Monday, May 20, 2013

Karachi's Historical Building

Frere Hall

It is a beautiful building built an honour of Henry Bartle Edward Frere during British Raj, in 1863 and was opened in 1865 by Samuel Mansfield, the Sindh Commissioner. Edward Frere was recognised by British Raj for his contribution in promoting economic development in Karachi. The hall is located along Abdullah Haroon Road and Fatima Jinnah Road, in front of Marriott Hotel. In 2011, after the US Embassy shifted to their new building somewhere near Boat Basin, it was open for public and tourist are allowed to stop and taking pictures. I've been chased away by the rangers many times from 2007 till 2011. It was a great reliefs when no one stopped me on 16th May 2013.

Empress Market

Also built by British Raj in Saddar Town municipality between 1884 and 1889, was named to commemorate Queen Victoria, the Empress of India. Empress Market is a most popular and busy places for shopping in Karachi, reflecting 1 of the few historical spots of the city. Commodities sold in the Empress Market range from condiments, fruits, vegetables, sea foods, meats, textiles and pet shops. Cheah Lee brought me here on my first week in Karachi in July 2007 to buy sea foods for cooking. The fish head used to be free, was charged only at Rs50 (RM3) at that time but later the price gone up as mostly Malaysian and Chinese made a market of it. Cheah Lee, the animal lovers also brought me here where I bought my first Smoked Grey Persian, Kitty. What a memory.      

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Building

This historic building is located at M.A. Jinnah road being an iconic status as one of the landmark structures of Karachi. It's foundation stone was laid down in 1927, construction was completed in 1930.  The police patrol car was trying to stop tourist to snap a photo of the building, therefore, it is advisable to come in early morning when there's no crowd should you wish to enjoy the building's beauty.   

Clock Tower at KPT Tower junction

From M.A. Jinnah road heading towards KPT Flyover, a proud standing British clock tower can be seen from far greater distance. It is connected to II Chundrigar Road, best known as financial street where mostly banks headquarters were located at. The clock is another British heritage in Karachi city.

Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Administrative Building

KPT is a Pakistani federal government agency that oversees the operations of the Port of Karachi, Sindh. Between 1880 and 1887, the port was administered by the Karachi Harbour Board. KPT was established by the Act IV of 1886, effectively on 1st April 1887. The port is located between Kiamari and Saddar town. The British (under British Raj) built the port who at that time, were very concerned about Russian expansion towards the Arabian Sea. They occupied Karachi in 1839 and latter the whole of Sindh where the port was properly built in 1880's. KPT's building was completed during the First World War which then converted to a 500 bed military hospital. 

EFU Life Insurance Pakistan

EFU is 1 of the largest insurance house in Pakistan. The company was originally registered in 1932 in Calcutta, India. They moved to Karachi with the formation of Pakistan in 1947 and rapidly established itself as the leading insurance company in the country. It's administrative building stand next to KPT's headquarters.

Below shop British Raj building, located not far from Frere Hall used to accommodate few travel agents and air lines company. We used to pass by the building daily to go to work as our rented office was located along the Shara-e-Faisal road.

Whilst, below photo is the Madina City Mall also famously known to Malaysian as Zainab Market where we came here shopping for leather goods and textiles. The price is comparatively very low compared to Malaysia. It is a common place to bring tourist to Zainab Market.

Saddar Town is a heaven for shopping. It is the central business district of Karachi. Saddar is the hub business activities in Karachi and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Many beautiful examples British Colonial architecture ca be found here. 

Some of the prominent British Colonial building was taken over by the banks as can be seen in below photo of Al-Falah Bank in M.A. Jinnah road.

Another bank occupied this historical building, also at M.A. Jinnah Road is HBL (Habib Bank Limited), 1 of the largest local bank in Pakistan.

To be continued.... 
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