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Mazar-e- Quaid

ImageThis is the final resting place of the Father of the Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Its construction started soon after his death in 1948, and it was completed in the 1960's. Made of white marble, this is undoubtedly the most well-known landmark of Karachi, being featured in pictures and media whenever Karachi is mentioned. The mausoleum building is surrounded by a large park which was until recently, poorly maintained. Lately, there have been impressive improvements to the park, with the addition of  trees, paved paths, properly built steps, eating areas, and fountains that actually work. It offers a stark contrast to the noisy and hectic atmosphere of the city just a few hundred metres away. With a quiet and peaceful ambience, the garden itself is lucrative enough to make you stay and stroll for endless hours. Climbing the many series of steps leading to the mausoleum building can take quite a while. But once on the top platform, you can, on a clear day, see a large area of the city over the horizon. 
You are required to take off your shoes before you enter the mausoleum's interior. Once inside, you will be simply awed by the sheer size of the room. In the center is the grave of the Quaid, surrounded by a metal fence to keep people at a distance. Hanging from the roof is an elegant crystal chandelier which was presented as a gift by China.The mausoleum hall is guarded at all times by alert security personnel. The ceremonial changing-of-guards at the Mazar is a display of the patriotic fervor of the armed forces, and is something which should not be missed if you visit the mausoleum.

The graves of the Quaid's sister, Fatima Jinnah, and the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, are also present nearby.There is a special museum below the mausoleum building that displays objects which were used by the Quaid. Items on display include the Quaid's clothes, caps, coats, walking sticks, cigar, monocles, coins, and pens. Specially designed rooms contain the actual furniture that was used by the Quaid, as in his living, dining, drawing and bedrooms. There is also a splendid collection of old cars that were used by the Quaid.

The entry to the Mazar and the park was free earlier, but now a small fee is charged (Rs 5), as maintenance charges. Unlike many national monuments in foreign countries, photography and videomaking is allowed inside the park as well as the mausoleum premises, except for a few days when it may be prohibited due to security reasons, such as when a minister or foreign delegate is visiting the Mazar.



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