Visiting the Historical City of Multan
Located in the southern part of Punjab province in Pakistan, Multan is a city steeped in history and culture. With its rich heritage, ancient landmarks, and vibrant bazaars, Multan is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. In this article, we will explore the highlights and must-visit places in this fascinating city.
The History of Multan
With a history spanning over thousands of years, Multan has witnessed the rise and fall of several civilizations. According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, Multan was founded by the sage Kashyapa, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Over the centuries, Multan was ruled by various empires, including the Greeks, the Arab Muslims, the Mongols, and the Mughals. Each empire left its mark on the city, contributing to its unique cultural and architectural heritage.
The Landmarks of Multan
1. Multan Fort: The Multan Fort is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. Originally built by the Hindus, the fort was later expanded and renovated by various Muslim rulers. The magnificent fort is a testament to the city’s tumultuous past and showcases a blend of Hindu, Persian, and Islamic architectural styles.
2. Shah Rukn-e-Alam Shrine: Dedicated to the Sufi saint Shah Rukn-e-Alam, the mausoleum is a revered spiritual site for Muslims. The shrine’s stunning blue dome and intricate tile work attract visitors from all over the world. Inside the shrine, one can sense an atmosphere of serenity and devotion.
3. Baha-ud-Din Zakariya Tomb: Another prominent Sufi shrine in Multan is the Baha-ud-Din Zakariya Tomb. Built in the 13th century, it is the final resting place of the famous Sufi saint Baha-ud-Din Zakariya. The tomb’s elegant architecture and tranquil ambiance make it a popular pilgrimage spot.
4. Tomb of Shah Shams Tabriz: Situated in the historical locality of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, the Tomb of Shah Shams Tabriz is yet another significant Sufi shrine in Multan. This mausoleum is dedicated to the Persian mystic and poet Shah Shams Tabriz. The tomb’s stunning red brick structure coupled with its spiritual significance makes it a must-visit attraction.
The Vibrant Bazaars of Multan
Multan is also famous for its bustling bazaars, where visitors can immerse themselves in a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and aromas. The city’s bazaars are a treasure trove of traditional handicrafts, embroidered textiles, intricate pottery, and exquisite jewelry. Some of the must-visit bazaars in Multan include Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Hussain Agahi Bazaar, and Bohar Gate.
The Delights of Multani Cuisine
No visit to Multan is complete without savoring the city’s delectable cuisine. Multani cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique blend of spices. One must try the famous Multani Sohan Halwa, a rich and dense sweet made from semolina, ghee, and sugar. Other mouthwatering dishes include Sufi pulao, Multani fish fry, and Multani mango pickles.
Exploring Multan’s Old City
The old city of Multan is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, historical buildings, and ancient gates. A leisurely walk through the old city will transport you back in time, allowing you to witness the city’s traditional way of life. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) and the Walled City gates, such as Delhi Gate and Daulat Gate.
The Multan Museum
To delve deeper into Multan’s glorious past, a visit to the Multan Museum is highly recommended. The museum houses a collection of sculptures, ancient coins, artifacts, and exhibits that shed light on the city’s historical significance. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of Multan’s rich cultural heritage.
The Blue Pottery of Multan
Multan is famous for its stunning blue pottery, which is a testament to the city’s artistic craftsmanship. The intricate blue designs on pottery items such as plates, bowls, and vases are a visual treat for art lovers. Visitors can purchase these exquisite pieces as souvenirs to take a piece of Multan’s artistic heritage home.
Multan, with its ancient landmarks, vibrant bazaars, and rich cultural heritage, offers a unique travel experience. Exploring the historical city will not only enlighten visitors about Multan’s glorious past but also provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Pakistan’s history and culture. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or a lover of arts and crafts, Multan has something to offer to everyone.