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Alligators at Munga Peer [Mangho Pir or Magar Pir].

Alligators at Munga Peer [Mangho Pir or Magar Pir].

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1900

Shelfmark: Photo 425/(43)

Item number: 23

Length: 10

Width: 14.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of crocodiles at Manghopir on the outskirts of Karachi, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. Manghopir is the shrine of the Sufi saint Sakhi Sultan Mangho Pir, or Saint of the Crocodiles. The saint, it is said, came here from Arabia in the 13th century and meditated in a cave. Near the shrine is a natural pond 400 feet long by 200 feet wide, fed by an underground stream, which is home to hundreds of crocodiles. The crocodiles (or magar macch) are regarded as sacred to the saint and honoured in an annual festival. The saint and crocodiles are particularly venerated by local tribes known as Shedis who are descended from African slaves. Near the shrine are also hot springs whose sulphuric waters are considered beneficial.

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