Qasar-i-Fatima (Mohatta Palace)
Qasar-i-Fatima (Mohatta Palace) is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It was built by Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, an ambitious self-made Hindu businessman from Marwar as his summer home in the late 1920s. However, he could enjoy this building for only about two decades before political upheaval and the partition of the subcontinent forced him to leave Karachi. He built the Palace in the tradition of stone palaces in Rajasthan, using pink Jodhpur stone in combination with the local yellow stone from Gizri. The amalgam gave the palace a distinctive presence in an elegant neighbourhood, characterised by British colonial architecture which was located not far from the sea.
The palace has an area of 18,500 sq. feet and its facade is trimmed with windows, stone brackets, spandrels, domes, balustrades with floral motifs and exquisite railings. There are nine domes, with a centre doom in the middle; while the windows in the front portion opening out into the garden are of blue colour and those in the rear area are arched windows with stained glass. The palace has large stately rooms designed for entertainment on the ground floor and more private facilities on the first floor, where there is a terrace provided with a shade from intense sunlight. The palace is solely made up of teak wood with a polished staircase, long corridors and doors opening within doors. The "barsati” (terrace) of the Mohatta Palace had a beautiful family temple dedicated to Hindu God, lord Shiva.
After Mohatta's departure to India, the Government of Pakistan caused controversy requistioning the building. They used it for the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but soon it was handed over to Fatima Jinnah. In the '60s Mohatta Palace was dubbed Qasar-i-Fatima, becoming the hub of her presidential campaign against Field Marshal, Ayub Khan. After her questionable sudden death, her sister Shireen Bai moved in to occupy the ground floor for many years. The palace was sealed and left to decay for years, after her demise.
Currently, the Qasar-i-Fatima houses a museum which houses an exhibition named "Tales of Tiles" showcasing the history of decorative ceramics in the region of Pakistan and most of all Sindh.
Behind the building can be found a small collection of "English" statues such as Queen Victoria, soldiers of the Raj.