City Walk – Around Katrak Parsi Colony


Parsi influence on Karachi’s architecture is immense. Parsi businessmen and philanthropists commissioned some of the most remarkable structures in Karachi especially at the turn of last century. People still don’t hesitate to spend lavish sum of money on buildings in present day Karachi but the city suffers from our collective lack of aesthetics and sense of community living. We can all learn a few things from Parsis, not just sense of aesthetics but life in general too. Drive to Katrak Parsi Colony and you will get to see the city you never knew. With low boundary walls, manicured gardens, old trees and community areas taking central stage, it showcases how Parsis envisioned living in modern day Karachi.

The Karachi Walla was with a British visitor, born to a Pakistani and Iranian couple. We parked our car at the entrance of the colony and walked towards the central park. The central park has Banu Mandal, the community center on one side while there is a library on other side known as Bhedwar Library. There were trees and some beautiful trees and not the usual conocarpus which has descended on our town like plague.

We walked from one end of the colony to another. I was uber excited as I have not found leisure walk such a pleasure anywhere else in the city. But it was not just me as my partner kept running from one house to another.
She told me that she found it weird when her family in Karachi did not let her walk to the grocery store in their neighborhood. She soon realized the norms and limitations of women in Karachi and hence was as delighted to find such a perfect getaway.

MA Jinnah road has become a perennial favorite of religious and political parties for holding rallies and protests. Therefore most of the lanes connecting Parsi Colony to the main road has been blocked permanently with the help of containers. Parsi population has been dwindling in the city and a lot of houses are lying vacant but Banu Mandal still brims with life during festivities.

God Bless Parsis. God Bless Karachi.
























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8 Comments on “City Walk – Around Katrak Parsi Colony”

  1. Farheen Firdous Ali Lalwani
    November 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    The Parsi Colony always fascinates me…!

  2. October 24, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing. Would like to join you (

    In fact, we also did a couple of walks recently around Saddar but yours are more detailed and insightful.

    Our last walk:

  3. Anonymous
    March 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

    As a professional creative wtiter Am interested in putting together a coffee table book about vintage residential houses in Lahore and Karachi. Is anybody out there looking for a writer on the subject ? Please contact me. I shall be available for the project April 2018 onwards.

  4. Taha Ahmed
    January 19, 2020 at 11:48 am #

    I live there in Apartment area with so heartfelt at looking the aesthetic and sense of living life in such decent and peaceful way we as commercial people for living in these calm and clean areas made it mess by building 3, 4 story apartment over populating it and so much troubles have been raised since there’s more and more buildings, I love live here but not in the way we are living It’s such a shame. I’m so quite young but respect and adore the people who lived there make it noble place for society.

  5. austinpinto39gmailcom
    February 1, 2021 at 2:39 am #

    Absolutely entranced reading the articles from The Karachi Walla. I was born in and lived in Karachi for 24 years. A Goan from Catholic Coony No: 1, we were members of the KGA and so attended all the functions at the KGA Hall and the Gymkhana! I had some Parsi friends who lived in Parsi Colony which the next colony to ours….very fond memories. Thank you !


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