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The 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.

History

 
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. About 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.

Multan 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.


 

Thereafter, 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.

In 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 as Dar-ul-Aman.

In 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.

The City
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.

 The 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.

The 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.

The Fort
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 fort.

Shrines

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. Khwaja 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.

Sultan 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 year round.

One 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

The mausoleum has very rich geometric pattern, calligraphy and colorful floral, mosaic and glaze tile work. The shrine is visited by devotees all year around.

The 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
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.

Mosques of Multan
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.

Other Places
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.

There 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 around Multan.

Festivals, 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.

 
Lahore is the second largest city in Pakistan and provincial capital of Punjab. Apart from being the cultural and academic center of the country, Lahore is the Mughal "show-window" of Pakistan. The origins of Lahore are shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple in the northern part of the Royal fort, attributed to Lord Rama, the legendry hero of Ramayana. Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to the sub-continent, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and heroes. However it touched the zenith of its glory during the rule of Mughals. The Mughals, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural monuments that are extinct today.

APPROACH:
Lahore is linked with the rest of the country by air, rail and road. It lies on the Grand Trunk Road or the Shahrah-e-Aazam, which connected Kabul with Calcutta. The road was originally built by the Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century. The Mughals also used this road as means of communications. One can cross over to India at Wahga, which is about 24kms east of Lahore.

PLACES OF INTEREST:
The most important historical monuments of the Mughals in Lahore are the Royal Fort, the Badshahi mosque, the Tombs of Emperor Jehangir, Empress noor Jehan, Anarkali and Asif-Jah and the famous Shalimar garden.

ROYAL FORT LAHORE:

Although most parts of the Royal Fort were constructed around 1566 A.D. by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the great, there is evidence that a mud fort was in existence here in 1021 A.D. as well, when mahmood of Ghazna invaded this area. Akbar demolished the old mud fort and constructed most of the modern Fort, as we see it today, on the old foundations. Construction of the fort dates back to the early Hindu period.

The Royal Fort is rectangular. The main gates are located alongside the center of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and the British in their tom, added a pavilion, palace or all to the Fort. Emperor Jehangir extended the gardens and constructed the palaces that we see today in the Jehangir's Quadrangle, while Shah-Jehan added Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) and his own sleeping Chambers.Aurangzeb built the impressive main gate which faces the Hazoori Bagh lying in between the Badshahi Mosque and the Fort. The famous Sheesh Mahal or palace of mirrors, is in the north-east corner of the Fort. This is the most beautiful palace in the Fort and is decorated with small mirrors of different colors set.

The part of the wall of the Elephant Steps towards the Fort's inner gate are scarred by bullet marks, bearing testimony to the Sikh Civil War of 1847 A.D.

A party of Sikhs had mounted their guns on one of the minarets of the mosque across the courtyard from where they fired on their opponents. The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.

Shalimar Gardens:

Three miles east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal EperorShah-Jehan in 1642 A.D. The Gardens are spread out in typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch-towers at the four corners. Originally, the gardens were spread over seven ascending terraces, but only three remain now which cover an area of about 42 acres. The brick-work of the floors of the three terraces have been repaired according to their original designs which differ on all three terraces. There is a marble pavilion under which water flows and cascades down over a carved, marble slab creating a water-fall effect

Across the water-fall is a marble throne. At the end of the second terrace is a beautiful structure called Sawan Bhadon, a sunken tank niches on its three sides. Water cascades down from it in sheets in front of the niches, producing the sound of falling rain. In the olden times, small oil lamps were placed in the niches which reflected myriad colors, through the water. Similar gardens have the proud privilege of being the stage of all important state receptions.

Minar-e-Pakistan:
Minar-ePakistan is a new landmark in Lahore and stands in the Iqbal Park to commemorate the date when a resolution was passed there back in 1940 demanding the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of this sub-continent. The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very boldly designed. The Minar is about 60 meters tall.

Kim's Gun or Zamzama:
Immortalized by Rudyard Kipping in his accounts is this famous gun now popularly known as the Kim's Gum. It is placed just outside the museum on the Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam in front of the campus.

Wazir Khan's Mosque:
In the old part of the town and off the Kashmiri Bazaar, reputedly the most beautiful Mosque in the sub-continent is situated. The Mosque was built in 1683 A.D. by Hakim Ilmuddin who was Minister to Shah-Jehan and was generally known as Wazir Khan. It is a marvelous specimen of tile work and arabesque paintings.

Badshahi Mosque:

The emperor or the Badshahi Mosque is across the courtyard from Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort. The Mosque which is made up entirely of sand-stone was built by Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals, in a record time of the two and-a-half years. Its construction was completed by 1674 A.D. It has a beautiful gate-way which measures 21.33 meters in length and a courtyard that measures 161.5 x 160.6 meters and is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers.

The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers. For lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 meters, soaring up to 54 meters. In the chambers above the gate of the mosque, are housed relics attributed to the Holy Prophet of Islam peace be upon him, His Daughter and His Son-in-Law and are said to have been brought to the sub-continent by Amir Taimur. Within the Mosque almost all the colors have been used for painting the floral designs but the overall effect remains one of sobriety, piousness and simplicity.

The Golden Mosqeu:
Golden Mosque is also situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar. It was built in 1753 A.D.by Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, who was Deputy Governor of Lahore.It is a remarkably beautiful mosque with three golden domes.

Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh:
The ashes of the great Sikh ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, and of his four wives and several slave girls lie in a dome adjacent to the Hazoori Bagh.
Other moments include the Dai Anga Mosque, Mariam Zamani Mosque and various shrines of Muslim Sufi Scholars and saints and the tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal near Badshahi Mosque.

Shrine of Data Sahib:
Close to the junction of the Lower Mall and the Circular Road is the shrine of Data Sahib was a great sufi saint whose well known work, "Kashf-ul-Mahjub" has been translated from the original Persian into several European languages and is considered a classic. Attached to the Shrine is a beautiful mosque.

Allama Iqbal's Tomb:

Outside the Badshahi mosque, near its steps, lies the tomb of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of the East. The mausoleum is a mixture of Afghan and Moorish style of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sandstone which was quarried and brought from Rajasthan.

Mausoleum of Emperor Jehangir:
The tomb of the fourth great Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, lies three miles north-west of Lahore across the river Ravi. It has a majestic structure made of red sand-stone and marble. The outer entrance to the tomb opens out into a court-yard which was used as a caravan serai during Mughal times. An etrance to the right leads into a Mughal garden with exact geometrical patterns balancing each side. The marble tomb is approached from four corridors leading from the garden. three of these corridors are closed by intricate marble screens. The marble grave is elaborately inlaid with floral designs and the 99 Attributes of God are inscribed on its two sides. On the top is a verse from the Holy Quran. The tomb was built by Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperor's son Shah-Jehan, around 1637 A.D.

Qutbuddin Aibak's Tomb:
He was appointed Governor of India in 1191 A.D. by Muhammad Ghauri. He established the slave Dynasty on the death of Muhammad Ghauri in 1206 when he assumed independence of his reign and was followed by nine other slave kings. He was a patron of the building art and is known to have erected some monumental stone building in Delhi and elsewhere. A very avid player of polo, he died in Lahore in 1210 A.D. While playing the game. His tomb can be visited in Anarkali Bazaar.

Asif Khan's Mausoleum:
In the courtyard near Jehangir tomb lies buried his brother-in-law, Asif Khan, father of Shah Jehan's beloved Queen Arjumand Bano. He lies in a tomb which today shows little of its former splendor.

Nur Jehan's Tomb:
The Empress Nur Jehan, "Light of the world" was the only Empress whose name appeared on the coins of the Mughal empire. She was buried in 1645 A.D. at Shahdara (Lahore) outside Jehangir's mausoleum across the railway line.

Her tomb once had a marble cenotaph which she had built herself during her life time. After the decline of Mughal rule, the tomb suffered extensive damages along with her husband's tomb at the hands of Sikh marauders when they gained power during the early part of nineteenth century. Both were stripped of most of its original beauty and splendor. All treasure and tiles, it is said, were carted off to decorate the Golden Temple at Amrita India.

Anarkali's Tomb:


The tomb of Nadira Begum alias Anarkali, is situated in a corner of the Civil Secretariat of Punjab Governent at Lahore.The tomb is circular in shape and rooted with a vast and lofty dome supported from inside by eight massive arches 12 feet 3 inches thick. It is a masterpiece of solid masonry work early Mughal period and is neatly and beautifully fitted up.

Lahore Museum:
Opposite the old University Hall, a Mughal style building on the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, houses the Lahore museum. The museum contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-way and wood-work and has a big collection of paintings dating back to Indo-Pakistan, Mughal, Sikh and British times. It has also a collection of musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textile, poetry and armory. There are relics from the Graeco-Pactrian times as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese exhibits.

Faqirkhana Museum:
A very large and interesting private Museum known as Faqirkhana lies inside the Bhati Gate and is worth visiting. The museum houses a variety of old paintings, including some by great masters, original manuscripts in different languages and artifacts from South East Asia and the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

Anarkali Bazaar:
Anarkali bazaar is the most fascinating of the city's many bazaars. The alleys and lanes of this bazaar are full of exciting wares, especially traditional crafts like leather ware, embroidered garments glass bangles, beaten gold and silver jewellery, creations in silk. Any thing that you wish for a bargain.

Hiran Minar:

Hiran Minar is set in peaceful evirons near Lahore. It was constructed by Emperor Jehangir as a monument to Hansraj, one of his pet antelopes. It is a popular picnic resort with a lake and boating facilities.

Chhanga Manga:
Chhanga Manga is a man-made forest 68 kms from Lahore. There is a lake, and a miniature railway which winds its way through its forest. Chhanga Manga has 12,510 acres of plantations. It is a popular picnic spot spread over 50 acres with a lake and row boats, motor boats, children's park, swimming pool, cafeteria, canteen and rest houses.

Harappa:
The archaeological site of Harappa is 204 kms south of Lahore. The town flourished at the time when the Indus valley Civilization was at its zenith, about 4,500 years ago.

Jallo Park:
The Park is 28 kms from Lahore. It can be visited by road and by rail. A rail-car leaves for Jallo Railway Station every half hour. Spread over an area of 450 acres, it has expanses of lawns, a forest research center, a children's park, zoo, a small museum and a gift ship.

There are four famous parks in Lahore namely:

- Bagh-e-Jinnah Race Course Park, Gulberg Road.
- Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Allama Iqbal Town.
- Model Town Park, Model Town.
- Nawaz Sharif Park, Ferozepur Road.

These parks have amusement avenues such as play lands for children, mini zoos, aviaries and miniature lakes as well as peddle and steamboats. Wahga Border:

This check post is about 30 kms from Lahore and is the cross-over point for travelers into India by the land route. It is open daily to foreigners only (except Indian and Pakistani nationals) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PST.
 


K-2
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Where The Great Mountains Meet
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