Sehwan (Sindhi: سيوهڻ شريف, Urdu: سیہون; also commonly referred to as Sehwan Sharif or Noble Sehwan) is a historic city located in Jamshoro District of Sindh province in Pakistan and on the west bank of the Indus 80 miles (130 km) north-west of Hyderabad. The city is renowned for being home of one of Pakistan's most important Sufi shrines, the Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.The city also holds the status of taluka under Jamshoro District. It was previously under Dadu District however, after establishing the Jamshoro District, Sehwan was linked with Jamshoro District.
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Owing to the popularity of its Sufi shrine, the terms "Sehwan" and "Qalandar" are often used interchangeably in Pakistan. Sehwan is one of Pakistan's most important spiritual centres, along with other shrines such as the Shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi, Data Durbar Complex in Lahore, Bari Imam in Noorpur Shehan near Islamabad, and the lustrous tombs of the Suhrawardi Sufis in Multan.
William Dalrymple says that the name is derived from Shivistan after Lord Shiva. Sindhu-mán is Sanskrit word, which means "the possessor (the capital, or Raja) of Sindh, with which Sindhu-vàn is synonymous, the latter may have been softened in common speech to the modern Seh-wan. Sindomana was the capital of King Sambos, who was defeated by Alexander in 326 BC.
Sehwan was conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim in 711 from son of the King Dahir, and three centuries later by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026. In all the subsequent dynastic struggles of Sindh, Sehwan continued to feature prominently. It was held successively by the Sumrahs, the Summas, the Arghuns and the Tarkhans. It was the capital of Thatta Kingdom, when an abortive attempt was made by the Mughal emperor Humayun to capture it on his way to Umarkot in 1542, but it finally fell to his son Akbar in 1590s. After the Mughals, it was ruled by Kalhoras and Talpurs.
The Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Shrine of the Sufi saint Murshid Nadir Ali Shah, a notable spiritual successor of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is also located in Sehwan, where large number of people are served free meals round the clock. Another famous place is the inverted city. Manchar Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Pakistan, which is at a short distance from Sehwan Sharif.
On 16 February 2017, a suicide bomber triggered an explosion at the Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, killing at least 83 people and injuring almost 250. The attack occurred during a praying session. The bombing took place at an 800 year old Shrine. Later the ISIS claimed responsibility for this terrorist attack stating that their 'martyr' had detonated a vest at the popular Shia gathering at the shrine.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sehwan.|