Once a famous center of learning, arts and commerce and provisional capital forabout four centuries in the past, Thatta is situated 98 km east of Karachi.Today, it is notable for the Jamia Masjid built by the Moghal Emperor ShahJehan, and the Makli Tombs (15th - 17th centuries) a vast necropolis spreadover 15.5 km², depicting exquisite specimens of architecture, stone carvingsand glazed tile decorations.
Between 1652 and 1660, the Dutch East India Company had a small tradingpost (comptoir or factory) in Thatta. This competed with the English one, which was established in 1635 and closed in 1662. A second British 'factory' was set up during the Kalhora period, in 1758, which lasted until 1775. In the early 19th century Thatta had declined to a population of about 18,000. To the Arabs it was known as Dibal and the remnants of the brick wall from the Mirza Isa Tarkhan period were visible at that time.