The Karachi travelogue. A look trough Pakistan

di Tehseen Nisar

The Karachi travelogue. A look trough Pakistan

di Tehseen Nisar

The Karachi travelogue. A look trough Pakistan

di Tehseen Nisar
6 minuti di lettura

Located in the southern zone of Pakistan, Karachi is one of the most cosmopolitan metropolises in the world. With a population of around 18 million, the city is characterized by its most succinct patterns of social co-existence. It hosts one of the finest institutes of learning, including universities, colleges, academies and art schools. The city is famous for its bright, motivated, callibered and highly potent individuals who have stood out and maintained their niche in their respective areas of excellence. Not so well coveraged in the International media: the city offers a splendid variety of art, architecture, music, cinema, fashion, entertainment scenarios. It is home to multitude of ethnicities and linguistic minorities in a way which makes it totally exceptional. For many it’s the couch of destitutes while for others it’s a godfather. Only in that sense it belongs toThe rich and the famous, the poor and havenots, the wise and the glitteraty you name it and it caters to all!!


For a long time the city was called as the city of lights or the mother of all the brides. It is one of the most hilarious and brightest cities of the South Asian region with a rich historical and cultural legacy. During the British colonial rule, the city gained its maximum pre-eminence as it became a major shipping zone of the region supplying and importing raw materials from the British Imperials territories. The British East India Company conquered Karachi on February 3, 1839 and started developing it as a major port. As a result of British rule the local Hindu population established a massive presence in the city. These developments in Karachi resulted in large influx of economic migrants: Parsis, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Marathis, Goans, Armenians, Chinese, British, Lebanese and Gujaratis. The population of the city was about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century, with a cosmopolitan mix of different nationalities. British colonialists embarked on a number of public works of sanitation and transportation  such as gravel paved streets, proper drains, street sweepers, and a network of trams and horse-drawn trolleys. Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares. Karachi was later chosen as the capital of Pakistan.


No wonder one of the greatest attractions of the city is the presence of its beaches. The Karachi beaches are conspicuous by the presence of huts (rent out accommodation for picnics) where one can find a suitable time for a vacation. Crowds of young people can be seen on weekdays organizing musical concerts and ceremonies along the beaches. The very famous ones are called the Sands pit, Hawkes Bay, Paradise point etc. Though at times one might have to be a little careful as to the time to venture out to the beach. The months of June, July and August might not be the best of times for picnicking as this is usually the monsoon season: characterized by heavy rainfalls and torrential floods in the region, when the tidal waves are marked by their utmost ferocity. Nonetheless one can always venture out randomly on the weekends near Sea View: The area which marks a huge coast line, residential complexes and which guarantees the tourist the best satisfaction and entertainment that money can buy. The sea view location of the Karachi beach is facilitated by the nearby cafes restaurants, vendors selling tea, stuffed corn, and the local varieties of fried crackers that one could in no way resist the temptation to eat. Equally entertaining is the Cinema nearby which is called Cineplex where after a walk on the roaring shores of the Arabian sea one can just hover around and pop in with a packet of popcorn and a cup of cappuccino to come across with wide range of choices of Bollywood’s dazzling movies.


A few meters away are located some fairly hilarious shopping malls where one can pick up the best varieties of local and foreign garments, jewelry, shoes, accessories for marginally cheaper rates, since the city is remarkably one of the cheapest places for shopping in South Asia offering innumerable choices for foreign and local buyers. All sorts of garments from jeans, trousers, shoes to fancy stilettos mark the temptation of the byuesrs.In a strict sense of the word the city signifies the shoppers delight with markets offering one of the finest collections of local and foreign wares.


One of the most popular tourist destinations are the mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan Qaid-E-Aazam, Clifton fort, Frere Hall, Empress Market: Certainly the British architecture of the pre-partition era of the city also is remarkably magnificent. The historical sites include the down town area which still is profoundly is the hallmark of the British Imperial rule especially the I.I.Chundrigar road and Charles Napier Street (on the name of famous British commander who discovered Karachi and was loathed by the beauty and brevity of the city)


Perhaps the most sought after places for Tourist are the Shopping malls ,the restaurants serving all sorts of continental and local varieties of food. Amongst others Karachi zoo, the office of the local radio station ,Pakistan radio and Bandar road the so called port Road connecting the old part of the city Karachi with the new one are most famous. The other famous buildings are the customs house, the Muslim Commercial Bank building, The Habib bank building which is the tallest and many more surrounding in the area which is often called as the wall street of Karachi.


As for the cuisine Karachi is very famous for its cuisine. The lusty tasty nihari…a version of beef curry though in very spicy form the rice pullao or the rice with chicken famous for its taste and also not to exclude the niceties of the sweet delights. One of the most famous of all the places is the inevitable shrines of many saints. One of which is Abdullah Shah Ghazi. He was one of the most famous disciple of the family of most revered saints in South Asia and there is a myth that the presence of his mausoleum in the very heart of the city has made the city safe from the onslaughts of being dragged by the powerful storms and earthquakes that which would have destroyed the very foundations of the city!


One of the most interesting aspects about the culture of the city in definitely the warm hospitable nature of Karacahiites(the name given to people of the city).


The subtle and most warmly hosting people of the city remains the significant hallmarks of the city. The warmth and generosity of the local populace makes the city one of the most extra ordinary cities of Pakistan. Located at the juncture where the Arabian Sea meets the sultry hot deserts of Thar, Cholistan and furthering away to the Persian gulf where it becomes a melting pot of cultures in the Middle East…the city encompasses the varying and diverse trends and traditions as well as plethora of heterogeneous influence of geographies. During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan’s economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea, copied the city’s second “Five-Year Plan” and world Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modeled after Karachi.


Having said so much about the city from an Insiders perspective, It is as lovely an experience to hear the views about the city from an outsiders perspective which nevertheless is as magnificent, as pleasurable and not to mention as hilarious as the tunes and tones and sights and sounds of the city it -self.


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