Multan - General Information
Location: North Latitude 29-22’ and 30-45’ and East Longitude 71-4’ and 72-55’
Area: 45 square km
Population: 1,288, 170 (1998 census)
Languages: Urdu, Punjabi and Saraiki. English is spoken and understood by educated people.
Climate: Cold in winter and very hot in summer. The normal rainfall is about 6” during the monsoon from July to September.
Wildlife: Fox, Jackal and wild boar. Amongst birds are grey and black partridges, sand-grouse visit the district in winter, quail, plover and pigeons are common.
Multan has its own charm, culture and crafts. It is fast becoming an industrial town. It was called as Mulosan Pulu by Hiuen Tsang and Alberuni called it Multana which ultimately came to be called Multan
Alexander is said to have passed through Multan in about 325 326 B C It is probable that Multan was the city of Malt which Alexander stormed and where he was wounded. About 327 BC, the Macedonians were ousted by Chandragupta and the Maurya dynasty remained in power till the beginning of the second century AD. from 30 BC to 470 AD, The Kushan dynasty ruled over the area, and from 470 to 550 AD, the White Huns are believed to have held sway. Multan figures as the capital of an important province of the L Kingdom of Sindh in the writings of the early Arab geographers. When the Arabs first came to Sindh, the country was ruled by Raja Chach, a Brahmin. Multan was conquered. By Arabs under Mohammad Bin Qasim in 712 AD, after defeating Raja Dahir, a descendant of Chach. Thereafter, the town remained for three centuries the outpost of slam in South Asia under the Caliph of Baghdad It remained nominally subject to the Lodhies Ghaznavids and Mohammad Ghauri up to the end of 12th century. From the beginning of the 13th century for the next three centu the history of Multan is practically the Ghaznavids and Mohammad Ghauri up to the end of 12th century. From the beginning of the 13th century for the next three centuries the history of Multan is practically the history of the incursions from Western and Central Asia.
In 1397, came the invasion of Taimur, whose troops occupied Uch and Multan, sacked Tulamba, raided the Kohkhars of Ravi and passed across Bias to Pakpattan and Delhi. In 1528, came the peaceful transfer of the province of Multan to the emissaries of the Mughal Emperor Babar. Under the Mughal Empire, Multan enjoyed a long period of peace between 1528 -1748 and was known as Dar-ul-Aman (city of peace). In 1752, Multan became a province owing allegiance to Afghan Kings. It was then ruled by Pathan Governors and Daud Putra Chiefs of Bahawalpur for some time. After 1771, Multan witnessed continued warfare between Sikhs and the Nawabs of Multan. Between 1818 and 1845, it remained under the Sikh rule and finally came under the British rule in 1849.
Multan city has the distinction of being the birthplace of three distinguished men in history: Mohammad Tughlaq is said to have been born in 13th century in a hamlet at the place which is now known as ‘Kotla Toleh Khan’. Emperor BahIol Lodhi was bron in Qazian wala Makan near Hussain Agahi. Ahmed Shah Abdali, the first Durrani sovereign of Afghanistan, was also born at Multan in 1722. The city of Multan is bound on the north by the depression lying between it and the fort and on all other sides by a brick wall. It has six Gates i.e Lohari Gate, Pak Gate, Bohar Gate, Delhi Gate, Haram Gate and Daulat Gate. The old city has narrow colorful bazaars full of local handicrafts and narrow winding lanes. There are many places of historical, cultural and recreational interest in the city.
Multan Fort was built on a mound separating it from the city by the old bed of river Ravi. When intact, its circumference was 6,600 ft. having 46 bastions, including two towers at each of the four gates i.e., Delhi Gate, Khizri Gate, Sikhi Gate and Rehri Gate. The Fort was ravaged by the British to avenge the murder of one Mr. Agnew in 1848. At present, it is survived by some parts of the old rampart and bastions besidesthe shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria and Shah Rukn-e-Alam, an obelisk in memory of Agnew and a Hindu temple. The famous Qasim Bagh and a stadium are located within the walls of the Fort. A panoramioc view of Multan city can be had from the highest point of the Fort.
The devastation of Khorasan and Western Iran was to the benefit of this part of Pakistan, for it led to the settling in this city of a large number of pious and learned men and noble families like Gardezi Syeds and Qureshis from Khwarzim, amongst whom Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria is a famous saint. About the same time, Pir Shams Sabzwari from Sabzwar and Kazi Qutubuddin from Kashan came to Multan. Baba Farid Shakar Ganj was born in a village of Multan, and settled in Pakpattan. Khawaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki passed through Multan to Delhi and Syed Jalal, the spiritual leader of many families in Multan, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur, came to Uch. Sultan Sakhi Sarwar’s father also emigrated from Bukhara to Sarwar Shah Kot in Multan district. These venerable men contributed greatly in spreading Islam in this area. The saints and shrines of Multan have been attracting a large number of devotees around the year. One of the foremost scholars of Islam, Shaikh Bah-ud-din Zikria’s shrine is located in the Fort. He was born in 1170 AD, studied in Turan and Iran and received instructions from Shaikh Shahab ud-Din Suharwardi at Baghdad. His Mausoleum was built by the saint himself. It has a unique style of architecture of that period, It also houses the graves of most of the eminent members of the Qureshi family, including that of Nawab Muzafar Khan.
The Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, the grandson of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria, is located near the main gate of the Multan Fort. He was a man of great religious and political influence during the Tughlaq reign and was in Multan when it was visited by lbn-e-Batuta. The Mausoleum was originally built by Emperor Ghayasud Din Tughlaq but was given up by his son Muhammad Tughlaq in favour of Shah Rukn-e-Alam. Besides its religious importance, the Mausoleum has a unique architectural value, Its dome is considered to be the second largest in the world. The Mausoleum has recently been given the Agha Khan award for the best Muslim architecture. Some of the interesting statistics of its architecture are:
(a) Total height above the road level is 150 ft
(b) Total height of building is 100 ft
(c) Octagonal upper structure diameter is 26 ft
(d) Octagonal lower structure diameter is 52 ft
(e) The dome on top has a diameter of 58 ft
The Mausoleum has very rich geometrical patterns, calligraphy and colourful floral, mosaic and glazed tile work. The shrine is visited by devotees around the year. The Shrine of Hazrat Shams Sabzwari is located near Aam-Khas Garden. A descendant of Imam Jaffar, he was born in 1165 AD. The saint died in 1276 AD. and his shrine was built by his grandson in 1330 AD.
Shrines Located In Multan
1. Hazrat Ghous Bahauddin Zikria Multani Qua Kuhna, Qasim Bagh.
2. Hazrat Shah Ruknuddin Alam Suharwardy, Qasim Bagh.
3. Hazrat Pir Sadaruddin Arif, Qasim Bagh.
4. Hazrat Pir Muddabir Shah Bukhari, Qasim Bagh.
5. Hazrat Maulana Hamid Au Khan, Qasim Bagh.
6. Hazrat Syed Sakhee Shah Hasan Parwana, Hasan Parwana Road.
7. Hazrat Shah Shams Sabzwari, Shah Shams Road
8. Hazrat Pir Masoom Shah Buhkari, Masoom Shah Road
9. Hazrat Hafiz Jamalullah Hafiz, Jamal Road
10.Hazrat Shah Yousaf Gardaiz, Inside Bohar Gate
11 .Hazrat Adham Shah Almaroof Pir Nou Gaz, Moh. Dhundian, Androon Bohar Gate
12.Hazrat Pir Burhanuddin, Qabrastan Pir Karam Shah, Circular Road, Almaroof Pir Athara Gaz Beroon Bohar Gate
13.Hazrat Muhabbat Shah Bukhari, Tehsil Road, Bagh Langay Khan
14.Hazrat Syed Musa Pak Shaheed, Mohala Gilanlyari, Inside Pak Gate.
15.Hazrat Fir Nawab Sakhee, inside Pak Gage.
16.Hazrat Pir Makhdoom Shaukat Husssain Gilani,Darbar Fir Musa Pak Shaheed, Inside Pak Gate
17.Hazrat Pir Inayat Walayat, Moh. Gilaniyan, Androon Fak Gate.
18.Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Saeed Kazmi, Shahi Eid Gah, Khanewal Road
1 9.Hazrat Fir Wall Muhammad Shah Almaroof Chader Wall Sarkar Main Road, Hasan Farwana Colony
20.Hazrat Bibi Rasti Fak Daman, Qabrastan Pak Mai, Opp City Railway Station
21 .Hazrat Fir Muhammad Umar, Qabristan Fir Umer, Shahrah-e- Rashid
22.Hazrat Baba Abdul Rasheed Zikria, Chowk Bazar
23.Hazrat Shah Dana Shaheed, Moh. Kangraan, Androon Delhi Gate
24.Hazrat Fir Hussain Aagahi, Bazar Hussain Aagahi
25.Hazrat Pir Kaley Shah Bazar, Kaley Mandi
26.Hazrat Shayedi Lal Sahib, Moh. Shayedi Lal, Near City Railway Station.
27.Hazrat Baba Gharib Shah, Sher Shah Road
28.Hazrat Sher Shah Suherwardy, Chenab Road, Sher Shah
29.Hazrat Maouj Darya Bukhari, Chowk Maouj Darya
30.Hazrat Jalauddin Baqiri, Qabristan Baqiri
31 .Hazrat Fir Ghazi Jamal, Androon Bohar Gate
32.Hazrat Fir Qazi Mithoo, Hafiz Jamal Road
33.Hazrat Fir Dawood Jahaniyan, Moh. Dawood Jahaniyan
34.Hazrat Pir lnayat Tehiri, Ganna Mandi Pul, Sootri Wit
35.Hazrat Pir Yasiri Shah Gilani, Moh. Gilanian, Androon Haram Gate
36.Hazrat Abdul Rasheed Kirmani, Moh. Bhartian, Androon Loharl Gate
Mosques of Multan
The famous mosques of Multan are: Wali Mohammad Mosque in Chowk Bazar, built by All Muhammad Khakwafli in 1758 AD, Mosque Phulhatt in Chowk Bazar, built by Emperor Farrukh Siyar Baqarabadi Mosque built by Baqar Khan in 1720 AD and the beautiful Eidgah Mosque, built by Nawab Abdul Samad Khan in 1735 AD.
Multan has some beautiful modern buildings such as Nishtar Medical College, University Campus, Arts Council building with an auditorium, Multan Railway Station Bahauddin Zakria the famous Clock Tower building of the Multan Municipal Corporation and State Bank of Pakistan etc There are places of recreation in Multan such as the Stadium d the Lake Chaman Zar e Askari and Company Bagh in the Cantonment the Stadium and Qasim Bagh in the Multan Fort Lange Khan Garden Am Khas Garden and the parks at Bohar Gate, Chowk Shaheedan, Tabbi Sher Khan and the Nawan Shaher and around Multan.
Fairs & Festivals
Religious festivals in Multan are a peculiar mixture of devotion and recreation. Multan is famous for its shrines. Annual urs is held on every shrine. Well known are the urs of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, Bahauddin Zikaria, Shah Shams Sabzwari, Shah Jamal, Sher Shah and Mela Ludden Pir, etc.
When to Go
Tourist Season: October to March
How to Reach
Multan has an airport about 4 km from the city. PIA and other airlines operate daily flights between Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad via Multan and vice versa.
Multan is connected by rail with all parts of the country and lies on the main railway route between Karachi-Peshawar and Quetta-Lahore-Peshawar.
Multan is connected by daily A/c, Non A/c buses, mini vans wagons services with
Islambad, Murree, Lahore, Mianwali, Bahawalpur, Sukkur, Karachi, Dera Ghazi Khan,
Rawalpindi and Peshawar etc.
Buses, Wagons, taxis, auto rickshaws and tongas are available in the city.
Where to Stay
Multan is very developed city. There are so many hotels available to Stay, all types of hotels including 1, 3 and 5 stars hotels, guest houses and rest houses are available. Railway road, Nishtar road, old bhawalpur rooad and LMQ road are the main places where the hotels are available.
What to Eat
Western and Pakistani dishes are served in most of the restaurants. Lassi, Sharbat and Faluda are local cold drinks, Multani Halwa (Sweet Preparation) is also famous. Amongst fruits, mangoes, water-melons, kino, oranges, pomegranates, guavas and dates are grown in the district and are available during the season besides other fruits.
What to Buy
Local Handicrafts: Multan is famous for various types of souvenirs. Multani Khussa (shoes), embroidery work of all types, thread and ‘Aar’ work, costumes for ladies, embroidered cloths cholas or kurtas ‘for men” painted and glazed earthen pottery, Camel skin products, carpets and lacquered wooden products etc. are available in the narrow colourful bazaars.
Shopping Centres: Main shopping centres are Bazaar Hussain Agahi, Chowk Bazaar, Bohar Gate, Haram Gate, Delhi Gate, Lohari Gate and Pak Gate Bazaars in the old city and the Cantonment shopping area.
Costumes: The men in rural areas wear a Pag’ or Patka’ (turban) or sometimes a ‘Kulla,’ White or blue waist cloth or ‘Majhla’, a Chola’ or long shirt and a Chadar’ worn over the shoulders. In urban areas, Shalwar Qameez and the western dress is common. Women wear Shaiwar, Lehnga’ or ‘Ghagra’, ‘Chola’ and ‘Kurta’ of bright colours. Short sleeved ‘Choli’ or ‘Kurti’ is also worn in the rural areas. The head is covered with ‘Bochan’ or dupatta or embroidered and Phulkari chadars.