Photograph of swans on the lake in the Government Garden, Karachi, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. The gardens were designed by Major Blenkins and originally intended to supply British troops stationed in Karachi with fresh vegetables. As well as many varieties of fruit and vegetables a large vineyard was situated here providing good quality grapes. The gardens also boasted a collection of animals started by Strachan and Ffinch, the director of the Indo-European Telegraph. Karachi, now the capital of the Sindh province in the lower Indus valley, was once the capital of Pakistan and continues to be the country's commercial hub and largest city. Its history prior to the 18th century is largely unrecorded but it is believed to be the ancient port of Krokala on the Arabian Sea, visited by Alexander's admirals in 326 BC. Karachi is built around a bay which is a natural harbour and protected from storms by a group of small islands: Baba, Shamspir, Manora and Kiamari. The small fishing village of Kolachi-jo-Goth became a trading post when the Talpur Mirs of Sindh built a mud fort here in the 18th century, but the port remained small. It was completely transformed when its harbour was developed by the British after they conquered Sindh in the mid-19th century, and grew into a major city and centre for exports.