A4 paper, Al Abbas Bakery, Botal Gali, Burnes Road, Christmas, daal, decorations, desi burgers, DJ Science College, event managers, fairy lights, Hanif Bun Kabab, I. I. Chundrigar Road, invitation cards, naan khatais, napkins, new year, Pakistan Chowk, Paper Market, paper plates, party supplies, printers shops, shaadi cards, stationery, wedding planners
Despite the heavy traffic associated with it, Pakistan Chowk remains the go-to place for wedding planners, event managers and ambitious DIYers who need personalised invitation cards and stationery printed at reasonable rates.
Getting to the Chowk… Only minutes away from I. I. Chundrigar Road, the area is congested to say the least, therefore finding a parking spot is difficult. It is best to get there by rickshaw or taxi, or if you have a driver. On the way, you have the chance to appreciate the fine colonial architecture of DJ Science College.
Enter the maze… Stepping into the narrow lanes of Pakistan Chowk is not for the uninitiated. The maze like streets, the wide variety of cards and designs (from the ‘classic’ red and gold shaadi cards to luxurious gold stamped ‘invites’) that can be found within myriad printers shops can be an overwhelming experience. Therefore, it is best to know beforehand where you need – or want to go.
Outside and around the maze… Paper Market is located adjacent to the Chowk, and is a treasure trove of paper and paper products. From reams of A4 paper to customised boxes and favour bags, if it’s made of paper it’s available there. Nearby is a cluster of shops that sell party supplies, including fairy lights, decorations, paper plates, napkins and cups among other items. Although this market looks festive all year round, Christmas and the New Year bring added bustle. Botal Gali, the bottle market, is also nearby.
Eating in the maze… Not particularly known for its gastronomic treats, Pakistan Chowk offers ample sustenance to get through a shopping trip there. Hanif Bun Kabab’s daal, aloo and chicken desi burgers are quite famous, but if you prefer something less risky opt for naan khatais and karak (crisp) buns at Al Abbas Bakery. If you have worked up a serious appetite, the desi treats at Burnes Road are nearby.
In a nutshell… In the 60 plus years since its inception, Pakistan Chowk remains the undisputed hub of commercial printers and the first stopover in the wedding planning process for the majority of Karachi’s citizens.
– Shaikh Muhammad Yousuf
First published in the Real Estate section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 6, 2013.