Archive for History of Multan



Multan is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province. Multan District has a population of over 3.8 million (according to 1998 census) and the city itself is the sixth largest within the boundaries of Pakistan. It is situated on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about 966 km from Karachi.
Multan is known as the ‘City of Saints’. The city is full of bazaars, mosques, shrines and superbly designed tombs. A network of rails, highways and air flights has well connected Multan to the rest of the world.
Multan is one of the oldest cities in the Asian subcontinent.It was the capital of Trigarta Empire at the time of Mahabharta war, ruled by the Katoch Dynasty. It has seen a lot of warfare because of its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia. It is famous for its Sufi shrines.
It is believed to have been visited by Alexander the Great. In the mid-5th century, the city was attacked by a group of nomads led by Toraman.
In the 7th century, Multan was conquered along with Sindh by the army of Muhammad bin Qasim, following bin Qasim’s conquest, the city was securely under Muslim rule, although it was in effect an independent state.The city was attacked twice by Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the Sun Temple and broke its giant Idol.
During Mughal rule, Multan enjoyed over 200 years of peace, and became known as Dar al-Aman (Abode of Peace). The Khakwani Nawabs of Multan gave it a lot of financial stability and growth to the local farming sector. It was at this time that Multan was ruled by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani. As governor of Multan, he built the famous Mosque Ali Mohammad Khan in 1757 which remains to this day. Many buildings were constructed in this time, and agricultural production grew rapidly. Multan at that time included areas which are part of Vehari, Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan districts. The city escaped the destruction brought upon India by the armies of the Afghan Nadir Shah, but it was ruled from Kabul by numerous Afghan dynasties for a while.
Multan witnessed difficult times as Mughal rule declined and after Ahmad Shah Durrani’s dynasty went into decline, it was ruled locally by the Pashtun Khakwani and Sadozai chieftains. The Sikhs thereafter, attacked Multan and killed the Sadozai Nawab and took over the city. The Khakwanis had moved out of the city at that time and lived in small walled cities around main Multan.
In the 19th century, the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Multan and came to rule over the province of Punjab. Sikh armies under their General Hari Singh Nalwa defeated and killed the ruler of Multan Muzaffar Khan Saddozai. The Sikhs thereafter ruled Punjab till 1849 loosing to the British in the Second Anglo Sikh war.
Geography and climate
The city of Multan is located in southern Punjab province at almost the exact centre of Pakistan. The very next major adjoining city is Sahiwal. The area around the city is a flat plain and is ideal for agriculture. There are many canals that cut across the Multan District that provide water from nearby rivers. It is extremely hot in the summer. Multan is has several citrus and mango farms . It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.The climate in summer reached 52C in winter -2C recorded. Dusty winds blow in summer .
The majority of Multan’s residents speak a language called Saraiki. The overwhelming majority of the people are Muslim. Most of the people speak Saraiki language with a good portion of the people conversant in Urdu. English is understood by the educated.
Multan has traditionally been a melting pot of several regional as well as distinct ethnic groups due to it location near four of Pakistan’s main provinces and it historical significance as a centre of learning, culture. As a result, Multan of today consists of Baloch, Pashtun, Panjabi, Saraiki (a transition group between Punjabi and Sindhi), Afghan, Persian (usually the Qizilbash) and Urdu-speaking Muhajirs who recently arrived at the time of independence in 1947.
Multan is also rich in literature, there are many poets and other prominent personalities who are known country-wide. The city is notable for being the birthplace of the founder of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali who was born in the village of Kiri Shah Husain Khan where members of his tribe still live. In Urdu poetry Asad Multani, Dr. Qateel Jaffri, Haider Gardezi, Aasi Karnali, Aslam Ansari, Arsh Siddiqi, Sahir Bukhari (Known as Sharif Bukhari), Iqbal Arshad, Arshad Multani, Hazeen Sidiqi, Anwar Jamal, Razi-ud-Din Razi, Ghazala Khakwani, Kashif Baloch, Sajid Nadeem Sajid Shaakir Hussain Shaakir and Riffat Abbass are popular poets of the city. Hafeez Khan, a leading short story writer, playwright, critic, research scholar and columnist and Mazhar Kaleem, the undisputed master of spy novels in Urdu literature also hail from Multan. Multan is also famous for its sufis. It is still the home town of Sheikh Amin, a present day famous sufi.
Multan is a commercial and industrial centre, it is connected with the rest of the country through rail and air including the other industrial hubs such as Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Faisalabad. Industries include fertilizer, cosmetics, glass manufacturing, cotton production and processing, large textile units, flour mills, sugar and oil mills and large-scale power generation projects. It is famous for its handicrafts (carpets & ceramics) and cottage industries. There are hospitals, public gardens, and several colleges affiliated with the University of the Punjab. The University of Multan was established in 1975. Large, irregular suburbs have grown outside the old walled town, and two satellite towns have been set up. Mangoes of Multan district are well known. Famous orchards include Nawab Sar Buland Khan Badozai Mango Farm, Tareen Mango Farms, Khakwani Mango farm and alizai mango farm. Famous historian Dr Ashik Khan Durrani has also written a wonderful book on this subject, named Salay Aam’. Multani khussa (traditional shoes), embroidery on dresses for women and men, furniture and other wooden products, earthenware pottery, painted pottery, camel-skin ware (e.g. lamps), surgical instruments and carpets are a few of the city’s major export items with a great demand within the country as well.
Multan is an important agricultural, industrial and tourist centre. Wheat, cotton and sugarcane are the main crops grown in the district. Moreover, rice, maize, tobacco, bajra, moong(lentils), mash(lentils), masoor(lentils) , oil seed such as rape / mustard and sunflower are also grown in minor quantities in the district. Mangoes, citrus, guavas and pomegranate are the main fruits grown in the Multan district. Additionally, dates, jaman, pears, phalsa and bananas are grown in minor quantities in the district. MangoesCitrus kinnow
The Pak-Arab Refinery Limited is located in Multan. The White Oil Pipeline (White Oil Pipeline Project (WOP)) carries imported oil from Port Qasim to Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) at Mehmood Kot, Multan
Educational institutions
In 1950, the then Governor Abdur Rub Nishtar founded Nishter Medical College, which became an affiliate of Punjab University. Renowned doctors graduated from this institution and have spread to all over the world. Legacy of its graduates resonates in the west, where a large number of these doctors have established their name in the different faculties of medicine.
Bahauddin Zakariya University formerly known as Multan University is the main source of higher education for this region. Among schools, various public and private schools provide education up to secondary level. One of them is Government Islamia High School at Aam Khas Bagh, which in spite of very limited resources, is providing opportunity for the poor students of this city to excel. There are several private schools and colleges which follow foreign curricula like the British GCE Ordinary Level/Advanced level and the IB within the city. The oldest of these institutes is La Salle High School(a school acknowledge as the best private institution) which somehow has lost its significance as schools such as Multan Public School, Jinnah Highs, Bloomfield Hall, Nishat High School and Beacon House have attracted high calibre students given their resources. Multan Public School with its 97-acre campus is one of the largest and better public schools in Pakistan. An Institute for Engineering and Technology called N.F.C. I.E.T. currently offers Graduate Degrees in Chemical, Electronic and Computer System Engineering.
Famous People from Multan
”        Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of Afghanistan
”        Yousaf Raza Gillani, 26th Prime Minister of Pakistan
”        Shah Mehmood Qureshi, – Foreign minster of Pakistan
”        Javed Hashmi, PML-N leader
”        Nawab Abdul Qadir Khan Badozai, Punjab chief,barrister, Provincial darbari.
”        Inzamam ul Haq, famous Pakistani cricketer
”        Naveed Akram, Pakistani footballer
”        Sadiq Hussain Qureshi. Pakistan Peoples Party Former Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab
Sites of interest
”        General
o        Multan Arts Council building
o        Eidgah Mosque
o        Old City
o        Khooni Burj and gates of the Old City
o        Haram Gate
o        The City Hall, Multan Municipal Corporation or Clock Tower
o        Qasim Pur Colony, arguably the place where Muhammad Bin Qasim land his troops
o        Mumtazabad Colony
o        Mohallah Qadeerabad.
o        Shah Rukn-e Alam Colony
o        Gulgasht Colony
o        New Multan
o        WAPDA Colony
o        Multan Cantt.
o        Shadman Colony
o        Nishtar Hospital
”        Parks
o        Jinnah Park
o        Chamanzar-e-Askari (Lake)
o        Qila Kohna
o        Qasim Bagh (inside Multan Fort)
o        Langer Khan Garden
o        Aam-Khas Garden and the parks at Bohar gate
o        Cantonment garden (Multan cantt.)
”        Industries
o        Hussain Industries
o        Hafeez Ghee and General Mills
o        Rubber and Plastic industries
o        Mehr Dastgir Group of Industries [4]
o        Mahmood group of industries
”        Colonial buildings
o        Memorial Obelisk in Qasim Bagh commamorating the death of Lt Vans Agnew in 1847 at the hand of the Sikhs
”        Temples
o        Sun Temple
o        Suraj Kund
”        Forts
o        Multan Fort or Qilla Kohna, originally called KATOCHGARH
”        Mausoleums
o        Mausoleum of Shah Shams Tabraizi
o        Mausoleum of Shah Gardez
o        Mausoleum of Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakaria
o        Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-i-Alam
o        Mausoleum of Syed Musa Pak Shaheed
o        Mausoleum of Bibi Pak Daman (Near Basti Daira)
o        Mausoleum of Hazrat Sher Shah Syed (Multan-Mazzaffargarh Road)
o        Mausoleum of Hazrat Makhdoom Abdul Rashid Haqqani (Makhdoom Rashid Road)
o        Shrine of Shahadna Shahaid (Near Delhi Gate) (shrine of a faithful disciple of Bahaul Haq)
o        Totla Mai (Near Haram Gate)
o        Mausoleum of Shah Ali Akbar
o        Baba Safra (Near Eidgah)
o        Nuagaza tombs
o        Manka
o        Mausoleum of Makhdoom Jahania in Jahanaian
o        Mazar Baba Tal Shah
”        Museums
o        Multan Museum
o        Government College Museum
”        Mosques
o        Masjid Al-Khair
o        Jamia Zia-ul-Aloom
o        Sawi Mosque
o        Mosque Ali Muhammad Khan
o        Mosque Phool Hattan Wali
o        Eid Gah Mosque
o        Jamia Khair-ul-Madaris
o        Mosque Ahmed Shah Abdali
o        Mosque Khalil
o        Baqarabad Mosque New Multan
o        jalal masjid Gulgasht
o        The famous Laal mosque of Shalimar colony where summer residents of Bokhari house occasionally blessed it by attending
Friday prayers
”        Sports grounds
o        Multan Cricket Club Stadium
o        Qasim Bagh Stadium
o        Divisional Sports Ground
o        Government College Cricket Ground (PCB Ground)