ATP Quiz: Views of Manora Island

Posted on January 31, 2007
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, ATP Quiz, Travel
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Owais Mughal

Many of our readers have correctly guessed the light house in our latest photo quiz. Yes indeed, it is the light house located on Manora Island.

I got a chance to visit Manora Island on Jan 7, 2007. Selected photos from the trip are below. Manora, may have been a real island couple of hundred years ago but today it is connected to Karachi mainland via a 12 km long causeway (Sandspit beach) road and it is now more like a peninsula in technical terms. The most common route to reach Manora is via boat from Kimari harbor.

One of the most prominent landmarks of Manora island is the 91 feet high Light House.

The Manora Light House is made up of stone masonry and was inaugurated on April 1, 1889. On a clear night, the light of this lighthouse is visible from upto 20 nautical miles away. The focal plane of this light house is 148 feet high. In 1909, hyper-radiant Fresnel lens was installed as the optical set-up in this light house and the same set-up is used to date.

In 1851 a 50 feet high (focal plane 120 feet high) tower was the first light house built on Manora island. In 1889 it was replaced by the current 91 feet high Light House.

Just across light house is a small Protestant Church called the St Paul’s. This church is even older than the light house and was consecrated in the year 1865. I didn’t get the chance to go inside the church but I’ve read that the church, though simple in fotm from outside, is extraordinary from inside with its superb wooden trusses.

The third picture I want to share is of this Public Notice. Public notices fascinate me, therefore two photos in this article are about the warning messages of rough seas during monsoon season. The language of this particular notice caught my attention. The choice of words here depicts serious business. The exact translation goes like this:

Warning: From May to August, the sea swallows every living being.

This fourth picture is of the Shri Varun Dev Mandir of Manora.

I found this mandir on Manora beach in a very bad shape of neglect.

The mandir is abandoned now. Sea breeze is eating away the building from whatever is left by the scavengers. Preservation of this historical landmark is a high need of present time.

I took several photos of the mandir. I am planning to do a full post soon on the mandir itself and hence saving my other photos for it. The word ‘Varun’ in Hindu mythology means ‘the God of the Oceans.’

The final picture is again of a public notice.

The translation of this public notice goes something like this:

Warning: Life is a blessing. Protect it

Seas are rough during the months from May to August. Picnic at a place which is safe from deadly waves of the sea. A little carelessness from you can convert your leisure into a mishap. Follow the instructions of Life Guard. Needing your cooperation: Cantonment Board, Manora.

Let me end by sharing some Manora trivia with you. The British captured Karachi in 1839 by first attacking a mud fortress present at Manora island. The fortress was completely destroyed by the bombardment of the British flagship 74-gun H.M.S. Wellesley. Soon afterwords Karachi capitulated.


population of Manora in 1839: 100 people

Population in 1869-1870: 1451

Population in 2005: 9987

Recommended Manora PHOTOS at other Websites:

  1. Foundation Stone of Manora Break Waters, January 17, 1874
  2. Mud Fort Manora, circa 1839
  3. Manora Light House at Work – Night View
  4. Bird Eye View of Manora Beach
  5. Black and White View of Manora Light House – from Early Days
  6. A retouched color photo of Manora Light House – from Early Days
  7. Manora Light House Photo by Waqas Usman at
Related Posts with Thumbnails

31 responses to “ATP Quiz: Views of Manora Island”

  1. naseem mukaddam says:

    salam lived in manora 1973 -1981 was a brilliant life peaceful beautiful now it is not the same when visited with children in2004 but lots of good memories

  2. Raquel says:

    I am doing some family research and it appears that my great grandmother moved to Menora island with her parents just after she was born (1895). Her father was in the Royal Artillery. Her description reads:-

    “Life began for me at Dover Castle where I was born just before my parents sailed for India. Those sea voyages were very long ones in the 1890’s on a troop ship and, in later years, my Mother told vivid stories of drama and romance on the voyages. Early childhood was on enchanting Manora Island, just off the mainland in Karachi. Our large airy bungalow fronted over the beach which sloped gently down to the sea. On the other side – or back of the house – was a large compound where the cook house was situated and the servants had their little houses. At the bottom of the hill were the “lines” where the Baluchi and Pathan troops were stationed. The British “lines” were nearer to our house, and our sentries were British soldiers. The wide verandas were enclosed by lattice work and the real life of the family seemed to take place there. Breakfast in the cool of the morning was on the front veranda where Punka Wallahs kept the great fans moving over our heads by means of ropes pulled up and down rather like bell ringers. Dances by moonlight were held there. On the other side of the house of a morning one would find the native tailor or “Darzee” I think he was called, and a marvellous little man he was, who would study fashion sketches in English journals – three months old – and then transform mounds of silk and fine muslins into breathtaking creations for my mother and sisters within a couple of days or so.”

    Does any one have any suggestions how I can find out more – i.e. where the house might have been; why the British were stationed there etc. Anything would be wonderful.

    Many thanks


  3. S.A.KHAN says:

    Hi, Every one, (All Manora Lovers)

  4. Fawad Ahmed says:

    I am fawad, i grew up on this Island from 1968 till 1978 my grand parents lived there. Ihad good memories, of Manora, i use to play on the foot steps of the Church and use to slide down the slope on the bearing sledge (selfmade) hahaha.
    The podipat and the mazar of saint, i experianced this once in my life, that it was raining like hell and not a single rain drop was falling from the roof opening of Yousah Shah Ghazi’s tomb.
    There was a single tall palm tree away from the police Chowki.
    I have some cousins burried there in the cemetry. We use to swim in the chota dariya. My favourite spot was the kuchhi lane where there was a samll hotel my Grandpa use to take me there for a Cup of tea with cake piece YUMMMMMM and the Boat club.
    All lost , now it is desetred the house we lived in is no more there. I last visited the place in 1985, after that we moved out of the country.

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