Samiksha Jaiswal

Hindu Gymkhana, Karachi

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The Hindu Gymkhana (Sindhi:هندو جمخانه, Urdu: ہندو جِمخانہ) was the first public building in Karachi to boldly adopt the Mughal-Revival style. The building established in 1925, It is located at Sarwar Shaheed Road in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

The Hindu Gymkhana was a club for the Hindu upper classes, who formed a strong commercial elite in Karachi in the years before Independence in 1947. The Hindu community and Seth Ramgopal Gourdhanandh Mohatta contributed money for its construction.

Building structure

The building is designed by Muslim architect Agha Ahmed Hussain. The plan and massing was based on the tomb of Itamad-ud-Daulah (1628) in Agra. The building is small in size and consists primarily of a hall and some smaller rooms used for administrative purposes. Stone for the 2-foot-thick (0.61 m) walls was acquired in Bijapur. The roof line is defined by delicate massing of cupolas and balustrades directly influenced by Akbar's Fatehpur Sikri. The octagonal corner towers framing the projecting central jharoka are capped with chattris. Smaller chattris highlight the corners of the projecting porch that carry the drooping bangladar roof used in Emperor Akbar's period. The projecting chajjas are supported by ornamental brackets. The cupolas of the chattris are reinforced concrete and the walls are dressed in Gizri stone. Some of the carved elements are of Jodhpur stone.

The building's condition has deteriorated over the years, and it was going to be demolished in 1984. This was prevented by an intervention by the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan. Hindu Gymkhana now houses the National Academy of Performing Arts.

References

Hindu Gymkhana, Karachi Wikipedia


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