City Landmarks – Khalikdina Hall

High Podium. Iconic Portico. Grecian Style Pediment. Khalikdina Hall will surely mesmerize you when you whiz past it on noisy M.A.Jinnah road which despite multifarious problems, is exciting to travel on. It keeps throwing marvels of architectural and aesthetic undertakings which everyone seem to have forgotten. A favorite of Karachi Walla. But the way Our sweetest songs tell of our saddest thought, it makes you sad.

The full name of the hall is ‘Ghulam Hussain Khalikdina Hall’ which is prominently stated on the pediment along with the year of its construction: 1906. It was built to provide a platform for literary pursuits of Muslim population of Karachi. Ghulam Hussain Khalikdina, a well know philanthropist from Khoja community who donated Rs. 18,000 for the construction of the hall. The total cost of the project was Rs. 33,000. The rest of the funding was provided by the Karachi Municipal Corporation. The place assumed historical significance in 1921 when it was chosen by British to host Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar’s trial for indictment to mutiny. It was backlash for the Khilafat Conference which was held from July 8 to 10, 1921, which called Muslims of India to start civil disobedience if British Govt. fought the Angora Government (the Turkish National Government). The trial was known as ‘Trial of Sedition’. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar narrowly escaped the indictment but it did not deterred him from his cause. Later the building became a symbol of resistance against the British.

Sadly the building was not given a role in Karachi life later on. It has been used sporadically for hosting exhibitions, moharram sermons and ramadan taraweh. Termites have damaged its wooden roof. A major re-haul was done in 2002 by KMC but until it is given a purpose, with steady stream of funds, Khalikdina Hall shall remain forgotten.

To get there, drive to M.A.Jinnah road from Saddar. Take Elphinstone street and once you reach M.A. Jinah road, head to the Tower. You will see it on your right hand side, seconds before Dow Medical College. Park you car in adjoining streets. Walk inside. Chances are that no one will be there. Walk around, take pictures and pray for Khalikdina and his hall.


Categories: City Landmarks

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10 Comments on “City Landmarks – Khalikdina Hall”

  1. Tariq Khan
    July 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    I lived in the vicinity and spent number of years at the library reading free Urdu dailies, such as Anjaam, Jung, Hurrieat and later on DAWN. The book collection was beyond my comprehension and mostly comprise of left over books from the British Raj. Also, volunteered in distributing free text books during school years to the needy students through Pakistan Students Federation that has a temporary office/arrangements there. Played cricket in the adjacent Civil Defense Building grounds and often went behind Khalidqdina Hall Building to drink water off the Hand Pump. Aram Bagh, Khaliqdina Hall and Bulsara’s Institute were an integral part of my up bringing in an immigrant neighborhood whose most children were driven to succeed in life. Most of them made the best out of the meager facilities that were afforded to them. There have been many rags to riches and otherwise stories around that neighborhood that can fill the enormous amount of pages. I hope someday KarachiWala also write about Bulsara’s Institute, although a commercial institution & for profit business, but played a very important role in providing vocational training to a number of people. In conclusion, I commend KarachiWala Site for keeping the nostalgia alive. Keep up the good work. Thank you.

    • August 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Thanks Tariq. Will get in touch with you regarding Bulsara’s Institute

      • Mariam
        April 22, 2015 at 1:13 am #

        Where can I find out more about Bulsara Institute?

  2. July 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Good job, FS, for bringing this lovely building to light. It was very interesting to know about its historical significance.
    You inspire me to get out and explore my city! Though I feel I don’t need to cos you showcase it for us so well 🙂

  3. Zee
    June 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    I am a student of Dow Medical College and one day me and my friend randomly entered the gates of the Khaliq Deena hall. We explored and took pictures of the entire place, when I came home and googled I was surprised to learn that this place holds significance in the history of Pakistan. The place needs immediate attention for its preservation. The books were full of dust and were of such old editions, that the information in them must be obsolete.

  4. April 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm #

    The name Khalikdina in the article is wrong spelled.


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