanse, are the only physical evidence to a culture that has limited documented history. Historic accounts are spread thin while searching for the factual understanding of the lifestyles of the people of the time. A deeper study answers most of the researchers’ queries, yet it opens a Pandora box of possibilities. Its origins are usually debated and each historian derives its meaning from various root words.
Symbolic representation is key in Islamic art, and these graves take no back seat. With motifs depicting celestial bodies, turbans depicting rank or political power, headstones and payalas depicting gender and personal character, these graves speak limitlessly of the many great men and women that occupy these last earthly dwellings. There are certain graveyards of the more remote Baloch tribes, such as the Burfat, that date back to 1028 A.D. which are constructed as the same stepped memorial design. In other graveyards, early panels remain quite plain and only gradually became more intricate and decorative by the 14th Century A.D., perhaps indicating that the form and the decorative elements have separate origins.Certainly, there ismuch yet to be discovered as to the funerary customs of the region before a compelling argument for the ‘Chaukandi’ as an indigenous stylistic tradition can be put forward.