Historical_Pic_Karachi

Historical Images of Karachi

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The Indus river never flowed by Karachi. The course of history therefore over the centuries, from the time of the Indus Valley civilisation until the end of the eighteenth century, also bypassed it. Karachi had little to offer beyond a rudimentary access to the Arabian Sea, and although of no strategic value, it remained for many years a source of contention between the governors of Kalat and the Mirs of Hyderabad. The latter finally succeeding in gaining control of Karachi in 1795, after which it remained in their possession untif the annexation of Sindh in 1843.

It was perhaps symbolic of Karachi’s future per¬sonality as a city devoted to commerce and industry that its first significant contact with the West resulted from the permission given to the East India Company to establish a factory there in 1800. The permission, granted in haste by the Mirs led by Mir Fateh Ali who feared an invasion by the Afghan king Zaman Shah, was as rapidly withdrawn when the Mirs suspected that the motives of the British were not entirely commercial in nature. Nathan Crow, the agent appointed by the Company to establish the factory, landed at Karachi on 2 March 1800 and by the end of October was ordered to close the factory and to proceed to Thatta.

View of Manora, Karachi, c. 1900.

During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the interests of the British became more focused on Afghanistan and they looked north-westwards, beyond the Sikh kingdom of Ranjit Singh in the Punjab and the territories controlled by the Mirs in outhern Sindh. Anxious to extend their influence, they rummaged for opportunities which would • . tify their intervention. A single cannonade of welcome fired in 1839 from the largely ceremonial guns at Manora fort upon the appearance of British naval vessels became the pretext for a bombardment of Karachi and its subsequent surrender, just as the natural reluctance of the Mirs to implement a treaty, which stripped them of all their rights as indepen-dent rulers, unleashed a storm which did not abate until the battle of Miani in February 1843 and the formal annexation of Sindh in August of the same year.

As the political power and authority radiating from the courts at Hyderabad and Khairpur waned, the fortunes of Karachi gradually increased. From being a fishing village supporting a population of about 10,000 inhabitants, it grew into a sizable can¬tonment town and then into a thriving city dedicated to commerce, ‘the natural outlet of trade for Sind and the Punjab … second only to Bombay’.

1. FORT AND HARBOUR OF KARACHI, c. 1840 Lithograph by Dean and Munday based on a sketch by Capt. Haines, c. 1840. Published in Dr. R.H. Kennedy Narrative of the campaign of the Army of the Indus, in Sind and Kaubool, in 1838-9 (London, 1840), opp. page 152.

Oyster rocks and Harbour entrance, Karachi, c. 1900.

Dr. Richard Hartley Kennedy had joined the Bombay establishment as a junior medical officer in 1810. He had been in service in India for about twenty-eight years (eighteen of them in Gujarat) when he was deputed to join the Army of the Indus, mobilised in 1838bythe Britishinanabortiveattempt to replace the ruler of Afghanistan, Dost Mohammed, by his relation Shah Shuja.

Dr. Kennedy boarded the flotilla which left Bombay in November 1838 and landed not at the port of Karachi, which Kennedy considered far more suitable as a point of disembarkation, butatHujamry .ar the mouth of the Indus. Writing afterwards in correspondence with his relatives which formed e basis of his published narrative, Kennedy de¬ored that the value of Karachi as a port had been iderestimated by the British, just as it had been nored by their rivals the Napoleonic French who • felt could have used it as ‘a haven … for wood, ater, and provisions’ on their way to and from auritius.

To Kennedy, the strategic potential of Karachi as obvious: ‘Too great a value cannot possibly be aced on the possession of the harbour of Kurachy, hether as a military and naval station, or in a ilitical and commercial view; and everything that tr Government can do should be done without -lay, to improve and strengthen it. It is the key of nd and the Indus, and of the approaches, either ilitary or commercial, to Central Asia. A lighthouse L the headland of Manoora, and a pier on piles at e landing place, are the first desiderata. The cond and third will be the improvement of the arra Creek, and a canal to re-unite it to the Indus’ .ennedy (1840), I, 59 – 60).

Empress Market, c. 1900.

Returning in January 1840 upon the conclusion of e campaign, Kennedy embarked from Karachi on 29 January for Bombay. He recorded a fuller de¬scription of the nascent port whose potential he recognised with a clairvoyant’ s accuracy :

‘The harbour of Kurachy is protected from the sea and prevailing winds by a rocky promontory, rising about one hundred and fifty feet, and projecting about a mile and a half in length, and which may have been an island in the age of Alexander; the opening to the south-east is protected by several insulated rocks, which are the only islands now seen along the whole coast of Sind. It is a safe harbour and easily accessible, and the the only valuable port as a naval station, and in a military or commercial view, north of Bombay. It is very much removed from the influence of the Indian south-west monsoon, being betwixt the climate of India and Persia; and experi¬ences so little rain, that a very few inches in the year may be considered an average fall. The dry sandy soil, the debris of the Sind rock, creates no malaria; and the refreshing sea-breezes mitigate the fierce temperature of a climate so seldom cooled by rain in 25° north, on the verge of the tropic.

The town of Kurachy will soon rise to a place of the greatest consideration. The expenditure of the British cantonment and the establishment of the communication betwixt Bombay, the Punjaub, and Kaubool, will bring wealth and population, and a few years will suffice to prove the incalculable importance of this position.’ (Kennedy (1840), II, 219 – 20.)

Sind Art’s College and Victoria Museum, Karachi, c. 1900.

By 187 6, Dr. Kennedy’s ambitions for Karachi and particularly for Manora were partially fulfilled. Manora by then had a permanent lighthouse with a fixed light 150 feet above sea level whose light could be seen weather permitting as afar as 17 miles offshore. The island housed the office of the Harbour Improvement Works, and in addition provided for its population of about 800 souls a library, billiard room and a small church called St. Paul’s, which Richard Burton saw on his second visit to Karachi in 1876 and described as’ a stiff little English church, with its red-tiled roof and pierced wall for belfry’.

2. A VIEW OF KARACHI, c. 1830 Drawing done c. 1850 by Charles Masson, based upon a sketch made by him while at Karachi c. 1830.

Charles Masson’s real name was James Lewis.
Born in London in 1800, Lewis when in his twenties enlisted as a private soldier in the Bengal European Artillery and saw action at Bharatpur before deserting. He spent fourteen years-1827 to 1840- travelling extensively in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Punjab. His impressions of Karachi, from where he embarked in the summer of 1830 en route to Muscat and to Bushire in the Persian Gulf, were contained in the memoirs of his travels he published in 1842:

یہ بھی پڑھیں:  کیا پاکستانیوں کو صحت مند رکھنے کیلئے ہم کچھ کر رہے ہیں؟
Sind Club, Karachi, c. 1900.

‘Karachi, although not a large town, has much trade; it is surrounded with dilapidated mud walls, provided with towers, on which a few crazy guns are mounted. The suburbs, extensive, and generally comprising huts, are inhabited by fishermen and mariners. The port has one hundred vessels, of all sizes and descriptions, belonging to it, and its dunghis [ high prowed boats] venture to Daman, Bombay, and Calicat, also to Gwadar and Maskat. The harbour is commodious for small craft, and is spacious, extending about two miles inwards, at which dis-tance, from its mouth, the town is seated. On a high hill, or eminence, overlooking the entrance to the harbour on the left hand, as it is approached from the sea, is the fort or castle of Manaroh, garrisoned by a small party of Jukias; it is said, there are many guns in it, but it is unexplained who are to work them. The eminence slopes to the beach, on the town side, where there is a circular tower, on which four guns are said, whether truly or not, to be placed. These constitute the defences of the harbour, whose entrance is well defined, having opposite the hill Manaroh, five detached rocks and a sandbank, exposed at low water. Karachi has a cool climate’. (Masson (1842), I, 470 – 1.)

3. THE TOWN OF KARACHI, 1851

Water-colour by H.F.Ainslie, inscribed: Sindh part of the native town of Kurrachee. April 1851.
Henry Francis Ainslie served in the 83rd Foot Regiment of the British Army. He spent some years in Sindh when his regiment moved to Karachi in 1850 where it remained until February 1853, when half of the troop was transferred to Hyderabad. In. this sketch, Ainslie has depicted the chimney-like wind-towers designed to catch the sea breezes and thus ventilate the interiors of the closely crowded houses built primarily of mud.

Somerset Street, Karachi, c. 1900.

Ainslie, a prolific amateur artist, produced many sketches, including views of Sindh, a map of Hyderabad and plans of Sehwan and Nurpur. These are now in the India Office Library and Records, London, (see Archer (1969), I, 91 – 2), and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (LS. 17 to 39 – 1963).

The intrepid soldier traveller Richard Burton who had seen Karachi a decade earlier commented on its architectural monotony and the prevalence of mud as a material : ‘Karachi town, when I first became acquainted with it, was much like the Alexandria of a century and a half ago : a few tenements of stone and lime emerging from a mass of low hovels, mat and mud, and of tall mud houses with windowless mud walls, flat mud roofs, and many Bad-girs or mud ventilators, surrounded by a tumble-down curtain-cum-bastions of mud, built upon a humble platform of mud-covered rock. The mud (Kahgil), hereabouts used as adobe or sun-dried brick, and the plaster that binds it, are river-clay (silt ‘?r warp) thrown into a pit, puddled with water, trodden till ready for use, and mixed for the outer coating with finely chopped straw’ (Burton (1877), I, 45).

4. KARACHI SEEN FROM CLIFTON, 1851 Water-colour by H.F. Ainslie,inscribed: Sindh, can¬tonment of Kurrachee from the seaside at Clifton, looking north, April 1851.

art and Harbour of Karachi, c. 1840.

The view of Karachi seen from Clifton depicted by Ainslie indicates a expanse which within twenty years rapidly filled with the encroaching sprawl of urban Karachi. Driving of an evening in 1876 from Karachi town to Clifton beach, Burton made a note of everything he saw on the way and observed: ‘Yon huge pile beyond the new Barracks is the Napier hospital; nearer us is the ground where the Scotchmen play golf over the roughest of Nalas (nullahs); this crowning bit of metal is Frere Station; those vast yellow buildings, with the tall smokestacks, are the railway workshops. As we pass through the i1:,on¬road gate we find the usual knot of male nurses and female nurses, of babies and “Europe” dogs: the four seem everywhere to herd together. Further to the east of the embanked ‘road lies the new race¬course, marked out by white posts and broken¬down sheds called Grand Stand. To the east-north¬east is the brilliantly lime-washed truncated cylin¬der of masonry, the Dakhmeh, or charnel-house, of the Parsis [.] Further on, north of the railway, you see the quarries which built new Karachi. Some way to the right rises the “Observatory, “where no obser¬vations are made: it is a stout little bit of building without entrance, the door being blocked, and snakes are said to have taken the lease. The lump support¬ing it is old”Bath Island”; and the salty ground, of dull chocolate with snowy efflorescence, together with the pestilential smell, show the mangro ve¬haunted mouth of the Chini backwater.’

Leaving the outskirts of Karachi which ended at what is now Bath Island, Burton crossed open land. ‘After three miles or so, the road ascends a quoin – shaped buttress of dust and rugged rock, incipient sandstone, capped with a hard conglomerate of water-rolled pebbles, embedded in silicous paste. It tails off inland: qeawards the face is more or less abrupt; and here … -are a few masonry benches, and half a dozen Sind” villas, ” which have not increased in number during the last quarter-century.’ Burton concludes: ‘Such are the uncomelyfeatures of the “Civil Marine Sanatarium,” Clifton in the Far East, which took its name from the birthplace of the old Conqueror’ (Burton (1877), 82-4).

A view of Holy Trinity Church, Karachi, c. 1900.

Burton, at times more romantic than strictly accurate, was probably repeating a common but un-founded association between the peccavian ‘old Conqueror’ Sir Charles Napier and Clifton. Napier had been born in fact at Whitehall in London. A more plausible if prosaic reason for the southern beach at Karachi being known as Clifton has been provided by the Revd. Charles Allen who visited Karachi in 1841 and wrote: ‘About three miles from camp is some table land overlooking the sea, to which some of the ladies have given the name of Clifton’ (Allen (1843),

5. MAP OF KARACHI, 1852 – 53

Sketch map by A.F. Bellasis, Karachi, 1852 – 53.
Augustus Fortunatus Bellasis served in the Bombay Civil Service from 1842 until his death in 1872. His association with Sindh was during his tenure in the post of Collector and Magistrate, first in Hyderabad between 1852-1856 and subsequently in Karachi between 1858 – 1860.

His sketch map shows the layout of Karachi as it appeared in the 1850s. On the east side, the Learee river flows past the old town, connected by Napier Mole to the Keamaree creek. On the west side of the town lies Government House (flanked by Havelock Road and Point Road), and the Cantonment area containing in parallel lines Victoria Street (also known as Clifton Road), Elphinstone Street (or Staff Lines), Somerset Street, Frere Street (or Military Lines), and Napier Street.

Frere Hall, Karachirc, 1865.

Bellasis has inscribed the names and length the various roads and streets and also mentioned the number of lamps located in each. Victoria Street and MacLeod Road (named after John MacLeod, deputy collector of Customs, who died on a trip to Hinglaj in December 1853), for example, were each 7350 feet long and were lit by 29 lamps, Elphinstone Street 11,100 feet long by 45 lamps and Elphinstone Road 5600 feet lit by 22 lamps.

یہ بھی پڑھیں:  سیاحت کیوں ضروری ہے؟

There are eleven volumes of written and pictorial material, including records pertaining to his service in Sindh left by Augustus Bellasis. These are currently on loan to the India Office Library and Records, London. They have been catalogued in Archer (1969), 102 -112.

6. RIFLE PRACTICE AT KARACHI. c. 1855 Wood engraving published in The Illustrated London News, c. 1855.
Although the specific location at Karachi cannot be identified with the same precision of accuracy being demonstrated by the riflemen in this illustra¬tion, it would however-appear to be somewhere along the seashore at Clifton or Mauripur.

Bird’s eye view of Karachi, c. 1900.

The occasion, according to the text accompanying this illustration, was an experiment in which a target – in this case a cart containing four boxes of ammunition – was fired upon at a distance of 1200 yards and successfully exploded.
7. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, KARACHI, c. 1865. Photograph by J.A. Jung, c. 1865. Printed on reverse:
J.A. Jung, Photographic Studio, Elphinstone Street, Kurrachee.

At one time, early in its secular history, Karachi had two racecourses but no churches. This was soon rectified with the establishment of the Holy Trinity Church, located in the centre of the city on about 15 acres ofland. The Holy Trinity Church was designed and built by Capt.John Hill of the Bombay Engineers. The church was consecrated in 1855, almost three

ears after its first stone had been laid in September 1852. According to a contemporary accmnt, it consisted ‘of a nave with two side aisles, apsidal chancel, and square tower 150 feet high; this last [being] an excellent landmark for vessels approaching the coast.’

Map of Karachi, 1852-53.

In 1876, Burton could see the spire of the church from Karachi harbour: ‘Far over them [the oyster rocks] to starboard appears the Cantonment, with its three landmarks – the cocky little Scotch kirk pertly fronting its big brother, and the battlemented tower of Trinity, which looks like a line of houses set on end; while further south rises a pretentious bit of misplaced Gothic; yclept “Frere Hall”.

The elongated five-storeyed tower seemed to be out of reasonable proportion to the length of the building which was a good thirty-five feet shorter than the height of the tower. Alexander Baillie, writing in 1890, felt ‘inclined to think that accidentally Trinity has taken the form of a giraffe … distinguished for its exceedingly long neck, and the shortness of its back’. The tower was reduced to a more acceptable height in 1903 when its two top storeys were dismantled and removed.

This photograph would probably have been taken in 1865 as the boundary wall around the church was not built until 1868.

Three large interesting sketches of Holy Trinity Church, done in 1856 by John Le Mesurier (Bombay Engineers 1850-1887), show the plan, a perspective view and the interior of the church. These sketches are in the India Office Library and Records, London, and have been catalogued in Archer (1969), II, 472.

8. ANOTHER VIEW OFHOL YTRINITY CHURCH, KARACHI, c. 1900

Postcard. published in Karachi, 1900.

9. FRERE HALL, KARACHI, c. 1865 PhotographbyJ.A.Jung,c.1865. Printedonreverse:

J.A. Jung, Photographic Studio, Elphinstone Street, Kurrachee.

Constructed to commemorate Sir H. Bartle E . . Frere, Chief Commissioner, Sindh (1851-1859), this building was begun in August 1863, four years after Frere’ s departure from the province.

One of the reasons for the delay was-the tardy response of the population of Karachi who, according to one contemporary writer, ‘do not easily combine to carry out any specified undertaking’. Their ‘slow and faltering action’ in collecting subscriptions to meet the cost of the building – about Rs. 180,000 – yielded only Rs.22,500, of which the bulk came from Bombay. To this the Government added Rs. 10,000 and the Municipality contributed the balance of Rs.147,500.

The building was designed by Lt.-Col. H. St. Clair Wilkins of the Royal Bombay Engineers and built primarily from limestone quarried from sources close to Karachi, some of the white limestone for the upper verandah columns coming from Bholari and the dark sandstone from Jungshahi. The spire extended 144 feet. By 1890, two of the groundfloor rooms were occupied by the Karachi General Library and the Museum, which had previously occupied premises in Staff Lines from the establishment of the Museum in 1851 until 1870.

Burton cared neither for the Hall nor its namesake: ‘The main use of Frere Hall is to serve the shipping as a landmark: from the offing, the tower and spirelet of this portentous and pretentious erection in crumbling sandstone suggest an honest Moslem Idgah. Mr. Commissioner [Sir Bartle Frere], indeed seems to have proposed for himself three main objects in life : (1) building Frere towns; (2) building Frere halls; (3) building Frere roads, which have a truly Imperial look – on paper’. (Burton (1877), I, 73.)

10. SIND CLUB, KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.

In 1876, on his return visit to Karachi, Richard Burton complained that in Karachi ‘hospitality has been relegated from the centres to the extremities[;] … men can no longer afford to keep open-house.’ He found a ‘a neat little club, but it lacks chambers.’ His lamentation continued: ‘Karachi cannot yet boast of an hotel; nor will she before she belongs to the Panjab. In fact … you would have to be lodged at the travellers’ bungalow – a refuge for the wholly destitute of friends.’ (Burton (1877), 78.) Seeing Frere Hall, whose design he abhorred, Burton expressed the impotent hope that ‘that the new club will not adopt “Veneto-Gothic”, a style he regarded ‘so fit for Venice, so unfit for Karachi’.

Saddar Bazaar, Karachi, c. 1900.

The Club was founded in 1871. The first meeting was held on 25 May 1871, with Sir William Mereweather, then Commissioner Sindh, in the chair as the first President of the incipient Club. Setting a tandard to the code of conduct expected by future members of the Club, the sponsors attending the meeting, the hot weather notwithstanding, were dressed in lounge suits. Sixty-eight members were enrolled. The entrance fee was Rs. 100 and the monthly subscription Rs. 7. The Club formally opened on 1 August 1871.

Membership of the Sind Club remained exclusive.

By 1946, for example, 75 years after its founding, the Oub still had only 1932 members. Apart from the :recurring problem of permanent accommodation, d … e Club faced minor trials such as the increasing bit of smoking by members and their tendency to :xmow money from Club servants.

In 1880 land between Scandal Point Road (now the south side of Hotel Metropole) and Frere Hall was obtained and the Club House, designed by “the ‘peppery’ Col. John Le Mesurier, who had been responsible for the design of the nearby Holy Trinity Church almost twenty-five years earlier, was constructed in 1883. Ten years later, another threestoried block was added to the main one to house the new library and other. amenities.

In 1902, while the rest of Karachi’s citizenry was still using oil-lamps, the Sind Club members were provided with electricity, supplied from their own accumulators, but this facility was restricted to the public ~ooms only for it was felt that, as members had for so long been able to sleep without the aid of electric fans, it was quite unnecessary to spoil them now.

یہ بھی پڑھیں:  کشمیر میں کھیلے جانے والے کھیل کا ایک رخ

Membership was less exclusive than in later years: ‘The members are exceedingly hospitable, and any traveller properly introduced is at once admitted an honorary member, and permitted to pay a subscription for the period he remains, which allows him greater freedom than if he was simply a free guest.’ (Baillie (1890),148.) Gradual liberalisation brought about subtle changes, such as when ladies were granted membership. Baillie expressed the hope that ‘their more refined taste will have had its effect on the description and quality of the beverages consumed.’

During the 1930s the Club suffered a radical decline in both its membership and standards. In April 1936, therefore, in an effort to boost usage of the Club, it was approved by the General Meeting that ‘Oriental Visitors should be admitted as guests into the Sind Club’.

11. BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.

In this perspective view taken most probably from the top of the tower of Holy Trinity Church, one is looking in a north-westerly direction across the city towards the Kohistan hills in the distance. The broad avenue curving towards the right would have been Victoria Road (Abdullah Haroon Road).

12. BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.

In a similar view from the same vantage point, this time looking in a north-easterly direction, in the foreground are visible the width of Elphinstone Street (now Zaibunnissa Street), and over the rooftops of the houses and shops in Saddar bazaar, the Gothic spire of the Empress Market.

13. SADDAR BAZAAR, KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, 1900.

‘Time, which found Karachi camp built of unbaked brick, has now turned it into stone,’ Burton wrote, after seeing a Karachi transformed since his previous visit. ‘ The huge dirty Sadr, or high, bazar … has now been broadened, cleansed.iand converted into a general market. Some of the houses, for instance that of Adam Ali, are remarkably good and, where • the high-road runs, all the hovels have made way for 14. SOMERSET STREET, KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.

Looking northwards up an uncrowded Somerset Street, this view confirms a description of the Saddar Bazaar in the 1870s as being ‘regularly laid out, having fine broad streets, and stone-flagged pavements ; with good houses and shops on either side’ (Hughes (1876), 357).

3. EMPRESS MARKET, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.

Described as ‘a very handsome building, designed – what is known as the” domestic Gothic style” by. e indefatigable municipal engineer Mr. James trachan’, Empress Market appeared then as it does en today too grand and important a building to be demned to the drudgery of being used as a fruit, eat and vegetable market. Nevertheless it was izned specifically for that purpose and to that rent, like some well-born governess who has through quirk of unfortunate circumstance been forced to take up employment, it has tended to the needs of its charges – generations of Karachi’s population – with lofty dignity.

The foundation stone of the market was laid in November 1884 by Sir James Ferguson, Governor of Bombay, and the building was completed ‘very slowly’. The final cost of the building – the reason perhaps for its slow implementation – was about Rs.120,000. The original scheme consisted of four galleries 46 feet wide and an open quadrangle of 13000 square feet. In all 280 shops could be accommodated in its complex.

16. SIND ART’S COLLEGE AND VICTORIA MU¬SEUM, KARACHI, c. 1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900.
The Sind Art’s College was founded in 1882, after an appeal by local citizens to the Educational Commission requesting the establishment of an Arts College in Sind province. Over Rs. 100,000 was soon collected and five years later, in January 1887, the new College was opened by Lord Reay, the Governor of Bombay. The curriculum of the College in its initial years was quite extensive, covering Mathematics, Logic, Science, Moral Philosophy, Political Economy and History, English, Persian and Sanskrit.

The Victoria Museum received the natural history collection formerly housed in Frere Hall. After independence in 1947, the new National Museum of Pakistan was opened in Frere Hall and shifted subsequently to its present site in Burns Gardens opposite this building, now the D.J. Medical College.

17. OYSTERROCKSANDHARBOURENTRANCE, KARACHI, c. 1900

Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900
This view of the docks and warehouses overflow¬ing with bagged commodities indicates the state of development of Karachi as a modern port. The reference to the oyster rocks recalls a potentially profitable line of business that was at one time given some official encouragement. In a memoranda on the Pearl Banks and Fishery in Sindh compiled by John MacLeod, Collector of Customs, Karachi, and submitted by him to the Government on 31 Decem¬ber 1847, it was recorded : ‘In the salt-water inlets along the entire sea coast of Sind, a thin shelled variety of oyster exists, producing a seed pearl. It is most frequently found on mudbanks left dry at low tides. The pearl is of very little value compared with that produced by the Ceylon and Persian Gulf Fish¬eries, the price of the latter ranging from Rs. 1000 to Rs.1500, whilst the former seldom realizes more than Rs. 15 a tola. From the supposition that it possesses invigorating powers, it is used here chiefly as a medicine. The larger grains are occasionally made use of as personal ornaments; the smaller ones to intermix with the valuable Bahrein pearls, in which manner they are kept in bags by the Bombay merchants, as a means of preserving their lustre.’

MacLeod was placed in charge of this source of revenue in May 1845. Costs though exceeded revenues, he reported. ‘The Harbour of Kurachee has been twice since that period let out for Rs. 800 and Rs. 1,300; the contractors, however, in each case, after several examinations, found it advisable to suspend operations, under the conviction that the oysters were too few and too scattered to pay for the expense of collecting them.’

Burton, as always, is the perfect source for that minute pearl of additional information, in this case also about the Oyster Rocks: ‘The eastern jamb originally consisted of six or seven craggy piles of banded sandstone, the Oyster Rocks or Baur Islands, where the mollusk still survives. The group lies nearly on a meridian; “Little Andai,” pierced with a cave, is the northernmost, and “Great Andia” raises its pyramidal head at the opposite end.’

18. VIEW OF MANORA, KARACHI, c.1900 Postcard published in Karachi, c. 1900

Compared to Dr. Kennedy’s earlier sketch (see no.l ). the lighthouse at Manora now oversees a much larger establishment. The warehouses were serviced by short piers which improved landing and handling facilities.
Burton mentioned the hazards of building the stone pier at Keamari: ‘It was then resolved that Karachi should have all the advantages required by her strong young constitution. Accordingly a stone pier was designed to run from the native town halfway down the creek. The work had its difficul¬ties; at first it sank nearly as fast as it could be built. … It is now “the Napier Mole Road,” or “Causeway,” connecting Kyamari Island’ (Burton (1877), I, 34).

اپنا تبصرہ بھیجیں