Baloch Icecream, bird-watchers, Boat Basin, Burger King, carnations, chambeli, Clifton Block 2, condo-style apartments, gerbera, KFC, lush greenery, Mariam Gabaji., Nihari Inn, Pakistan’s only woman Prime Minister, Pizza Hut, red-brick canopies, roses, rosy arbours, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park, woodland area
One of Pakistan’s most artistically landscaped parks, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park , is named in memory of Pakistan’s only woman Prime Minister – the iconic Benazir Bhutto.
Inside the park… Inaugurated in 2008, the Park is spread across 152 acres of lush greenery, dotted with red-brick canopies and gazebos, jogging tracks, and tree-lined, cobbled pathways. As you step inside, it is easy to forget Karachi’s crowds and noise, as rosy arbours and trellises forming cosy enclosures above marble benches, present a picturesque sight. Intricately patterned flowerbeds of chambeli, gerbera, roses and carnations create an aesthetically appealing visual impact. The newly constructed bridge interlinking the Park’s two sections has become a popular spot for photography buffs as it offers panoramic views of the Park and Karachi’s skyline.
Recreational options… Providing a perfect antidote to stressful weeks, this green oasis is packed with joggers, cyclists, hikers and visitors. The artistically inclined camp under the gazebos with sketchbooks, capturing the scenic beauty. The surrounding woodland area, a haven for bird-watchers, is a recent addition. The dearth of secure and well-maintained parks makes it popular as a family picnic spot, although the small jetty that was built for boating, is no longer functional.
Out and about… Occupying a central location in Clifton Block 2, the neighbourhood is a hub of commercial activity with schools, hospitals and Karachi’s famous Boat Basin food street. Visitors have a mix of desi, fast food and barbeque options to satisfy their palates with Nihari Inn, Baloch Icecream, Pizza Hut, KFC – and the current crowd favourite – Burger King. Property prices have skyrocketed in the last three years and the few vacant plots that were there until a few years ago are being converted into condo-style apartments and offices; traffic jams and lack of parking space continue to be an inconvenience for both residents and visitors.
In a nutshell… Whether you want to burn calories, satisfy hunger pangs or simply let nature revitalise you – you are sure to find the perfect spot at the Shaheed Benzair Bhutto Park.
– Mariam Gabaji
First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 2, 2014.