(The Land of the Mystics)
Multan city holds significant importance in history, culture, traditions, and spirituality. With the passage of time, Multan has gone through many floods, earthquakes, storms and hurricanes and so many other disasters but the signs of culture and traditions still exist.
According to the book “Punjab History” (تاریخ پنجاب), Multan was settled at the time of flood during the Noah (A.S) era. Renowned historian al-Biruni wrote in his book that Multan city is 216430 years old.
With a living history of 5,000 years, the city of Multan has buildings that have thousands of years of history at its foot and history seems to breathe in the bazaars and streets. Many rulers maintained their empires there. Every empire and every ruler has its own story.
The numerous signs of People with different religions ruling this city at different times are spread in Multan and its suburbs. The whole population of Multan used to live inside a strong wall. The river Ravi was the natural defense of the city. But the river Ravi and Chenab changed their paths.
There was a time when the Chenab can be seen from Damdama (The Damdama is a massive block of a building constructed on a mound of earth fill. It is the highest part of Fort Kohna Multan).
The oldest nations of the World grew up near rivers. River Nile, River Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, and Ravi civilizations are living examples.
Multan is compared with Rome (capital city of Italy). One of the common factors is that both cities are ancient and still exist. Ganja City in Azerbaijan, Lași city in Romania, and Bursa city of Turkey are declared the twin cities of Multan.
Multan city exists inside the wall. It has six doors. The entrance road of every door meets at the Chowk Bazaar. All the roads of the inner city are interconnected.
Bohar Gate, Haram Gate, Hussain Aghai, Gulghust, and Cantt are famous shopping sites. People can buy traditional Multani embroidery, ladies Dupattas, dresses, shoes, and other items. Lamps of camel hide, Multani glass work dresses, leather items, blue pottery, Gota Kinari, and Multani Sohan Halwa are the best gift items and identification of this city.
Shehden’s fish, Chowk Shaheeda’s Daal (beans), Khoni Burj’s Golgappa (a spicy food item) are famous food streets. Chaman Zar Askari park lake and Company Garden are worth-watching places. October to March are the best seasons for tourism.
1- Fort Kohna Qasim Garden
Kohna means a heightened place. It is named Fort Kohna Qasim Garden because of the arrival of Muhammad Bin Qasim at this place.
Multan city is situated on a high mound. In ancient times, a path on the river Ravi was used to separate this place from the city. There is no sign of the construction of this fort. But according to Sir Alexander Kingham, the ash obtained from the excavation of this place revealed the invasion of the Great Alexander there.
Today, Qasim Garden Cricket Stadium, the shrine of Hazrat Bhauddin Zakariya (R.A), the shrine of Shah Rukn-e- Alam, Qasim Bhag Park, A memorial minaret, a galley, the police office, and the mosque of Maulana Hamid Ali Khan are located there. Besides this, the Damdama is renovated and turned into an art gallery.
2- Shrine of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya R.A
Hazrat Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zakariya alias Baha-ul-Haq Multani was a son of Wajih-ud-din Muhammad Bin Kamal -ud-din Ali Qureshi. He was born in 1969.
He was the friend and age fellow of Hazrat Sheikh Farid-ud-din Ganj Shahkar R.A. It is narrated that; he designed his tomb. A model of this building is present in India Soni Pat. This fort was renovated in 1850. It is situated in Kohna Fort Qasim Garden Multan.
3- Shrine of Hazrat Shah Rukh -e- Alam R.A
The tomb of Hazrat Shah Rukn -e- Alam is situated on the southwest side of Kohna Fort Qasim Garden. His real name was Rukn-e-Din Abul Fateh and he is the Grandson of Ghos Baha-ul-Haq Multani.
He had a gorgeous personality in the era of Tughluq and was famous as a political and religious person. Famous tourist Ibn Battuta passed through Multan.
His tomb is considered one of the best buildings in the sub-continent. The tomb’s building is located at a height. It is about 150 feet high from the surrounding city. One can view the city from this tomb.
This shrine was awarded Agha Khan in 1983. It is the second-largest dome in Asia. Mosaic work of fine quality is done there. The art of embroidery with Multani tiles is a masterpiece.
4- Masjid Hamid Ali Khan
Situated in fort Kohna Qasim Garden, this mosque is situated in the precincts of Madrassa Hamidiya. The Mosque in the Madrassa of famous Scholar Maulana Hamid Ali Khan (1902-1980) is not so spacious but the art and craft used in its construction has made it unique.
The arch, dome, roof, minaret, and walls are bedecked with Mughal art, engraving work, tile work, and handicrafts. The artwork like in the Shesh Mahal Shahi Fort Lahore is replicated on the arch dome. Flowery handicrafts have introduced innovation in their designs.
Mushkoor Hussain son of the famous award-winning skilled architect of Bhong Mosque (Rahim Yar Khan) Manzoor Hussain decorated this mosque with his son. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and Prime Minister Azad Kashmir and many other foreign ambassadors visited this mosque.
5- The minaret monument
There is a minaret in the center of the city. It is built in the memorial of two British military men named Mr. Agnew and Andersen. They were sent to Multan by the British government to fulfill the wish of Dewan Molraj that he should be removed from the duties of the Multan government.
On 19th April 1848, the army of the fort attacked both army officers. The Sikh army abandoned them the next day. They died during the conflict in Eid Gha.
The British army launched a formal offensive on the fort to avenge them. They captured the fort. The brothers of deceased army officers buried them with great honor at the top of the fort on 26th January 1849. As a result of the war, Punjab was seized by the British Government.
6- Nigar Khana (Art Gallery)
This art gallery is situated in the historic Kohna fort and holds significant importance as the cultural center of Multan. It has a world of ancient culture, tile works, painting, and other arts which belongs to Multan and its suburbs.
The center located in the lowland area has closets adorned with Camel skin, tile works, painting, calligraphy, woodworks, mosaic work, camel bone, decoration pieces of Plaster of Paris, blue tiles made from Multani soil, utensils, Meenakari work, Surma bottles, carpentry, musical instruments, blue pottery, table lamps, pieces of paintings, and handicrafts designs. People can visit this galley with a ticket of 50Pkr.
7- The Cannon (توپ)
This cannon is situated on the fort with the capability to fire a 20-pound shell up to 2000 yards. It was manufactured in Royal Gun Factory in 1807. It has played an important role in the conquest mission of the Subcontinent.
In December 1848, it was used during the invasion and siege of the city by the Indian British Army of the Bombay Division under the command of Brigadier Dundas. On 2nd January 1849, this cannon destroyed the wall from the Khoni Burj and Delhi gate side. As a result, the bureaucracy of Sikhs ended.
8- Phool Hatta Wali Mosque.
It is narrated that; a saint gave the good news of the son to the king Farrukh. Allah blessed him with a boy. He built a mosque as thankfulness to Allah. It is named Phool Hatta because there were flower shops near the mosques. This mosque is situated at Androon Haram Gate near Kala Mandi Chowk in front of the Police Station.
9- Mosque Wali Muhammad
This mosque has located some distance from Phool Hat mosque and it was built by Nawab Ali Muhammad Khan in 1757. He constructed Nala Wali Muhammad Khan. The name Ali Muhammad Khan is engraved on the inscription of the mosque.
Nawab Ali Muhammad gave his services as a provincial of Multan till 1767. Ahmad Shah Abdali appointed Nawab Shuja Khan as the new governor. Nawab Ali Muhammad Khan kidnapped him. Ahmad Shah Abdali killed him for his actions.
This mosque is a good example of Kashi Tile’s work. In the Sikhs regime, the municipal chairman of the area used to hold a court there. In the British era, Muslims took over it again. This mosque is still in good physical condition.
10- Eid Gha
This Eid Gha was established in 1735 by the governor of Lahore Nawab Abdul Samad. It was under the custody of the army in the Sikhs era and in 1848 two British officers Agnew and Andresen killed at this place.
During the British bureaucracy, the Deputy Commissioner used to hold Katchery there. It was returned to Muslims in 1868 on the condition that the inscription in the memory of the British Government is retained. This Eid Gha is still present on the northeast side of the city.
11- Baqir Abad Mosque
This mosque was constructed by Baqir Khan Nawab in 1720. It was a tradition in the era of Dewan Sawan mil that the parties were sent to this mosque to take oath in the case. That’s why it is considered a sacred place. This mosque is situated about 3 km away from Eid Gha on the Eastside.
12- Tomb of Hazrat Shah Gardez R.A
His real name is Muhammad Yousaf Gardezi. He was born in 450 A.H or 1058 AD in Ghazni Mouza Gardez. He came to Hindustan in the era of Sultan Allaudin Bahram Shah Ghaznavid. He died on 12th Rabi-ul-Awal 531 A.H. at the place where he used to worship.
A splendid building near Cromwell Road London has archaeological items and models of the Subcontinent. These models have a model of the tomb of Shah Gardez. Oil and sugar bricks have been used beautifully in the construction of this building.
It is also noticeable that it is the only historical building of Multan whose model is exhibited there. This tomb is one of the great buildings of Androon city and is located at Bohar gate.
13- Birthplace of Ahmad Shah Abdali
The founder of Afghanistan Ahmad Shah Abdali Ameer Afghanistan was born in 1721. After the death of his father Al-Zaman Khan Saduzi, his mother Zerona left Afghanistan and shifted to Multan. He took refuge in the house of his husband’s uncle and gave birth to Ahmad Shah Abdali there.
He went to Afghanistan at the age of twelve. He led the foundation of present Afghanistan by integrating the tribes. In 1761, he defeated Mahrattas and Hindus in Paani Pat and saved the Muslims of the subcontinent from eternal slavery.
The memorial of the birthplace of Shah Ahmad Abdali is present at the junction of Abdali Mosque and the Institute of Cardiology.
Wind Up Lines
Multan has a rich history. It is one of the largest cities in Pakistan and a center of culture and economy in Southern Punjab. Besides the historical places, Bahauddin Zakariya University is a center of learning. There is an International Airport. This city plays a major role in the economy of the Province Punjab.