About Bahawalpur | History, Culture & Famous Places

Famous Tourist Spots of Bahawalpur - Noor Mahal, Darbar Mahal, Head Punjnad, Museum and National Park


(Reminder of a Glorious Past)

Bahawalpur division has an area of 15918 square feet which is equal to the European country Denmark. It is situated 192 km from Rahim Yar Khan. It is connected to all the major cities of Pakistan via airport and road.It has splendid pieces of architecture, parks, and educational institutes. Famous for handicrafts, and pottery, there are agro-based industries too.It is the capital of the former state Bahawalpur and the headquarter of the Bahawalpur division of Pakistan to date.

Key information about Bahawalpur 

Category Details
Location Southern Punjab, Pakistan
Area 24,830 square kilometers (9,602 sq mi)
Population Approximately 3.7 million (as of last census)
Language Urdu, Saraiki, Punjabi
Climate Arid climate with hot summers and mild winters
Economy Agriculture, trade, and small-scale industries
Major Crops Cotton, wheat, sugarcane
Historical Significance Former princely state, part of British India
Culture Rich cultural heritage, traditional music and dance
Landmarks Derawar Fort, Noor Mahal, Sadiq Garh Palace
Education Bahauddin Zakariya University, numerous schools and colleges
Transportation Well-connected by road, limited air connectivity
Government Administrative divisions, part of Punjab province
Tourist Attractions Lal Suhanra National Park, Abbasi Mosque
Industries Textiles, agro-based industries, handicrafts
Notable Festivals Eid, Basant, Urs celebrations at shrines

History of Bahawalpur

In the early ages, it was under the rule of a monarch. They called themselves the descendent of Hazrat Abbas (R.A). After the death of the last Abbasi caliph of Bagdad, their progeny immigrated to Iraq and then to the Sindh through Makran.

From the progenies of the caliph, Kulhora ruled over the Sindh and Dawood Potay led the foundation of the Bahawalpur state.

Later on, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan’s grandson, Abbasi Awal established a united state of Bahawalpur in 1748.

In 1849, the Britishers subjugated the subcontinent and this state. Bahawalpur is the first state which unified Pakistan on 3rd October 1947. The credit goes to Ameer Bahawalpur Muhammad Khan Khamis.

In the Suburbs of Bahawalpur City

Dera Nawab Sahib

The homeland of the former minister of Bahawalpur state is Nawab Sahib. Situated 50 km from Bahawalpur, it holds significant importance because of the Gateway to the Cholistan desert.

Sadiq Garh palace can be viewed from the outside.

Sadiq Garh Palace, An ancient masterpiece in Dera Nawab Sahib

Dera Nawab Sahib and Ahmad Pur Sharqiyah are twin cities.

 Head Punjnad

This head is 20 km from Uch Sharif.

All the five large rivers in Punjab are mixed at this point. Jhelum and Ravi mixed with Chenab. River Bayas connects with Sutlej.

Head Punjnad Indus River View

Sutlej and Chenab fall into Punjnad near Uch Sharif. This river water goes beyond 45 miles and enters into the Indus River at Mithan Kot. Finally, it falls into the Arabian sea. This head has parks and restaurants for tourists.

Sui Wahar

Gullen town is situated 28 km away on the way from Ahmad Pur to Bahawalpur. The historic monastery of Sui Wahar is 2 km on the left from Gullen.

Before the formation of Pakistan, a copper inscription was recovered from here which confirmed that Raja Kanishka had built Sui Vihar Monastery in 132 AH, eleven years after his accession to the throne.

The stone was not accessible at this place. Therefore, bricks were baked and used. They were large in size.

When the railway line was led, these bricks were used as gravel by the contractors. Mehrab Pur near Sui Wahar is the birthplace of the former Prime Minister of India Bajpai.

Cholistan Desert

The local name of the Cholistan Desert is Rohi. It is 30km away from Bahawalpur City and is famous for Jeep Rally held every year. Derawar fort and Jamiyah mosque are worth visiting places there.

Desert-Safari., Bahawalpur
Vehicles on the tracks of Desert Cholistan during Jeep Rally

Bahawalpur City

The old city of Bahawalpur, like Lahore and Multan, was within a circular road and wall.

Today’s Bahawalpur is recognized due to Noor Mahal, Darbar Mahal, Sadiq Mosque, Victoria Hospital, Quaid -e- Azam Medical college, Sadiq Public School, Zoological Garden, and Dring Stadium Complex.

This cultural area is located within a circular road. Kaptan Kay Pai is a famous food point. It is also famous for Khussa (a special kind of footwear).

Strong Walls was built around the city. They were destroyed with time but the name of the six doors still exists.

Famous Historical Places in Bahawalpur

Jamiya Mosque Al-Sadiq

This mosque is situated in Chowk Bazar and it was constructed by Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan-II. It had only one floor.Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan-V gave the idea of its renovation. Under the plan, a large bazaar was built on the ground floor behind the Jama Masjid and dedicated to the mosque.

A beautiful mosque in Bahawalpur

And the courtyard of the old mosque was roofed and a new mosque building was built on the upper floor and the bazaar. Now, 20,000 people can offer prayer at one time.A clock tower was built on the upper floor. It was imported from Big Ban London. But it was against Islamic rules so the Ulema gave the order to remove it.Since it is located in the center of the city, people can enter from any gate.

Noor Mahal

In 1872, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan-IV built a palace on the northern side of Bahawalpur near Basti Malooq Shah. It was named “Noor Mahal”.This crystalline white building looks like a beacon of light from afar. Stretching over a large area, Noor Mahal’s structure is based on the Italian architectural style.

Noor Mahal Bahawalpur

Its map was designed by the engineer of the state Mr. Henein. It was completed in 1875 at a cost of 12 lacs. The furniture was imported from Italy and United Kingdom.Surrounding an area of 4140 square meters, this palace has 32 rooms, 14 basements, 6 verandas, and five dooms. In 1902, Nawab Muhmmad Bahwal Khan-V constructed a beautiful mosque on its boundary.The mosque design is replicated with the Aitchison college design. He was a student of that college. In 2001, the Government of Pakistan announced it as a monument.

Darbar Mahal

This palace was constructed by Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi-IV. Its construction was started in 1881 and completed in 1886. He spent 2 lacs on this fort-shaped Palace.It was a combination of many buildings. There were small palaces in it.A box was placed in front of the main door. The people used to put their applications and complaint letters there. Nawab Sahib opened the box daily. He listened to the problems and applications and gave the order to solve them.

The fascinating historical building of Darbar Mahal

Later on, the court was held there. It was famous as “Darbar Mahal”. Nowadays, Pakistan’s army offices are located there.The other palaces of Nawab Sahib are Gulzar Mahal, and Farrukh Mahal. Gulzar Mahal is also in the army’s custody.

An astonishing aerial view of Gulzar Mahal

Nishat Mahal and Farrukh Mahal are constructed in Dera Nawab Sahib and they are in the ownership of Nawab Sahib’s Family.Most of the palaces were built in the era of Nawab Muhammad Sadiq-IV. He is truly the Shah Jahan of Bahawalpur.

Bahawalpur Museum

This museum was established in 1976 for the protection of the culture, traditions, and history of the area. This museum is the biggest inheritor of the history of Bahawalpur state.This museum tells the history of Nawab of Bahawalpur-I to its integration with Pakistan through different items and pictures.The regional culture of Cholistan is depicted in a separate gallery. The sacred antiques of righteous caliphs of Islam and items before Christ are also exhibited.

An old vehicle in Bahawalpur Museum

Pakistan’s monument gallery, Islamic art gallery, archaeological gallery, Gandara art gallery, Hindu gallery, cultural gallery, Bahawalpur gallery, and Cholistani gallery are established there.A century-old railway steam engine from Punjnad Headworks is exhibited in the courtyard of the museum.It is located on the library road connected to Circular Road. Central Public Library and Sadiq Public School on Ahmad Pur Road are worth-watching buildings.

Craft Bazar

For the promotion of Bahawalpur’s local traditions and cultures, a craft Bazaar was established on 29th December 2011.Women’s home crafts industry is being encouraged through a display hall and a center. Moreover, TEVTA, PVTC, Punjab small industries corporation, police, private organizations, and businessmen have arranged different exhibitions for the demonstrations of local and domestic industry items.

Bahawalpur zoo and museum of Natural History.

Bahawalpur zoo was established by Nawab of Bahawalpur in 1942. In 1955, after the integration of the state of Bahawalpur with Pakistan, it was given under the control of the department of agriculture.From 1977 to 1982, this zoo was under the administration of the Punjab Livestock department. This zoo is famous for the breeding of lions and other livestock.

Peacocks dancing in the Bahawalpur zoo

The first-ever breeding of Bengal tigers, Asiatic cheetah or leopards, and black bear in Pakistan was done there. A museum named the museum of natural history was established for creating awareness about wildlife.

Lal Suhanra National Park

Lal Suhanra Park is a beautiful amalgamation of the forest, desert lake, and desert situated 36 km away on the east side of Bahawalnagar Road.

The stream in Lal Suhanra Park Bahawalpur

It was established in 1972 and extends up to an area of 162,568 acres. There is a headwork near Lal Suhanra Park. Large Canals are rising from this headwork and they irrigate the desert area.A children’s park is built on an area of 100 acres. A beautiful lake is built in an area of 7480 acres. This lake has boats and motor launches. A TDCP information center is also located here.

Different places are allocated for Rhinoceros, chinkara deer, black deer, Belgian Blue cow, and many other birds. A watchtower is fixed at a height for taking an aerial view of the natural beauty of the park.A rest house is established at a height named whispering hill. People can book this rest from the Bahawalpur office.

Famous Schools in Bahawalpur

  • Sadiq Public School: Renowned for its academic excellence and holistic education.
  • The City School: A prominent institution offering quality education.

Notable Colleges in Bahawalpur

  • Islamia University College: Affiliated with Islamia University Bahawalpur, known for a range of undergraduate programs.
  • Punjab College: A well-established college providing intermediate and bachelor’s degree programs.

Popular Restaurants in Bahawalpur

  • Mughal Mahal: Known for its delicious Mughlai cuisine and elegant ambiance.
  • Food Street Bahawalpur: A vibrant street with various local and international food options.

Prominent Hospitals in Bahawalpur

  • Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH): A major healthcare facility offering a wide range of medical services.
  • CMH Bahawalpur: Combined Military Hospital providing quality healthcare services to civilians and military personnel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is the significance of Bahawalpur?

Bahawalpur is a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and architectural landmarks. It was once the seat of the princely state of Bahawalpur.

How do I reach Bahawalpur?

Bahawalpur is well-connected by road, rail, and air. You can reach it by taking a domestic flight, a train, or by using the extensive road network.

What are the must-visit attractions in Bahawalpur?

Some of the prominent attractions include Noor Mahal, Derawar Fort, Bahawalpur Museum, and the Abbasi Mosque. These landmarks showcase the city’s historical and architectural significance.

Tell me about the cultural events in Bahawalpur.

Bahawalpur hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including festivals, fairs, and celebrations. These events often showcase the local art, music, and traditional crafts.

Is Bahawalpur a safe destination for tourists?

Bahawalpur is generally considered safe for tourists. Like any other destination, it’s advisable to take standard precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and following local guidelines.

What is the local cuisine like in Bahawalpur?

The local cuisine in Bahawalpur is diverse, offering a blend of traditional Pakistani dishes. You can savor local specialties like Sajji, Saag, and various types of Biryani.

Are there shopping opportunities in Bahawalpur?

Yes, Bahawalpur has bustling markets and bazaars where you can shop for traditional crafts, textiles, and souvenirs. The Shahi Bazaar is particularly known for its vibrant atmosphere.

Wind Up Lines

Bahawalpur is one of the historical cities of Pakistan. Darbar Mahal, Noor Mahal, Museum, and National Park make this a favorite tourist spot. Besides this, local industry plays a role in the economy.

Nizam Ud Deen Usman

He is known as Travel Blogger. He Visit around the Pakistan to explore the beauty of Pakistan. He is continuously updating his content to feed his reader the best they are searching for.

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