A small stretch of M.A. Jinnah Road, extending between Yakub Khan Road and Preedy Street, is definitely worth exploring. It is home to several landmarks that epitomise Karachi’s rich cultural diversity – all the more relevant given that Nauroze (Parsi New Year) will be celebrated tomorrow, and three days later, on March 23, Pakistan Day and Holi.
Diverse landmarks… This strip is home to several striking landmarks that will surely catch your eye. These include Mama Parsi Girls High School, named after a Parsi philanthropist, Seth Khan Bahadur Ardeshir H. Mama, and established by Jamshed Nusserwanji Mehta, a friend of Mr Jinnah and the first mayor of Karachi. Nearby are two Hindu temples (Ramchandra and Shri Swaminarayan Mandir), the shrine of Baba Alam Shah Bukhari, a revered Sufi saint, as well as an Eid Gah and imambargah.
Hunt for bargains… If you stop at Gul Plaza, you will find kitchenware, homeware, furniture and toys at wholesale prices. Jama Cloth Centre and Mehboob Cloth Market is where you can source a wide variety of ready-to-wear clothing and fabric; these old-fashioned bazaars, despite the prevailing mall culture, remain the go-to places for many people looking for quality clothing at affordable prices.
The best Pakistani food… In between shopping – and sightseeing – indulge at two of Karachi’s legendary eateries: Al-Hajj Bundoo Khan and Sabri Nihari. For a quick snack, stop at Dilpasand Sweets, or one of the many roadside cafés there.
The real estate take… Commercial property options include standalone shops as well as retail and office space, and are in high demand. The area is completely built-up and vacant plots are not available. Property prices and rentals increase annually by an estimated seven and 10% respectively.
In a nutshell… With historic landmarks that stand as a testament to Karachi’s rich cultural heritage, not to mention some of the city’s best shopping and dining avenues, a trip to this part of M.A. Jinnah Road is an absolute must. n
– Sadia Kamran
Photos: Tahir Jamal/White Star