Lakhpat wasn’t really high on my wish list. I am not much of a monument person and I assumed that those monuments will have a similar history as of the forts I have been to in so many states. I was grossly mistaken and really stupid to assume anything.
This place is surreal, as if a very different universe starts from the moment you step within the fort walls. Even the pebbles here aren’t like anything we had seen before. In fact, you might hear various stories (all unverified) about why the pebbles are like that.
Lakhpat isn’t about monuments. It isn’t about grandiose. Once a bustling port, earning up to a lakh koris (silver coins) a day as revenue, it is now reduced to ruins owing to various earthquakes altering the course of Indus. The ruins bear testimony to years of history, trade and earthquakes. It is a ghost town with hardly 200 people living there. Most of the families have moved out in search of livelihood when the port stopped functioning. Instead of my repeating the history, let me refer to an excellent account by someone who has worked there. You can read it here.
We stayed in the Gurudwara for the night. It is the largest and the most well-kept building there, inspite of the fact that there is no Sikh household in this town. Legend has it that when Guru Nanak was on his way to Mecca, he passed and stayed at Lakhpat. Hence the shrine.
It isn’t a place if you expect activity. It is the kind of place you let yourself get submerged in. We just walked through the lanes with houses in semi-ruins. The silence at dusk is broken only by animal sounds. It actually feels surprising to come across a household here. Walking on the fort wall of a 9km periphery, especially during sunrise, was beyond just joy of pretty sights. The BSF post on the wall gives a breathtaking view of the Rann beyond, and you can lose sense of time drinking the surroundings.
Lakhpat makes you turn inwards. It is so silent, so still, that all that moves is sun, wind and your thoughts.