Mohatta Palace: A Tale of Lost Love
Currently a center of cultural activities, Mohatta Palace, the pink stoned palace covering the area of 18500 sq. ft. was built by a Rajasthani merchant Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta.
Just like Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal for his died beloved wife, Shivratan built this palace as his summer home to please his dying wife.
In 1927, Shivratan commissioned Ahmed Husain Agha, the first Muslim artist of India who came from Jaipur. Mr. Shivratan choose this place because of its prime location near seashores of Karachi.
Mr. Agha Ahmed Husain designed Mohatta Palace in pure anglo-mughal style with Gizri lime stone and Rajasthani pink Jodhpur stone that grants this building a mesmeric look and provides it strength against weather as it was built new seashore.
The most attractive corner and feature of this palace is its nine domes which are built diagonally facing each other.
There are three parts of Mohatta Palace:
ii. Ground floor
iii. First floor
On ground floor, large rooms were designed for entertainment purpose and on the first floor private rooms were built such as bedrooms. On terrace there is a beautiful temple dedicated to Hindu God “Shiva”. While in basement there was a hot water pool chamber.
While observing from outdoor the ground floor has two decorative openings on each sides of the entry consisting of three shutters in each. Some openings were designed on the south-side of the palace as well.
There is a large hall in the center of the first floor which has ten doors that opens in a hallway located on northern and southern sides while rooms are on the other east and west sides of hallway.
Hallway stairs were designed in southern part which leads to rooftop. Mohatta Palace was no doubt a luxury house built in late 1920s.
After partition the government of Pakistan decided to acquire one residence of people who owned more than one property for establishing government offices. Since, Mr. Mohatta owned more than one house, the government decided to take over it just after one day of partition. The government of Pakistan used Mohatta Palace as office for ministry of foreign affairs. Then they gave it to Miss Fatima Jinnah, the sister of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Mohatta Palace became Qasar-i-Fatima and served as headquarter for her election campaign against Ayub Khan. Later, after the death of Fatima Jinnah in 1967, it was handed over to her sister Shireen Jinnah where she lived till her death.
When Miss Shireen died, the government modified it into a museum for entertainment purpose. Government of Pakistan resorted it into two stages which completed in 1999 and museum opened its doors for public. The gardens of Mohatta Palace host day time story telling for children and corporate events in evening.
The museum has amazing collection of sculptures of modern era and statues from all over the world.
The most amazing fact that you might not know that it is one of the haunted places of Pakistan due to supernatural occurrences and this palace has a secret underground tunnel that leads to a temple which was constructed for the purpose of worship but it is now sealed from both ends.
There is always an ongoing exhibition in the museum but photography is not allowed and visitors have to keep their cameras outside the museum.
I can’t resist saying that it a must visit place for the people who loves to see vintage places and who have love for historical places in their hearts.