Did you know...
This Wikipedia selection is available offline from SOS Children for distribution in the developing world. Sponsoring children helps children in the developing world to learn too.
ڪراچي / کراچی
|— Metropolitan City —|
|M.A. Jinnah Tomb, Karachi Sunday Textile Market, KPT headquarters, Sindh High Court, Kemari Boat Basin and Nagan Interchange|
|Nickname(s): The Gateway to Pakistan, The City of Bright Lights, Mini Pakistan|
|City Council||City Complex, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town|
|• Type||Metropolitan City|
|• City Administrator||Muhammad Hussain Syed|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Matanat Ali Khan|
|• Total||3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi)|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Time zone||PST ( UTC+05:00)|
|Postal codes||74XXX – 75XXX|
|Dialling code||+9221-XXXX XXXX|
Karachi (Kŭ´rŏchee, Urdu: كراچى; Sindhi: ڪراچي) is the largest city, main seaport and financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 21 million people as of April 2012. At a density of nearly 6,000 people per square kilometre (15,500 per square mile) Karachi is the most populous city in the country, the world's 3rd largest city in terms of population by city proper and also the 11th largest urban agglomeration in the world. It is Pakistan's centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a hub of higher education in South Asia and the Muslim world.
Karachi is ranked as a Beta world city. It was the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a capital in order to spread development evenly across the country and to prevent it from being concentrated in Karachi. Karachi is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region's largest and busiest ports. After the independence of Pakistan, the city population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of Muhajirs from India and other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi.
The city is located in the south of the country, along the coastline meeting the Arabian Sea. It is spread over 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi) in area. It is locally known as the "City of Lights" (بتين جو شهر) and "The Bride of the Cities" (عروس البلاد) for its liveliness, and the "City of the Quaid" (شہرِ قائد), having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader, (Muhammad Ali Jinnah), the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independence from the British Raj on 14 August 1947.
Karachi also known as City of Lights, is the Capital of Sindh and The area of Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola/, the place where Alexander the Great camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus Valley; 'Morontobara' (probably Manora island near Karachi harbour), from whence Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in 712 AD
Karachi was reputedly founded as "Kolachi" by Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area. Descendants of the original community still live in the area on the small island of Abdullah Goth, which is located near the Karachi Port.The original name "Kolachi" survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named "Mai Kolachi" in Balochi. Mirza Ghazi Beg, the Mughal administrator of Sindh, is among the first historical figures credited for the development of Coastal Sindh (consisting of regions such as the Makran Coast and the Mehran Delta), including the cities of Thatta, Bhambore and Karachi.
The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1720s, the village was trading across the Arabian Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. The local Sindhi populace built a small fort, that was constructed for the protection of the city, armed with cannons imported by Sindhi sailors from Muscat, Oman. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) ( Kharadar) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) ( Mithadar). The locations of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khārā Dar) and Mithadar (Mīṭhā Dar).
The name Karachi occurs for the first time in a Dutch document of 1742, when a merchant ship de Ridderkerk shipwrecked nearby its coast.
After sending a couple of exploratory missions to the area, the British East India Company captured the town when HMS Wellesley anchored off Manora island on 1 February 1839. Two days later, the little fort surrendered. The town was later annexed to British India when Sindh was annexed by Major-General Charles James Napier at the Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843.
On his departure in 1847, Napier is said to have remarked, "Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!" Karachi was made the capital of Sindh in the 1840s. On Napier's departure, it was added along with the rest of Sindh to the Bombay Presidency, a move that caused resentment among the native Sindhis. The British realised the importance of the city as a military cantonment and as a port for exporting the produce of the Indus River basin, and developed its harbour for shipping. The foundations of a city municipal government were laid down and infrastructure development was undertaken. New businesses opened up and the population of the town began rising.
The arrival of the troops of the Kumpany Bahadur in 1839 spawned the foundation of the new section, the military cantonment. The cantonment formed the basis of the 'white' town, where the native population had restricted access. The 'white' town was modelled after English industrial parent-cities, where work and residential spaces were separated, as were residential from recreational places. Karachi was divided into two major poles. The 'native' town in the northwest, now enlarged to accommodate the burgeoning Indian mercantile population. When the Indian Rebellion of 1857 broke out in South Asia, the 21st Native Infantry, then stationed in Karachi, declared allegiance to rebels and joining their numbers on 10 September 1857. Nevertheless, the British were able to quickly reassert control over Karachi and defeat the uprising. Officer William 'Waf' Frost was considered to be instrumental in quelling the rebellion and was rewarded for his valor with an OBE. This was awarded to him on 23 April 1858. However, he remains unpopular in areas of Karachi to this day, and is known by some locals as 'chicken' or 'चिकन'.
In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from India to England, when a direct telegraph connection was laid between Karachi and London. In 1878, the city was connected to the rest of British India by rail. Public building projects, such as Frere Hall (1865) and the Empress Market (1890), were undertaken. In 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was born in the city, which by now had become a bustling city with mosques, temples, courthouses, paved streets and a harbour. By 1899, Karachi had become the largest wheat exporting port in the East. Before the year 1880 the majority of the population in Karachi consisted of the indigenous Sindhis and Baloch ( were bilingual & also spoke Sindhi as their second language). Karachi was a small port town and part of Talpur dynasty in Sindh. The British East India Company captured Karachi on 3 February 1839 and started developing it as a major port. As a result of British rule the local Hindu population established a massive presence in the city.
These developments in Karachi resulted in an influx of economic migrants: Parsis, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Marathis, Goans, Chinese, British, Arabs and Gujaratis. The population of the city was about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century, with a mix of nationalities. British colonialists embarked on works of sanitation and transportation – such as gravel paved streets, drains, street sweepers, and a network of trams and horse-drawn trolleys.
At the time of independence of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi had a population slightly under half a million.
By the time of independence of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares. Karachi was chosen as the capital of Pakistan, which at the time included modern day Bangladesh, a region located more than 1,000 km (620 mi) away, and not physically connected to Pakistan. In 1947, Karachi was the focus for settlement by Muslim migrants from India, who expanded the city's population and transformed its demographics and economy. In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi and then in 1960, to the newly built Islamabad. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development.
Karachi had both a municipal corporation and a Karachi Divisional Council in the 1960s, which developed schools, colleges, roads, municipal gardens, and parks. The Karachi Divisional Council had working committees for education, roads, and residential societies development and planning. During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan" and the World Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modelled after Karachi.
The 1970s saw major labour struggles in Karachi's industrial estates (see Karachi labour unrest of 1972). The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of refugees from the Soviet war in Afghanistan into Karachi; they were followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iran. Karachi especially after the 1970s has emerged as one of the largest Pashtun cities in the world with its Pashtun population estimated to be around five to seven million which is more than Peshawar, Kabul or Kandahar easily. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ethnic and political violence broke out across the city between Muhajir followers of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement fought with ethnic Sindhis Pashtuns Punjabis and state forces. As a result, the Pakistani army was deployed to restore peace in the city.
Today, Karachi continues to be an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the world, mainly the Asian countries. It accounts for a lion's share of the GDP of Pakistan, and a large proportion of the country's white collar workers.
Karachi is located in the south of Pakistan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Its geographic coordinates are 24°51′ N 67°02′ E. Most of the land consisted largely of flat or rolling plains, with hills on the western and Manora Island and the Oyster Rocks. The Arabian Sea beach lines the southern coastline of Karachi. Mangroves and creeks of the Indus delta can be found toward the southeast side of the city. Toward the west and the north is Cape Monze, locally known as Raas Muari, an area marked by projecting sea cliffs and rocky sandstone promontories. Some excellent beaches can be found in this area. Khasa Hills lie in the northwest and form the border between North Nazimabad Town and Orangi Town. The Manghopir Hills lies northwest of Karachi, between Hub River and Manghopir.
Located on the coast, Karachi has an arid climate with low average precipitation levels (approx. 250 mm (9.8 in) per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July–August monsoon season. Winters are mild and dry, while the summers are warm and humid; the proximity to the sea maintains humidity levels at a near-constant high and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. December and January are dry and pleasant as compared to the warm summers that dominate through the late spring (March) to the pre-monsoon season (June). Compared to other parts of Pakistan, Karachi's weather is considered mild and can be compared to Florida's weather (except for the precipitation).
The city's highest monthly rainfall, 429.3 mm (16.90 in), occurred in July 1967. The city's highest rainfall in 24 hours occurred on 7 August 1953, when about 278.1 millimetres (10.95 in) of rain lashed the city, resulting in major flooding. Karachi's highest recorded temperature is 47 °C (117 °F), which was recorded on 18 June 1979, and the lowest is 0.0 °C (32.0 °F), recorded on 21 January 1934.
|Climate data for Karachi|
|Record high °C (°F)||32.8
|Average high °C (°F)||25.6
|Average low °C (°F)||14.1
|Record low °C (°F)||0.0
|Rainfall mm (inches)||3.6
|Source #1: HKO (normals, 1962–1987)|
|Source #2: PakMet (extremes, 1931–2008)|
Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan. In line with its status as a major port and the country's largest metropolis, it accounts for a lion's share of Pakistan's revenue. According to the Federal Board of Revenue's 2006–2007 year book, tax and customs units in Karachi were responsible for 46.75% of direct taxes, 33.65% of federal excise tax, and 23.38% of domestic sales tax. Karachi accounts for 75.14% of customs duty and 79% of sales tax on imports. Therefore, Karachi collects 53.38% of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue, out of which 53.33% are customs duty and sales tax on imports. (Note: Revenue collected from Karachi includes revenue from some other areas since the Large Tax Unit (LTU) Karachi and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur & Quetta cover the entire province of Sindh and Balochistan). Karachi's indigenous contribution to national revenue is around 25%.
Karachi's contribution to Pakistan's manufacturing sector amounts to approximately 30 percent. A substantial part of Sindh’s gross domestic product (GDP) is attributed to Karachi (the GDP of Sindh as a percentage of Pakistan’s total GDP has traditionally hovered around 28%–30%; for more information, see economy of Sindh). Karachi’s GDP is around 20% of the total GDP of Pakistan. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study released in 2009, which surveyed the 2008 GDP of the top cities in the world, calculated Karachi’s GDP (PPP) to be $78 billion (projected to be $193 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.5%). It confirmed Karachi’s status as Pakistan’s largest economy, well ahead of the next two biggest cities Lahore and Faisalabad, which had a reported GDP (PPP) in 2008 of $40 billion and $14 billion, respectively. Karachi's high GDP is based on its industrial base, with a high dependency on the financial sector. Textiles, cement, steel, heavy machinery, chemicals, food, banking and insurance are the major segments contributing to Karachi's GDP. In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan.
Karachi is the nerve centre of Pakistan's economy. The economic stagnation caused by political anarchy, ethnic strife and resultant military operation during late 1980s and 1990s led to an exit of industry from Karachi. Most of Pakistan's public and private banks are headquartered on Karachi's I. I. Chundrigar Road; according to a 2001 report, nearly 60% of the cashflow of the Pakistani economy takes place on I. I. Chundrigar Road. Most major foreign multinational corporations operating in Pakistan have their headquarters in Karachi. The Karachi Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Pakistan, and is considered by many economists to be one of the prime reasons for Pakistan's 8% GDP growth across 2005. A recent report by Credit Suisse on Pakistan's stock market is a testimonial to its strong fundamentals, estimating Pakistan’s relative return on equities at 26.7 percent, compared to Asia’s 11 percent.
Karachi has seen an expansion of information and communications technology and electronic media and has become the software outsourcing hub of Pakistan. Call centres for foreign companies have been targeted as a significant area of growth, with the government making efforts to reduce taxes by as much as 10% in order to gain foreign investments in the IT sector. Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio stations are based in Karachi, including world-popular Business Plus, AAJ News, Geo TV, KTN, Sindh TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV ONE, ARY Digital, Indus Television Network, Samaa TV and Dawn News, as well as several local stations.
Karachi has large industrial zones such as Karachi Export Processing Zone, SITE, Korangi, Northern Bypass Industrial Zone, Bin Qasim and North Karachi, located on the fringes of the main city. Its primary areas of industry are textiles, pharmaceuticals, steel, and automobiles. In addition, Karachi has a cottage industry and there is a Free Zone with an annual growth rate of nearly 6.5%. The Karachi Expo Centre hosts regional and international exhibitions. There are development projects proposed, approved and under construction in Karachi. Among projects of note, Emaar Properties is proposing to invest $43bn (£22.8bn) in Karachi to develop Bundal Island, which is a 12,000 acres (49 km2) island just off the coast of Karachi. The Karachi Port Trust is planning a Rs. 20 billion, 1,947 feet (593 m) high Port Tower Complex on the Clifton shoreline. It will comprise a hotel, a shopping center, an exhibition centre and a revolving restaurant with a viewing gallery offering a panoramic view of the coastline and the city.
As one of the most rapidly growing cities in the world, Karachi faces challenges that are central to many developing metropolises, including traffic congestion, pollution, poverty and street crime. These problems continue to earn Karachi low rankings in livability comparisons: The Economist ranked Karachi fourth least liveable city amongst the 132 cities surveyed and BusinessWeek ranked it 175 out of 215 in livability in 2007, down from 170 in 2006. An average of six people per day are killed in Karachi and Former Police Chief Ahmed Farooqi has said that the violence is beyond the control of law enforcement.
The first foop of government was a conservancy board established in 1846 to control the spread of cholera in the city. The board became a municipal commission in 1852, and a municipal committee the following year. The City of Karachi Municipal Act of 1933 transformed the city administration into a municipal corporation with a mayor, a deputy mayor and 57 councillors. In 1948, the Federal Capital Territory of Pakistan was created, comprising approximately 2,103 km2 (812 sq mi) of Karachi and surrounding areas, but this was merged into the province of West Pakistan in 1961. However, the municipal corporation remained in existence and in 1976 became a metropolitan corporation, followed by the creation of zonal municipal committees, which lasted until 1994. Two years later the metropolitan area was divided into five districts, each with a municipal corporation.
in 2001, five districts of Karachi were merged to form the city district of Karachi. It was structured as a three-tier federation, with the two lower tiers composed of 18 towns and 178 union councils, with each tier focussed on elected councils with some common members to provide "vertical linkage" within the federation. Each union council comprised thirteen members elected from specified electorates: four men and two women elected directly by the general population; two men and two women elected by peasants and workers; one member for minority communities; two members are elected jointly as the union mayor (nazim) and deputy union mayor (naib nazim). Each town council was comprised all of the deputy union mayors in the town as well as elected representatives for women, peasants and workers, and minorities. The district council was comprised all of the union mayors in the district as well as elected representatives for women, peasants and workers, and minorities. Each council was also included up to three council secretaries and a number of other civil servants. Naimatullah Khan was the first Nazim of Karachi and Shafiq-Ur-Rehman Paracha was the first district coordination officer (DCO) of Karachi, Paracha even served as the last Commissioner of Karachi. Syed Mustafa Kamal was elected City Nazim of Karachi to succeed Naimatullah Khan in 2005 elections, and Nasreen Jalil was elected as the City Naib Nazim.
Again in 2011, City District Government of Karachi has been de-merged into its five original constituent districts namely Karachi East, Karachi West, Karachi Central, Karachi South and Malir. These five districts form the Karachi Division now. City administrator is Muhammad Hussain Syed and Municipal Commissioner of Karachi is Matanat Ali Khan. There are also six military cantonments which are administered by the Pakistan Army.
Karachi is an ethnically heterogeneous city. The major ethnic groups of the city include: (1) Sindhi of Samat and Baloch origin; (2) Baloch of Makrani coastal origin; (3) Gujarati mostly Memoni and Kutchi clans; (4) Sindhi of Lasi origin; (5) Rajasthanis; (6) Malyali Mapla, from Kerala State of India; (7) Urdu speakers or Muhajirs migrated after 1947 from India; (8) Punjabi from Pakistani Punjab; (9) Pashtun from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan province; (10) Bihari community refugees of 1971 War from Bangladesh.
Since there has been no official census since 1998, various estimates are carried regarding the ethnic complexion in the city. According to these estimates, Sindhis and Baloch indigenous population form around 40% of the city. Exclusively Urdu speaking and Biharis count nearly 25% and Exclusively Sindhi speaking form nearly 30% of the Population.
†Huge population rise between 1941 and 1951 due to
large scale migration after independence in 1947
Karachi's inhabitants, locally known as Karachiites, are composed of ethno-linguistic groups from all parts of Pakistan, as well as migrants from South Asia, making the city's population a diverse melting pot. At the end of the 19th century, the population of the city was about 105,000, with a gradual increase over the next few decades, reaching more than 400,000 on the eve of independence. Estimates of the population range from 15 to 18 million, of which an estimated 90% are migrants from different backgrounds. The city's population is estimated to be growing at about 5% per year (mainly as a result of internal rural-urban migration), including an estimated 45,000 migrant workers coming to the city every month from different parts of Pakistan.
The earliest inhabitants of the area that became Karachi were Sindhi tribes such as the Jokhio, Mallaah and Jath in the east and Baloch in the west and. Before the end of British colonial rule and the subsequent independence of Pakistan in 1947, the population of the city was vastly consisting Hindus and Sikhs, but the community is still present numbering around 250,000 residents. The city was, and still is home to a large community of Gujarati Muslims who were one of the earliest settlers in the city, and still form the majority in Saddar Town. Important Gujarati Muslim communities in the city include the Memon, Chhipa, Ghanchi, Khoja, Bohra and Tai. Other early settlers included the Marwari Muslims, Parsis originally from Iran, Marathi and Konkani Muslims from Maharashtra (settled in Kokan Town), Goan Catholics and Anglo-Indians. Most non-Muslims left the city to India in the 1950s, after independence, but there are still small communities of Parsis, Goan Catholics and Anglo-Indians in the city.
The independence of Pakistan in 1947 saw the influx of refugees. Majority of the Urdu speaking and other non-Punjabi refugees from various states of India settled in Karachi which is why the culture of the city is a blend of South Asia. Most properties vacated by Hindus, who left Karachi due to the new settlements made by these refugees, were granted to Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants through claims on behalf of the properties they claimed of leaving behind in India. Today, the descendants of these refugees are known as Muhajirs form a powerful large population of Karachi. These Muhajirs include ethno-linguist Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani Muslims, Rajasthani and Malabari Muslims from India, Biharis and Bengali of Bangladesh are around 10 million. Majority of the Gujaratis in Karachi are ethno-linguistically Sindhis; majority of Rajasthani settled in the city much before the partition of India in 1947; Biharis of Bangladesh speak Bhojpuri and Bengali speak Bengalis and Rohinyga Chittagong and Burmese language. After independence of Pakistan, a considerable number of Punjabi Muslims from Pakistani Punjab and Kashmiri Muslims from the Kashmir Valley settle in Karachi mostly due to establishment of military cantonments in the city. There are numerous Pashto speakers Pakhtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan Provinces of Pakistan. There is also a sizeable community of Marathi Hindus and Malayali Muslims in Karachi (the Mappila), originally from Kerala in South India.
The Pashtuns, originally from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Afghanistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and northern Balochistan, are now the city's second largest ethnic group after Muhajirs, these Pashtuns are settled in Karachi from decades With as high as 7 million by some estimates, the city of Karachi in Pakistan has the largest concentration of urban Pashtuns population in the world, including 50,000 registered Afghan refugees in the city meaning there are more Pashtuns in Karachi than in any other city in the world. As per current demographic ratio Pashtuns are about 25% of Karachi's population.
After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, thousands of Biharis and Bengalis from Bangladesh arrived in the city, and today Karachi is home to 1 to 2 million ethnic Bengalis from Bangladesh (see Bangladeshis in Pakistan), many of whom migrated in the 1980s and 1990s. They were followed by Rohingya Muslim refugees from western Burma (for more information, see Burmese people in Pakistan), and Asian refugees from Uganda. One under-privileged sub-ethnic group is the Siddis (Negro – Sheedi) who are now naturalized Sindhi speakers however trace their roots to African slaves from earlier centuries. Many other refugees from Iran and the Central Asian countries constituting the former Soviet Union have also settled in the city as economic migrants. A large numbers of Arabs, Filipinos and an economic elite of Sinhalese from Sri Lanka. Expatriates from China have a history going back to the 1940s; today, many of the Chinese are second-generation children of immigrants who came to the city and worked as dentists, chefs and shoemakers.
Karachi is host to many Western expatriates in Pakistan. During World War II, about 30,000 Polish refugees migrated to Karachi, at that time under British colonial rule. Many of these Polish families settled permanently in the city. There are also communities of American and British expatriates.
According to the last official census of the country, which was held in 1998, the linguistic distribution of the city was: Urdu: 48.52%; Punjabi: 13.94%; Pashto: 11.42%; Sindhi: 7.22%; Balochi: 4.34%; Saraiki: 2.11%; others: 12.44%. The others include Dari, Gujarati, Dawoodi Bohra, Memon, Marwari, Brahui, Makrani, Khowar, Burushaski, Arabic, Farsi and Bengali.
According to the census of 1998, the religious breakdown of the city was: Muslim (96.45%); Christian (2.42%); Hindu (0.86%); Ahmadiyya (0.17%); others (0.10%) (Parsis, Sikhs, Bahá'ís, Jews and Buddhists). Karachi has been sometimes regarded as an ethnically segregated city, with 75% of the city regarded as being segregated along ethnic lines.
|Rank||Language||1998 census||Speakers||1981 census||Speakers|
Karachi is a tourist destination for domestic and international tourists. Some tourist attractions near Karachi city are:
Beaches: The beaches of Karachi are the main attraction for tourists. There are many beautiful seasides near city like Seaview, Manora Island, Sandspit Beach, Hawke's Bay Beach, Paradise Point, French Beach, Cape Monze, and Nathiagali Beach
Museums: The main museum of Karachi is National Museum of Pakistan others are Air Force Museum and Pakistan Maritime Museum.
Parks: Some popular parks are Bagh Ibne Qasim, Boat Basin Park, Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi Zoo, Hill Park, Safari Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah, PAF Museum Park, Maritime Museum Park, Aziz Bhatti Park and Jheel Park.
Historic places and buildings: Chowkandi graveyard is the most historic place in Karachi, famous for hundred-year old tombs. Historic buildings in the city were constructed in British era like Karachi Port Trust, Sindh High Court. Hindu Gymkhana, KMC Head Office, Ghulam Husain Khalikdina Hall, Frere Hall, Empress Market, Jehangir Kothari Parade, St Patrick's Church, Mohatta Palace and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station buildings.
National Park and lake: Kirthar National Park is located 60 kilometres from Karachi. The park is the home of Striped hyenas, Wolves, Ratels, Urials, Indian Gazelles and Sind wild goats. Hub lake is 50 kilometres away from Karachi near Kirthar National Park. It is an ideal place to birds watching, picnic, swimming and fishing.
Art and culture
Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana, offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year-old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its annual music festival since its inception in 2004. The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) has musical performances and mushaira (poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries. Karachi is home to theatre, music and dance performance groups, such as Thespianz Theatre, a professional youth-based, non-profit performing arts group, which works on theatre and arts activities in Pakistan. A website serving the Pakistani fashion industry is FORMA.pk.
Karachi has museums that present exhibitions on a regular basis, including the Mohatta Palace and the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centre hosts regional and international exhibitions.
The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs from that of other Pakistani cities and towns. The culture of Karachi is characterised by the blending of South Asian, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Western influences, as well as its status as a major international business centre. After the independence of Pakistan, Karachi received refugees from all over India, whose influence is now evident in the city's sub-cultures.
Karachi has a collection of buildings and structures of varied architectural styles. The downtown districts of Saddar and Clifton contain early 20th-century architecture, ranging in style from the neo-classical KPT building to the Sindh High Court Building. During the period of British rule, classical architecture was preferred for monuments of the British Raj. Karachi acquired its first neo-Gothic or Indo-Gothic buildings when Frere Hall, Empress Market and St. Patrick's Cathedral were completed. The Mock Tudor architectural style was introduced in the Karachi Gymkhana and the Boat Club. Neo-Renaissance architecture was popular in the 19th century and was the language for St. Joseph's Convent (1870) and the Sind Club (1883). The classical style made a comeback in the late 19th century, as seen in Lady Dufferin Hospital (1898) and the Cantt. Railway Station. While Italianate buildings remained popular, an eclectic blend termed Indo-Saracenic or Anglo-Mughal began to emerge in some locations.
The local mercantile community began acquiring impressive structures. Zaibunnisa Street in the Saddar area (known as Elphinstone Street in British days) is an example where the mercantile groups adopted the Italianate and Indo-Saracenic style to demonstrate their familiarity with Western culture and their own. The Hindu Gymkhana (1925) and Mohatta Palace are examples of Mughal revival buildings. The Sindh Wildlife Conservation Building, located in Saddar, served as a Freemasonic Lodge until it was taken over by the government. There are talks of it being taken away from this custody and being renovated and the Lodge being preserved with its original woodwork and ornate wooden staircase.
Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture is one of the prime examples of Architectural conservation and restoration where an entire Nusserwanjee building from Kharadar area of Karachi has been relocated to Clifton for adaptive reuse in an art school. The procedure involved the careful removal of each piece of timber and stone, stacked temporarily, loaded on the trucks for transportation to the Clifton site, unloaded and re-arranged according to a given layout, stone by stone, piece by piece, and completed within three months.
Architecturally distinctive, even eccentric, buildings have sprung up throughout Karachi. Notable example of contemporary architecture include the Pakistan State Oil Headquarters building. The city has examples of modern Islamic architecture, including the Aga Khan University hospital, Masjid e Tooba, Faran Mosque, Bait-ul Mukarram Mosque, Quaid's Mausoleum, and the Textile Institute of Pakistan. One of the unique cultural elements of Karachi is that the residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, are built with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar Road features a range of extremely tall buildings. The most prominent examples include the Habib Bank Plaza, PRC Towers and the MCB Tower which is the tallest skyscraper in Pakistan.
Many High-rise buildings are under construction, such as Centre Point near Korangi Industrial Area, IT Tower, Sofitel Tower Karachi and Emerald Tower. The Government of Sindh recently approved the construction of two high-density zones, which will host the new city skyline.
Biryani is arguably the most popular food among Karachiites, with numerous variants (Awadhi, Bombay, Sindhi, Memoni etc.). Meat Curries such as Nihari and Haleem, lentils, BBQ dishes are also very popular, however cuisines vary from one neighbourhood to another, given the diverse nature of ethnic origins that exist. Karachi has a large number of restaurants from desi and fast food to a wide variety of international cuisines such as (Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabian, Korean, South Indian etc). The Port Grand Food and Entertainment Complex is the largest food street of Asia.The project is a 13-acre facility. Boat Basin is a famous food market while Do Darya is another new location with lots of famous restaurant outlets. Burns Road in Saddar is one of the oldest food streets of city and is still the most popular place to find traditional Pakistani food.
The cuisine of Karachi includes rice cooked with fish called Sindhi Fish Biryani and a pancake made with rice flour which now only exist in the fishing communities in Baba Bhit island.
Fashion, shopping and entertainment
Almost every day entertainment events are held in Karachi ranging from fashion shows, concerts, and small gigs at local cafes.
Karachi hosts cultural and fashion shows. In 2009 a four-day-long fashion show was organised in Karachi's luxury Marriott hotel. The largest shopping mall in Karachi and in Pakistan is Dolmen Mall Clifton or Dolmen City Mall which is located in Dolmen City of the famous Seaview area of Karachi with 2 floors and 51097 square metres or 550000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment. There are other glitzy shopping malls in the Clifton, Tariq Road, Hyderi, Saddar and Karsaz areas including Park Towers, The Forum, Dolmen Mall Tariq Road and Hyderi, Atrium Mall and the Millenium Mall. There is a shopping mall under construction at Khayaban-e-Roomi called the Ocean Mall which is at the tallest building in Pakistan, Ocean Towers. The mall will also feature a 4 screen cineplex. Karachi is not only renown for it's shopping malls but there are many areas which have shops like Zamzama Boulevard which is known for its designer stores and many cafes. There are many bazaars in Karachi such as Bohri Bazaar, Soldier Bazaar, and Urdu Bazaar.
Foreign clothes brands and Pakistani fashion labels (such as Amir Adnan, Aijazz, Rizwan Beyg, Deepak Perwani, Shayanne Malik, Maria B, Khaadi, Sputnik Footwear, Stone Age, Lark & Finch, Metro Shoes, English Boot House, Cotton & Cotton, Men's Store and Junaid Jamshed) are present in shopping districts of the city. The newly built activity centre Port Grand Food and Entertainment Complex is located at Port of Karachi near Native Jetty Bridge.
When it comes to sports Karachi has a distinction, because some sources cite that it was in 1877 at Karachi in (British) India, where the first attempt was made to form a set of rules of badminton and likely place is said to Frere Hall.
Cricket in Pakistan has a history of even before the creation of the country in 1947. The first ever international cricket match in Karachi was held on November 22, 1935 between Sindhi and Australian cricket teams. The match was seen by 5000 Karachites. It is also the most popular sport in Karachi today, which is played in many small grounds around the city, as well as on city streets at night and on weekends. Gully cricket is played in the narrow by-lanes of the city.
The National Stadium is the city's only world-class cricket stadium, and is the second largest cricket stadium in Pakistan, after the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The inaugural first-class match at the National Stadium was played between Pakistan and India on 26 February 1955 and since then Pakistani national cricket team has won 20 of the 41 Test matches played at the National Stadium. The first One Day International at the National Stadium was against the West Indies on 21 November 1980, with the match going to the last ball.
The national team has been less successful in such limited-overs matches at the ground, including a five-year stint between 1996 and 2001, when they failed to win any matches. The city has been host to a number of domestic cricket teams including Karachi, Karachi Blues, Karachi Greens, and Karachi Whites. The National Stadium hosted two group matches (Pakistan v. South Africa on 29 February and Pakistan v. England on 3 March), and a quarter-final match (South Africa v. West Indies on 11 March) during the 1996 Cricket World Cup.
The city has hosted seven editions of the National Games of Pakistan, most recently in 2007. Sports like badminton, volleyball, and basketball are popular in schools and colleges. Football is especially popular in Lyari Town, which has a large Afro-Balochi community and has always been a football-mad locality in Karachi. The Peoples Football Stadium is perhaps the largest football stadium in Pakistan with respect to capacity, easily accommodating around 40,000 people.
In 2005, the city hosted the SAFF Championship at this ground, as well as the Geo Super Football League 2007, which attracted capacity crowds during the games. The popularity of golf is also increasing, with clubs in Karachi like Dreamworld Resort, Hotel & Golf Club, Arabian Sea Country Club, DA Country & Golf Club. The city has facilities for field hockey (the Hockey Club of Pakistan, UBL Hockey Ground), boxing (KPT Sports Complex), squash ( Jahangir Khan Squash Complex), and polo. There are marinas and boating clubs. National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex is First-class cricket venue and Multi-purpose sports facility in Karachi,
- Professional Karachi teams
|Karachi Dolphins||Faysal Bank T20 Cup||Cricket||National Stadium||2004|
|Karachi Zebras||Faysal Bank T20 Cup||Cricket||National Stadium||2004|
|Karachi Energy||SFL||Football||Peoples Football Stadium||2007|
|Karachi HBL FC||PPL||Football||Peoples Football Stadium||1975|
Karachi is the most educated city of Pakistan, with the highest literacy rate along with a gross enrolment ratio of 111%, the highest in Sindh. Education in Karachi is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees. Karachi has both public and private educational institutions. Most educational institutions are gender-based, from primary to university level.
Karachi Grammar School is the oldest school in Pakistan and has educated many Pakistani businessmen and politicians. The Narayan Jagannath High School in Karachi, which opened in 1855, was the first government school established in Sindh. Other well-known schools include the PakTurk International schools and colleges (formed by association of Turkey and Pakistan) Hamdard Public School, Education Bay [EBay] school located in Karachi (for higher education) Army Public School (C.O.D.), Karachi Public school, British Overseas School, L'ecole for Advanced Studies, Bay View Academy, the CAS School, Generations School, Karachi American School, Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, the Froebel Education Centre (FEC), The Paradise School and College, Grand Folk's English School, Cordoba School for A Levels (founded in 1902 by RJK), Habib Public School, AL-Murtaza School Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School, B. V. S. Parsi High School, Civilizations Public School, The Oasys School, Avicenna School, The Lyceum School, Ladybird Grammar School, The City School, ABC Public School, Beaconhouse School System, The Educators schools, Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan School, Shahwilayat Public School, Springfield School, St Patrick's High School, St Paul's English High School, St Joseph's Convent School, St Jude's High School, St Michael's Convent School, Foundation Public School,Aisha Bawanay Academy, Karachi Gems School, Aga Khan School Kharadar, St Peter's High School and Chiniot Islamia School, St Jude's High School.
The University of Karachi, known as KU, is Pakistan's largest university, with a student population of 24,000 and one of the largest faculties in the world. It is located next to the NED University of Engineering and Technology, the country's oldest engineering institute.
In the private sector, the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES-FAST), one of Pakistan's top universities in computer education, operates two campuses in Karachi. Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) provides training in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electronics engineering, telecom engineering and computer engineering. Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, which opened in 1962, offers degree programmes in electronic engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering and architecture. Karachi Institute of Economics & Technology (KIET) has two campuses in Karachi.
The Plastics Technology Centre (PTC), located in Karachi's Korangi Industrial Area, is Pakistan's only educational institution providing training in the field of polymer engineering and plastics testing services. The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), founded in 1955, is the oldest business school outside of North America. The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), founded in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto, is located in Karachi, with its other campuses in Islamabad, Larkana and Dubai. Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) is a part of the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), offering engineering programs, including electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
Pakistan Marine Academy (PMA), founded in 1962, is the only institution of its kind in the public sector training Merchant Navy Cadets with a degree in Marine Engineering and in Ship Management. Hamdard University is the largest private university in Pakistan with faculties including Eastern Medicine, Medical, Engineering, Pharmacy, and Law. It has got Asia's second largest library called 'BAIT UL HIKMA'. Jinnah University for Women is the first women university in Pakistan. Karachi is home of the head offices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) (established in 1961) and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP). Among the many other institutions providing business education are the Greenwich University, Iqra University (IU), Institute of Business Management (IoBM), SZABIST, and the Institute of Business and Technology (Biztek). Leading medical schools of Pakistan like the Dow University of Health Sciences and the Aga Khan University are situated in Karachi. PLANWEL has a CISCO Network Academy as well as iCBT centre for ETS Prometric and Pearsons VUE.
Bahria University has a purpose-built campus in Karachi. Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) is a private university in Pakistan. The main campus is in Karachi; the other campus is in Islamabad. The College of Accounting and Management Sciences (CAMS) also has three branches in the city. Sindh Muslim Govt. Science College located at Saddar Town is the eldest college in Karachi.Hamdard University (Urdu: جامعہ ہمدرد) is an accredited private research university with multiple campuses in Karachi and Islamabad, Pakistan.
For religious education, the Jamia Uloom ul Islamia (one of the largest Islamic education centres of Asia), Jamia Binoria and Darul 'Uloom Karachi are among the Islamic schools in Karachi.
Due to a growing population traffic problems and pollution are major challenges for Karachi. The level of air pollution in Karachi is significantly higher than World Health Organization standards. A number of new parks (e.g., Bagh Ibne Qasim, Beach View Park and Jheel Park) have been developed and new trees are being planted in the city to improve the environment and reduce the pollution. The construction of new bridges/flyovers, underpasses and signal-free corridors (e.g., Corridor 1: S.I.T.E. to Shahrae Faisal, Corridor 2: North Karachi to Shahrae Faisal, Corridor 3: Safora Goth to Saddar) has improved the traffic flow in Karachi. The completion of Corridor 4 (from the airport to Metropole Hotel) is expected to substantially reduce the travel time to reach the city centre and airport. Another corridor Corridor 5 (Sohrab Goth to Gurumandir) is on its way to be completed.
The city which has been declared the world's largest city by population has no Mass Transit System.
Lyari Expressway is a highway under construction along the Lyari River in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Lyari Expressway's North bound section is under construction, While the South bound corridor is now completed and it was inaugurated for traffic. This toll highway is designed to relieve congestion in the city of Karachi.
Karachi Northern Bypass (M10) begins north of Karachi at the end of Mohammad Ali Jinnah Road, near the junction of the M9. It then continues north for a few kilometres before turning west, where it forms an interchange with the N25. After this interchange it eventually turns south back towards Karachi and merges onto the KPT Flyover at Karachi Port.
Karachi is linked by rail to the rest of the country by Pakistan Railways. The Karachi City Station and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station are the city's two major railway stations. The railway system handles freight to and from the Karachi port and provides passenger services to people travelling up country. A project to transform the existing, but non-operational, Karachi Circular Railway into a modern mass transit system had been approved by the government but has been delayed to 2013 due to lack of funds. The $1.6 billion project will be financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and will be completed by 2013.
The city has an international rail link, the Thar Express. The train links Karachi Cantonment Station with Bhagat Ki Kothi station in Jodhpur, India.
The Jinnah International Airport is located in Karachi. It is the largest and busiest airport of Pakistan. It handles 10 million passengers a year. The airport receives the largest number of foreign airlines, a total of 35 airlines and cargo operators fly to Jinnah International predominantly from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. All of Pakistan's airlines use Karachi as their primary transport hub including PIA – Pakistan International Airlines , Airblue, and Shaheen Air International. The city's old airport terminals are now used for Hajj flights, offices, cargo facilities, and ceremonial visits from heads of state. U.S. Coalition forces used the old terminals for their logistic supply operations as well. The city has two other airstrips, used primarily by the armed forces.
The largest shipping ports in Pakistan are the Port of Karachi and the nearby Port Qasim. These seaports have modern facilities and not only handle trade for Pakistan, but serve as ports for Afghanistan and the landlocked Central Asian countries. Plans have been announced for new passenger facilities at the Port of Karachi. Recently Port Qasim Authority (PQA) has announced that an implementation agreement is being signed for the development of a 'pollution free' Coal, Cement and Clinker Terminal (CCCT) worth $175 million with a handling capacity of up to eight million tons per year at port. This step would save the environment from irreparable damages and the health of the port workforce and nearby populations from serious respiratory diseases which would have been a serious threat if the powdery coal was handled in open/bulk on berths at port.
Health and medicine
Karachi is a centre of research in biomedicine with at least 30 public hospitals and more than 80 private hospitals, including the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Civil Hospital, PNS Rahat, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Liaquat National Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Ziauddin Hospital, and Lady Dufferin Hospital. Medical schools include the Dow Medical College, Aga Khan University, Sindh Medical College, Dow International Medical College, Baqai Medical University, Jinnah Medical & Dental College, Hamdard College of Medicine & Dentistry, Uncle Sirya Hospital and Ziauddin Medical University.
- Port Louis, Mauritius since 1 May 2007
- Shanghai, China since 15 February 1984
- Puttalam, Sri Lanka November 2012
- Hong Kong
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Izmir, Turkey, since 1985
- Houston, United States since 8 May 2008
- Manama, Bahrain
- Pristina, Kosovo since 24 July 2008
- Dubai, U.A.E
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1 June 2008
- Moscow, Russia 28 August 2011
- Mashad, Iran, 11 May 2012
- Chicago, United States