View Full Version : Historical Building in Pakistan

17th February 2005, 13:36
Here are some in Karachi:

Merewether Memorial tower


The design of the Merewether Memorial employs the form of an Eleanor Cross and is in the English Medieval style. There are spires which could have served as a basis for the design of this memorial; for example, St. Mary at Bloxham, St. Peter at Kettering, St. Peter at Raunds and Meven St. Mary at Oxford. In fact, each one may have provided an ingredient or two for the design of this fine memorial tower.

Building designers of the time had become increasingly aware of the capabilities of Indian craftsmen, thus the skill and craftsmanship which has been available to medieval builders was also at Strachan's disposal. Strachan was no doubt aware of the intricate carving executed by native craftsmen for the baserellets designed by Kipling for the Crawford Markets and the then under construction Victoria Terminus. The Memorial shows a heightened sensitivity to detailing and an emphasis on carving and decoration, more then my other building designed by Strachan. Whereas the Empress Market's tower is a little squat, the Merewether Tower is elegant and tall, evoking memories of medieval England.

It was named for Merewether, who served as 'Commissioner-in-Sindh' from 1868 to 1877. Richard Burton, on his last visit to Karachi, paid a tribute to his friend while describing the Government House: " It is at present occupied by General Sir William L. Merewether, K.C.S.I. etc.etc.etc. an officer who, by entire devotion to the interests of his province, the scene of his distinguished career during the last thirty-three years, has made epoch' and history" (Burton 1877:1.76) Burton's opinion of Merewether's services were no doubt shared by others. Initially, a pier had been named in memory of the former 'Commissioner-in-Sindh'. Constructed by the Karachi Harbour Board, which had been formed in 1880, the Merewether Pier had cost three lakh rupees (1882). However, it was later decided that a worthy and visible memorial was in order - a memorial tower of such "prominence as to dominate the skyline of the city" to be built by public subscription. The Tower was placed at the confluence of McLeod and Bunder Road, at the extreme western end of the Serai Quarter, an area which was developed into a thriving commercial center concurrently with the rising fortunes of the city. The Memorial took eight years to complete, and was handed over to the Municipality in 1892 by 'Commissioner-in-Sindh' Evan James. The total cost of the structure and its clock was merely Rs. 37,178 compared to the Rs. 180,000 lavished on the much bigger memorial to Bartle Frere, Frere Hall.

The Memorial Tower stands on a platform 44 feet square and rises to a height of 102 feet. It prominently displays the clock placed at the base of the spire, 70 feet from the ground. Each of the clock's four faces is seven feet in diameter. The large bell installed at the time weighed three hundred weight and struck at every hour, while the smaller bells weighed one hundred weight each and marked every quarter of an hour.

Shortly before the memorial tower was completed, an impressive building was built by H.J. Rustomji & Co. between McLeod and Bunder Roads. While providing a grand backdrop, the structure some what diminished the importance of the Tower and obscured the view of the clock from the east. However, three of the four clock faces were visible from great distances, reminding the natives of the value of time, an attribute which the rulers believed local population would do well to acquire.


Clifton Promenade 1920


Access to the sea at Clifton is provided by the terraced Parade known as the Jehangir Kothari Parade. The site, owned by Mr. Jehangir H. Kothari, an eminent Karachi citizen, who gifted it alongwith 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. A temple of Shiva lies below the Parade, with rock gardens on both sides. 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.

Note: This is quite well mantained by the city officals and the picture was taken at a time when it was a bit diry.


There are many in Karachi and people willing to read about them I can give you the website for it.

:-) :-D

17th February 2005, 13:39
I think the Clifton thing used to be called Kothari parade ??

17th February 2005, 13:43
Don't know if they had an old name for it or not.

MIG you will know of this. :-D

Empress Market



The Empress Market, constructed at a well-chosen site, was clearly visible from a great distance. Although the imperialists were particular in commemorating significant events, it is not surprising that a plaque was not placed at the site of the Empress Market to make the spot where native sepoys had been executed. The new market a symmetrical building arranged around a courtyard. While the use of the alien Gothic form was understandable, the presence of an atrium was highly unusual for the time. With a frontage of 231 feet on Preedy Street, its four galleries, each 46 feet wide, surround the generous size courtyard, 130 feet by 100 feet. The single-storey building is not pretentious except for the tall central tower that rises to a height of 140 feet.
The design utilizes delicately carved column capitals, as well as carved stone brackets which support the balcony projections. Together with the exquisite leopard heads at the top four corners of the tower, the carved elements demonstrate the skill of the local craftsmen. The building's imposing clock tower was provided with a large chiming clock, unfortunately no longer working, with skeleton iron dials placed on the four sides. Contemporary accounts described the structure as a " very handsome building designed in what is known as the "Domestic Gothic Style" (Baillie 1890).
The Empress Market was praised in no uncertain termsely Commissioner Pritchard, who pointed out in his opening address that only one other market surpassed it in the whole Presidency, namely the 'Crawford Market of Bombay.
Strachan's Empress Market in the English pointed style was comparatively simple in character, but its distinctive clock tower was twelve feet higher than that of the 'Craw.


Biggest market in Karachi after Zainub Market which has over 2000 shops. :-)

17th February 2005, 13:51
Empress ( or Aimpress market to the locals ) !! Gosht wallas and makhis and smell of fresh diesel - what a place ! and not to forget the "Cheeny Dandansaz" - chinese dentists !

The best were signs on the walls there saying " Yahah Peshab karna mana hai, iss taraf qibla hai" ( Dont pee on this wall as it faces Qibla or Mecca ) !!!

17th February 2005, 13:56
Yaar its not that bad now. Traffic over there is a problem but which place in Karachi doesn't have a traffic problem.

17th February 2005, 13:57
Actually jokes apart, I quite like the effort they have put in to solve the traffic issues in Karachi - the flyovers etc just excellent work.

18th February 2005, 09:39
Bumpity Bump.

19th February 2005, 01:10
A lot of fascinating architecture in Pakistan. The pre-Muslim, Buddhist legacy is still evident in Taxila and Moenjodaro. The early Islamic influences are perceptible in monuments and tombs like that of Bibi Jawindi in Uch. The Mughal influence can be captured in Shalimar Gardens and Badshahi in Lahore. And then of course you have relatively recent architecture like the impressive Shah Faisal Mosque and Supreme Court.

19th February 2005, 01:54
There is quite an old Hindu Temple in Karachi too in the Clifton area apart from the one in the picture posted above.