Kolachi HistoryKarachi was founded in 1729 as the settlement of Kolachi under the rule of the ethnically Baloch Talpur Mirs of Sindh. The founders of the settlement are said to arrived from the nearby town of Karak Bandar after the harbour there silted in 1728 after heavy rains. The settlement was fortified, and defended with cannons imported by Sindhi sailors from Muscat, Oman. The name Karachee was used for the first time in a Dutch document from 1742, in which a merchant ship de Ridderkerk is shipwrecked near the original settlement. The city continued to be ruled by the Talpur Mirs until it was occupied by forces under the command of John Keane in February 1839.
British RajBritish East India Company captured Karachi on February 3, 1839 after the HMS Wellesley opened fire and quickly destroyed the local mud fort at Manora. The town was annexed to British India in 1843 after Sindh was captured by Major General Charles James Napier in the Battle of Miani, with the city declared capital of the new British province.The city was recognized for its strategic importance, prompting the British to establish the Port of Karachi in 1854. Karachi rapidly became a transportation hub for British India owing to newly built port and rail infrastructure, as well as the increase in agricultural exports from the opening of productive tracts of newly irrigated land in Punjab and interior Sindh. The British also developed the Karachi Cantonment as a military garrison in order to aid the British war effort in the First Anglo-Afghan War.During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the 21st Native Infantry, then stationed in Karachi, mutinied and declared allegiance to rebel forces in September 1857, though the British were able to quickly defeat the rebels and reassert control over the city. Following the Rebellion, British colonial administrators continued to develop the city. In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from South Asia to England from Karachi.Public building works were undertaken, including the construction of Frere Hall in 1865 and the later Empress Market. In 1878, the British Raj connected Karachi with the network of British India's vast railway system.
Post-Independence1947, Karachi was Sindh's largest city with a population of over 400,000. Despite communal violence across India and Pakistan, Karachi remained relatively peaceful compared to cities further north in Punjab. The city became the focus for the resettlement of Muslim Muhajirs fleeing from the anti-Muslim pogroms in India, leading to a dramatic expansion of the city's population, and which ultimately transformed its demographics and economy.Karachi was selected as the first capital of Pakistan and served as such until the capital was shifted to Rawalpindi in 1958. While foreign embassies shifted away from Karachi, the city is host to numerous consulates and honorary consulates.Between 1958 and 1970, Karachi's role as capital of Sindh was ceased due to the One Unit programme enacted by President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.Karachi of the 1960s was regarded as an economic role model around the world, with Seoul, South Korea borrowing from the city's second "Five-Year Plan." The 1970s saw major labour struggles in Karachi's industrial estates. The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of thousands of Afghan refugees from the Soviet war in Afghanistan into Karachi; who were in turn followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iran.
RailwayKarachi 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 city has an international rail link, the Thar Express which links Karachi Cantonment Station with Bhagat Ki Kothi station in Jodhpur, India.The railway system also handles freight linking Karachi port to destinations up-country in northern Pakistan. The city is the terminus for the Main Line-1 Railway which connects Karachi to Peshawar. Pakistan's rail network, including the Main Line-1 Railway is being upgraded as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, allowing trains to depart Karachi and travel on Pakistani railways at an average speed of 160 kilometres per hour (99 miles per hour) versus the average 60 to 105 kilometres per hour (37 to 65 miles per hour) speed currently possible on existing track.
SeaThe largest shipping ports in Pakistan are the Port of Karachi and the nearby Port Qasim, the former being the oldest port of Pakistan. Port Qasim is located 35 kilometres (22 miles) east of the Port of Karachi on the Indus River estuary. These ports handle 95% of Pakistan's trade cargo to and from foreign ports. These seaports have modern facilities which include bulk handling, containers and oil terminals.Plans have been announced for new passenger facilities at the Port of Karachi.
AirportKarachi's Jinnah International Airport is the largest and busiest airport of Pakistan with a total of 6.2 million passengers in 2015. The current terminal structure was built in 1992, and is divided into international and domestic sections. Karachi's airport serves as a hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), as well as for Air Indus, Shaheen Air, and airblue. The airport offers non-stop flights to destinations throughout East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf States, Europe and North America.
EthnicityThe first inhabitants of the Kolachi settlement were mostly Sindhi fishermen and Baloch nomads. The oldest portions of modern Karachi reflect the ethnic composition of the first settlement, with Balochis and Sindhis continuing to make up a large portion of the Lyari neighbourhood,though many of the residents are relatively recent migrants. Following Partition, large numbers of Hindus fled Pakistan for the newly-independent Republic of India, while a larger percentage of Muslim refugees fleeing anti-Muslim pogroms in India settled in Karachi. The city grew 150% during the ten period between 1941 and 1951 with the arrival of refugees from India, who made up 57% of Karachi population in 1951.The city is now considered a melting pot of Pakistan, and is the country most diverse city. In 2011, an estimated 2.5 million foreign migrants lived in the city, mostly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.Non Urdu-speaking refugees also arrived in the city, with Karachi home to a wide array of Muslim peoples from what is now the Republic of India. The city has a sizable community of Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani-speaking refugees. Karachi is also home to a several-thousand member strong community of Malabari Muslims from Kerala in South India. These ethno-linguistic groups are being assimilated in the Urdu-speaking community.Despite being the capital of Sindh province, only 68% of the city is Sindhi. Sindhis form much of the municipal and provincial bureaucracy. 4% of Karachi population speaks Balochi as its mother tongue, though most Baloch speakers are of Sheedi heritage a community that traces its roots to Africa.
Theatre CinemaKarachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the former Hindu Gymkhana, offers diploma courses in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. Karachi is home to groups such as Thespianz Theater, a professional youth-based, non-profit performing arts group, which works on theatre and arts activities in Pakistan.
Tourist AttractionsKarachi is a tourist destination for domestic and international tourists. Tourist attractions near Karachi city include:Museums: Museums located in Karachi include the National Museum of Pakistan, Pakistan Air Force Museum, and Pakistan Maritime Museum.Parks: Parks located in Karachi include Bagh Ibne Qasim, Boat Basin Park, Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi Zoo, Hill Park, Safari Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah, PAF Museum Park and Maritime Museum Park.
ArchitectureKarachi 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. 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 architectural style 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.
EducationMajor universities Include:
- University of Karachi
- National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences FAST-NU
- Institute of Business Administration, Karachi
- National University of Sciences and Technology, Karachi
- Aga Khan University
- Habib University
- Jinnah Medical and Dental College
- Jinnah Sindh Medical University
- Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture
- Pakistan Air Force Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology
- United Medical and Dental College