Karachi Before 1900
Bird’s Eye View, Clifton Road
Photograph with a view looking along Clifton Road in Karachi.
Napier Mole Bridge to Keamari
Photograph taken by an unknown photographer in Karachi, c.1900, with a general view along the iron Napier Mole bridge connecting Karachi with Kiamari
The Empress Market was constructed between 1884 and 1889 and was named to commemorate Queen Victoria, Empress of India. It was designed by James Strachan, the foundations were completed by the English firm of A.J. Attfield, and the building constructed by the local firm of ‘Mahoomed Niwan and Dulloo Khejoo’. The building was arranged around a courtyard, 130 ft by 100 ft, with four galleries each 46 ft wide. The galleries provided accommodation for 280 shops and stall keepers; at the time of its construction it was one of seven markets in Karachi.
At the end of the nineteenth century the Trans-Lyari Quarter of the city was made up of a cluster of poor settlements mostly consisting of reed and mud plastered huts with some more permanent dwellings. At this time one-quarter of the population of Karachi lived in this area across the Lyari River.
The British had also developed the concept of gymkhanas or sports-houses which provided facilities for all sorts of sports and games for the colonial population in the sub-continent. The Karachi Gymkhana Club, located on Scandal Point (later Club) Road, was a large Tudor-style building, constructed in 1886.
Bird’s Eye View Victoria Road
Photograph with a view of Karachi looking in a northerly direction along Victoria Road, with St Andrew’s Church visible in the distance, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900.
Bird’s Eye View Suddar Bazaar
The Saddar Bazaar at Karachi followed a typical gridiron plan; all the major north-south streets of the Bazaar were laid out at right angles to Bunder Road, Frere, Somerset and Elphinstone Streets which along with Victoria Road, linked the northern part of the cantonment to the southern part. The area soon developed into the most fashionable part of the city, supplying the needs of both its civilian and military parts.
Part of the town of Karachi (Sind), with Mud Houses; Camels and Villagers in Foreground – April 1851
Water-colour of Karachi (Sind) by Henry Francis Ainslie (c.1805-1879), April 1851. Inscribed on the front of the mount in red ink is: ‘Sindh, part of the native town of Kurrachee, 1851.’
Originally Karachi was a small village made up of a cluster of fishermen’s huts on the three islands of Manora, Bhit and Baba. Due to it’s location at the western end of the Indus delta the town has traditionally served as an important gateway for trade into central Asia. With the development of its harbour it gradually grew into a large city and an important centre of trade and industry.
Note: Got these pictures in an email. So glad my friend sent it to me. Amazing pictures. So much space in Karachi. Love them..
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All pictures are property of British Library.