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Freemasonry is one of the oldest organisations and fraternities in existence. The historical origin of the Freemasons is rather obscure and mysterious - which, combined with the somewhat secretive nature of their rituals - has led to much conjecture and conspiracy theories about their activities around the world. Their meetings involve old symbolic rituals that have been carried forward for hundreds of years.

The fraternity operates from very loosely connected "grand lodges", and "lodges" which are centers of activity and meeting-places. Each independent grand lodge has its own jurisdiction. A symbol always found in these lodges is that of the compass and the square, pointing literally or metaphorically to the tools of a mason (or stonecutting).

A Freemasons Lodge stands adjacent to the Governor House in Karachi. It is located near Zainab Market or on the way to Saddar. This lodge was built before World War I, and for the locals it was a mysterious building; the British spoke in English and they could not communicate with them, hence the building's mystery resulted in it's given name "Jadu ghar".

Freemasonry was banned by Bhutto’s government in 1972 and their belongings were confiscated as their activities were considered Zionist. After many years this masterpiece of masonry is being restored by the Department of Antiquity and a wildlife museum is planned to be established here. - Text by Abeera Khan /

Stair case of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Stair case of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
A tablet at the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
A tablet at the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Pillars of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Pillars of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Outside view of the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
Outside view of the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Corridor of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
Corridor of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
A spiral stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
A spiral stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
A corridor of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
A corridor of the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
The main entrance. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
The main entrance. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
A stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
A stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Shahzaib Arif
A stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi
A stair case at the lodge. - Photo by Alyzeh Rizvi


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Comments (28) Closed

omer jehanzeb Jul 13, 2011 06:43pm
the photography is done so mysteriously.may be u want to make readers paranoid!..
bilal Jul 13, 2011 06:58pm
i hope they won't ruin the classic staircase while restoring.
G.A. Jul 13, 2011 08:43pm
Maybe Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, can write another novel centered on this lodge. He is an authority on Free Masons.
Rizwan Takkhar Jul 13, 2011 08:47pm
Damn that's amazing. I can see the 'eye' up there!
Jules Jul 13, 2011 10:01pm
Freemasons are a secretive society. George Washington was a freemason as were 14 other US Presidents. The last known US President who was rumoured to be a freemason was Gerald Ford. Other US Presidents notables were FDR. In certain Western countries, one of the freemason objectives included the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church and hence no surprise that any Roman Catholic that joins the freemasons is automatically excommunicated from the Church. Freemasonry has been considered a parallel religion to Christianity and therefore is not acceptable. Some even consider their secret rumoured practices as Satanic.
Ahmad Jul 13, 2011 10:51pm
Someone can tell the real story about this organization. Why there is not a definite explanation. Every city in the United States ha s Freemasons Lodge. If you see the members coming and going there hardly look like spies or conpirators.
rizwan afridi Jul 14, 2011 01:35am
Please do some real fact-checking. Yes, people have all sorts of ideas as to what Freemasonry is, but what point is there in repeating this nonsense if theres no real proof about it? How can you just cast suspicion on a group of people as being Satanist without even realliy knowing what youre talking about? This is a major problem in Pakistan - people just repeating rumors over and over and believing theyre true.
Saira Ansari Jul 14, 2011 01:37am
There's a free mason lodge in Lahore on the Mall Rd. The building is right next to the Lahore Zoo but has been taken over by the Punjab government. Much of the original Zoo parking lot has also been grabbed by the same party. That's all our local government is capable off: land-grabbing and encroachment. What a shame.
Abdul Hannan Jul 14, 2011 09:40am
the building’s mystery resulted in it’s given name “Jadu ghar”....
venga Jul 14, 2011 10:18am
Freemasonry is not a religion - it is a philosophy that aims to promote mutual goodwill and understanding amongst all men , regardless of race,creed or colour . It obviously is steeped in antiquity, dating back to even before the birth of christianity it is said . What is certain however is that the Fremasons of England and Europe bravely rallied against the forces of Saladin when Christendom was under siege. How the Roman Catholic Church came to view these brave men and their movement as a threat is a mystery best known to them . But then they ( the Church ) are deservedly famous and well known for their suspicion of anything and everything ! This will not prevent me from going to the Church however for I am not only a Freemason but also a Hindu and thus respect all relgions ! All religions teach and promote good. It is men who misinterprete them to serve their own ulterior motives . please be informed , dear Jules .
Sabiha dawar Jul 14, 2011 11:10am
For more info on free masons watch 'the arrivals' 10mins 50 episodes available on YouTube and at laraib music center... Eye opening
Mudassir Hussain Jul 14, 2011 11:23am
Why so secretive, that is a question? and the "rituals" as we get to know....why so weird? philosophies cannot supersede religions at all and religions do not propagate violence.
Sushil Jul 14, 2011 11:24am
Property seized by Bhutto ! Why may I ask ? Hindu Gymkhana too was declared enemy property immediately after independence and seized. How could they do it till the last Hindu remained in the city ? Might is right in Pakistan it seems.
Shaz Jul 14, 2011 12:33pm
@Venga: If it isn't a Religion as you have put it down then why having some strange rituals? To put your point across 'Philosophy' don't really need rituals or at least, I have never come across any theory that requires to perform certain rituals to understand the Philosophy behind it. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The only possibility here is unless you are a self proclaimed Mason. Then of course its a different story. Nice shots Alyzeh.
Sheikh Jul 14, 2011 12:39pm
@ Sabiha dawar Arrivals was a nothing but a bunch of episodes based on conspiracy theories & stories related to Freemasons. For informative info on freemasonry, you can read Dan Brown's famous novel "The Lost Symbol", which based on actual facts. Freemasons also have relation with Illuminati which were made by famous scientists, under ground, to preserve & prevent their scientific from church's influence, who considered science as religious & evil thing. Many note able scientists were part of illuminati, like newton Kepler etc etc, including muslims scientists. Due to opposition of Church & Mullah, Illuminati considered as heretic & satanic & many stories associated with them. For more Illuminati info, you can read Dan Browns another famous novel "Angels & Demons". Freemasonary has the roots much like sufiism, they considered all religion equal but unlike sufiism they also perform pagan rites & rituals. Their main idea based on Fire, Water, Earth & they heavily relied on symbols as you can see mostly in their tombs & lodges. That was because they used coded language in the past to preserve their knowledge from external influence.
Nouman Jul 14, 2011 01:51pm
My question to the city government is that why is this grand lodge still there, why it hasn't been demolished yet ?. Places like these have negative energies due do the secret rituals that took place there. this weekend i'am so going to check out this place, have seen it alot on the arrivals and phase 3 but not in reality. though the before mentioned documentaries have their own point of view, and everyone has it's own opinions. But no one exactly knows about this secret society.
amna Jul 14, 2011 03:06pm
& what knowledge, one might wonder? the freemasons were filthy rich, in all sorts of knowledge-even the unknown,from what i gathered after reading some of the astonishing facts mentioned in my fathers' diaries,that my grandfather had told him till he passed away-he knew his time of nana was the Grand Worship Master of the Quetta masonic lodge....wish i had had the opportunity to meet him but unfortunately he passed away 12yrs before i was born. irony of fate, i call it!!
Faraz Jul 14, 2011 03:17pm
Hindu Gymkhana was not declared "enemy property" as you have stated but in fact "evacuee property" which is what happened in India as well. Please look it up.
Manish Jul 14, 2011 03:29pm
@Shaz Fremasonery does not require you to follow a faith created by them or by any other religion. You can be a Mason by following your own religion. Please read about Fremasons in wikipedia for a detailed description. They require every Mason to follow at least one faith(read religion) and it does not requires to be a specific one. Even Vivekananda joined Freemason being a hindu and he never changed his religion. Just following some rituals, weird or otherwise, may bring the concept of brotherhood in you with all the religions/peoples of the world. Thus, it is a phylosophy, just as you follow the rituals of washing your face, brushing your teeth, bathing. It is not written in your religion to do so. It is just as the rituals you follow when you go to school, such as dressing the school uniform, sitting with other cast peoples, etc. The same happens in Army/police, etc. These rituals keeps a feeling of equalness and brotherhood in you.
Khan Jul 14, 2011 03:39pm
What about Muslim properties in india and specially Jinnah home in Mumbai? Isn't indian govermemt seized it?
Raza Jul 14, 2011 03:42pm
Might is right !!!! Not only in Pakistan but the whole world !!!!
Ali Jul 14, 2011 04:01pm
Freemasons were a secretive organization for several reasons. But 2 of the main reasons were 1) they were persecuted, by the predominant religions of the realm 2) they had a free and open philosophy and did not want that tarnished by outside influence, political or religious. They also had to preserve and guard all the past knowledge, and also had to protect the anonymity of their members. Sometime in the 20th century or maybe even earlier, the mystery and secrecy of Free Masons has dissolved. Now anyone can become a member, regardless of race/religion/creed/skin color. However I think you can only be invited by an existing member, and then have to be voted in or something. Their records etc are no longer shrouded in secrecy, which is why people like Dan Brown and others can now right books about them. Since they can get the information that has been made available to the public. I'm of Pakistani descent.... Pakistan has no history of tolerance towards other beliefs, cultures, religions or minorities, and this was a prime example. What threat was there of Zionism in Pakistan in the 70's? Give me a break. The original Hindu inhabitants have been kicked out or systematically cleansed ethnically. Christians are constantly subjected to Draconian blasphemy laws as a tool to all but annihilate them.....
A Khan Jul 14, 2011 06:01pm
Those lodges are a part of our history and it is so heart breaking to see them being ignored by the government for so long. All the freemasons that I have met in my life were wonderful human beings.
kaiser. Jul 15, 2011 01:54am
Oh the sheeple mind. If one only knew what freemason is about, one wouldn't let a single brick of it lay whole. Dan Brown knew nothing of freemasonry, he was a shill, a paid lackey for the people who saw to him. He plagiarized the entire first book from the original Holy Blood Holy Grail. Why the secret rites? Secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society. Could it be that the secret practises are actually abhorrent? Or perhaps it may so be that the so called secrecy was meant to be known by a select few. In that case, isn't it prejudicial? Where's the universal brotherhood in that? Think people, think. Open your eyes, open your mind. Seek truth.
Abdul Wahid Osman Be Jul 15, 2011 07:39am
The building can be put to better use by converting it into a public library on account of its location where it can be easily accessible, after carrying out the necessary repairs and renovation and proper care and maintenance.
KHALID ABDUL RAHMAN Jul 15, 2011 08:59am
Me Jul 19, 2011 06:15am
Wow. I'm a Mason, and a Past Master of my lodge, as well as having been involved in Grand Lodge affairs. All these conspiracy theories are just that. Trust me, if we wanted to take over the world with our "new world order" conspiracy, we would have done that long ago when Washington was president - or maybe during the signing of the Declaration of Independence??? Enough already - Freemasonry is a place that makes good men better. We are NOT a religion but believe that you must have a religion, and Freemasonry cannot replace your religion (yep, that's one of our oaths). The secrecy is there to promote brotherhood, and to continue a very long tradition of moralistic teachings/philosophy that is based on religion. Dan Brown writes fiction and is no way an "authority" on Freemasonry. I enjoy his books/movies, but if you read the forward to the books you would understand that specifically states that his works are fiction. Bottom line is, if you want to know the secrets and you are a good and moral man, then join Freemasonry. Or at least ASK a Freemason what it's all about! Making false assumptions and spreading crazy rumors is juvenile. Freemasonry helps hundreds of people on a daily basis, and takes no credit for that - look it up. Masonic Charities gives away $1 MILLION every day...... Signed - Jay "I'm going to take over the world" Hammond, Past Master, Summit City #170.
Dude Jul 24, 2011 09:15pm
I just feel that these pictures dont do justice to the Freemason's Hall. It would be rather nice to see some mature perspectives of more mature photographers for the sake of standard.