Pakistan’s largest and world’s 2nd most populous city Karachi is the city of lights that never sleeps and it has always been a great attraction to the tourists for the variety of activities and tourist spots that it has to offer. Karachi is as renowned for its beaches and dining as it is for its architecture and atmosphere.
One of the beautiful places of Karachi is the old and magnificent palace. Mohatta palace was built in the late 1920s by Shiv Rattan Mohatta. Shiv Rattan Mohatta, a successful Marwari entrepreneur, commissioned a palatial house in the affluent neighborhood of Clifton. A rich Hindu merchant who commission architect Agha Ahmed Hussain to the designed Rajput palace as a summer home in Karachi.
Mohatta Palace planned in the traditional stone placing in Rajasthan. The Mohatta Palace is built in the area of 18,500 sq ft using pink jodhpur stones in combination with fine yellow lookers stone from Gizri. Its façades are adorned with windows, stone brackets, spandrels, domes, balustrades, carved floral motifs, and railings. It consists of stately rooms designed originally for entertainment on the ground floor and more private facilities on the first floor with a balcony facing the Arabian sea. An elegant configuration of five domes adorns the rooftop while octagonal towers stand proudly at the corners.
The reason behind this beautiful palace was a serious illness that Mohatta’s wife suffered. So as per doctors instructions, Shiv Rattan Mohatta had this fascinating bungalow built the palace for the refreshing winds of the sea would cure his wife’s illness.
Mohatta Palace also has a secret underground tunnel that leads from the grounds of the palace all the way to a subterranean Hindu temple less than a kilometer away. This tunnel was apparently built to provide a safe passage for the Hindu wife of Shivratan Chandratan Mohatta to go for her daily worship. The tunnel still exists today, though over time it has caved in, and the entrance is blocked from both ends.
After independence in 1947 Mohatta Palace was acquired by the newly established Government of Pakistan its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the Foreign Office moved to Islamabad. In 1964 it became the residence of Mohattarma Fatima Jinnah sister of the founder of the nation Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the pioneer of women rights in the country. After her passing the palace was sealed was a dispute for almost 30 years.
In 1995, it was finally purchased by the Government of Sindh for its conversion into a museum devoted to the arts of Pakistan. The museum formally opened in 1999. Today the museum is rich with heritage and a repository of our culture, and historical assets of Karachi. The Mohatta Palace Museum is a source of pride for the citizens of Karachi and it is a symbol of a cultural renaissance in Karachi.