The founder of the state of Bahawalpur was Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbasi I. The Abbasi family ruled over the State for more than 200 years (1748 to 1954). During the rule of the last Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi, Bahawalpur State was merged with Pakistan in 1954. Bahawalpur was the capital of the state and now it is the District Headquarter of Bahawalpur with the District Nazim as the Chief of the district government. It is an important marketing centre for the surrounding areas and is located on the crossroads between Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. Saraiki is the language of the area. Urdu, Punjabi and English are also spoken and understood by most of the people.
When to Go
Bhawalpur can be visit thoroughout the year.
How to Reach
Bahawalpur is one of the safest cities in Punjab. It has its own airport which connect all major cities in Pakistan. PIA operate in Bahawalpur to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. A new airport is also built near the old airport and it is expected that international flights will operate at the new airport.
Bahawalpur is connected with all major cities of Pakistan by train.
From Lahore you can travel on KLP road.
Bus services are available throughout Pakistan. Bahawalpur has a very beautiful Daewoo Bus Terminal. You can catch a daewoo bus, from any big city like Karachi, Rawalpindi or Lahore and come to Bahawalpur directly.
Where to Stay
there are some 5 star hotels which are the best place to stay in the city is near the museum and library. Rs 3,300 single, Rs 4,200 double.
Hotel at Fawara Chowk. Basic hotel on a noisy junction - rooms have a/c and en suite. OK for a nights sleep but not somewhere to linger Rs 1,800.
A Continential Aging hotel near the centre of town. Rooms OK but a/c doesn't work when the hotel is running on its generator. Ask for a room away from the street. Rs 2,000- 2,500
What to Eat
Naan:Fluffy delicious bread. Kebabs: Always a delicious treat made from a variety of meats. Sohn Halwa: Sohn Halwa is the most special sweet dish of Bahawalpur. You can buy most delicious and fantastic Sohn Halwa mixed with dry fruits and nuts from certain old halwa maker shops.
4 Seasons, Muhammad Bin Qasim Rd (near Railway station). A restaurant Plush modern decor and an ambitious menu covering steaks, pizza, pasta, Chinese and other cuisines, this is the most Western place in town. Food is acceptable and the service good - although not much English is spoken. mains around Rs 500.
What to Do
Visit the villages where they work on tie and dye work.
What to Buy
You can buy local tie and dye clothes (Chunri) from the local markets. Silver jewelry is also very pretty. Handmade close sandals (with embroidery) called khussas are also available at affordable prices (about $5 for a pair)
What to See
Bahawalpur has a modest museum with a fine collection of coins, medals, postage stamps of former State of Bahawalpur, manuscripts, documents, inscriptions, wood carvings, camel skin paintings, historical models and stone carvings etc. of Islamic and pre-Islamic period. There is a complete set of medals of all classes issued by the ex-state to its military officers/civilians and to other important citizens of the ex-state.
The Zoological Garden of Bahawalpur is considered to be one of the best in the country. Spread over an area of 25 acres of land, it has an interesting collection of over 200 animals and 100 birds of tropical areas, particularly those found in this region. The zoo has the distinction of occasional breeding of lion and supply of beasts to other zoos in the country. It also has an aquarium and zoological museum with stuffed rare birds and animals.
It is housed in a building having fine architectural value. The foundation stone of this building was laid by the then Governor and Viceroy of India Sir Rufus Daniel Isaacs on 8 March, 1924 to mark the installation of late Nawab of Bahawalpur Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V. The Central Library was established in 1947 in this building. It has vast collection of books and rare manuscripts. It is one of the best libraries in Pakistan and visited by students and scholars from within the country and abroad. Dring Stadium: Bahawalpur has one of the finest Stadiums in the country having fine cricket grounds, two football grounds, one basketball court and six lawn tennis courts and a covered swimming pool. There is also a hockey stadium, which is considered to be the second best in the country after Karachi stadium. It can accommodate 13,000 people at a time.
Shrine of Muluk Shah
The Shrine of Muluk Shah, a popular saint of his time, is located in the city and visited by devotees on every Thursday, Ashura and Eid days. A small fair is also held here annually.
Jamia Masjid AI-Sadiq
It was made by the Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi Vat the elevation of more than 12 feet from earth, It can house 50,000 people at a time, during the Eid Festivals. It is a well reputed Mosque in Pakistan like other prominent Mosques of Pakistan.
Lal Suhanra National Park
This park is ideal for recreation, education or research but shooting is forbidden. Located this park 36 km east of Bahawalpur, this park is a combination of a natural lake and forest on 77,480 acres of land and spread over on both sides of the Bahawal canal. It has watch-towers, catching ground, tourist huts, rest houses, camping grounds and treks for the visitors and lovers of nature.
Hog deer, ravine deer, black buck and blue bull are common. Fox, jackaals, hares, porcupines, mongoose, arks, owls and hawks are also found. Wild boars are found in large numbers in the forest areas.
The Panjnad Head Works is located 12km away from Uch Sharif where all the five rivers of Punjab meet. It is a nice picnic spot with scenic beauty.
Dera Nawab Sahib
It is 55 km from Bahawalpur and the residential headquarters of the Nawabs of Bahawalpur. Almost every Nawab has built a palace for himself at this place. Sadiq Garh, Palace built during the rule of Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV between 1882-1885 is the finest building there.
The old fort of Munde Shahid, 50 km from Bahawalpur and Marot Fort are considered to be antiquities. A place outside the Marot Fort is known as Baithak Maula Ali’. The tomb of Naugaza (Nine yards man) is located in the Munde Shahid Fort.
It is 30 km from Bahawalpur. It is said that there are seven tombs known as All Ashab’. These tombs are said to be of the companions of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). A fair is held in the village, inthe month of Jeth (May and on Fridays in the month of ‘Har’ (June).
Other shrines of Bahawalpur Division are that of Khawaja Noor Muhammad known as Qibla-e-AIam at Chishtian, Shrine of another saint at Chachran and the shrine of Hazrat Mohkam Din known as ‘Sahib-us-Sair’ (great traveller) at Khangah Sharif, 20 km from Bahawalpur.
Mosque has played vital role in promotion of Islamic teachings and practices in the Muslim World. Besides religious activities, it reflects Islamic culture and architectural heritage; Inspired by the role of mosque, Sardar Rais Ghazi Muhammad, grandfather of Rais Munir Ahmed laid foundation stone of famous, “Bhong Mosque”. Bhong is in Rahim Yar Khan District, about 200 km from Bahawalpur. This mosque was conferred upon the Agha Khan Architectural Award for 1986 which was received by the father of Rais Munir Ahmed from His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, on behalf of late Sardar Rais Ghazi Muhammad, at Marrakesh. Gold foils have been used to intricate decorative work and stylish calligraphic work in the mosque, which has made it famous for its beauty.The construction, was started in 1932 and was completed in 1982. This magnificent mosque is visited daily by dozons of People including foreign tourists and diplomats. On the occasion of Independence Day (August 14, 2003), the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has conferred Sitrara-e-Imtiaz to Late Sardar Rais Ghazi Muhammad for excellence in designing and architecture of Bhong Mosque.
Bhutta Wahan is 15 km from Rahim Yar Khan. It is believed to be the birthplace of Sassi’, one of the legendary lovers “Sassi and Punnu”. It is also believed to be the birth place of “Abu-al-Fazal and Faizi,” the sons of MulIah Mubarak and fomous courtiers of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. The legend has it, that if a woman gives birth to a child at this place, the child is sure to get the fame of a statesman like Abu al-Fazal, scholar like Faizi or a lover like “Sassi”. But nobody knows the sacred place precisely!