Pakistan MARITIME Museum

Exploring maritime museum

By Jamil Khan

A MUSEUM is a place where history is preserved and showcased in its best form to be admired by the new age. Pakistan Maritime Museum houses a number of articles related to maritime and the naval heritage of Pakistan.
This museum was built quite recently (in 1996) and is located on Habib Ibrahim Rehmatullah Road aka the Karsaz Road. Apart from presenting history in a very modern style the museum is a great source of interactive education. Visitors to the museum can board real vessels such as the mine-sweeper and observe their exclusive equipment and operational devices. If you wish to know how to operate the heavy gun mounted in the grounds, you could do that too with the help of the officials. There is no restriction even if you want to climb up the replica of the Manora Lighthouse. From it you can treat your eyes to a panorama of the entire museum premises.
A great quantity of maritime and naval heritage has been included through attractive dioramas, relief sculptures, mural and miniature paintings, touch-screen computers, taxidermy and vintage equipment. There are six galleries located in the vicinity of the museum, two out of which are really beneficial for visitors who know very little about maritime life and naval heritage.
The maritime history gallery has a number of fascinating artefacts. One of the most attractive things in this gallery is an 8th century metallic armour, which was discovered off the coast of Ormara. The gallery also has on display a number of exhibits showing Moenjodaro’s river trade, ancient trade routes, murals depicting Mohammad bin Qasim’s attack on Deebal, ancient navigational instruments used by Muslims, maps and miniature paintings.
A gallery named “Naval gallery” represents Pakistan’s naval achievements during the 1965 Pakistan-India war. Apart from the old naval equipment on display here, two computer systems have also been provided for access to world-wide maritime information on compact discs.
Keen visitors, specially children are in for some great fun while inspecting the “Orientation lobby” where two large-size aquariums give a clear concept of marine life. The items too large to be placed inside the building are displayed in the vast open-air grounds surrounding the museum. Here you have a submarine, various missile launchers, radar, anti-aircraft guns, Bofor guns, anti-submarine rocket launcher, salute guns, wartime ships like PNS Babar and PNS Mujahid, torpedoes complete with their launching tubes and along with a number of other fascinating things. A lake creates a kind of sea atmosphere. Pakistan Navy Ship Mujahid, which was retired from service in 1995, is anchored in the lake. A traditional riverboat called Baghochan or Sukkur Boat is also on permanent displayed in the lake.
A souvenir shop, cafe and a restaurant is also located in the premises of the museum. The gift shop has rare, interesting and attractive souvenirs such as ship and submarine models, photographs etc. All are priced reasonably.
-Published in Young World-Dawn | Mar 22, 2003


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