Weird Names of Karachi’s places

Weird names of places become identity of Karachi

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

KARACHI, with a population of 16 million, is the hub of all commercial activity in the country, with two bustling ports and a variety of people thronging from many areas of the country. The city has a history of over 200 years and has witnessed massive changes in its journey from Kolachi to Karachi. Karachi has var places, roads and roundabouts which are known by unique names and each name has a history behind it.
The list includes various names from the last six decades after a massive influx of migrants streaming from different parts of the sub-continent and later, in 60s and 70s, the arrival of people from Khyber (NWFP) to Khuzdar (Balochistan) and Chitral (Northern Areas) to Cholistan (Punjab) and Mansehra to Turbat. These people set up their slums with unique names and these have contributed to the history of the city.
The residents of Khamosh (silent) Colony are deprived of silence, Lalu Khet (fields of Lalu) does not have a single field in its vicinity, Teen Hatti (three shops) bus stop became a massive jungle of thousands of shops and Hijrat (migrant) Colony is where migrants from different parts of the country settled in this locality at Baldia Town. Similarly Faqir (beggar) Colony in Orangi Town has no beggars and Kharkar (gipsy) Chowrangi has no gipsy families. Anda Morr chowrangi is still in the shape of an oval but New Karachi has become “Old Karachi” due to the negligence of officials and the careless attitude of residents, who show no civic sense and encroach many roads and amenity plots.
Many strange names have been changed over the years but people are still not used to them and some places are still known by their old names, including Geedar (jackal) Colony in Landhi Town, which has been renamed Muzzafarabad Colony.
“The government should initiate a massive campaign on the grassroots level to promote the names of such colonies and make a good impression,” said former councilor of Muzaffarabad Murtaza Khan.
The junction of four roads and four lanes in Lyari Town has been known as Aath (eight) Chowk, providing a large number of people access to various directions.
Bewah (widow) Colony, near Manzoor Colony, was established by a philanthropist to provide shelter to widows but now it has become one of the most posh localities in Manzoor Colony and Azam Basti.
The people living between the Cantonment Railway Station and Defense Housing Authority (DHA) have given the area the name Kala Pul (black bridge) which was replaced with a concrete structure by the government a decade ago but the entire area is still called Kala Pul.
The city government recently constructed a two-tier flyover at the site known as Nagan Chowrangi in New Karachi. Residents who have lived here for many years say that this roundabout previously faced the worst traffic congestions in the city and that it is very dangerous as many accidents occur here.
Before Partition, the British government established a market exclusively for its soldiers and even today, the market is fully operational and is still called Soldier Bazaar.
The junction of various sewerage lines spreading over 200 acres near the Lyari River was developed for the cultivation of vegetables near old Golimar and become famous as Gutter Baghicha (garden) where the farming of vegetables does not take place but the large number of trees make it look like a garden.
Khuda Ki Basti, a settlement established by the government for poor people along the Super Highway is still known by this unique name even after two decades of negligence, when the entire locality has become one of the busiest places in the outskirts of the city.
In Landhi Town, a massive cattle colony established to cater for the need of fresh milk and meat of citizens is known as Bhains (buffalo) Colony and people in the area have no option but to use this weird name in their postal addresses.
Machhar (mosquito) Colony in Kemari Town was first named Machhera (fishermen) Colony, indicating the profession of the majority of its residents, who were, and still are, Bengalis. Today, this illegal slum area, which lacks a proper sewerage system and sanitary conditions, has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and is thus known by the name Machhar.
The city has two Khadda Markets, one in DHA Phase V and another in Lyari. In DHA, the market seems to have gained its name from the fact that ground level is below that of the areas around it. In Lyari, it was so named because of the people there.
Chamra (hide) Chowrangi in Korangi was named due to the tanneries in the area, which make the area smell foul.
Sau (hundred) Quarters, a government project to set up homes for low-income groups, is the now the name of the areas in Korangi and Baldia town that fall under this project.
In many bazaars of Karachi, there are various Resham Galis (silk streets) where items related to ladies’ clothes like colourful laces, buttons, threads and dupattas are found.
In Saddar Town, there are various commercial areas with a wide variety of names for its many lanes and markets, such as Bohri Bazaar, Joota Gali (shoe street), Bartan Gali (utensil street) and many more. Choona Depot is the name of a locality on Jameela Street in the old part of the city where dozens of shops sell crushed limestone which is used for whitewashing.
“It has become very difficult to replace these unique names with new ones as Karachiites are used to these names,” said city government official Kashif Akhter.
Besides this, many entrepreneurs involved in small hotel business have given some rare names to their hotels which have not only become famous among visitors but the nearby areas are also now referred to by using these names. The names include Piyala (bowl) Hotel in Gulberg Town, Chamcha (spoon) Hotel in New Karachi, Lakhpati (millionaire) Hotel in Ranchore Lane, Karela (bitter gourd) bus stop, Kala (black) school bus stop, Peela (yellow) school bus stop, UP Morr (roundabout), Dau Minit (two minute) Chowrangi, Chotu Hotel, Mukka Chowk, Talwala bus stops and many others.
These unique names are not only used on shop boards but are also commonly seen on visiting cards, banners and now also on various websites.
-Published in Daily Times | Oct 4, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on October 6, 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: