Jewel of Manora’s Crown. Or is it? There is so much at this tiny strip of the land that it makes you wonder why is this place not flocked with tourists. An old lighthouse flanked by a protestant church. This scene should be cherished and not guarded by unwelcoming navy check posts and unfriendly chowkidars.
Manora’s lighthouse is the tallest in the country. It was inaugurated on April 1, 1889 and its light is visible from 20 nautical miles. Hyper-radiant Fresnel lens is used to generate the light reaching this distance. The original lighthouse at the same place was erected in 1851 which was replaced by much taller lighthouse in 1891 with increased traffic reaching Karachi port. The current lighthouse is 91 feet tall.
The small protestant church right next to it is called the St Paul’s church. It is much older than the current lighthouse and its roof stands on wooden trusses. The place is locked up and the karachi walla could not make his way inside. Too bad. Even the chowkidars at the lighthouse were not welcoming. You need to know someone to make your way in. Photography is prohibited. There are some sensitivities which a karachi walla like me fails to understand. It is beautiful from inside. Bold paint, design and light adds to the flavour. The swirling staircase gets narrower as you reach closer to the top. The place is really old. The optical setup from good old days is intact and maintained well by KPT. The base on which the giant optical setup rotates is not fueled by a generator but is winded using a key! Move out to the balcony and experience the view. Feel the vastness of Arabian Sea. Turn around and witness the vastness of the city. Its rusty skyline, narrow lanes of Manora town, busy kemari port, fast moving boats, magnificent oyster rocks. Everything looks tiny, pure and free of trouble. You feel like believing in the city again, drowning all its sorrows in your heart.
The view needs to be shared with all Karachi wallas. It move you in a way very few things can.