Mithadar is believed to be one of the neighbourhoods of Saddar Town in Karachi city, Sindh province, Pakistan, and comprises the oldest part of Karachi that was once encircled by a wall. Mithadar and the adjacent community of Kharadar together form what is regarded as the original hub of Karachi.
Etymology of Mithadar
‘Mithadar’ generally means Sweet Gate in both Sindhi and Urdu (in reference to the potable, non-saline waters of the Lyari River).
The neighborhood is encircled by Kharadar, Jodia Bazar and Lyari Town across Embankment Road. The place also at one time was on the banks of Lyari River, until it moved course in the nineteenth century. The combined area of Mithadar and Kharadar is almost 35 square kilometers.
‘Mithadar’ literally means Sweet Gate in both Sindhi and Urdu, and was the name of one of two gates in historical Karachi – the other being “Khara Darwaza” (Brackish Gate) to the west – now known as Kharadar. Both gates were constructed in the year of 1729, and were torn down in the year of 1860 after the British conquered Sindh thirteen years earlier. Together with the adjoining community of Kharadar, it forms what is regarded as the original core of Karachi, when the city was termed as “Kalachi Jo Goath.”
The place was once the epicenter of business community of Karachi before the arrival of the British prompted businessmen to migrate straightly east and south to the areas of Saddar, Cantonment, and Bolton Markets. The area is known for its several textile markets that are located in Mithader and the adjoining communities of Kharadar and Bolton Markets.
The place was once home to a thriving Hindu business community prior to the independence of Pakistan. Up until independence, the area was a Hindu majority area – a legacy which is still depicted in major street names like Chandan Mukhi Lane, and Vishramdas Sukhramdas Street. At the eastern end of the neighborhood starts Rampart Row, where elaborate instances of 20th century Sikh and Hindu architecture can still be discovered.
By Sindhi Dunya