The one thing which you need to do before you die is to visit empress market at early morning. It is void of saddar-esque hustle bustle at early hours and distractions are not been setup by that time. Park your car right in front of the clock, a luxury possible to experience only at early hours. Take your time to absorb the grandeur of the structure immaculately constructed by Mr. J.S. Attfield of Lahore. Take a special note of 140 feet tall tower whose clock room looks too tempting to climb. The foundation stone of the empress market was laid by the Governor of Bombay. The building was constructed in 1889 and was named to commemorate Queen Victoria, Empress of India.
The building’s magnificence has been marginalized by poster mafia who have put countless posters across the front wall. At the front gate a plaque confirms that building was commissioned in 1889 and been renamed as K.M.C Market. Below the plaque someone has sprayed a warning message for skeptics that he would stand next to Zardari in times of peace and war. Why has he chosen a heritage site for the warning message is unknown? The building is constructed around a courtyard which houses many small shopkeepers. Most of the shops don’t have demarcated boundaries and goods are put under make shift shade. Even at eight o clock you will find shopkeepers unpacking their stuff and greeting customers. Walk straight and you will end up in the sabzi market. Turn right and you will be heading to infamous rainbow center. Turn left and you will find a bazaar full of spices.
Empress Market’s clock towers stand proud overlooking the most visited area of Karachi. You can find the staircase to go up at the back of the gate. The Karachi Walla could not go up because it was blocked by packs of sugar. There were flags waving at the top which I could not recognize. Apparently those flags wallas have not done more than installing the flags there. The Empress Market, a heritage site needs funds and proper care. The color of the curved roof has faded. Its corroded at the top. Humongous wires are a hazard to the visitors but it should not stop you from visiting it, at early hours.