Hill Park, Karachi
Hill Park (Urdu: باغ کوہ ) is situated on a hilltop surrounded by a residential area known as PECHS neighborhood of Jamshed Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. The park is spread over of 62 acres of this only 25% area has been developed as park. It has many amusement spots, fast food centers, restaurants, an artificial lake and other facilities. Each day people from all parts of the city, especially families, visit this park.
The Administration of Ayub Khan approved Hill Park in the mid-1960s as there were not many recreational spots around the city during those days. Due to the location and structure of the hill in the midst of the PECHS Society, the authorities decided to build a park over there. The construction work started in 1965. And there was a small notice board, which read in Urdu: Yahan hill park baney ga - Hill park will be constructed here.
During the 1960s, before the Hill Park was developed, people from all over the city showed up, particularly students from local colleges and universities. In 1969 when the construction work completed, the park became lively and active. It turned into a picnic spot where people could spend some time to relax and enjoy the company of their friends and families. On Saturday and Sunday evenings the hill park swarmed with families. During the early days the park was also used for filming by the Television and film industry. Local businessmen also used it in the late evenings as a relaxation spot after a hectic days work. When the park first opened, there was artificial lake in the middle of the park with ducks swimming in it. The site was a major attraction for the children who spent time at the Hill Park during the 1960s. There was also an old movie projector that played classic Pakistani movies, for which you'd get your seats under a sea of sparkling stars. This was all during the Pre-VCR age when there was not much entertainment around the city, however this projector was closed in 1980s and its building is currently in a bad condition that shows memories of good days when people come to entertained themselves. Later with the passage of time, Meiraj Amusement Park developed in the eastern corner and Shezan Restaurant in the west. And then someone opened a fitness center and a karate school behind the Mairaj Amusement park in 1973-74.
In the early 90s, Hill Park saw the addition of one more park named "Ali Baba Theme Park", fast food centers and recently opened restaurants like the Oasis. 3 Coins is one of the most popular restaurants at the moment. Despite the fact that today’s Hill Park has changed and has become a crowded spot, this fabulous park had been built in such a manner that one could still find the same calm and peaceful atmosphere of yesterday. It is a popular place for couples to meet up discretely.
In 2006, a group of young people started meeting in Hill Park every two weeks, reading excerpts, from writings, playing music, reciting poetry and most of all discussing and putting views and ideas across ina public setting. The group was fluid in that a different set of people attended every time, with some regular entities. Topics ranged from literature, digital arts,and politics to gender and development and art projects in the city. This was the Hill Park Group and lasted for about two years. It was a conscious city wide trend to increase cultural interaction with 'others' in public spaces. Since then other groups have spawned. The email list is still active in announcing cultural events.
- KARACHI: Hill Park’s renovation being planned, Publisher: Dawn News, Published on 9 March 2008, Retrieved on 19 September 2012