I. I. Chundrigar Road: Heart of the Concrete Jungle
Whenever we’re in the mood for a late-night drive around, my friends and I like to drive around I. I. Chundrigar Road. The road is chock-full of landmark upon landmark. In fact, it serves as the most frequently used vantage point for photographs of Karachi on the web. I would go as far as to say that I. I. Chundrigarh road defines Karachi’s skyline. And although new buildings are rapidly populating the horizon, nothing takes away from the charm of the financial district.
Sundays are the best time of the week to visit I. I. Chundrigar Road if you’re doing so for the purpose of sightseeing. On any other day, you’ll come across white-collar workers wrestling over parking spots and space on the road. But the scene is transformed by mid-day on Sundays when it’s the perfect place for a steady smooth ride.
The beauty of I. I. Chundrigarh Road stems primarily from the architecture, which is an amalgam of different time periods and architectural movements. Buildings predating partition still stand tall, there are contemporary office high-rises, houses that have survived generations, as well as a handful of decaying structures. I. I. Chundrigarh Road is arguably the heart of the concrete jungle that is Karachi and people who work in finance will likely spend a bulk of their lives walking it.
Name any bank in Karachi and they’ll definitely have a branch here. You will also find the Pakistan Stock Exchange (previously the Karachi Stock Exchange) in this area. It is the financial capital of the country and all of the money entering the economy passes through here. The Pakistan Stock Exchange also happens to be one of the most thriving Stock Exchanges in the world with a market cap of about $87 billion.
The road also happens to host the main offices of all major media houses in broadcast and print; Jung, Geo, Express, Dawn, and ARY all have offices here. Furthermore, you will not find a more ATM-dense region in all of Karachi, with an ATM machine every 2 meters.
For the purpose it serves as well as the history it hosts, I. I. Chundrigarh is one of the most iconic locations in all of Pakistan. The architecture is a cherry on top, and driving its empty streets on a Sunday is a bucket-list-worthy experience.