"Saints & Sinners" Top 5 Page for this destination Multan by besal
Multan Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 100 photos
Our road trip
My Mom says that there is an Old Persian saying that describes Multan: Gard, Garma, & Ghadda (Dust, hot weather, and saints/beggars at shrines). Obviously any city which has so many Saints or Sufis must have a lot of sinners.
On our road trip in June 2009 from Karachi into Neelum Valley, Multan was our layover for a day or two. Expecting sizzling heat, we were welcomed by a very pleasant cooler weather. My cousin informed us that it rained early in the morning, which turned the weather cooler, and will remain like this for the next 1-2 days.
Our original plan was to go see the famous shrines, and then a day trip to Fort Munro. Our Fort Munro trip was immediately overruled by our hosts as it was too dangerous at that time to venture towards Baluchistan, as we also had to cross via Dera Ghazi Khan, which was going through turbulent situation at that time.
So we spent our 1-day visiting the shrines of Shah Rukn-e-Alam and Bahuudin Zakriyas, accompanying the female entourage on their textile shopping in Hussain Agahi’s market, and devouring Mangos in the afternoon, evening, and night, and next morning again for breakfast before departing for Harappa and then to Lahore.
Multan history dates back to days of Alexander the Great, where it is believed that when he invaded this city, he was pierced by a poisonous arrow which ultimately led to his death.
Multan was a rich city, famous for gold and various temples. Thus there was an incentive for various armies to conquer this city in their quest for becoming rich and famous. In the 7th century Muhammad Bin Qasim, an Arab General, finally conquered Multan, thus brining Islam in this region. During Mughal times, there relatively was peace, and Multan flourished as an agricultural hub. Decline of the Mughal empire, again brought in armies, and in the 19th century. Mahraja Ranjit Singh laid siege and then finally blew up the main gate by a canon called Zamzama.
Zamzama is the same canon known as Kim’s gun in Rudyard Kipling’s story Kim.
“He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher -- the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum.
Who hold Zam-Zammah, that 'fire-breathing dragon', hold the Punjab, for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the conqueror's loot.”
This was ZamZama’s last stand as the gun was severely damaged, beyond repair. It was brought back to Lahore and now is placed in front of the Lahore Museum.
Ranjit Singh’s reign didn’t last that long either as the British took over and had their own arrangements for the sub-continent ‘tea party’.
Multan location is center of Pakistan. Therefore it is a great place to launch visits to paces rarely anyone goes too, which are really off the beaten path.
Not far from Multan towards Balochistan is a beautiful hill station, approx 6000 ft high, called Fort Munro. Great place to beat the heat. Going towards Bahawalpur and then south, deep inside Cholistan desert, is the great Derawar Fort. Another Sufi center approx 175 from Multan is Uch Sharif, with the tombs on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are heading north towards Lahore, then do stop at Harappa, Indus civilization archeological site, 20 km west of Sahiwal.
And off-course from May – July/August, every year, day or night, do not forget the Mangos.
- Pros:Mangos from May to July/August
- Cons:No Mangos during off season and Heat/dust
Situated approx 175 km from Multan is another city which can be labeled City of Saints. Uch Sharif has some of the most... more travel advice
Congested, hundreds of shops, is a famous market in Multan which is selling almost anything. But the shops are mainly... more travel advice
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