Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mohatta Palace in Karachi, Pakistan

This magnificent palace is located in the city of Karachi in Pakistan. It was constructed by Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, an ambitious Marwari businessman, in 1927, as his summer seaside home. However, Mohatta was able to use his palace for only two decades, as he decided to leave for India, soon after the Partition in 1947.

exterior of mohatta palace and museum in pakistan
The Mohatta Palace is constructed in the same tradition as most stone palaces in Rajasthan with pink Jodhpur stone, together with the local yellow Gizri stone. This massive palace is spread over an area of 1,720 metres, and has nine domes. The fa├žade of the palace is trimmed with balustrades, spandrels, stone brackets and ornate windows, each exquisitely carved with floral motifs, peacock motifs and other designs. The first floor has four large bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and dressing room. The palace also has four octagonal towers.

interior of mohatta palace museum in karachi
The furniture and doors of the Mohatta Palace are made entirely of teak wood, with the palace having an ornate polished staircase. It also has long corridors, and doors that open within doors. On the terrace of the Mohatta Palace is a lovely family temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

After Independence, the palace was acquired by the Pakistani government to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1964 to 1980, it was the private residence of Fatima and Shireen, the two sisters of President Jinnah. Today, the Mohatta Palace is a museum that exhibits the arts of Pakistan, and is open to visitors all through the year.

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