Bird's eye view (with Napier Barracks) [Karachi]. 28
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Napier Barracks at Karachi, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. Views 21-32 from this album join together to form a 360 degree panorama of the city from the tower of Trinity Church. The barracks were built by Charles Napier, the first governor of Sindh (1843-1847). It is constructed of the local buff Gizri stone. The main building faced the prevailing breeze and the deep arcaded verandahs and high ceilings were intended to make the interior as cool as possible. Karachi, one of the world's largest metropolises, was once the capital of Pakistan. It is now the capital of the Sindh province in the lower Indus valley, and is the financial and commercial centre of Pakistan. This huge city was however developed only in the mid-19th century after the British conquest of Sindh. Karachi is built around a bay which is a natural harbour protected from storms by a group of small islands. Its history prior to the 18th century is sketchy but it is believed to be the ancient port of Krokala on the Arabian Sea, visited by Alexander's admirals in 326 BC. The small fishing village was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth in the 18th century, and then became a trading post under the Kalhoras and the Talpur rulers of Sindh, but the port remained small. With the British development of its harbour it grew into the large city of Karachi and an important centre of trade, particularly of cotton and wheat.