Mohatta Palace Museum

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For ancient mariners, the Indus River Delta served as an important geographic landmark.

Karachi continued as an entrepot for trade along both land and sea routes.

For several centuries until the British began expanding their colonial administration under the auspices of the East India Company.


Realizing the commercial and strategic importance of Karachi as a means of access to the entire northwestern flank of the subcontinent.

They annexed Sindh in 1843 beyond it to Russia.

The presence and authority of the British was reflected in the architecture.

They adopted for army cantonments, municipal buildings, churches and formal residences in Karachi.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, new styles of architecture emerged in the subcontinent.

There was a fusion of European, Victorian, Gothic and Mughal elements suited to local forms and materials. Karachi rose to prominence at an incredibly rapid pace, attracting people from the north-west.

The Iranian plateau, Turkey and Central Asia, and from the south-east, especially Kutch, Bombay and Rajasthan.

In 1927, Shiv Rattan Mohatta, a successful Marwari businessman, had a palatial house built in the affluent seaside district of Clifton.

Mohatta made his fortune as a ship handler and merchant.

Muslim Architect

The architect commissioned for his palace, Ahmed Hussein Agha, was one of the first Muslim architects in India and came from Jaipur to take up the task as Inspector General for Karachi.

Ahmed Hussein Agha designed a number of buildings in Karachi, but the Mohatta Palace was to prove the coup de grace of his professional career.

Working in the Mughal Revival style with a combination of locally available yellow Gizri and pink stone from Jodhpur, he sought to recreate the Anglo-Mughal palaces of the Rajput princes.

At the partition in 1947, the Mohatta Palace was acquired by the newly established government of Pakistan. it houses his Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Ministry

When the foreign ministry moved to Islamabad in 1964, the palace was given to Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. After her demise in 1964, her sister Shireen Bai lived here until her death in 1980.

The property then became embroiled in litigation and remained sealed until 1995, when it was formally purchased by the Sindh government in association with the federal government.

An amount of six million rupees. It was agreed that the memorial would house a museum to promote awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of Pakistan and the region.

An autonomous board was established to oversee the restoration and adaptive use of the monument. The first two stages of the restoration program were successfully completed in August 1999.


The museum opened its doors to the public on 15 September 1999.

Since then, it has held many major exhibitions featuring never-before-seen artefacts; these thematic exhibitions were selected from public and private collections.

The museum has grown from three galleries in 1999 to forty-four in 2005.

The Mohatta Palace Museum is a source of pride for the citizens of Karachi as it strives to become a museum of international stature and a beacon of hope and devotion to the city for tourism.

None of this would have been possible without the support of the Federal Government.

The Government of Sindh and our key donors who share our vision of a symbol of Karachi’s cultural renaissance.

The Mohatta Palace Museum offers a diverse range of activities for both the casual and informed visitor. Families and school children are especially welcome, and tours can be arranged in advance.

Sources: mohattapalacemuseum |

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