Monday, April 23, 2012

(Trip Report) The Gadani Graveyard of Ships

A Vessel Anchored at Gadani Ship Breaking Yard
Last week, I got the opportunity to visit the Gadani Ship Breaking Yard where big vessels are converted into scrap after exhausting their useful lives.

There were more than a dozen ships scattered on a scenic coastline; some had already been hammered while a few were waiting for their turn. It was amazing to see such gigantic structures turned into truckable pieces only with the help of human labor and basic tools.

Seth Orders

In clusters, those mammoth objects were visible from far, however, we were not sure initially which spot to select. One of the yards was walled and looked suitable to park the car but the security men there were reluctant to allow us inside because of the Seth orders. Most probably, those Seth did not want the external world to know the working conditions their poor labors are exposed to.

Luckily, one of the yards on the far end of the road had much relaxed security so we got the chance to see the big factory, or the converse of a factory plus a huge junkyard, from inside. We would have felt luckier if we could actually make into the amputated craft, which looked impossible without right connections.  

Where is the Nose of this Ship?
Here it is!
Another Liner Lined Up
The Rare One Has Already Lost its Walls
Steel - This is What All the Drama is About
Lifting it up
Going to the Sher Shah Kabari Market
Tax Payers Money; Who Cares

After spending a couple of hours Junaid and I decided to head back to the beach but a diversion on the way back - in the direction of the sea - tempted us to explore further. The paved road ended up in the parking lot of an inconspicuous building which was loaded with half a dozen double cabins and Prados. That was actually an advantageously located government rest house where the family of a minister from Quetta was relaxing at the expense of tax payers money.  

Out of Bound!
Not Recommended for Everyone!

As per Wikipedia, this is the third largest disbanding facility in the world so a highly recommended site for those who are interested in big objects and their engineering. With appropriate preparation, the trip can be clubbed with the beautiful Gadani beach killing two birds with one stone.

How to Get There

The place is around one and a half easy hour away from Karachi city center. Take the RCD Highway and continue past Hub city till you see the Gadani Police Station sign on the left hand side of the road. Take left and continue until the board appears mentioning Gadani beach on the right side while the Ship Breaking on the left. Continue until you chose a spot of your liking.

Gadani Junction on RCD Highway
Take Left for the Ship Breaking Yard


  1. Hi Muzzammil :) What inspired you to visit a ship breaking place? I once watched it on a documentary at Al Jazeera, don't remember though whether it's the same place you visited or some other in PK. Quite fascinating face of an industry - a globalisation in true sense of a word. I feel pity for the workers, that job is so difficult, dangerous and dirty I can hardly immagine those poor skiny men working for a couple of dollars a day.
    Indeed, your photos are excellent, I like visiting (environmentally problematic) industrial sites, but I doubt they would welcome me at most of them ...
    Greetings, Vesna (aka picek on VT).

    1. Comment on the photography comes as a pleasant surprise as friends usually suggest me to buy a good camera! ;-) but I'll not take them seriously from now (I've seen your skills on VT and they are beyond ordinary). In fact I'm now relying more and more on the mobile's ordinary camera and actually enjoying that because of less hassle.