above couple let by a Persian poet describes the primordial
environment of the historic city of Multan. But that has changed
now and not only the city of Multan but the district itself
has been transformed into a green, fertile area. It is fact
becoming an industrial town. The city has its own charm, culture
and crafts. The origin of the name ‘Multan’ is obscure and so
is the period of its founding. It has been Mulosan pulu by Hiuen
Tsang and Alberuni called it Multana, which ultimately came
to be called Multan.
The history of Multan prior to the arrival of Arabs in
the 8th century A.D is obscure. Alexander is said
to have passed through the district in about 325-326 B.C, but
his route cannot be traced. It is probable that Multan was the
city of Malli which Alexander stormed and where he was wounded.
327 B.C. the Macedonians were ousted by Chandragupta and the
Maurya dynasty remained in power till the beginning of the second
century A.D. From 30 B.C to 470 A.D., the Kushan dynasty ruled
over the area, and from 470 A.D to 550 A.D., the White Huns
are believed to have held sway.
figured as the capital of an important province of the kingdom
of Sindh in the writings of the early Arab geographers. At the
time the Arabs first came to Sindh, the country was ruled by
Raja Chach, a Brahmin. Multan was conquered by Arabs under Muhammad
Bin Qasim in 712 A.D . After
defeating Raja Dahir, a descendant of Chach.
the town remained for the three centuries the out post of Islam
in India, under the caliph of Baghdad. It remained nominally
subject to the Lodhies, Ghaznavids and Muhammad Ghauri upto
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.
1397 came the invasion by Taimur, whose troops occupied Uch
and Multan, sacked Tulamba, raided the Kohkhars of Ravi and
past across Biass to Pakpattan and Delhi. In 1528, comes the
peace full transfer of the province of Multan to the emissaries
of the Mughal Emperor Babar. Under the Mughal Emperors, Multan
enjoyed a long period of peace between 1528-1748 and was known
1752 Multan became a province owing allegiance to Afghan kings.
It was then ruled by Pathan governors and Daud Putra chiefs
of Bahawlpur 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 man in history Muhammad Tughlaq is said
to have been born in 13th century in a hamlet and
the place, which is known as “ Kotla Toleh Khan “. Emperor Bahlole
Lodhi was born in Qazian Wala Makan near Hussain Agahi. Ahmed
Shah Abdali, the first Durrani sovereign of Afghanistan , was
also born at Multan in 1722.
city of Multan is bound on the north by the depression lying
between it and the front 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.
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 room the
city by old bed of river Ravi. Its date cannot be fixed with
accuracy. 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 1948. At present it is survived by some parts of
the old rampart and bastions besides the shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin
Zakaria and Shah Rukne-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 panoramic view of Multan
city can be had from the highest point in
The devastation of Khorasan and Western Iran was to the
benefit of this part of Pakistan, for it led to the setting
in this city of a large Gardezi Syeds and Qureshis from Khwarizm,
amongst whom Shiekh Bahauddin Zakaria is a famous saint. About
the same time Pir Shams Sabzawari 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.
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.
Sikhi Sarwar’s father also emigrated form Bukhara to Sarwar
Shah Kot in Multan district. These venerable men contributed
greatly to spreading Islam in this area. The saints and shrines
of Multan have been attracting a large number of devotees all
of the foremost scholars of Islam, Sheikh Baha-ud-din Zakaria’s
shrine is located in the fort. He was
born in 1170 A.D., studied in Turan and Iran and received
instructions from Sheikh Shahab-ud-din Suharwardi at Baghdad.
His mausoleum was built by the saint himself. It was a unique
style of architecture of that period, a only other being at
Sonepat in India. It also houses the graves of
most of the eminent members of the Qureshi family, including
that of Nawab Muzaffar Khan.
The mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e –Alam, the grand son of Sheikh
Bahauddin Zakaria, this also located near the main gate of the
Multan fort. He was also a man of great religious and political
influence during the Tughlaq region and was in Multan when it
was visited by Ibn-e-Batuta. The Mausoleum was originally built
by emperor Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq but was given up by his son
Muhammad Tughlaq in favor 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 being given the Agha Khan
award for the best Muslim architecture. Some of the interesting
statistics of its architecture are:
(a) Total height of the road level is 150ft
(b) Total height of building is 100ft
(c) Octagonal upper structure diameter is 26ft
(d) Octagonal lower structure diameter is 52ft
(e) The dome on top has a diameter of 58ft
mausoleum has very rich geometric pattern, calligraphy and colorful
floral, mosaic and glaze tile work. The shrine is visited by
devotees all year around.
shrine of Hazrat Shams Sabzwari is located near Aam-khas garden.
A descended of Imam Jaffar, he was born in 1165 A.D., the saint
died in 1276 A.D., and is shrine was built by his grand son
in 1330 A.D.
Other shrines in Multan include those of Mohammad Yousaf
Gardezi near Bohar Gate, Musa Pak Shaheed inside the Pak Gate,
Totla Mai Haram Gate, Shah Ali Akbar, a descendant of Shah Shams
Sabzwari, in Suraj Miani and Baba Safra near Eidgah.
The famous mosques of Multan are Wali Mohammad Mosque in
Chowk Bazar built by Ali Mohammad Khakwani in 1758 A.D., Mosque
Phulhatt in Chowk Bazar built by Emperor Farrukh Siyar, Baqarabadi
Mosque built by Baqar Khan in 1720 A.D. and the beautiful Eidgah
Mosque built by Nawab Abdul Samad Khan in 1735 A.D.
Multan has some beautiful modern buildings such as
Nishtar Medical College, University Campus, Arts Council building
with and auditorium, Multan Railway Station building the famous
Clock Tower building of the Multan Municipal Corporation and
State Bank of Pakistan etc.
are places of recreation in Multan such as the Stadium, the
Lake Chaman zar-e-Askari and Company Bagh in the Multan Fort,
Lange Khan Garden, Aam-Khas Garden and the parks at Bohar Gate,
Chowk Shaheedan, Tabbi Sher Khan and the Nawan Shaher in and
Fairs and Meals
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 Zakaria, Shah Shams Sabzwari, Shah
Jamal, Sher Shah and Mela Ludden Pir, etc.