YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Difference between revisions of "Karachi/South Karachi"

From Wikitravel
Karachi : South Karachi
Asia : South Asia : Pakistan : Sindh : Karachi : Karachi/South Karachi
Jump to: navigation, search
Karachi/South Karachi

Default Banner.jpg

(Shopping malls)
Line 102: Line 102:
Many lavish malls are located in this district of Karachi. Some big ones are:
Many lavish malls are located in this district of Karachi. Some big ones are:
*'''Ocean Mall''', Teen Talwar, Clifton. This is the Pakistan's tallest building. Recently opened, It is 393ft high and houses a large shopping mall with a food court, and four grand cinemas, one of them being a 3D cinema. edit
*'''Ocean Mall''', Teen Talwar, Clifton. This is the Pakistan's tallest building. Recently opened, It is 393ft high and houses a large shopping mall with a food court, and four grand cinemas, one of them being a 3D cinema.
Park Towers. Shahrah-e-Firdousi, Clifton. Has more than 1,500 shops, a food court, a superstore, an indoor kids' theme park and art gallery.  
*'''Park Towers''', Shahrah-e-Firdousi, Clifton. Has more than 1,500 shops, a food court, a superstore, an indoor kids' theme park and art gallery.  
*'''Emerald Towers''', II Talwar, Clifton.  
*'''Emerald Towers''', II Talwar, Clifton.  

Revision as of 16:00, 6 October 2013

South Karachi is the southern, central part of the huge city of Karachi fringing the Indian Ocean. Because the city grew and expanded from this port area, it contains many of the historic buildings and sights of most interest to visitors. In many ways, it is the equivalent of the CBD ("Central Business District") in Australasia, the "city centre" in Europe or "downtown" in North America.

This Wikitravel travel guide district covers three towns, namely: Lyari Town, Saddar Town and Jamshed Town as well as Karachi Cantonment and Clifton Cantonment.

Saddar Town is the old city centre and contains the old markets and older areas of Karachi with many hotels, shopping areas and British Raj era buildings. Saddar is Karachi's downtown area and the heart of Karachi.

Here is the economic backbone of Pakistan with the headquarters of many corporations, companies and banks. Governor House, Chief Minister House, Sindh Assembly, the High Court, the consulates of different countries and other government offices are also located here.

Pakistan's most exclusive and affluent neighbourhood is Clifton and Defence (or DHA), where there are some of the trendiest shopping malls, boutiques and restaurants. A number of foreign consulates are located in this district.

Get in

If you're in Karachi city, you can get here through just about any means. This district is very well-connected with the rest of Karachi, due to excellent roads, and most bus routes pass through here. Karachi Railway Station is located in this district in the Karachi Cantonment area.


There's a lot to see in Karachi South district.

A view of Clifton Beach
  • Clifton Beach (Sea View), DHA. Pakistan’s busiest beach and the most popular entertainment site in Karachi, located in a quiet and safe suburb of the city. The beach itself is nothing special, only made of mud grey sand, but it’s fun for people spotting and attract many families and tourists throughout the year. This was the world's most popular silver-sand beach and health resort throughout the 20th century, but it was affected by an oil spill in 2003 when the Greek registered oil tanker MV Tasman Spirit ran aground and over 12,000 tons of oil spilled into the Arabian Sea in what is considered by some to be the largest environmental disaster in Pakistan's history, so it is better take a stroll rather than swim in the sea because of polluted sea water and strong currents. You can also enjoy horse or camel riding and hop on a dune buggy to roam around the beach area. Many grilled corn stalls can be found on the beach and many fast food kiosks. As the sun sets, flood lights come on and the beach starts getting crowded with the picnic continuing until midnight. The beach is very crowded during public holidays and on weekends. Overall, the beach is a nice place to spend time. There is also a nice park on the beach located near to the McDonald's. Free.
  • Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim. A popular and well planned park of the city opened in 2007. It is the largest family park in South Asia, The park named as Bagh Ibne Qasim which means Garden of the son of Qasim is built in memory of the 8th century Muslim conqueror Muhammad Bin Qasim. The park consists of extensive lighting, pathways, a turtle pond, 20 stone canopies and lush green spaces with hundreds of thousands of unique rose saplings planted throughout the park. The Lady Loyd Pier runs down the middle of the park providing spectacular views of the park so try to visit the park in the late evening when the park is lit. Attractions include: Lady Lloyd pier, Jahangri Kothari Parade, a century old amusement park called Funland, an underground Hindu temple, a mosque and a mausoleum. A food court and shops are also inside the park.
  • Karachi Zoo, Garden East Area, Jamshad Town. Established in the year 1878 and originally known as 'Mahatma Gandhi Garden', this is one of the oldest zoos in Pakistan. There are around 500 different species of birds, 180 species of mammals and nearly 200 species of reptiles in some 107 cages. Attractions include "White Lions", "Mumtaz Mahal" and the "Elephant House", where two female African bush elephants born in Tanzania, named 'Noor Jahan' and 'Madhu Bala' were brought. A Mughal Garden including Mughal-style fountains, established in 1970, occupies a major part of the zoo with green lawns and seasonal plants. The garden is famous for different varieties of roses and other flowers that are exhibited there. A "Natural History Museum", is also one of the famous attractions of the zoo with stuffed animals, skins, antlers, horns and feathers. The Municipal Aquarium is also located in the zoo. It was constructed in 1953 and has a total of 28 tanks which contain a total of around 300 fishes from about 30 species. There is also a boating lake and a "Reptile House" which is one of the few reptile houses in Pakistan. There are 13 species of snakes and lizards. Newly born hatchlings of turtles, tortoises, terrapin and crocodilians are also exhibited. Rs 10.
  • Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mausoleum, Shahrah-e-Firdousi, Clifton. A green-domed shrine dedicated to a 9th century Sufi, "Abdullah Shah Ghazi", is in a sprawling complex perched on a hilltop overlooking Clifton Beach. This 1,400 year old tomb is built on a very high platform with the grave being downstairs, has a tall and square chamber and a green-and-white striped dome, decorated with centuries old Sindhi tile-works and green flags flutter gives a majestic view. There are separate sitting arrangements for men and women inside the shrine. Abdullah Shah Ghazi was born in Medina in 720, claimed direct descent from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and is thought of by his followers as the patron saint of Karachi and widely revered in Pakistan. The shrine is said to have protected Karachi from natural disasters such as storms, tsunamis, earthquakes and all sea-related phenomenon, despite it having a climate ripe for tropical storms. An Urs (festival) is held at the shrine from 20 to 22 Dhu al-Hijjah (12th month of the Islamic calendar) for three days marking the anniversary of Abdullah. Qawwali also often takes place on Thursday nights at the shrine. The shrine complex has a vast car-park, a rest house for devotees, a mosque and long lines of shops selling rosaries, incense sticks, glass and silver bangles, prayer mats and beads.

Landmarks and museums

  • Quaid-e-Azam's Mausoleum and Museum, MA Jinnah Rd, Jamshed Quarters. The final resting place and mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (known as Quaid-e-Azam or "Great Leader"), is a prominent and impressive landmark of Karachi. It was completed in the 1960s and designed by Mumbai based, Indian architect Yahya Merchant. The tomb is fabulously built on a 4 m high platform made of white marble with curved Moorish arches, copper grilles and a four-tiered crystal chandelier gifted by the people of China. Fifteen successive fountains lead to the platform from one side and, from all sides, terraced avenues lead to the gates. In the interior of the grave complex, there are three graves in a row and one to the north. The northern one, which is decorated with a series of black floral designs at the base, belongs to Fatima Jinnah, Jinnah's sister. Out of the three graves, the northern one belongs to Liaquat Ali Khan, who died as Prime Minister of Pakistan. The extreme southern grave belongs to Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar. In the middle lies buried Nurul Amin, who rose to be the Vice-President of Pakistan. All these graves are made of Italian white marble, and they are of the box type, like the sarcophagus of Jinnah, placed on a triple base. But the sides of these graves are tapering inward while that of Jinnah is diverging outwards. These are all plain graves, except that of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, which has a basal floral ornamentation. Official and military ceremonies take place here on special occasions, especially on 23 March, 14 August, 11 September and 25 December. Dignitaries and officials from foreign countries also visit this place. Around the mausoleum is a 53 hectare park "Bagh-e-Quaid-i-Azam" laid in the format of Islamic art, with fountains all around it, fitted with spot-lights which project light on the white mausoleum and making the glowing tomb able to be seen for miles at night. The tomb is guarded at all times and after every 20 minutes there is a ceremonial position shift of the honour guard and, every 4 hours, the guard is changed. In addition to the tomb, you can also see a small museum housing various artefacts used by Jinnah such as cars, dinning sets, bedroom furniture, swords and guns from is private collection. The location is usually calm and tranquil - which is significant considering that it is in the heart of one of the largest global megalopolises. Open Sa-Tu, Th 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00; F 09:00-12:00.
  • Masjid e Tooba (Gol Masjid), Phase 1, Defence. This mosque is often claimed to be the largest single-domed mosque in the world. It was built in 1969 of pure white marble with a dome 72 m in diameter which covers the central prayer hall which can accommodate a congregation of 5,000 persons. The dome is balanced on a low surrounding wall with no supporting pillars and has a single minaret standing 70 m high. This mosque is a major tourist attraction in the city due to its modern architecture. Non-Muslim visitors are welcome, although avoid visiting during the prayer times and on Fridays.
  • Frere Hall, Civil Lines, Abdullah Haroon Rd (Opposite Marriott Hotel). A well preserved building and a beautiful structure built during the days of the British Raj in 1865. The main building built in the Venetian Gothic style with yellowish Karachi limestone and red and grey sandstone located in the middle of two beautiful, large and lush green lawns which extend to the road. The two peaceful gardens named "Bagh-e-Jinnah" (Jinnah Garden) have two old Victorian style fountains. It houses a gallery on first floor, which is full of paintings by Pakistan’s iconic artist Sadequain. The gallery exhibits his masterpieces of paintings and calligraphy. There is also a library. There is a book fair every Sunday where you can get cheap books both new and used.
  • Mohatta Palace and Museum, Hatim Alvi Rd, Clifton. 11am-6pm, close on Mondays. Another fine British Raj building completed in 1928 has the architecturally resemblance to palaces in Rajasthan. It was build with pink stone from Jodhpur in combination with the local yellow stone from Karachi, gives a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The palace was built by an ambitious self-made businessman from Marwar as his luxurious summer home and then became the residence of Jinnah’s sister, Fatima, after he left Karachi for India in 1947. Now, it offers a diverse range of activities for both the casual and informed visitor.
  • Merewether Clock Tower (locally known as Tower), I.I Chundrigar Rd. This business landmark of the city is 35 m high tower and carries a clock with four faces. It was constructed by Sir Evans James in 1892 in the memory of Sir William L Mereweather who was the Commissioner of the Sindh at that time. The design of the tower is in the Gothic Revival style popular in Victorian England, and it was designed to evoke the architecture of Medieval England. The structure is built in buff colored Gizri stone and shows a heightened sensitivity to detailing and emphasis on carving and decoration. This tower is not the most visited landmark, although it is one of the most crowded points in the city because of its location. edit Habib Bank Plaza, I.I. Chundigar Rd. The head office of Habib Bank Limited and was the tallest building in South Asia for more than a decade until the 156m tall World Trade Centre building were built in Mumbai in 1970. This 101 meter high rise building with 23 floors was built in 1963, has marvellous architecture and one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city.
  • Habib Bank Plaza, I.I. Chundigar Rd. The head office of Habib Bank Limited and was the tallest building in South Asia for more than a decade until the 156m tall World Trade Centre building were built in Mumbai in 1970. This 101 meter high rise building with 23 floors was built in 1963, has marvellous architecture and one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city.
  • National Museum of Pakistan, [1]. Sa-Tu, Th 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00; F 09:00-12:00. Displays a two million years old axe discovered on the Potohar Plateau. There is a remarkable gallery describing the early civilisation of Debal and Mansura. The collection of 58,000 old coins goes back as far as the 7th century CE and there are hundreds of well preserved sculptures. Another gallery, the ‘Freedom Movement gallery’, contains a large collection of pictures and articles arising from the time of the Independence movement. Items on display include archaeological artefacts, Islamic art, and other historical documents. Quran gallery is recently renovated, equipped with air conditioning, modern lighting and audio system and has more than 300 copies of the Holy Quran, out of which around 52 rare manuscripts are on display. A gallery is dedicated to the materials obtained from cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the famous Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Port Fountain, Clifton (located in the Clifton Oyster Rocks). Th-Su 18:00-24:00. Said to be the world’s third tallest fountain, it rises to a height of 190 m (620 ft) when operating at full force and attracts visitors from all over the city; built near the series of islets off the coast of the Karachi harbour

Colonial Public buildings

There are plenty of public buildings left from the period of the British Raj - most of them in Saddar Town. However, the majority are being used as government offices and so are not open for sightseeing.

  • Empress Market, Preedy Street. A famous marketplace dominated by a Gothic-Mughal-style clock-tower of the colonial era, situated in Saddar, which is one of the most congested and busiest areas of Karachi. The market is one of the most important landmarks of the city and traces its origins to the British Raj era, when it was constructed in 1889 and named "Empress Market" to commemorate Queen Victoria, the Empress of India during late 18th century. The building was constructed as a marketplace to cater for the European elites who were either living in or frequently visiting Karachi at that time. Today, it is amongst the most popular, oldest and busiest places for shopping in Karachi and one of the few historical spots of the city. The building was arranged around a courtyard, 130 ft by 100 ft, with four galleries each 46 ft wide and those four galleries provide accommodation for some 280 shops and stall keepers. Commodities sold in the Empress Market range from condiments, footwear, fruit, vegetables and meat to stationery materials, textiles and has numerous pet shops.
  • Karachi Municipal Corporation Building (KMC building), MA Jinnah Road. One of the historical British Raj buildings, has evolved an iconic status as one of the landmark structures of Karachi. The Anglo-Mughal architecture building was built in 1930 with local sandstone from Gizri and jodhpur red sandstone at front and is said to be the crown jewel of colonial era architecture in the city. The clock tower was made to honour and commemorate the visit of King George V, the Emperor of India of that time. Today the building houses the offices and various departments of the Karachi Municipal Corporation.
  • Quaid-e-Azam House Museum (Flag Staff House), Fatima Jinnah Rd (opposite Avari Tower Hotel). Th-Tu 09:00-16:00, F 09:00-12:00. This beautifully maintained British Raj building with is an important National Monument, once owned by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who lived there from 1944 until his death in 1948. His sister, Fatima Jinnah lived there until 1964. This is yellow stone double strayed building comprising of three rooms at ground and three in first floor is worth a visit, and you can see Jinnah and Fatima’s private apartments, with period teak wood furniture and accessories such as relics used by Jinnah. The structure of building is limestone masonry with wooden trusses supporting the roof which is covered by red ceramic mangalore tiles. Free.
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral, Fatima Jinnah Road (Near Zainab Market). Built in 1855 to a design by Captain John Hill of the Bombay Engineers. One of the first major churches of Karachi and currently the seat of the Church of Pakistan, Diocese of Karachi. Its tall tower was also a light house built to facilitate ships arriving into Karachi Harbour.
  • Sind Club, Club Road, [2]. The famous club where 'Dogs and Natives are not allowed' was written. A reminder of the British era
  • Karachi Gymkhana, Club Road, [3].
  • DJ Science College, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road.
  • Hindu Gymkhana (National Academy of Performing Arts), MR Kayani Road. is one of the first Mughal revival buildings in the city constructed in 1925. The building is designed by Muslim architect Agha Ahmed Hussain. The plan and massing was based on the tomb of Itamad-ud-Daulah (1628) in Agra. The building is small in size and consists primarily of a hall and some smaller rooms used for administrative purposes. Stone for the 2-foot-thick (0.61 m) walls was acquired in Bijapur. The roof line is defined by delicate massing of cupolas and balustrades directly influenced by Akbar's Fatehpur Sikri. The octagonal corner towers framing the projecting central jharoka are capped with chattris. Smaller chattris highlight the corners of the projecting porch that carry the drooping bangladar roof used in Emperor Akbar's period. The projecting chajjas are supported by ornamental brackets. The cupolas of the chattris are reinforced concrete and the walls are dressed in Gizri stone. Some of the carved elements are of Jodhpur stone. Now converted to the National Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Supreme Court, MR Kayani Rd. formerly the Prince of Wales Museum
  • Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Shahrah-e-Iraq (near the Empress Market). Built in Gothic Revival style and opened in April 1881, it's currently the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi and can accommodate at least 1,500 worshippers at the same time. It's a protected monument because of its outstanding architectural beauty. The cathedral's grounds are adorned with a white marble monument to Christ the King.
  • Sindh High Court, Shahrah Kamaal Ataturk. Built in 1929 entirely out of pink-hued Jodhpur sandstone and one of the most imposing buildings in the city. Architecturally, it's a combination of local and Roman styles.
  • Wazir Mansion (Quaid-i-Azam Birthplace Museum), Barkati Street, Haji Sharif Balwani Rd, Kharadar (Off MA Jinnah Rd). This two storey building was a family home completed in 1865, of the country's founder, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, where he was born and brought up. The house is foremost among Karachi’s historical and oldest buildings and is a protected national monument. It was renovated in 2008, has a reading hall and a library on the ground floor which has a collection of books related to the history of Pakistan and those that were once possessed by Quaid-i-Azam during his law graduation. The museum is located on the first floor and contains two galleries. One gallery incorporates three rooms including the one in which Quaid-i-Azam was born while the second and third rooms contain articles such as furniture which he used as the first Governor General of Pakistan. The second gallery on the second floor contains other relics of Quaid-e-Azam which are displayed in nine showcases. Relics includes his dresses and other personal items used by Jinnah.


  • Boating and Cruise dining, Phase VIII, DHA. Enjoy dinner on board while taking a boat ride off Karachi coastline.
  • Nueplex Cinemas, The Place, Khayaban e Shaheen, Phase-8, DHA (Opposite Creek Vistas), +92 21 111 683 683, [4]. 10AM-2AM. One thing you might interesting in doing is watching a Bollywood or Hollywood movie in a recently opened nice and country's largest movie theatre. The cinema is designed by world renowned cinema Architects Mesbur & Smith and comprises five theaters, totaling 1100 seats and features 3 of the largest silver screens in Pakistan.
  • Jet Ski Karachi, [5]. Enjoy the ride on Jet ski in Arabia sea. Ride usually cost around Rs. 3,000 for two persons
  • 5D Cinema. A 8 seat movie cinema is located inside Emerald Mall Karachi offering a unique movie experience.
  • Hill Park, PECHS (Near Tariq Rd). A very popular park offering birds eye view of Karachi. Have many amusement play land spots, fast food centres, restaurants, and an artificial lake inside the park.


  • Chase Value Centre, Khaid bin Waleed Rd, (behind Tariq Rd). Department store selling products at wholesale rates. You are sure to get the best value for your money here.
  • Makro Wholesale Centre, Saddar, Sharah-e-Faisal. Also houses famous clothing brands like Gul Ahmed, Kurta corner, Cambridge and Junaid Jamshed.
  • D.H.A. Bachat Bazaar, Phase 8, Defence. Opens only on every Sundays. A new generation of modern open bazaar, a huge tourist attraction as well. Many Asian and European foreigners come here to shop.
  • Co-Operative Market, This market is one of the oldest and major marketplace in Saddar, selling the most diverse goods from clothing to electronics at reasonable prices. You can find a huge number of potential gifts such as traditional souvenirs, rugs, all types of handicraft, and other cultural products of Pakistan.
  • Zainab Market (in Saddar near Avari hotel), One of the cheapest market in city, offering clothes, leather and rugs. Goods are all fabricated in Pakistan for famous brands like Adidas, Nike and Polo.
  • Bohri Bazaar, Saddar.

Shopping malls

Many lavish malls are located in this district of Karachi. Some big ones are:

  • Ocean Mall, Teen Talwar, Clifton. This is the Pakistan's tallest building. Recently opened, It is 393ft high and houses a large shopping mall with a food court, and four grand cinemas, one of them being a 3D cinema.
  • Park Towers, Shahrah-e-Firdousi, Clifton. Has more than 1,500 shops, a food court, a superstore, an indoor kids' theme park and art gallery.
  • Emerald Towers, II Talwar, Clifton.
  • Atrium Mall, 249 Staff Lines, Zaibunnisa Street, Saddar, is one of the biggest shopping malls in the city. Pakistan's first digital 3D multi screen cinema, an auditorium for live performances, a gaming zone and a food court.
  • Dolmen Mall, Tariq Rd. hops, food court and indoor kids theme park.
  • Dolmen Centre, Tariq Rd. Not a lavish mall as other Dolmen malls in the city but here you can find high quality products at affordable prices.
  • Dolmen City Mall, Marine Drive, Block 4, Clifton. currently the largest shopping complex in Pakistan and home to numerous high street shops, a huge "Hyperstar - Carrefour" hyper market, a giant food court with eateries from western cinnabon, fat burger, johnny rockets to the most trendiest GunSmoke. You can also enjoy beautiful sea view from Gloria Jeans here or try Fish Spa. There is also an indoor Sindbad amusement park for kids, which is the biggest in the whole country.
  • The Forum, Khayaban-e-Jami, Block 9, Clifton. Known as one of the few good and modern shopping mall in city. Includes shops, food court and Ebco superstore.


There is a huge selection of places to eat in this district especially in areas of Clifton, Defence and Saddar, although prices tend to be on the high side by Pakistani standards in upscale restaurants. Many upscale restaurants are located inside the many splurge hotels located on Club Road serving local as well many international cuisines. Few popular restaurants in the district listed below:






Apart from many good restaurants in town, there are also plenty of cafes cum restaurants with a nice ambience:

Coffee houses

There are hundreds of coffee shops clustered in this district especially in the Clifton and Defence areas. Few are mentioned here:

Cigar lounges


Excelsior, Toby's bar, Purple haze, Basement, the Casbah. Karachi's night life has become the envy of the region. Bars, nightclubs and dance halls have sprouted across the city and some people have also made entertainment venues in their own homes.

  • Karaoke nights & Live Bands at Purple haze, at Base Rock cafe (6th lane, Ittehad, DHA phase 6), at The Sports Bar (26th St, Towheed, DHA Phase 5), and at Thespianz Theater
  • Bread people bakery & Coffee Day Cafe. Live music bands, usually on random Saturday nights.
  • The Elbow room, (off II Chundrigar Rd).Concerts, movie nights, masquerade balls.
  • Nadia Cafe, (Marriott hotel). Theme Nights
  • Royale rodale club:sea view road with a gym,sona bath and a bar and bowling alley.
  • Spianz theater, Live theatre.
  • PC hotel, Live band playing all types of music from 8:30PM-11PM. Live Ghazal band from 11PM-2AM
  • Karachi Club, Live band playing all types of music from 8:30PM-11PM. Live Ghazal band from 11PM-2AM
  • Al-Bustan, (Sheraton Hotel). Live Pakistani traditional band playing nightly from 8PM-12 midnight.
  • Dumpukht, (Marriott Hotel). Live Indian traditional dancer every night except Monday from 8-11:30PM.
  • Beach Luxury hotel, Saturday night dance party for couples.


There are plenty of budget and mid range hotels scattered throughout Saddar town, most dotted around Dr Daud Pota Road, south of Empress Market. Some good budget hotels are listed below:


Mid range



Internet cafes are plentiful however, you may have to wander around in order to find one.

Template:Usabledistrict Create category