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Karachi

FACT FILE:

Geographical Location:

24°55'13.38"N
67° 1'9.51"E

Physical Location:

Sindh coast of the Arabian Sea / Indian Ocean, northwest of the Indus Delta. 

Total Area:

3,527 km˛

Population:

Altitude:

8 feet below sea level

Best Time to Visit:

October to May

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Karachi  is the capital of the province of Sindh, and the most populated city in Pakistan, sometimes known as the City of Light and the City of Quaid after Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. It is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea / Indian Ocean, northwest of the Indus Delta. The city is the financial and commercial centre as well as the largest port of Pakistan.

 

Popular Attractions:

 

Although touristically it is not the most interesting place in Pakistan, the fast paced life-style of this mega-city will have a big impact on you. There is a lot to do and see here such as shopping, nightlife and eating out, far more than anywhere else in Pakistan. With its wide sunny beaches, deep-sea fishing, yachting, golf and horse racing all-year round you cannot get bored here.

Clifton beach, Mazar-e-Quaid, Masjid-e-Tooba, Port Fountain Jet, Zamzama Commercial Area, Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mausoleum, Pakistan Air Force Museum, Pakistan Maritime Museum, National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi Expo Centre, Merewether Tower, Frere Hall, Khaliq Deena Hall, Jehangir Kothari Parade, Governor's House, St Patrick's Cathedral, Former Victoria Museum, Empress Market, KMC Building, Bhit Shah, Karachi Zoo are the points to visit.
As Karachi faces the Arabian sea, it is also a major port, which along with its international airport act as a hub for international trade, transport, manufacturing and commerce. Karachi is the center of commerce although the capital was moved to Islamabad in 1963. All major banks have their headquarters in Karachi which even has its own stock exchange the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).
Karachi Harbour, due to its geographical and strategic location was known as the gateway to Asia. Considered as a safe Harbour since time immemorial. An Ancient settlement, Karachi was a small fishing village in the early Nineteenth Century. Historians identify it with its proximity to a place from where a part of Alexander's Army, boarded the Greek Flotilla in 326 B.C.
The bay also has its tourist side with 'Bunder boating'. Flat boats which you can hire as a group to take you out into the bay to 'catch crabs', which basically means sit and eat pre-caught crabs and local delicacies that they will supply and enjoy any snacks and drinks you've brought along with you. Near Karachi are many old cities with more historic sights that can be visited as daytrips.
Culture:

Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, [8] located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana offers a two year diploma course in performing arts that include classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Musical Conference, linked to the 45-year old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its Annual Music Festival since its inception in 2004. The Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is awaited anxiously and attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) also has musical performances and Mushaira (poetry recitations). Karachi has a few museums including the Mohatta Palace museum that regularly has exhibitions as well as the National Museum of Pakistan. The Kara Film Festival organized annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries.
The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other Pakistani towns. The culture of Karachi is characterized by the blending of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Western influences, as well as the status of the city as a major international business centre. As a whole, there is considerable diversity in culture, and this diversity has produced unique cultural amalgam of its own type. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.
Mazar-e-Quaid or the National Mausoleum refers to the tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It is an iconic symbol of Karachi throughout the world. The mausoleum is situated at the heart of the city, completed in 1960s. It is made of white marble with curved Moorish arches and copper grills rest on an elevated 54 square meters platform. The cool inner sanctum reflects the green of a four-tiered crystal chandelier gifted by the people of China. Around the mausoleum there is a park fitted with strong beamed spot-lights which at night project light on the white mausoleum. The location is usually calm and tranquil which is significant considering that it is in the heart of one of the largest global megalopolises. The glowing tomb can be seen for miles at night. Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Jinnah's sister, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, are also buried besides Jinnah. Official and military ceremonies take place here on special occasions, especially on 23 March, 14 August, 11 September, 25 December, 8 July and 30 July. Dignitaries and officials from foreign countries also visit this place. The Mazar-e-Quaid is now officially recognized as the National Mausoleum of the country.

Masjid e Tooba or Tooba Mosque is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Locally, it is also known as the Gol Masjid. Masjid e Tooba was built in 1969 in Defense Housing Society, Karachi. It is located just off main Korangi Road. Masjid e Tooba is probably the largest single dome mosque in the world. It is also major tourist attraction in Karachi. Masjid e Tooba is built with pure white marble. The dome of the Masjid e Tooba is 72 meters (236 feet) in diameter, and is balanced on a low surrounding wall with no central pillars. Masjid e Tooba has a single minaret standing 70 meters high. The central prayer hall has a capacity of 5,000 people. It has been built keeping acoustics in mind. A person speaking inside one end of the dome can be heard at the other end.

 

PAF Museum, Karachi is an Air Force museum and park situated between PAF Base Faisal and Awami Markaz on main Shahra-e-Faisal at Karachi.
The museum is open throughout the year for seven days a week. Pakistan Air Force Museum is known for its well organized displays, rides and greenery. The main museum is located inside the park and features all major Fighter Aircrafts which were used by the Pakistan Air Force at display. Many aircraft are also on display outside in the park and some in the hangar as well, along with photo and weapon galleries. There is also a souvenir shop where miniature jet models, key chains, shirts and other Air Force related merchandise is available. A mosque and restaurant also cater the park.

National Museum of Pakistan at Karachi was established in Frere Hall Building on 17th April 1950 replacing the defunct Victoria Museum. The historic building of Frere Hall itself was built in 1865 as tribute to Sir Bartle Frere, Commissioner of Sind in the last century. The basic objective of establishing National Museum was to collect, preserve, study, and exhibit the records of the cultural history of Pakistan and to promote a learned insight into the personality of its people. Once the Museum was inaugurated then the Government of Pakistan deemed it wise to constitute an Advisory Council in 1950 with a primary duty to counsel the Museum on the issues of enriching its collection through new acquisitions and purchase of antiquities and works of Arts.
The Museum was shifted to the present premises (located in Burns Garden, Dr. Zia-ud-din Road) in 1970. At that time there were only four galleries in the Museum. However, at present there are a total of 11 Galleries in the Museum including an exquisite “Quran Gallery”. As a matter of fact National Museum has more than 300 copies of the Holy Quran, out of which around 52 rare manuscripts are on display in “Quran Gallery”. The Museum also contains an important collection of items relating to Pakistan's Cultural heritage. Some other galleries display Indus Civilization artifacts, Gandhara Civilization Sculptures, Islamic Art, Miniature Paintings, Ancient Coins and Manuscripts documenting Pakistan's Political History. There is also an interesting Ethnological Gallery with life size statues of different ethnicities living in the four provinces of Pakistan.The Museum has a collection of 58,000 old coins (some dating from 74 Al-Hijra), and hundreds of well preserved sculptures. Some 70,000 publications, books and other reading material of the Archeology and Museums Department were also shifted to the National Museum so that general public could see them.Every year National Museum holds around a dozen exhibitions on National Days and other occasions. The Museum premises also has an auditorium with 250 seating capacity.

Frere Hall is one of the few well-preserved buildings from the days of the British Raj that still exists in Karachi.It was built in honour of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere (1815-1884), who was known for promoting economic development in Karachi. Situated almost in the centre of Karachi, across the street from the Marriott Hotel and the US Consulate, and adjacent to the Sind Club, the building itself forms the centrepiece of a park know as Bagh-e-Jinnah (Jinnah Gardens).
Due to security concerns, as well as the insistence of the US Consulate, which faces Frere Hall, the park has largely been declared off-limits to the general public.

 

Khaliq Deena Hall or Khalikdina Hall is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Its full name is Ghulam Hussain Khaliq Deena Hall. It is mainly used as a library.
Khaliq Deena Hall was used by the British authorities in 1921 as a court to try Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Mohammad Ali of Khilafat movement.

Jehangir Kothari Parade is located in Clifton beach in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

Access to the sea at Clifton is provided by the terraced Parade known as the Jehangir Kothari Parade. The site, owned by Mr. Jehangir Kothari, an eminent Karachi citizen, who gifted it along with a handsome donation Rs. 300,000 to the Municipality for the development of recreational facilities. The foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Lloyd on 10th February, 1919 and formally opened by Lady Lloyd on 5th January, 1920. The Lady Lloyd Pier was also opened by her on 21st March, 1921.

The Kiosk at one end of the parade, with its elliptical roof structure, built in Jodhpur stone, has an octagonal seat in the center and was used as a Bandstand in yester-years. The pier is 1300 ft long, 15 ft wide and ends in a 70 ft by 50 ft sea-side Pavilion constructed on piles. Gizri limestone and Jodhpur stone were used for its construction.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral which lies on Shahrah-e-Iraq, formerly known as Clarke Street, located near the Empress Market in Karachi, Pakistan.
The first church in Sindh (except for possibly one in Thatta) was initially built on the grounds of this cathedral in 1845, and was called St. Patrick’s Church. It was in April 1881 that the present cathedral was opened, since the Christian community grew in number, and the need for a larger place of worship became apparent. Despite the construction of the new building, the little church continued to function until it was destroyed by a storm in 1885.
The present-day cathedral is built in Gothic style; it measures 170 ft by 75 ft, and has the capacity to accommodate at least 1,500 worshippers at the same time. It was designed by three members of the Society of Jesus: Father Wagner, Brother Kluver and Brother Lau.
Empress Market is located in Saddar Town of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Empress Market was built in 1889 and was named in honor of Queen Victoria, Empress of British Empire in South Asia. Empress Market is the central shopping center of Karachi.

Manora, is a small island (2.5 km˛) located just south of the Port of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. The island is connected to the mainland by a 12 kilometre long causeway called the Sandspit. Manora and neighboring islands form a protective barrier between Karachi harbour to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south. The western bay of the harbour contains endangered mangrove forests which border the Sandspit and Manora island. To the east is Karachi Bay and the beach towns of Kiamari and Clifton. The island is located at 24°48′00″N, 66°58′00″E

Hawke's Bay or Hawkesbay is a beach in Pakistan situated a couple of kilometers away from Sandspit Beach near Karachi. Like Sandspit it is rocky beach with natural beauty. Visitors enjoy swimming and camel riding.
Hawkesbay is one of the beach in the world, where green marine turtles comes to lay eggs. It one of the rare reptile species found at Hawkesbay.
Paradise Point, on the Arabian Sea, is a beach in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Paradise Point is a sandstone rock promontory with a natural arch.
The beach has attractions for families and tourists, including beachside horse and camel rides, amusement parks, restaurants, and swimming in the Arabian Sea.
Bundal Island is a small islands located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Bandal, pronounced Bhandar by local fishermen, is a twin island of Buddo and lies to its West. On Bundal Island the tomb of Muslim sufi Yusuf Shah is located. The annual urs of 'Yusuf Shah' which attracts thousands of coastal people to the island. The island looked like a city during the urs. Churma and Buddo Islands are also located near Bundal Island.

Sandspit Beach is situated north west of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is a very famous tourist spot. The sea at Sandspit is very calm and quiet from October to March and very rough during the monsoon. Remarkable variety of marine life-algae, and crabs are found here. The shallow water here are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. It has an unusual rocky formation. Sandspit beach is quite a popular hangout and relaxation spot in Karachi. Facilities at the Sandspit Beach includes boating and camel riding.
The Sandspit Beach is also a nesting ground for Green and Olive Red Turtles, implemented by the Sindh Wildlife Department over the past two decades. In recent years the WWF-Pakistan has also become actively involved in turtle conservation activities by establishing a Wetland Centre at the Sandspit beach.


Accessibility:

 

Karachi is well connected with rest of the country by rail and road. Karachi's Quaid Azam International airport has air linkage to all over the country as well as all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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