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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

The Mystery of Mohatta Palace

In the heart of Karachi, nestled among the bustling streets and modern skyscrapers, there stood a time-honoured relic of the past – the Mohatta Palace. This magnificent structure, a testament to the enduring power of love, held within its walls a story that was as enchanting as it was haunting.

The year was 1927, and Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, a Sikh entrepreneur from Marwar in Rajasthan, embarked on a grand endeavor. He longed to create a haven where his beloved wife could escape the scorching heat of the summer months. To bring his dream to life, he enlisted the talents of Agha Hussain Ahmed, an architect who infused the palace with the grandeur of Anglo-Mughal architecture.

The result was a hauntingly beautiful edifice by the seaside, a place where love had been carved into every stone. While it might not have rivalled the grandeur of the Taj Mahal, it was, without a doubt, a monument to Mr Mohatta's deep affection for his wife.

But fate, as it often does, intervened abruptly. In 1947, the partition of India forced Mr. Mohatta and his family to leave their cherished home behind and seek refuge in India. The Mohatta Palace, once filled with laughter and love, was acquired by the government of Pakistan to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Years passed, and in 1964, the palace found a new guardian, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. She transformed it into her residence. Miss Jinnah continued to call it home until 1980. Then, an era came to an end as the palace was sealed and left abandoned.

Over time, legends began to swirl around the Mohatta Palace. Whispers spoke of a secret tunnel that lay hidden beneath its grounds, a passageway that stretched to a subterranean Hindu temple nearby. This tunnel, it was said, had been built to safeguard the daily worship of Mr Mohatta's Hindu wife.

Even today, the tunnel remains, though time has taken its toll, burying the entrance from both ends. It stands as a silent witness to a love that transcended boundaries and religions.

As the palace lay vacant, it began to acquire a reputation for being haunted. Museum workers shared stories of eerie occurrences – objects mysteriously moving, inexplicable shifts in the air, and strange, spectral apparitions. Some claimed that the ghosts of the British Raj era still wandered its halls, their presence felt by the night guards. Loyal attendants of the palace since the museum's opening often recount tales of their own experiences on palace grounds, of nights spent alone, and unexplained presences.

The Mohatta Palace, a monument born out of love, continued to captivate visitors with its mystique and enigmatic legends. It stood as a reminder that the echoes of the past, the love, and the sacrifices made within its walls, would never truly fade away. And so, the legend of the palace, with its secret tunnel and whispered hauntings, lived on

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