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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Location of Karachi
Map of Karachi
Location of Karachi in Sindh
Map of Karachi and Manora

Karachi (Hindi :कराची, Urdu: کراچی; Sindhi: ڪراچي) is city and district of the Sindh province of Pakistan. Karachi is also the biggest port of Pakistan. Its ancient name was Minnagara.

Variants of name


Also, the largest airport of Pakistan is located at Karachi. This metropolitan city is dominated by all communities - Sindhis, Punjabis, Balochs, Pathans and others. A majority of the population settled here after 1947 - Muslim families who migrated from India. They are also called 'Muhajirs' by local people.

Jat Gotras

Click to see Jat Gotras in Karachi


The area of Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola, the place where Alexander the Great camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus Valley; 'Morontobara' (probably Manora island near Karachi harbour), from whence Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal and was inhabited by the Bawarij Sindhi Muslim community with trade links as far as Basra and Sofala.

Alexander Cunningham[2] writes that According to Curtius, 1 Alexander reached the eastern boundary of the Arabitae in nine days from Patala, and their western boundary in five days more. Now, from Haidarabad to Karachi, the distance is 114 miles, and from Karachi to Sonmiani 50 miles, [3] the former being usually performed by troops in nine marches, and the latter either in four or five. Karachi, therefore, must have been on the eastern frontier of the Arabitae, a deduction which is admitted by the common consent of all inquirers, who have agreed in identifying the Kolaka of Ptolemy and the sandy island of Krokola, where Nearchus tarried with his fleet for one day, with a small island in the Bay of Karachi. Krokola is further described as lying off the mainland of the Arabii. It was 150 stadia, or 17-1/4 miles, from the western mouth of the Indus, which agrees exactly with the relative positions of Karachi and the mouth of the Ghara river, if, as we may fairly assume, the present coast-line has advanced 5 or 6 miles during the twenty-one centuries that have elapsed since the time of Alexander. The identification is confirmed by the fact that "the district in which Karachi is situated is called Karkalla to this day." [4]

On leaving Krokola, Nearchus had Mount Eiros (Manora) on his right-hand, and a low flat island on his left, which is a very accurate description of the

[p. 307]: entrance to Karachi harbour, and after stopping at several small places, reached Morontohara, which was called the " Women's Haven " by the people of the country. [5] From this place he made two courses of 70 stadia and 120 stadia, or altogether not more than 22 miles, to the mouth of the river Arabius, which was the boundary between the country of the Arabii and the Oritae. The name of Morontobara I would identify with Muari, which is now applied to the headland of Ras Muari, or Cape Monz, the last point of the Pabb range of mountains. Bára, or bári, means a roadstead or haven, and moronta is evidently connected with the Persian mard, a man, of which .the feminine is still preserved in Kashmiri, as mahrin, a woman. The haven itself may be looked for between Cape Monz and Sonmitini, but its exact position can not be determined. From the distances given by Arrian in his account of the voyage of Nearchus, I am inclined to fix it at the mouth of the Bahar rivulet, a small stream which falls into the sea about midway between Cape Monz and Sonmiani. If I am right in considering Muari as an abbreviation of Morontobara, the cape must have received its name from the neighbouring haven. At the mouth of the Arabius Nearchus found a large and safe harbour, corresponding with the present Bay of Sonmiani, at the mouth of the Purali, which is described by Pottinger [6] as "a very noble sheet of water, capable of affording anchorage to the largest fleet."

Karachi founded as Kolachi

Karachi was founded as "Kolachi" by Sindhi and Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area. Descendants of the original community still live in the area on the small island of Abdullah Goth, which is located near the Karachi Port. The original name "Kolachi" survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named "Mai Kolachi" in Sindhi. Mirza Ghazi Beg.

During the rule of the Mughal administrator of Sindh, Mirza Ghazi Beg the city was well fortified against Portuguese colonial incursions in Sindh. During the reign of the Kalhora Dynasty the present city started life as a fishing settlement when a Sindhi Balochi fisher-woman called Mai Kolachi took up residence and started a family. The city was an integral part of the Talpur dynasty in 1720.

The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1720s, the village was trading across the Arabian Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. The local Sindhi populace built a small fort was constructed for the protection of the city, armed with cannons imported by Sindhi sailors from Muscat, Oman. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) (Kharadar) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar). The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khārā Dar) and Mithadar (Mīṭhā Dar).

Till 1965, Karachi was the capital of Pakistan. After the 1965 Indo-Pak war, when the port was damaged by Indian navy, the capital was shifted to Rawalpindi and then to Islamabad.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[7] ने लेख किया है ...कराची (AS, p.141) संभवत: प्राचीन क्रोकल जिसका मेगस्थनीज ने सिंध प्रदेश में उल्लेख किया है।

कराची परिचय

कराची सिंध नदी के त्रिभुज पर स्थित अविभाजित भारत का तृतीय बंदरगाह तथा वर्तमान में पाकिस्तान के सिंध प्रांत की राजधानी और उस देश का प्रथम बंदरगाह है। यह बंदरगाह एक लंबी शैलभित्ति द्वारा अरब सागर की धाराओं तथा तीव्र पवनों से सुरक्षित है। सन 1750 ई. के पूर्व इस स्थान पर किसी नगर के स्थापित होने के चिह्न नहीं मिलते। सिंध के प्राचीन बंदरगाह, शाह बंदर, के पट जाने के कारण इस स्थल पर स्थित एक गाँव के व्यापार को काफ़ी सहायता मिली। धीरे-धीरे यह नगर के रूप में आया, जिसे तालपुर के मीरों ने अपने अधिकार में कर लिया। उन्होंने 'बंदरगाह' के मुख्य द्वार, मनोरा पर एक दुर्ग भी बनाया। सन् 1843 ई. में जब अंग्रज़ों ने इस नगर पर आधिपत्य जमाया, इसकी जनसंख्या केवल 14,000 थी। कराची आधुनिक युग का नगर है। सड़कें अपेक्षाकृत चौड़ी हैं, तथा इमारतों में नवीनता है। कुछ इमारतें अच्छी हैं। कॉटन एक्सचेंज, एसेंबली हाउस, हवाई अड्डा आदि का निर्माण अर्वाचीन शैली पर हुआ है।

उद्योग और व्यापार: पंजाब के नहरी क्षेत्रों में गेहूँ के उत्पादन की वृद्धि से कराची से गेहूँ का निर्यात अधिक बढ़ गया। गेहूँ के अतिरिक्त तिलहन, रुई, ऊन, चमड़े तथा खाल, हड्डी आदि वस्तुएँ यहाँ से निर्यात की जाती हैं। आयात की वस्तुओं में मशीनें, मोटर गाड़ियाँ पेट्रोल, चीनी, लोहा तथा लोहे के समान मुख्य हैं।

क्रौंचवन से करांची

क्रौंचवन - करांची अपभ्रंश है क्रौंच का। क्रौंच देश यदुवंशियों की मौरुसी सल्तनत है। वा० रा० उत्तरकाण्ड सर्ग 59, श्लोक 20 में लिखा है कि “राजकुल से बहिष्कृत यदु ने नगर में तथा दुर्गम कौंचवन में सहस्रों यातुधानों को जन्म दिया।”[8]

Notable persons

External Links

Karachi at Wikipedia


  1. Kurrachee: (Karachi) Past, Present and Future, by Alexander Francis Baillie
  2. The Ancient Geography of India/Western India,pp.306-307
  3. Eastwick, 'Handbook of Bombay,' pp. 474 and 477.
  4. Ibid., p. 476 ; Burnes, ' Bokhara,' i. 10, writes the name Crocola
  5. Arrian, ' Indica,' p. 22.
  6. ' Biluchistan,' p. 9.
  7. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.141
  8. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter IV (Page 338)

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