The Water Troughs of Karachi

Written by Shaheen Nauman, Researcher at HWK, PCCC

Water Trough near Pakistan Chowk | Copyright Marvi Mazhar & Associates

During Colonial times the means of transportation was animal drawn, be it donkey or camel carts or bullock carts for carrying cargo or transporting the poor. The rich had Horse drawn carriages, “Victorias”. For this animal population Water Troughs were built near markets, parks or sites where these animal carts would wait for cargo or a passenger. These were built with locally available yellow Gizri sand stone.

These water troughs are part of Karachi’s architectural history. These were built by important citizens or in their memory. Some were gifted to people by philanthropic institutions. The majority of these water troughs have disappeared, only a couple of them are left, which are not maintained and neglected. One of them is at Pakistan Chowk area. During British era this area was a busy taxi and Victoria stand, popularly known as ‘Purana Tonga Stand’.

Translation of the inscription on marble plaque of Water trough reads: “This site or monument was constructed in memory of Late Thakur Morarji Shiv Boda by his son Thakur Valamji Morarji on 8th day of Bhadarwa month (roughly last two months of Gujrati calendar) 1965.