Sibi is a city located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is one of the oldest cities in the region and has a rich history and diverse cultural heritage. Sibi has played a significant role in Pakistan’s history and is known for its traditional crafts, arts, and festivals. This article provides an overview of Sibi’s historical and cultural significance.
Sibi is often referred to as the “Hot spot” of Pakistan as temperatures during the summer can reach up to 52.6 °C (126.7 °F). Historically, Sibi was a dependency of Multan and was part of the Ghaznavid Empire ruled by Nasiruddin Kubacha until the end of the 15th century. Around 1500, it was taken by Shah Beg of the Arghun Dynasty from Samma Dynasty of Sindh and came under the control of Kandahar. Later, during the Mughal period, the territory was once again ruled from Multan. In 1714, the territory was conquered by the Kalhoras Amirs of Sindh, but they were then displaced by the Durranis. During the short rule of the Durranis, local administrators were nominated from the Barozai Sub clan of the Panni (Panri) Tribe. In the 19th century, it fell under the hands of the Marris and Bugtis.
To suppress the rebellion in the area raised by Marri & Bugti Tribes, the British signed a treaty with the Khan of Kalat in the late 19th century. Under this treaty, the Sibi, Shalkot, and Chagai territories were leased out to British India. During British rule, the District of Sibi was established in 1903. The district’s area was larger than the current district and lay between 27°55′ and 30°38’N and 67°17′ and 69°50’E, south of Loralai District, north of the Upper Sind Frontier District, west of Dera Ghazi Khan District, and east of Kachhi, Bolan Pass, and Quetta-Pishin. The total area of the district was 11,281 square miles (29,220 km2). However, this included Marri Bugti county (7,129 square miles), which was not directly administered by the British, leaving 4,152 square miles (10,750 km2) that were directly administered by the British. The population according to the 1901 census of India was 74,555 or 18 persons per square mile, and the district contained four tehsils: Kohlu, Sibi, Shahrig, and Naseerabad.
In 1974, the district was subdivided to create Naseerabad and Kohlu districts, and in 1983, Dera Bugti District was established. In 1986, Ziarat District was formed. Until 2000, except for Naseerabad, these new districts were part of Sibi Division of Pakistan. In 2000, the third-tier “divisions” structure of government was dissolved, and two more new districts were created from its territory: Harnai in 2007 and Lehri in 2013. However, Lehri was later reannexed into Sibi in 2018.
According to the 2017 census, the population of the district was 179,751, with 94,723 males and 85,009 females. The rural population was 115,077 (64.02%), while the urban population was 64,674 (35.98%). The literacy rate was 45.97%, with male literacy at 57.71 the eastern bank of the Bolan river. The district is located at a distance of around 163 km from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, and around 563 km from Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan.
Sibi is a hub for transportation as it is an important railway junction in Balochistan. The district is served by Pakistan Railways, which operates various passenger and freight trains connecting Sibi to other parts of the country. The Quetta-Taftan Railway Line also passes through the district.
The district is also connected to other parts of Balochistan and Pakistan through a network of highways and roads. The National Highway 65 (N-65) passes through Sibi, connecting it to other major cities of Balochistan and Pakistan, including Quetta and Karachi. The district is also served by the Sibi-Khost Highway, which connects Sibi to Khost, a town in Afghanistan.
The economy of Sibi district is predominantly agrarian. The major crops grown in the district include wheat, barley, rice, maize, and pulses. The district is also known for its date palm orchards, which produce high-quality dates. Livestock farming is also an important source of income for the people of the district.
The district is also rich in mineral resources, including coal, copper, and limestone. The Saindak Copper-Gold Mine, one of the largest copper-gold deposits in the world, is located in the district.
Sibi district has several tourist attractions, including the Sibi Mela, which is held every year in February. The Sibi Mela is one of the largest cultural and agricultural fairs in Pakistan and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country. The district is also home to several historical sites, including the Sibi Fort, which was built during the British era, and the Rani Kot Fort, which dates back to the 17th century.
Sibi has been inhabited since ancient times and has witnessed the rise and fall of various civilizations. The city was once a part of the Indus Valley Civilization and was later ruled by Persian and Greek empires. During the Islamic era, Sibi became a thriving center of trade and commerce and played a vital role in the Delhi Sultanate. The city was also a major route for the Mughal Empire’s trade caravans.
Sibi under British Rule
After the annexation of Sibi by the British, the city underwent a significant transformation. The British developed the infrastructure of the city and established a railway system, making Sibi a major hub for trade and commerce. The city’s strategic location also made it an essential military outpost for the British Raj in India.
Sibi is known for its rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its traditional crafts, arts, and festivals. The city is famous for its handmade carpets, woolen shawls, and intricately designed embroidery. The celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and Urs are among the most significant festivals celebrated in Sibi. The city’s traditional music and dances, such as the Attan and Balochi dances, are also an essential part of its culture.
Famous Landmarks and Monuments
Sibi is home to several famous landmarks and monuments, such as the Sibi Fort, the Shrine of Pir Shah Ghazi, and the Sibi Museum. The Sibi Fort is a significant historical structure that dates back to the 16th century and was used as a residence for the local rulers. The Shrine of Pir Shah Ghazi is a popular pilgrimage site and attracts thousands of devotees every year. The Sibi Museum showcases the city’s history, culture, and traditional crafts.
In conclusion, Sibi is a city with a rich history and diverse cultural heritage. The city has played a significant role in Pakistan’s history and is known for its traditional crafts, arts, and festivals. It is essential to preserve Sibi’s heritage for future generations and promote its cultural significance to the world. Tourists and visitors to Sibi are encouraged to explore the city’s famous landmarks and monuments, enjoy its traditional music and dances, and indulge in its local cuisine. Sibi is a city that offers a unique cultural experience that is unmatched by any other city in Pakistan.