Unique Places in Karachi

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Karachi

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    Sunday Book Fair at Frere Hall

    by Bokhari76 Updated Oct 15, 2012

    Every week on SUNDAY Frere Hall transforms into a hub for the literati. The book fair resumed just a little over a year ago. It stopped in 2003 for some reasons. Since an year it has reopened its gates to book lovers. There are eight bookstalls under a marquee.

    One can find latest best sellers, cookery books, Children books, Law, Business & Science books. Latest Magazines & many more. Most of the books are in good condition and cheaper than market.

    It is located on a walking distance from PC, Sheraton & just in front of Marriott Hotel.

    One more place for old/cheap book lovers is Sohrab Katrak Road, Regal Karchi. Here Book Sellers sell older books on footpath. This Market also opens on Sunday when Electronic shops on that street are closed.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad

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    Watch Dock from Netty Jetty Bridge

    by Bokhari76 Updated Oct 15, 2012

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    Netty Jetty Bridge is situated on the way of Keamari Port near Karachi Port Trust (KPT) building & Merewether Memorial Tower. KPT has built a flyover which has replaced the old Netty Jetty Bridge.

    You can view Huge loading/unloading ships with huge cranes from the bridge. Several people come here to watch the dock, calm & deep sea. On the other side KPT Fountain & other high raised buildings of I. I. Chundrigar Road can be viewed from here.

    A panoramic view of sunset behind the ships & cranes is a very precious memory.

    People come to feed birds & fish with bread, kneaded flour, bread & meat.

    Updates:
    After the inauguration of Port Grand Food & Entertainment Complex parallel to Netty (Native) Jetty Bridge, a tall railing has been built across the bridge. Therefore one can not look at dock/sea from the bridge.

    Port Grand Food & Entertainment Complex has been built over one kilometer bridge length. Old bridge has been transformed into an entertainment and food enclave housing numerous eateries hosting more than 11 restaurants of exotic Pakistani and foreign food and a variety of beverages.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture
    • Beaches

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    Ranikot - World's Largest Fort and the Fairy Pond

    by Mozumbus Updated Apr 2, 2012

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    Ranikot, located around 250 km from Karachi, is supposedly the world's largest fortification and the second largest wall after the Great Wall of China.

    The sight is located at the brink of the Kirthar ranges, a natural reserve for wildlife, almost in the wilderness and can be done as a long day trip from Karachi.

    Structure of the fort itself is not that impressive, especially when compared to those of Mugul era castles, and there is no certainty as who and when built these extensive walls. This actually makes the place a bit less interesting and only suits to hardcore traveler type.

    Good thing is that there is a 30 km paved road from the highway right till the entrance of the fort. The road in fact continues inside and ends up at a smaller in-house fort, Mirikot, which is located uphill overlooking the surrounding valley.

    There is a water channel right in the middle of the fort emanating from a fresh spring which can easily make up for the disappointment.

    This huge arena houses only a handful villagers belonging to the Gabol tribe of Baloch people who survive on the limited irrigation opportunity.

    We trekked along the stream and reached to a formation of ponds, one of which is famous among locals as the Fairy Pond. Some ponds are really deep, as much as 65 feet, so it requires a lot of care and local support as there are no facilities around. The most special thing about these natural pools is a variety of small fish that eats up the dead skin of the human body. You may call that Fish Massage which I found really relaxing and unique!

    Here goes full detail of our day trip: Exploring the Mysteries of Ranikot

    I also captured a brief video of the Fairy Pond: Ranikot's Fairy Pond

    Just to mention, we found the arena and the route safe for traveling, even for families. Adventure Camping also looked doable with proper gear.

    It would be wise not to visit the place in summers because of the scorching heat and the risk of getting dehydrated, therefore, the best time for this excursion would be November to March.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Tempel of Sati

    by csordila Written Jan 23, 2012

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    It is situated in Hingol National Park.
    It came into existence when Vishnu cut up Sati's dead body into 52 pieces so that Shiva would calm down. These pieces got scattered all over the Indian subcontinent whilst Sati's head fell at Hinglaj.
    According to ancient scriptures Rama had also meditated at Hinglaj. He killed Ravana who was a Brahmin and a great devotee of Shiva.

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    • Arts and Culture
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    Hingol National Park

    by csordila Updated Jan 23, 2012

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    Pakistan’s largest National Park is situated about 200 km west of Karachi. It is easily accessible from the Makran Coastal Highway, but to enter its surroundings, you will need a 4x4 and a guide.
    Usually the local people living in the small villages around Hingol serve as guides.

    Hingol reserve covers approx 600,000+ hectares. The park is renowned for its beautiful
    terrains, vegetation, and wild life. In addition there is also an old Hindu temple, Nani Mandir
    situated deep inside the National Park.
    On the outer edge there are various active mud volcanoes which are visible from the main road.
    The Hingol river is infested with Crocodiles!!! And because the terrain is untouched, its gorges can become dangerous during rainy seasons due to flash floods.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Fort at Manora

    by besal Written Apr 16, 2011

    Under the command of Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Maitland, the British captured Karachi on 7 Feb 1839 by first attacking a mud fortress present at Manora island (now buried under the Navy base). The fortress was completely smashed to smithereens by the bombardment of the British flagship 74-gun H.M.S. Wellesley, and the next day the commander of the fort, Wasul Ben Butcha, hoisted the white flag.

    Soon afterwards Karachi capitulated (we did not had Paul Revere warning us that the British are coming, the British are coming).

    Access to fort is restricted. You need to have connections in the armed forces or maritime agencies in Pakistan to enter, as the Fort remnants are now part of a naval installation.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Mubarak Village

    by besal Written Apr 3, 2011

    Situated on the furthest end of Karachi approx. 35 km away, Mubarak Village is a 400 year old fishing village. The village itself is considered one of the oldest settlement of this fishing port.

    The sea coast and the water are much cleaner than any beach in Karachi. However there are no huts or hotels here. Even entries may be restricted to visitors that the villagers may not know. This restriction came about when hundreds and thousands of revelers started coming to this village, disturbing their peaceful lives and leaving behind rubbish.

    So the village elders decided to close entries to revelers; though it is open for regular fishermen, scuba diving enthusiasts, and families.

    From Mubarak Village there is a great view of Chrurna Island about 2 km from the coast. Hub river delta is close to the Village and one can also see the Hubco power generation plant across the river.

    Mubarak village is a launching pad for people who are interested in going out to open sea for sports fishing or to Churna Island for scuba diving. You can rent boats or launches from Mubarak Village or from a Sonehra Beach, few kilometers before the village.

    How to get there: From Muripur road, you keep going straight past various shops till you reach a fork. The road going left (with a toll booth) takes you to towards Sandspit and Manora, and the road going right towards Hawksbay, French beach, Paradise point, Cape Monze and Nathiagali. Take right from this point till you reach a T. From here again take a right going towards French beach. Half a km from this T there is a road going towards Mubarak Village. From here it is an approx. half hour drive, and the road makes a very long U till you reach the village.

    BEWARE: Only go on this road in day time, do not go alone, go with a group of friends or family members.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Water Sports
    • Fishing

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    Shah Abdul Latif's Darga (Bhit Shah)

    by besal Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    Shah Abdul Latif (1690-1752) was Sindh’s greatest sufi poet. His teachings were about tolerance and co-existing peacefully. He also preached against social injustices such as feudalism and religious bigotry.

    In 1713, the Sufi poet married Bibi Saidha Begum. It was a love marriage. His wife died at an early age, before she could have any children. Shah never married again.

    In 1742, Shah Abdul Latif decided to settle in Bhit, meaning "The Sandy Mound". Thus the town is now called “Bhit Shah.” He was a music lover. One day he ordered the musicians to play music. They played continuously for three days. When they stopped playing from pure exhaustion, they found the poet dead. He died in 1752, and is buried in Bhit. A mausoleum (Darga) was later constructed there.

    Fearing that people might ignore his poetry, he destroyed all his writings by throwing them in the Kiran Lake (which is now dried up). But at the request of one of his disciples, the sufi poet asked another disciple, who had memorized most of his verses, to rewrite them.

    March in the hot and cold (weather)
    There is no time to sit down
    Lest there should be darkness
    And you don’t find the
    footprints of your beloved

    Shah Abdul Latif’s Urs, which is the death anniversary of a sufi saint, is held each year on the 14th day of Safar (2nd Muslim Month, after Muharram). This is big affair, where devotees from everywhere transcends to this town. The Urs lasts for three days, where singers, playing only tamboora (string instruments looks like a sitar, but with few strings), recites his poetries from Risalo. There are other activities organized around this festival.

    Bhit Shah is on the main highway, approx 45 km from Hyderabad (200 km from Karachi). Going north on the main highway, on your right you will see 4 crossed swords (archways), and approx 3 km in is the Darga of the Sufi saint.

    Around 4 in the afternoon, some of his devotees gather around his tomb and sing Shah Latif's poetry from his collection Rsaloo using only tamboora as their instrument. The music and poetry was mystical. I wish I had my video camera to record the music.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Music

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    Mad Max: Gawadar-dome ~ Makran Coastal Highway

    by besal Updated Jun 1, 2010

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    The newest trend in enjoying Karachi is a Mad Max style dash to Gawadar from Karachi (800 km+). You only stop to relieve yourself or eat. Takes you approx. 8 hours to reach Gawadar, spend one day in Gawadar, and than dash back to Karachi.

    A convey of cars comprising of family members, friends, and other acquaintances, take trips to Gawadar from Karachi. This is done on the Makran Coastal Highway, following the coastline of Baluchistan.

    Objective is to see the beautiful terrain on this highway, get out of Karachi, and experience a the newly constructed road. This is becoming a great get-away destination. The beauty is that there is no traffic or any establishment.

    This also brings the dangerous element. You will be passing through inhabital, desolate locations, no petrol stations for miles, approx 400 km to be exact, mid-point at Omara. And the petrol/diesel you will get is smuggled from Iran.

    You will need to make sure the car is in good condition, and you are stocked up for all eventuality. Do not do this trip solo. Make sure atleast 2-3 or more cars go along.

    VIEWS ARE BREATHTAKING!!!! Especially in Buzzi pass, a stretch between Kund Malir and Ormara.

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    • Eco-Tourism
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    • Road Trip

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    Natural Rock Formations on Makran Coastal Highway

    by Mozumbus Updated Apr 8, 2010

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    There are some amazing sphinx like natural rock formations off Makran Coastal Highway; a treat to watch along with a pleasurable long drive along the crystal clear coastal line. A rare sight, indeed, in Pakistan. This includes a naturally carved statute “Princess of Hope” as named by Angelina Julie and other mind-boggling formations. We were caught in a sheer surprise on our way to Ormara when watched these formations and kept on debating that whether they are natural or man-made.

    This is an easy day trip from Karachi and can be clubbed with Malir Khand beach and Mud Volcanoes.

    Click this for some out-of-the-world views.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Malir Khand Beach on Makran Coastal Highway

    by Mozumbus Updated Apr 8, 2010

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    Although there are many easy-to-reach beaches in the close vicinity of Karachi – such as Sea View, Hawks Bay, Sands Pit, Cape Mount, Gidani, Russian Beach, etc – but if you wish to go off-the-beaten-path with a pleasurable and long drive then Malir Khand, situated on Makran Coastal Highway on the way to Gwadar/Ormara, makes a really good case.

    Unlike other traditional Karachi beaches, which attract hundreds of thousand visitors on a typical holiday or weekend, Malir Khand provides with a very peaceful and rush-free environment. The water is crystal clear, ideal for swimming, the landscape is really picturesque, with rocks and the highway in the background, and the ambiance is serene and tranquil.

    The beach is located around 100 km from the Eastern entrance (Karachi side) of the highway and around 200 km from Karachi city center so adequate planning for logistics is a must. Keeping extra fuel gallons is highly advisable as there is no or very low quality fuel available on the highway. The direction is quite simple; first head towards North on the RCD Highway, then after passing the Hub Choki look for the Makran Coastal Highway sign on your left, take the left turn to join the highway, pay the toll and enjoy your journey, before you would have travelled 100 km on the highway you will see Malir Khan sign on the left with the coastal line, park your car off-the-road by helping yourself, and have a great trip.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Beaches

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    Hinglaj Temple, Balochistan, Pakistan

    by hafeezrm Written Apr 6, 2010

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    Last week, on my way back to Karachi from Gwadar, I got down at Aghor Post of Pakistan Coastal Guards. I had a reference for staying in their rest house. They were very helpful and, one of them brought his motorcycle and took me to Hinglaj Temple about 12 km away.

    The temple was in the midst of Hingol National Park http://www.hingol.com/. The way was very scenic with mud rocks. All along, the road was concrete and well-maintained except for some patches. Also, there was no bridge on the River Hingol but it was dry and easy to cross.

    The temple, said to be most sacred pilgrim place for Hindus, was hidden in a cave, reached by a narrow footpath of about 200 meter. There were adequate arrangements for eating and spending the night but not in festival ( in the mid April). The custodian, Pujari, was very friendly and happy to discuss background of the temple.

    A solo traveler can take a van from Kalari or Lea Market or Chakiwara, well-known places in Karachi to go to Aghor, a road-side village about 225 km away. One can negotiate with the villagers as there were many vehicles.

    But before you throw yourself into this awe of nature, do make a stopover at the roadside dhaba near the bridge that offers tasty mixed vegetable, daal with hot roti made on wood stove. The owner is very friendly with name, Jeeva and would offer sincere advice. He may arrange for someone to take you and bring back on the motor-cycle. One can negotiate one way trip, stay there for a night. There would no problem in finding a vehicle or a motor-cyclist for return to the main road

    We returned after about an hour. Full travelogue can be read at :

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Hinglaj-Yatra

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    Town of Hala

    by besal Written Oct 19, 2008

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    Hala is situated 223 km north of Karachi, and is easily accessible from the super highway which than connects to National highway. The small town is approx. 2.5 hrs drive (1 h 45 min Hyderabad; and another 45 minutes to Hala).

    Hala is renowned for its local Sindhi handicraft, especially blue and white ceramics, woven khadar textile (cotton); Sindhi Ajrak's and bedsheets; and unique painted furniture.

    Hala is also the home of Makhdom Nuh (b. 1505 - 1592), who is said to have realigned the Shah Jahan Masjid in Thatta towards Makkah through power of special all night prayers. His Darga (Mazar/ Mausoleum) is also situated here.

    Trivia: His great great great (?) grandson, Makhdom Amin Fahim, is a very senior, reputed politician of Pakistan.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Kirthar National Park

    by besal Written Sep 7, 2008

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    Kirthar National Park is Pakistan’s second largest reserve. The park is situated in the south-western part of Sindh, stretching from north-east of Karachi to Dadu/Larkana district, and bisecting Sindh-Balochistan border. The total area of the park is more than 308,000 hectares. Sindh Wildlife manages the park, where they have developed two main centers: Khar and Kharchat.

    Kirthar belongs to IUCN Category II protected area, designated mainly for ecosystem preservation. One can go to Khar from Karachi in one’s own car, but Kharchat is accessible by 4x4 only. Khar is approx. 95 km from Karachi near Hub Dam, while Kharchat is more than 160 km from Karachi via Super highway. All rivers, streams, ravines/gorges drain into Hub river Dam.

    The best time to visit is from October to March, which are considered cooler months. There are several rest houses, with running water and cooking facilities, in both locations, and can be easily booked through the Sindh Wildlife in Karachi. They also rent tents if anyone is interested. Food could be arranged, if ordered well in advance, but it is advisable to take your own food, drinks and beddings.

    The landscape of Kirthar hills forms a natural refuge for all kinds of wildlife and vegetation. Other than the natural landscape, one can also have an Indiana Jones type of an archeological experience. There are several Chaukundi style tombs at Taung, pre-historic rock paintings and archaeological remains at Koh Tarash, and one of the world largest fort, RaniKot within its boundary. Ranikot is two hours by jeep from Karchat. Another way to access RaniKot is from Saan, about four hours from Karachi via Hyderabad.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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    I'll be Dammed!

    by besal Updated Sep 6, 2008

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    On the edge of Karachi, lies a vast expanse still unexplored. One of this gem is the Hub Dam, situated 75km from Karachi off Northern Bypass. This is also where the so called "Grand Canyon of Sindh", Kirthar range starts.

    The dam provides fresh water to the inhabitant of Karachi. To get to this spot you travel on the Super highway towards Hyderabad. About 10km on it, you will reach Northern Bypass (right after Al Habib restaurant). Take the Northern bypass and after you travel approx. 30 km, you will reach an intersection (cross road). One road is going towards Quetta (straight) another turning left towards Mangopir/Site and one going right to north. A sign board Hamdard University marks this spot. Keep going straight for another 25km till you reach Hub Dam.

    Unfortunately there is nothing developed there, but this spot makes a nice picnic spot. Take all your eatables/drinks along with you as there are no shops around. There are some spots where you can get down near the water. A good place to swim, ride a boat, or throw rocks.

    Warning: Northern bypass is mainly used by heavy traffic going in or out of Karachi. Some of these truck drivers think they are driving for INDY 500. Be careful of such trucks trying to overtake on this double track highway.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

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