Karachi is home to a number of museums, but none are as splendidly maintained as the Pakistan Maritime Museum and the Pakistan Air Force Museum. Thus, if you’re exploring the best that Karachi has to offer, don’t forget a trip to Pakistan Maritime Museum, which is home to a collection of objects and artefacts relating not just to the Pakistan Navy, but also to Pakistan’s history.
The museum hosts events and exhibitions, along with being home to several galleries, each of which has something unique to offer. Let’s learn more about the Pakistan Maritime Museum below.
About Pakistan Maritime Museum
As the name rightfully implies, the Maritime Museum is managed and operated by Pakistan Navy. The museum is spread across 18 acres of land, taking into account the beautiful park accompanying the museum. Being situated near PNS Karsaz and the National Stadium on Karsaz Road makes it easier for anyone living in any part of Karachi to visit the museum and take pride in the many achievements of their navy. The main building of the museum covers a mammoth 50,000 square footage with three floors comprising six different galleries. There’s also an auditorium with a capacity for 60 people, a library, as well as a historical archive.
The idea of a naval museum was first considered in 1978, but the construction actually began in 1993. It took 4 years to complete, and the Pakistan Maritime Museum opened its doors to the public in 1997. The purpose behind its establishment was to promote awareness among the general populace about naval history, artefacts, and equipment, most of which are strongly linked to our country’s heritage. The exhibits on display include vintage naval equipment, paintings, murals, as well as interactive booths where you can get more information about the relics on display.
Galleries and Exhibits at Pakistan Maritime Museum
Among other things, the Pakistan Maritime Museum comprises the following galleries, every one of which is a must-visit:
Maritime History Gallery
This gallery at the Pakistan Maritime Museum highlights the important historical events with respect to seafaring exploits. Exhibits here are dated from the 3rd century up to the mid-1800s. Artefacts from the Indus Valley Civilisation, paintings depicting the conquest of Muhammad Bin Qasim, as well as ancient maps of the sub-continent are on display here.
Pakistan Navy Gallery
Showcasing the heritage and history of the Pakistani Naval Forces, this gallery contains a mix of paintings, murals, and exhibits, which honour our navy’s greatest accomplishments. Miniature models of naval ships, aircraft, and submarines are also on display here. A small space in this gallery is dedicated to the expeditions that have led to the establishment of the Pakistani research station on Antarctica, named Jinnah Antarctic Station. You can see the station for yourself if you choose to visit Antarctica for an adventurous holiday off the beaten path.
Former Chiefs of Pakistan Navy Gallery
Moving away slightly from the history of the Pakistan Navy, this gallery at the Pakistan Maritime Museum contains personal belongings, uniforms, and photographs of the former chiefs of the naval forces. One part of this gallery is dedicated to “The Quaid and The Navy”, where you can witness the crockery used by Quaid-e-Azam at PNS Dilawar in 1948, along with letters of his correspondence with President Ayub Khan. Other memorabilia depicting Quaid’s long association with the navy is also on display here.
Karachi Harbour Gallery
The fourth gallery focuses entirely on charts, graphs, and maps related to Karachi harbour. One wall shows the changes made to the harbour over time, while a painting of Manora on another wall gives you a taste of what Manora Fort and its lighthouse were like back in their glory days. You can still visit Manora today for a fishing trip and see the lighthouse for yourself.
Explore underwater life on your trip to Pakistan Maritime Museum at the Aquarium Gallery. The space is dominated by a mural depicting life under the sea, with large live aquariums on both sides of it, containing different fish species. Twelve other smaller aquariums are also on display here, all containing specific types of fish.
The last gallery at the Pakistan Maritime Museum is dedicated to scientific learnings and discoveries, with working models of various appliances. It is a great place to bring the kids due to the interactive displays.
Besides the galleries mentioned above that are located indoors, the grounds of the museum are an open-air museum, with a large lake that is home to a number of anchored exhibits. The first of these is the Ex-PNS Mujahid minesweeper ship, followed by the Ex-PNS Hangor historic submarine, and the Ex-PNS barge. Other exhibits set up on the well-manicured lawns include a replica of the Manora lighthouse, an Atlantic aircraft, vintage guns, and torpedoes, as well as the saluting gun and coffin carriers of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan.
Out of the above, you can tour the submarine, the ship, and the aircraft from the inside at an additional fee. You can also climb up to the top of the lighthouse for a fabulous view of the whole park.
Facilities at Pakistan Maritime Museum
Aside from the exhibits and galleries, the museum premises offer the following facilities:
- Pakistan Navy Community Centre
- Praying Area
Timings and Ticket Prices for Pakistan Maritime Museum
If you want to plan a trip to Pakistan Maritime Museum, the museum is open to visitors daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Ticket prices for the Pakistan Maritime Museum are PKR 60 per person, with PKR 20 being charged additionally for entry into the submarine, aircraft, and ship, respectively.
*[Image Credits: Official Website of Pakistan Maritime Museum]