If you want to experience a variety of traditions, cuisines, and languages then visit Karachi. Pakistan’s largest city and the capital of the Sindh province lures you with its diversity, brilliant architectural heritage, and history.
According to legends, it was a port developed when an old fisherwoman by the name of Mia Kolachi settled near the delta of the Indus River to start a community. The legend shows the strength of Mai Kolachi when she went looking for her husband in a storm despite the danger. The story varies from one storyteller to another but the message is the same. Karachi’s origin comes from the bravery and resilience of a woman dealing with the unknown. Let’s get to know the city a bit better, from its rich past to its charming present with these 29 interesting facts about Karachi!
- According to historians, Alexander the Great camped in Krokola (the Greek name for present-day Karachi) in 325BC to prepare his troops for Babylonia.
- At the end of the 17th century, the settlers of Kolachi village started trading across the sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region.
- The British recognised the importance of the Karachi as a trading post. They captured the city and Sindh province in February 1843 under the command of Sir Charles Napier and the city was annexed as a district of the British Indian Empire. In 1846, it was home to around 9,000 citizens.
- By the end of the 19th century, the city was home to around 105,000 people and it was a cosmopolitan city of Hindus and Muslim communities as well as Jews, Parsis, Iranians, Lebanese and Goan merchants.
- After WWI, manufacturing and service industries were installed. By 1924 an airfield had been built, and Karachi became the main airport of entry to India. The city became the provincial capital of Sindh in 1936.
- The world’s largest volunteer ambulance service “Edhi Foundation” founded in 1951 by Abdul-Sattar Edhi is in Karachi.
- The city was the capital of Pakistan between 1947 and 1958. During this period, the city offered shelter for many migrants and refugees that came from the Indian province.
- Karachi is still known to be the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan.
- Famous for its cuisine Burns Road, also known as Banns Road, the street in the very heart of the city, offers the traditional food items such as Nihari, Karahi, Haleem, Katakat, all sorts of barbequed Kababs, fried fish, desserts such as Rabri, and traditional drinks such as Lassi and Gannay ka Rus.
- Karachi’s ability to provide its people with a wide gastronomic repertoire from Paye to Pizza, Burgers to Biryani, Sajji to Steaks, and Ravioli to Rabri, makes the city a serious contender for the food capital throne.
- Karachi is home to around 16 million people, belonging to different religions, races, and ethnicities, with the majority of the population being descendants of migrants from India. Pathans, Sindhi, Punjabi, Gilgiti, Balochi, and Afghani make up the remaining part of the population. It’s this beautiful mix of diverse cultures and traditions that makes Karachi so wonderful.
- A Pakistani Christian man, Parvez Henry Gill built a 140 ft. long Christian Cross at “Gora Qabristan Cemetry” in Karachi. This is Asia’s biggest Christian Cross in a city where 90% of the people are Muslims.
- Karachi houses some of the oldest architectural designs, dating back to the Victorian era, and some of the tallest, modern-day architectural wonders as well. The Merewether Clock Tower, Empress Market, and Frere Hall are amazing architectural pieces from the British Victorian Era, while modern-day architecture includes the Harbour Front, MCB Tower, Bahria Town Icon, and The Ocean Tower.
- It has one of the largest public transport systems of Asia, with beautifully painted trucks, buses, mini-buses, rickshaws, and Tuk-Tuks spread around in the city.
- One of the best things about Karachi is that you can get absolutely everything that money can buy. From shoe laces to luxury yachts, cheap furniture, electronic gadgets, clothes, cigarettes, even drugs, arms and ammunition!
- Karachi is the home of the biggest mall in South Asia “Lucky One Mall”.
- For all the sea lovers Karachi has Clifton Beach, which isn’t that fancy. But then there’s the French Beach and Gadani, which would pass as beaches of high, international standards.
- Karachi Harbour, on the shores of which the city is situated, is a safe and beautiful natural harbour.
- The city has pleasant weather for the greater part of the year. May and June are the hottest months when the maximum temperature is about 93 °F (34 °C).
- The city faces pollution problems. High humidity in the region does not permit evaporation of still water in some places, while fumes from factories and automobiles contribute to air pollution, despite the land and sea breezes.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Karachi? Share them in the comments below!