Ram Bagh Quarter, Karachi
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Ram Bagh Quarter Karachi
Formerly known as Ram Bagh (Urdu: رام باغ meaning Garden of Ram) is a neighborhood located in historic center of Karachi, Pakistan that was built around the Aram Bagh park. Aram Bagh has a high concentration of listed and protected heritage buildings, with many in a good state of conservation.
There has been an abundance of water in the Ram Bagh area of Karachi since ancient times and many wells were dug here to supply water to the residents that settled around it. According to Hindu belief, the Hindu avatars Ram, Sita and Lakshman stayed at this location on their way to Hinglaj pilgrimage after spending 14 years in a jungle. Since that time, Ram Bagh became a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Arif Hasan claims Karachi was called Ramya in some Greek texts.
The British built an army cantonment in Ram Bagh area after they conquered Karachi from the Kalmati in 1839. The Ram Bagh Quarter had three water tanks, including a prominent one named the Rambagh Tank, which was 9 acres in size. The British named the entire locality as Ram Bagh after this water tank. Wells in Ram Bagh were used to supply the British Cantonment to the east. During the 1857 Mutiny against British rule, rebels were blasted by canons by the British forces in Ram Bagh.
In 1939, Deewan Jethanand built Ram Bagh -a park positioned near Swami Narayan temple, which is located on the nearby Burns Road. Ram Bagh was used for Hindu religious gatherings and celebrations, as well as political gatherings. The Ramlila story was enacted in Ram Bagh annually which lasted ten days.
During the partition of British India in 1947, some homes of the Hindu community in Ram Bagh were looted; during this time, thousands of Muslim refugees from India set up camps in Ram Bagh and it was renamed as Aram Bagh i.e. Garden of relaxation, to mark the end of their arduous journey to Pakistan. The area is still home to about 40 Hindu families, who report good relations with their Muslim neighbors.