A Walk through Karachi’s Empress Market

Owais Mughal

On my recent trip to Pakistan, I tried to re-live some of the fondest memories of my early youth. One of them was daily travel in public buses during my college days. In order to relive that experience, I decided to take a trip to Empress Market by bus.

Photo to the left shows Empress Market. I took this photo from the overhead pedestrain bridge on the morning of Jan 11, 2007.

At Karaimabad market bus stop, I made a hand gesture to an approaching route 5C bus. The bus driver made eye contact with me and acknowledged by slowing down. The norm in Karachi is that a bus never comes to a full halt for a single ‘sawari’ (passenger) because monetary profits from a single passenger fare is not worth breaking the engine motion. Therefore when bus slowed down to a speed of approximately 5 kmph, I quickly jumped in by grabbing on to the hand rail. It was a proud moment for me to realize that after all these years I have not forgotten the art of climbing onto a moving bus. I looked around the bus with the face of a conquerer but no one paid any attention to me so I meekly sat down at the first available seat.

Photo to the above right shows birds eye view of Empress Market. This photo is courtesy of Ali Zasami. Continue reading

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Merewether Tower, Karachi

Owais Mughal

Today I¬†will take you to a visit to Merewether Tower, Karachi or as locals affectionately call it – the ‘Tower’.

It is one of the most known, but arguably the least acknowledged landmarks of the city. It is most known because it is located at the confluence of two major roads of the city viz. I.I. Chundrigar Road (formerly Mc Leod Rd) and M.A. Jinnah Road (formerly Bandar Rd) therefore most of the city people have seen it. It is also one of the major terminus of city buses. All around the city one can hear bus-conductors shounting tower tower. Therefore even those who have not seen it; they have at least heard about it as echoing sound waves.


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Minar-e-Masoomi, Sukkur

Owais Mughal

This is the third post in our series on architecture of Pakistan. Earlier we covered Merewether Tower, Karachi and Masjid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar in this series. Today we’ll take you to Sindh’s third largest city, Sukkur and to its one of the most significant landmarks, the minar-e-Masoomi (The Tower of Masoom)

The architecture of this tower is probably ungainly but there are few details that make it unique in Pakistan. The number 84 is significant with the architecture here as the tower is 84 ft (26 meters) high. One source claims the height of the minar as 31 meter. The number of steps to reach the top of the tower is 84. The circumference of the base of tower is also 84 feet.
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Architecture of Bhong

Owais Mughal

Pakistan has numerous mosques which are envy of the world because of their architecture as well as detailed decoration. This is our second post in the series of highlighting such grand mosque architecture in Pakistan. Our first post of this series was about masjid Mahabat Khan in Peshawar.

Today’s post is about the fomous Bhong Mosque located in a town called Bhong.

Bhong mosque is famous for its architecture as well as the decoration done here. The extensive calligraphy done of verses from Quran here makes it one of a kind place in Pakistan. There are pictures of Islam’s holiest places framed in real gold. The roof of the complex glitters with the extensive mirror work done on it. It is said that every square meter of this mosque has some decoration or design made on it.
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