Photograph of the lighthouse and associated buildings at Manora, Karachi, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. Karachi, the former capital of Pakistan, is the largest city and main commercial centre of the country and the capital of Sindh province in the lower Indus valley. Its history prior to the 18th century as a port on the Arabian Sea north-west of the mouth of the Indus is scant, but it is believed to be ancient. It has been identified as Krokala, the port visited by Alexander's fleet in 326 BC, is noted in a collection of 16th century Turkish sailing directions, and was transformed from a fishing village to a trading post under the Kalhora and Talpur rulers of Sindh in the 18th century. However, it remained modestly sized until the British conquest of Sindh in 1843. The British developed the port of Karachi because it was a vital centre for cotton exports. The designs for the lighthouse tower were proposed in 1887 by the Port Engineer’s Office. The lighthouse was part of ongoing improvements to the harbour necessitated by an increase in the number of ships carrying goods and troops to and from the sub-continent. The Port Trust (established 1887) replaced the Harbour Board (established 1879).