Any area that’s used by the public for a long time becomes an integral part of that neighbourhood or community; it becomes a public space. Even the pavement is an example of public space. However, the most common example in this regard is a park. Parks are incredibly important to maintain the quality of life in a city. Karachi’s rich heritage is not only visible in some of its historical buildings, but also in its numerous open green spaces. Let us delve deeper into the city’s history and take a look at some of the most popular historic parks in Karachi.
Famous historic parks in Karachi
There are many parks and playgrounds in the City of Lights, but the ones we will be discussing in this blog, hold historical significance—reminiscent of the many empires that ruled over the region hundreds of years ago.
Let us now take a look at the most famous historic parks in Karachi.
Listed as a heritage site under the Sindh Conservation Act 1994, Burns Garden houses the heritage building of National Museum of Pakistan, in Saddar Town. There are two entrances to the National Museum, one is across DJ college and the other is from Strachan road. On the main entrance is a beautiful arch having historic calligraphic tiles from Bhambore. The museum lawns display two stone cut works of Buddha.
The National Museum of Pakistan was established in 1950 in Frere Hall, but it was shifted to the present day Burnes Garden. In 1970, there were only four galleries in the Museum, but with time the museum expanded and the building now currently hosts eleven galleries. The National Museum has approximately 300 copies of the Holy Quran.
There are artefacts, miniature paintings, manuscripts and ancient coins documenting the rich heritage and history of Pakistan. There are life-size statues depicting the culture in the four provinces. There are Buddhist statues of priests and kings as well displayed in the National Museum of Pakistan. Some of these have been excavated from the Mohenjodaro site. Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal’s personal belongings are also put on display at the museum. It also has kept around 70,000 publications shifted from the Archeology and Museums Department for the general public to read.
There is a Shahjahan Gate within the premises of Burns Garden which was renovated for around PKR 4 crore. A restaurant serving Sindhi cuisine called the Café Sindh is quite popular among the people. Located within the premises of Burns Garden, it is a popular hang-out, especially those working at the Sindh Secretariat have their lunch at Café Sindh. Palla Fish, saag, karhai and other traditional dishes of Sindh are served here. At night time, the live soulful music entertains the audience.
Address: Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Saddar
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Ticket: PKR 20
Located in the middle of the busiest neighbourhood in the city, Jahangir Park is one of the most popular public spaces among Karachiites. This historic park in Karachi is spread over 6 acres and was gifted to the city by one of the most prominent Parsi philanthropists, Khan Bahadur Behramjee Jehangirjee Rajkotwala, in 1893.
This beautiful park in Karachi was turned into a garbage dump and vegetable vendors had encroached the land. Due to the continuous efforts of the government authorities this public space was reclaimed. Around PKR 200 million was spent in the Jahangir Park renovation project. Now, this park is one of the most popular recreation spots in Karachi. The site comprises a dino museum, a large aviary and well-maintained lush green lawns that attract locals and tourists alike.
Address: Empress Market Saddar, Karachi,
Timings on weekdays: 10 AM – 9 PM for weekends: 10 AM – 10 PM
Free entry; only families are allowed
Bin Qasim Park
Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, more commonly known as Bin Qasim Park, is one of the largest historic parks in Karachi. It spans an area of 130 acres and houses the historically significant Jehangir Kothari Parade. This heritage building comprises a promenade and pier, which were constructed on Clifton Beach. The land on which the historic structure was constructed was gifted by Seth Jehangir Hormusji Kothari, hundreds of years ago.
To be precise, it was constructed in 1919, dating back to pre-partition days. There are two structures – one is the promenade and the other is a somewhat elevated walkway made of sandstone. It is named after Lady Lloyd, who was the wife of the then Governor of Bombay. You can see a plaque with the following inscription – Lady Lloyd Pier.
It took around British-Indian Rupees 300,000 to construct the pavilion structure and the pier. In 2005, the government of Pakistan undertook its renovation. One of the largest urban parks of Karachi, Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, was built around the Jehangir Kothari Parade. It was officially inaugurated in 2007.
Now, the park is always teeming with locals who are lured not only by the well-mowed lawns and seasonal flowers, but also by the picturesque views, especially during the sunset. You can see people clicking photos and making memories. So, the next time you visit Bin Qasim Park don’t forget to take a good look at Jehangir Kothari Parade and take some memorable pictures, as the sky turns crimson, when the sun sets in.
Address: Shahrah-e-Firdousi, Block 3, Clifton
Timings: Open throughout the day
Dating back to the pre-colonial era, Frere Hall was built in 1865. It was originally planned that Frere Hall will be served as Karachi’s town hall. Designed by Henry Saint Clair Wilkins, the total expenditure in the construction of the building was around PKR 180,000. Why was it named Frere Hall? The building was named to honor the legacy of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, a British colonial administrator who served as the governor of Bombay and who contributed to Sindh’s development. He passed away in 1884.
Now, the place is an open public space hosting a public library, an art gallery and an exhibition space. Book lovers and those who appreciate art throng the place whenever a painting/photographic exhibition is held on its premises. The famous art gallery in Frere Hall boasts a mural painted by Sadequain. The lawns outside Frere Hall are visited by people in the evenings. The park surrounding Frere Hall is much-loved by the local people because it is well-maintained. For intellectuals and book-lovers, a book fair is held every Sunday.
Address: Fatima Jinnah Road, Civil Lines Saddar
Timings: Book Fair on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
So, these were some of the most visited historic parks in Karachi that hold great historical significance. If you know of any other park that needs to be mentioned in this blog, then please write to us at email@example.com. Don’t forget to subscribe Zameen Blog for informative posts on tourism and lifestyle.
But wait, if you want to explore some of the famous parks in Karachi, then do pay a visit to these popular amusement parks in the City of Lights. For fitness freaks, take a look at these parks in Karachi with properly maintained walking tracks and you will thank us later!