Araam Bagh
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Aram Bagh: Is it still known as Ram Bagh by old Karachiites?

Akhtar Balouch, prominent writer and journalist writes about Aram Bagh in his book Kiranchiwala as:

“Aram Bagh (or Ram Bagh) is an old, historic ground in Karachi. Parts of the ground have a bit of grass, while some flower beds can also be seen. Before the partition, this ground was always reserved for Hindu religious events and gatherings. However, sometimes it was also used for political gatherings.

The religious books of Hinduism have it about this ground that Ram had spent a night here during his journey to Hinglaj (Balochistan).

Also Read: Guru Mandar, Mandir of Karachi: Does it even exist?

Before and after the partition, Ram Leela (the story of Ram) was presented on stage in Karachi. Ram Bagh was the place where the theatre was usually held. From Ram’s exile to his return home, every event of the tale was presented through dramatic art.

Araam Bagh

Renowned educationalist, intellectual and translator, Professor Karan Singh says since in the post-partition scenario, most of the Hindus of Karachi had migrated to India because of the violence and the hatred, Ram Leela could never be presented in Karachi again. Gradually, it became impossible for Ram Leela to be presented on stage anywhere in the city.”

Where was this Ram Bagh in Karachi?

Ram Bagh is located near the Swami Narayan temple. Ram Bagh was a park. What the Swami Narayan temple has for us in its history is a tale for another time. Akhtar Balouch writes that it was in 1939 that a Hindu, Deewan Jethanand who had made the construction of Ram Bagh possible. The place still exists by the temple on Burne’s Road.

Araam Bagh

The remnant of its identity can be seen at some distance from the place. On the street where the Hamdard Dawakhana is located, there is an electricity pole. It has an old plate on it. It reads Ram Bagh.

Araam Bagh

The Ram Bagh is still there but it does not host any more Ram Leela performances. The stage where the acts were performed is now replaced by a mosque. The people of Karachi call the place, Aram Bagh.

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Contributor

Written by Mohsin Soomro

A dreamer and a go-getter, this is how I would define myself. With seven- plus years of experience in Journalism, I have worked with various publications in print and online. With an inclination towards photography, it is my dream to go on around the world tour someday and capture the beauty of nature through my lens. You can write to me at mohsinsoomro10[@] gmail (dot) com)

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