Karachi, the city by the sea, has a natural harbour. The shoreline curves from Manora, which is the breakwater to Cape Monz, which is the other lighthouse. It can also boast of quite a few offshore retreats surrounded by mangroves that serve as nesting places for the sea life and maintain ecological balance. Sadly, mangrove destruction by the locals when they utilize it as firewood and recent dredging is endangering these areas. Nevertheless, the islands and rocky mounds in the estuary region are worth visiting if you are a sea enthusiast.
Here’s a general look at these sea havens:
– Bhit Shah island:
It is located 7 kilometres from Karachi and has around 12,000 katchi abadi residents whose livelihood is fishing.
– Bhundhar (Bundal island) and Dingi (Buddo island)
These twin islands belong to Port Qasim Authority. Bhundhar is the largest. They are located about 1.5 kilometres from Defence Phase 8, between Phitti and Korangi creeks. During the fishing season fisher folk swarm the area to clean their nets and dry their fish. There are
plans to build two island resorts and a bridge to link Phase 8 with the islands. The islands will be renamed Diamond Bar City. A Dubai based construction company
is working on the estimated 12,000 acres through reclamation of the mangrove forests, which connect the two islands. Construction is currently being carried out on Bhundhar Island. 15,000 houses
will be sold to the public in the first stage.
– Oyster rocks:
A clear view can be obtained of these picturesque rocks from Clifton. They can be reached via KPT boats from Keamari. An underwater cave into which boats can sail is reachable during low tide. Once inside, the visitor is treated to a display of crystallized rocks that twinkle in torchlight. These rocks are now the home of one of the worlds tallest man made fountains.
– Churna Rock:
It is one of the biggest and frequent fishing spots for fishing enthusiasts and fishermen alike in their powerboats from Karachi’s boating clubs. Many people drive to nearby villages such as the beautiful Mubarak village and hire boats from there. Divers of all levels get a chance to hone their diving skills here as diving activities are also undertaken at 0 – 30 feet depth. It is a good idea to check the condition of the sea and inquire at local fishing villages before your sojourn here as the waters can get pretty rough and you may just find yourself leaning out of the boat throughout the ride if you head into a stormy sea – an experience I have had the misfortune to face.
– Chota Churna:
This smaller island is directly opposite Gaddani and has been named thus by the fishermen.
– Baba island:
Inhabited by fishermen, it is situated 1 kilometre from Keamari. Recent inauguration of a 12-bed dispensary, 24-hour emergency and maternity health facilities from a multinational concern make it the first island to have modern health amenities. Facilitation of fresh water
supply is also in the pipeline.
– Manora island:
The island of yore has now become connected to the mainland via the 12 kilometres long causeway of Sandspit beach. Technically it is now a peninsula and has a population of approximately 10,000 people. It can be reached easily by boat from Keamari. Tourist attractions include the 91 feet high Manora lighthouse with its colourful and traditional tiled flooring, a dilapidated but still exotic mandir with the smell of incense inside, colonial style churches, and a thin strip of the Manora beach replete with camel rides.