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Sphinx of Pakistan

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The Makran Coastal Highway which links Karachi with the port town of Gwadar was opened in the year 2004. The new road finally allowed tourists an easy access to the Hingol National Park, that is one of the natural wonders of Pakistan, with its rocky terrain, mountain caves, and beautiful beaches, 240 km saway from Karachi, and home to the huge anomalous rock formation known as the ‘Baluchistan Sphinx’.

The Baluchistan Sphinx, not nearly as famous as the Great Sphinx of Giza, however probably to be even earlier version than its Egyptian counterpart, when all of its surroundings are placed in context with the sculpted form which sits proudly above it all. Bibhu Dev Misra Indian author and researcher believes the Baluchistan Sphinx is a huge architectural complex created by an advanced ancient civilization and in many ways resembles the Egyptian Sphinx. Describing the Sphinx itself he wrote:

A cursory glance at the impressive sculpture shows the Sphinx to have a well-defined jawline, and clearly discernible facial features such as eyes, nose, and mouth, which are placed in seemingly perfect proportion to each other.

Just like the Sphinx at Giza, the Pakistani formation appears to include a head-dress similar to the Nemes head-dress worn by the ancient Pharaohs, with its striped markings on a cloth which covers the crown and the back of the head of its wearer. The flaps hanging down near the ears are also clearly visible on the Baluchistan Sphinx, whilst the horizontal groove resembling the pharaonic headband can be seen adorning the forehead. The legs and paws of the mythical beast are also clearly defined. Dev Misra writes:

One can easily make out the contours of the reclining forelegs of the Sphinx, which terminate in very well-defined paws. It is difficult to see how nature could have carved out a statue that resembles a well-known mythical animal to such an astonishingly accurate degree.

Among the Egyptians, sphinxes were placed at the entrance of temples to guard their mysteries. Hence, in close proximity to the Baluchistan Sphinx is another important structure. From a distance, it looks like a Hindu Temple (like those of South India), with the Mandapa (entrance hall) and the Vimana (temple spire). The top part of the Vimana appears to be missing. The sphinx is reclining in front of the temple, appearing to act as a protector of the sacred site.

Sphinx is never only belonging to Giza, as if we look closely to the ancient world sculptures, we would find out this composite mythological being is present in many traditions, art and mythology. Let’s say, in Greece the colossal statue of the Sphinx of Naxos stood on a towering ionic column, at the sacred Oracle of Delphi, acting as a protector of the site. In Indian art and sculptures, sphinxes (Purusha Mruga) were sculpted all over the temple premises including the entrance gates, halls, near the central shrine etc.Sphinxes also feature in the Buddhist architecture of South-east Asia. In Myanmar, they are called Manusiha. They are depicted in a cat-like crouching posture at the corners of Buddhist stupas. They wear a tapering crown and ornamental ear-flaps and have feathered wings attached to their front limbs.

So, all across the ancient world, the sphinx acted as a protector of sacred places. Therefore, The Sphinx of Baluchistan also appears to be guarding the temple-like structure near it. This suggests that the site was laid out in accordance with the principles of sacred architecture.

Also, a closer look at The Sphinx Temple shows clear evidence of pillars carved on the boundary wall. The temple entrance is visible behind a large pile-up of sediments or termite
mounds. An elevated, sculpted, structure to the left of the entrance could be a subsidiary
shrine. Overall, there can be little doubt that this a massive, man-made, rock-cut, monument of immense age, could have been built thousands of years ago during the Indus Civilization to guard the sacred site. With more investigative work and analysis, this remote site in Pakistan may reveal itself as another example of a forgotten civilization which flourished long before ancient Egypt or even Gobekli Tepe in Turkey.

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