Karachi sits in southern Pakistan and is slap bang in the middle of the country’s only coastline. Lapped by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Karachi has played a huge part in Pakistan’s history and culture, being the main landing point for trades and takeovers. Here are 20 facts about Karachi.
Karachi was the first capital of Pakistan and it made sense since it’s the major trade hub and port for the country. But, Karachi lost its title as the capital of Pakistan when Islamabad became the capital in August of 1967.
Karachi has a seriously large population and is home to around 15 million residents, that’s double the population of London. It’s the most populated city in Pakistan and the 6th most populated city in the entire world.
Karachi, which we now know has an extremely large population, is also home to millions of immigrants. The city is thought to be home to a million Bengalis, half a million people from Burmese Rohingya, and hundreds of thousands of Afghans, Africans, Philippinos, Chinses, Iranians, and more. The city is a serious cultural melting pot.
The Grand Jamiah Karachi is the third largest mosque in the world and is second only to other mosques in Mecca and Medina. The Grand Jamiah Karachi was only just completed in 2021 and stands at a height of 99 meters.
In Karachi, you can pretty much find any kind of food you like. Whether it’s pizza and burgers, steak or ravioli, Biryani, Sajji, or Rabri you can find it cooked to perfection in Karachi. It might be the food capital of southwestern Asia.
If you can think of it, you can buy it in Karachi for the right price. When I say if you can think of it, I mean it. Nothing is off the table! Whether it’s a diamond ring, an Ipad, a sailing boat, or even guns and ammo, you can find it and buy it in Karachi without much effort.
At Gora Qabristan Cemetry in Karachi, you will find a Christian cross that is an amazing 140 feet long. It’s the biggest Christain cross in all of Asia and was built but Parvez Henry Gill, a Pakistani Christian. It was built as a symbol of hope for the Christians of Karachi, who live in a city that is 90% Muslim.
Despite losing its status as the capital of Pakistan, Karachi is still the country’s financial hub and still has its own stock exchange. The Karachi Stock Exchange has remained independent from the Pakistan Stock Exchange and still runs today.
Edhi Foundation was founded by Abdul-Sattar Edhi in 1951 and is the world’s largest volunteer ambulance service in the world. The Edhi Foundation has made a huge impact on the safety of the city and is an amazing service for its residents.
Due to its unique location in the world, bridging the Middle East to Asia, and of course, being an ex-British colony, Karachi is a melting pot of religious diversity. You can find almost every religion on the planet in Karachi amongst its huge population.
Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Christian, Hindus, Baha’i, and ancient Parsi believers all live side by side in relative harmony.
It’s said that Alexander the Great camped at Krokola (Greek for Karachi) while preparing to take his troops into Babylonia in 325 BC.
Due to Karachi’s ideal trading location on the southern coast of Asia, the British quickly recognized its strategical importance and invaded in 1843. It was Sir Charles Napier who lead the assault and it became a district of the British Indian Empire in 1846 with 9,000 residents.
The streets of Karachi are full of architecture from so many different ages. You’ll notice Victorian architecture as you wander around the city as well as new modern sky scapers altogether with Mosques and Hindu temples.
Karachi’s public transport system is one of the largest in all of Asia, and it needs to be considering its population of 15 million people. It’s made up of thousands of buses, mini-buses, trucks, rickshaws, and Tuk-Tuks that keep the city moving.
The Lucky One Mall is the largest mall in South Asia and it’s in the middle of Karachi. You can easily get lost inside the mall and there isn’t much you can’t buy there.
The residents of Karachi first started trading with the Middle-eastern ports of Muscat and others in the Gulf Of Oman as soon as the 1600s.
Icon Tower, when it was built was the tallest building in Southern Asia. Today its 68 stories don’t quite cut it and it’s now the second tallest build in southern Asia.
Karachi is one of the cheapest cities in the world to live in. For $300 dollars a month, you can live a good life in Karachi with everything included such as rent, a car, etc etc. For a family of four, you’d only be looking at paying $1000 a month on average. If you have a good income, saving money is easy in Karachi.
While the living costs of Karachi are extremely low, the bad side is that the pollution levels are far too high, and the highest in the world. The humidity traps all emissions creating terrible air quality.
By the end of the 1800s, Karachi was already quite an international city and was a famed stopover for the higher classes. It was home to over 100,000 people from very diverse backgrounds including Lebanese, Parsis, Iranians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Goans.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!