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[Click on images to enlarge]

The population of Karachi grew from around 400,000 in 1947 to approximately 20 million over the period of 65 years.

When the British held complete sway over the subcontinent in the 19th century, many gothic and renaissance styled buildings were constructed all the way through the city.

These buildings were mainly located in the Saddar area of Karachi and still remain famous amongst the people. However, most of them deteriorated over time due to lack of heritage preservation.

On the other hand a city that stood half empty has developed massively over the years and the streets that only housed a handful are now bursting with buildings, people and cars.

However the ancient architecture has not lost its charm over the contemporary construction that is slowly but surely taking over.

Using images from our archive and from the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, went out in search of the places from these old photos — to shoot, document and present just how much the city of Karachi has changed over the years.

— All coloured images and text by Shameen Khan & Nadir Siddiqui/

Comments (22) Closed

Aug 15, 2012 02:38pm
Vintage photos look better because there wasnt enough population back then, it should have been kept that way. Unfortunately, the city which could have become California turned into a living hell.
Salim Langda
Aug 14, 2012 12:42pm
Pretty... somehow old images always look better. I think it is more to do with the monochrome effect! Looks very similar to Bombay
Agha Ata
Aug 15, 2012 01:32pm
The people who erase the part of their history they don’t like would be erased themselves shortly. Incidentally, I have a suggestion to speed up the matter: Erase the war about East Pakistan. Lets pretend there was only West Pakistan, East Pakistan never existed.
Mohammad Ansari
Aug 15, 2012 11:33am
Great memorial pictures...Karachi where I grew up.
Aug 14, 2012 11:25am
good efforts guys...
Majid Ali
Aug 15, 2012 10:12am
Karachi is my favorite city.
Suraj Tschand
Aug 14, 2012 03:59pm
My father was the chairman of the Afghan National Bank, Karachi, India from 1946 to 1948 and then he was transferred to Afghan National Bank, Bombay, India. He had nothing but high regards for Karachi and he considered Karachi as the most beautiful city of the then India. Thanks for posting the photos.
S Wajahat Raza
Aug 15, 2012 09:03am
yeah, actually OLD is GOLd.... :)
Aug 14, 2012 07:09pm
not just monochrome, trees are also missing in new image
Adeel Azhar
Aug 14, 2012 07:58pm
Loved it completely!! Thank you so much for sharing
S. A. M.
Aug 14, 2012 09:57pm
Looking at the british era one cannot help wishing that instead of leaving the sub continent in 1947 they should have left in 2047.
Aug 15, 2012 04:35am
nothing is better then being an independent...
Aug 15, 2012 04:52am
Purely amazing, and saddening too
Aug 15, 2012 05:37am
Thanks for Sharing
Aug 15, 2012 09:37am
Very Nice
Aug 16, 2012 04:04am
Karachi is absulotely a fabulas city, but people are not that fabulas to be honest..
Aug 16, 2012 07:02pm
The Karachi Gymkhana still looks pretty well maintained.
Aug 16, 2012 07:08pm
The DJ science college has certainly produced some excellent graduates who later on went to professional universities and did some excellent work both within and outside Pakistan.
Aug 16, 2012 07:11pm
Elphinstone street was a beautiful street up until the mid seventies and was the main shopping bazar of Karachi.
Aug 16, 2012 07:15pm
Victoria road was the second most beautiful street in downtown Karachi after Elphi.
Aug 16, 2012 07:18pm
If the filth in Empress market is taken care off and some face lift is given it can still be a good place to shop.
Pamela Rodrigues
Aug 21, 2012 05:07pm
An excellent initiative - very nostalgic - Thanks a million!