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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

manoRa mandir

...as one approaches Karachi from the sea the first thing one sees is the lighthouse of Manora Island...more on this lighthouse and the breakwater built in the 1800s later...

...Manora has a population of approx 25,000 and has three naval 'establishments'...the central chunk of the island is civilian occupied and accessible to the public who come here on holidays on colourful boats from Keamari Port...there is also a much longer road access via hawkesbay and sandspit...

...there is a street in the middle that leads to the beach on the other side of the island...it is lined with shops that sells curios and fish dishes and ornaments...this street reminded me of a similar bazaar scene hundreds of mile south in Kanya Kumari...the street leading to the temple of Swami Vivikananda on a rock at the confluence of Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea...

...just before the beach there is cut off on the right...a small path that leads past a smelly garbage dump to a Mandir..the only surviving Mandir on Manora...

...there is also an abandoned church...

...how they are maintained speaks about our attitude a lot

...the tiny church is in a off limit area…at the foot of the light house...it is barricaded and sealed...

...the mandir is in a public area...its walls and interiors are crumbling...and when i wanted to have a look inside i was gently persuaded not to as it was unsafe...gently ignoring the advise i peeked in...and retreated quickly to stop the ladies in our group from taking a peek...the sanctum sanctorum was being used as a change room by the picknickers...

...M, BS, SS and others were shocked at the gross disrespect...

...there may not be any Hindu families living on Manora Island today...the Evacuee Property Board or the Dept that looks after Minorities' Interests should look after and protect this place of worship...considering the decibels raised in righteous indignation when something happens to abandoned mosques across the divide this is not an unreasonable demand...

...while this Mandir may not have historical parallels with Babri Musjid....both do have a few things in common...both were places of worship, both were abandoned by their congregations, both were in disrepair...

....sadly this is not an isolated case of dichotomy...there are many more temples and gurdwaras in the interior that are in disrepair or have been annexed or razed...

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Karachi History

"The area that now consists of Karachi was originally a group of small villages including Kalachi-jo-Kun and the fort of Manora. Any history of Karachi prior to the 19th century is sketchy. It is said that the city called Krokola from which one of Alexander the Great's admirals sailed at the end of his conquests was the same is Karachi. When Muhammad bin Qasim came to India in the year 712 he captured the city of Debul. It has been said that Debal was the ancestral village of present day Karachi. Although this has neither been proven or disproven.

It was in 1729 that Kolachi-jo-Goth was transformed from a fishing village to a trading post when it was selected as a port for trade with Muscat and Bahrain. In the following years a fort* was built and cannons brought in from Muscat were mounted on it. The fort had two doorways, one facing the sea called the Khara Darwaza or Brackish Gate and one facing the River Lyari called the Meetha Darwaza or Sweet Gate. In 1795 the city passed from the Khan of Kalat to the Talpur rulers of Sindh.

Karachi had gained in position as a major port and was hence becoming an important city. The importance of the Indus and Sindh led the British to capture the city on the 3rd of February 1839 starting an era of foreign rule and colonial subjugation that was to end in 1947. A famous quote about Karachi attributed to Charles Napier is "Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!". Napier's quote would prove prophetic, as it was during British rule that Karachi would grow as it's harbor was developed. On the 10th of September 1857 the 21st Native Infantry stationed in Karachi declared allegiance to the Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and joined the cause of the War of Independence of 1857 but they were defeated by the British who reasserted their control within a matter of days."
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*...the fort mentioned in above must be the one in the older part of the city...there is another fort built by the talpurs on Manora Island...it has been renovated and well maintained by the PN....it is the headqaurters of the Pak Marines and off limit to the civilians--t

1 Comments:

Blogger Jawahara Saidullah said...

Tag! you're it. Need to see your list of 5s.

September 08, 2005 10:41 AM  

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