Freemasons Lodge – Karachi's landmark

Published July 13, 2011
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

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 / Dawn.com

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