General information about Karachi
Karachi was the original capital of Pakistan till 1959 before Islamabad was made the Capital. It is currently the Provincial Capital of Sindh which is located on the Coast of the Arabian Sea. This Mega City boasts the largest Port in the Country as well the Country’s heavy Industries. All facilities and necessities for the people and tourists are available here as well as most of the Foreign Consular Missions. Karachi has become the largest metropolis and most developed city in the country, it is also an economical and financial hub of Pakistan. Modern Karachi has made progress on all fronts from trade, manufacturing, to education and cultural activities. It is the leading provider of business services, infrastructure, transport facilities
media, publishing, printing press, technical and vocational education, medical research and information technology institutes. It is locally termed as the City of Lights for its liveliness as when all of Pakistan sleeps Karachi is still active.
Geographical information on the province of Sindh
The Province of Sindh is located in the west of south Asia. It is the third largest provinces of Pakistan, occupies an area of 579 km from north to south and 281 km from east to west, bounded with Thar Desert from east, and with Kerthar Mountains from west, and Arabian Sea from south. It is the center of the fertile plain surrounding Indus River. A subtropical region, Sindh experiences hot summer and mild winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C occurs during December and January. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. Agriculture is main the economic activity in Sindh; the most important agricultural products are wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, corn, soybeans, fruits and vegetables. Farmers also rear cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and poultry. People living on the Coast of the Arabian Sea depend on fishing. Sindh is the leading province in the industrial sector of the country for major Large Scale industries are located in Karachi and its surrounding area, Hyderabad, cities in the north and Sukkur not mention a few. Manufacturing mainly includes textile, cement, sugar, petroleum products, and electronic, mechanical and other industries.
Geographical information on the province of Balochistan
Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan as it covers 44% of the Country’s total area. Its capital Quetta is considered an important cultural center in the region due to its various landmarks and its port City of Gawadar aims to become a major center for industrial activity and maritime transport in the future. The climate of the highlands of the Province is characterized by very cold winters and hot summers. Many parts of Balochistan were under British rule from 1839, this however changed when Pakistan gained its independence leading to its division between Modern day Pakistan and Iran. Accession to Pakistan took place after the ruler of Balochistan signed an accession document, giving Pakistan control of its defense and financial affairs.
Karachi is the financial capital of Pakistan and the capital city of Sindh Province. The city has been much admired since British colonial times for its location and economic potential. Today, Karachi is the most populous city in the world and also a major seaport to the otherwise landlocked country of Pakistan. The love and admiration by the people of Karachi to Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is visible all over the city in different monuments, buildings and landmarks associated & named after this founding father of the nation. Karachi is also well known for its archaeological sites at Thatta, Mohenjo-Daro and Kot Diji. The city also knows how to bring together an immense historical past to the present and on to a bright, bright future by protecting its heritage for generations to come.
Top 10 Karachi Landmarks
A historical city which served as the capital of Sindh for four centuries, Thatta is located 61 miles east of Karachi. Listed on UNSECO’s World Heritage Sites, Thatta instantly grabs attention with a vast old necropolis nearby the hills of Makli. All the monuments, shrines and mosques including Jama Mosque, built by Shah Jahan and the tomb of Jam Nizamuddin are grand in the true sense of the word.
The name Bhambore instantly rekindles the tragic love story of Sassi and Punnu whose eternal love was disowned by their families. An archaeological site, Bhambore is also thought to be the ancient port of Debal from the 8th century. Arab conqueror Mohammad Bin Qasim first landed on the land of Bhambore to save the kidnapped city from the pirates but later on was responsible for the invasion of Sindh. Located approximately 65 kms from Karachi, Bhambore was the residence of a primarily Hindu population and served as a major trading link between Asia and Arabia.
Wazir Mansion, a protected national monument is the birthplace of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. Situated in Kharadar, thousands of devoted Pakistanis visit the mansion to pay homage to their leader on his birth and death anniversary. The mansion is now restored into a museum, displaying the life and work of the Pakistani leader.
Quaid-E-Azam’s Mausoleum is a monumental tomb (Mazar-e-Quaid) of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Situated near the city of Karachi, the tomb was built in the 1960’s by Pakistani architect Yahya Merchant with white marble set in the curved Moorish arches. Nearby the mausoleum are the graves of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah (sister of Mohammad Ali Jinnah) and Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The popular Clifton Beach in Karachi with its golden sands, amusement park and a plethora of food stalls attracts tourists like bees to honey. Situated in Saddar Town, the beach is encircled by numerous handicraft shops selling local crafts and sea shell items. Many tourists and locals come here in the evenings to stroll down the sparkling sands or enjoy a small, cosy picnic with their loved ones. Nearby the beach is Funland amusement park with a bowling alley & aquarium, Shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi and a vantage point to view the Oyster Island.
Locally known as Gol Masjid or Tooba Mosque, Masjid-e-Tooba is situated in Defence Housing Society, Karachi. Built of pure white marble with a dome measuring 72 meters in diameter, the Tooba Mosque is the 18th largest mosque in the world. The mosque attracts a lot of tourists and locals alike who come to experience the unique echo when a person speaking from one end of the dome can be heard at the other end. Tooba Mosque was designed by Pakistani architect Dr Babar Hamid Chauhan in 1969.
The Mohatta Palace located in Karachi was built by Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, a Marwari businessman as his summer residential palace. He could use the palace only for a couple of decades as he had to abandon Karachi for India, after the independence of Pakistan. The palace defining characteristic attributes of Rajasthani architecture, is made from pink Jodhpur stone and local yellow stone from Gizri. After Pakistan’s independence, Fatima Jinnah & Shireen Jinnah, sisters of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah subsequently occupied the palace until 1980, when it was converted into a museum after the death of Shireen Jinnah.
Haleji Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
Haleji Lake in Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan holds up a roof to Asia’s largest bird sanctuary. Thousands of migrating birds flock to this wintering centre, especially the migratory waterfowl. The Haleji Lake was originally a small depression collecting seasonal water. But during the British regime, the capacity of the canal was increased by introducing a feeder canal from the River Sindh. While the waterfowl is the main highlight of the Haleji Lake, the sanctuary boasts of many other attractions too, such as the marsh crocodiles, osprey, Buzzards, Wigeon, coot, shoveller, pintail, Jacana, flamingos and sometimes Bewick’s swan.
National Museum of Pakistan
Established in 1950, the National Museum of Pakistan collects preserves and studies various artefacts associated with Pakistani cultural heritage. The museum was relocated to its present address at Burnes Garden in 1970 with four galleries. Today there are eleven galleries including the Quran gallery which exhibits 300 identical copies Quran. Other galleries showcase, collections sourced from the Indus & Gandhar civilization, Islamic Art and Pakistan’s political history.
The Tombs of Chaukundi
The Tombs of Chaukundi located near Landhi town, east of Karachi are renowned for their intricately carved sandstone tombs. Built by the Baluchi and Burpat tribes between the 15th and 19th century, these unique pyramid shaped tombs are embellished with geometrical patterns, symbols, flowers, crosses, swastikas and diamonds. The architecture of these tombs is exclusive to the Sindh region and found nowhere around the world.
Top 5 Bars
Cafe Vintage Sports Bar
A café for food and sports lovers who want to hangout with friends at a place they would love to call their own. Good food, a cool ambience and a LCD screen entertaining with a variety of sports games are the high points of The Sports Bar. Catch a movie on Monday at 3 and 10 pm with popcorn and ice cream in tow. On Thursdays, ladies receive a discount while Saturday is the day when you can gorge away till eternity on a delicious array of sandwiches, steaks, popcorn shrimp, burgers, pasta and salads.
The name suggests the ambience; purple lighting with smoke emitting as shisha lovers’ puff their favourite addiction. Live band on weekends and Karaoke sessions every Friday and Monday from 9 pm to 1:30 am is every music lovers’ delight. Jam packed with the young crowd of Pakistan, the club features a Wi-Fi connection to stay connected to the outside world.
The Elbow Room
One of the famous restaurants in Pakistan, serving traditional Pakistani and Continental cuisine, The Elbow Room is also famous for one more thing – its wide variety of cocktails unavailable anywhere in the country. One of the premier dining places in Karachi, the restaurants squeezes its way to the top with its top-quality cocktail- Garden Mint.
Café Mist at Arena
Café Mist at the Arena Entertainment Centre whips up cocktails, drinks and desserts to suit every taste bud. After a day of energetic activities at Arena, replenish at Café Mist from its overwhelming menu of sandwiches, drinks and snacks.
Located in the upscale shopping area of Zamzama, Ole is a swanky restaurant and lounge serving a wide variety of cuisines from Italian to Mexican, Texmex, and Japanese. Although the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, its assortment of cocktails tingle the taste buds to a great extent. Try their pina coladas, and coffee drinks.
Tourists can engage in turtle spotting activity if they arrive in Karachi between the months of September and November. They will be amazed to see giant Olive Ridley and green turtles dotting the Karachi spot line, eager to blend with the sea waters. Hire a boat from Keamari Harbour to spot turtles at Hawkes Bay and Sandspit, where these endangered species breed.
Boating at Keamari Harbour
Experience the thrill of boating in Karachi, through various mediums such as bunder boating. Take a medium size boat and leap into the waters to catch the escaping crabs. Not only will you cook and serve your own catch, but also get to mingle with the locals to understand their traditions and admire the scenic beauty. A perfect place to do this is at the Keamari (or Kiamari) Harbour where the crew will arrange for fishing gear and other equipments. You can also boat to the nearby Manora Island whose beaches and sandpits are famous all over Pakistan.
Tour to Kirthar National Park
The Kirthar National Park situated in the south-western part of Sindh province was established in 1974 to protect imperilled species like leopards, striped hyenas, wolves, ratels, urials, chinkara gazelles and rare Sindh wild goats. Tourists will encounter a varied array of flora and fauna in the pristine surroundings of the region which is a suitable habitat for birds and animals.
Historical Tours to Mohenjo-Daro
One of the oldest civilizations on earth built the stunning archaeological structure of Mohenjo-Daro which is now located in Pakistan. The ancient Indus Valley civilization blesses everyone with sights to behold of complicated engineering and urban planning. Tourists on historical tours to Mohenjo-Daro will be awestruck by the lifestyle of the people who lived in this superbly planned city. The Great Bath and notable artefacts like the Dancing Girl and Priest King are also up for admiration.
Karachi City Tours
Karachi, the largest city and financial capital of Pakistan holds many surprises denoting the existence of British Empire and the archaeological Indus Valley civilization. Each corner you’ll discover colonial masterpieces, traditional culture and religious monuments in the form of mosques and churches. Tourist attractions like Clifton beach, memorial of the Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Juna Market are just round the corner if you book a city tour of Karachi. There are a variety of them, each selecting a group of attractions depending on the theme.
Historical Tour to Kot Diji
The archaeological site of Kot Diji housed a civilization that existed prior to the Indus Valley civilization. It is located 22 kilometres south of Khairpur in the province of Sindh. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilizations were inspired by the urbanization of Kot Diji which had separate defined areas for the elite and common man. The historical tour unravels tourists back to the time when farming civilization had evolved and urban planning was taking shape.
Shopping in Karachi
A South Asian country like Pakistan boasts of many local traditional crafts. Shopping in Karachi is an enjoyable experience since the city holds a complex network malls and small flea markets. While branded – imported and local products are available at malls, the local bazaars enthral tourists with their bright and colorful shops selling jewelry, handicrafts, clothing, shoes, cosmetics and many more. Some of the well-known shopping malls in Karachi are Jumeirah Mall, The Forum, D-Mart, Millennium Mall, Dolmen Mall, Park Towers, and Naheed Super Market. On the other hand, tourists should get familiar with the charming market areas like Saddar Bazaar, Tariq Road Bazaar, Zainab Market, Gulf Area Market, and Liaqat Abad Bazaar.
|Languages spoken||Urdu, English|
|Area (km2)||3,780 km²|