Mohatta Palace is an exquisite edifice standing in the seaside locale of Clifton in Karachi. It was built in 1927 by a Hindu Marwari businessman Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta as his summer home. The building is built following the tradition of stone palaces in Rajasthan in which pink Jodhpur stone is extensively used along with local yellow stone procured from Gizri hillock. The building is the classic amalgam of Indo-Saracenic architecture and is imbued with immortal beauty.
Mohatta Palace is a luxurious building spread over 18,500 square feet and is built on three different levels. The façade of the palace is trimmed with windows, stone brackets, spandrels, domes, balustrades with floral motifs and exquisite railings. The building contains nine domes with a centre dome 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.
After the owner left for India, government of Pakistan acquired the building to house the country’s Foreign Office. Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the Quaid-e-Azam, moved into it in 1964 and after her demise, her sister Shireen Jinnah lived on the ground floor till her death in 1980 when the building was sealed.
The government of Sindh bought the building in 1995 and converted it to a museum devoted to the arts of Pakistan. A trust manages the property and funds for its maintenance are raised by the trustees through private and public grants, donations, and other fundraising activities. The Mohatta Palace Museum formally opened in 1999 and since has been used for staging various artistic events and exhibitions.