Interior Sindh (including Hyderabad and Bhit Shah) is a wide, dry, baking hot, open land defined by its villages and farms. Even the scattering of cities in this region are inextricably linked to their surrounding agricultural communities; they exist as trading hubs, service centres, and irrigation points. Throughout Interior Sindh lie some of Pakistan’s least developed regions, places where life has barely changed since partition in 1947, if not Mughal times. Landlords, feudal families, workers and their ‘owners’, caste and indigenous beliefs aren’t just realities in this area, they are the basis on which society operates. Islam blends with traditional beliefs and superstition in places like Sehwan Sharif where Sufi devotion sometimes even resembles certain of Hindu practices. This region provides a window on traditional Sindhi culture in a way that Karachi never will. Be prepared to witness mind-bending displays of religious conviction at shrines, a tapestry of religions including significant numbers of Hindus and even Jains, and a guarded hospitality in a society often completely unfamiliar with foreign tourists. Many foreigners who come to Pakistan are apprehensive about engaging in a culture vastly different from their own; many urban Pakistanis feel similarly about visiting Interior Sindh.
Predictably, travelling in an area so untouched by development and globalisation comes with its challenges, and this is one of the toughest areas of Pakistan to visit. Not a lot of English is spoken; illiteracy is shockingly common. However those who dare, and who persevere with Interior Sindh, leave with vivid memories to last a lifetime.