Multan

The city of saints
Exploring Multan
Transportation
The city of saints

One of the oldest cities of the Indian subcontinent, Multan got its modern name from its Sanskrit name Mūlasthān, which is derived from the Hindu deity worshipped here historically. Located on the banks of the Chenab River, Multan is Pakistan's 7th largest city, and is the major cultural and economic centre of southern Punjab. Its history stretches deep into antiquity. The ancient city has seen recurrent warfare for its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia. It was the site of the renowned Multan Sun Temple and was besieged by Alexander the Great during the Mallian Campaign. It was also one of the most important trading centres of medieval Islamic India attracting a multitude of Sufi mystics in the 11th and 12th centuries, earning the city the nickname City of Saints. The city, along with the nearby city of Uch, is renowned for its large collection of Sufi shrines dating from that era. Hence, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

According to the 2017 census of Pakistan it had a population of 4,745,109 (residing in approx. 760,858 households). The district of Multan is spread over an area of 3,721 square kilometres, comprising four tehsils: Multan City, Multan Saddar, ShujaAbad and Jalalpur Pirwala. The nearest major cities are Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur. Multan is located in a bend created by five rivers of central Pakistan. The Sutlej River separates it from Bahawalpur and the Chenab River from Muzaffar Garh. The area around the city is a flat, alluvial plain that is used for citrus and mango farms. The city is known for having some of the hottest weather in the Pakistan. The highest recorded temperature is 52 °C (126 °F), and the lowest recorded temperature is −1 °C (30 °F).

Exploring Multan

The city is endowed with rich history and vibrant culture and colours. It is the most toured city in the Punjab province after the provincial capital Lahore. Popular attractions include mausoleums, shrines, historical sites, and parks.

Heritage and Culture

Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya

Standing at the north-eastern fringe of the ancient fort of Multan is the eternal abode of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakaria, one of the greatest saints of the Sufi order Suhrawardiyya and one of the most distinguished disciples of Sheikh Al-Shuyukh Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, the founder of this order. Born in 1170 at the current-day Layyah, Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakaria was the founder of the Suhrawardi order in the Indian subcontinent.

He travelled for 15 years to different cities in order to preach Islam and eventually settled in Multan in 1222. He died in 1267.

Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam

The tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, grandson of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakaria, which was built between 1320 and 1324, is an unmatched pre-Moghul masterpiece. The Mausoleum of Rukn-i-Alam is often referred to as the glory of Multan.

The dome atop the mausoleum is a prominent sight while approaching the city from miles away. This dome is the Shrine of Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath commonly known by the title Rukn-i-Alam (pillar of the world). The tomb is located on the southwest side of the Multan Fort premises. This elegant building is an octagon with high and thick walls, supported at the angles by sloping towers. Over this is a smaller octagon, leaving a narrow passage all-round the top of the lower story for the Moazzan, or public caller to prayers. The whole is surmounted by a hemispherical dome, 18 meters in diameter. The total height of the building, including a plinth 30 meters.

Besides its religious importance, the mausoleum is also of considerable archaeological value as its dome is reputed to be the second largest in the world, after 'Gol Gumbad' of Bijapur, India. The mausoleum is built entirely of red brick, bounded with beams of shisham wood, which have now turned black after so many centuries. The exterior is elaborately ornamented with glazed tile panels, string courses and battlements. Colors used are dark blue, azure, and white, contrasted with the deep red of the finely polished bricks. The tomb was said to have been built by Ghias-ud-Din Tughlak for himself, but was given up by his son Muhammad Tughlak in favour of Rukn-i-Alam, when he died in 1330.

Mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din (Shams Tabrez)

The mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din, commonly known as Shah Shams Tabrez is located about half a mile to the east of the Fort Site, on the high bank of the old bed of the river Ravi. He passed away in 1276 AD and the shrine was built by his grandson in 1330 AD. It was rebuilt by one of his followers in 1718 AD The Tomb is square, 30 feet in height surmounted by a hemispherical dome. It is decorated with ornamental glazed tiles.

believed that Shah Shams Tabrez performed many miracles. One of which, the locals tell, was asking the sun to come closer down, which is credited for the extreme hot weather in Multan. In addition to these mausoleums, there are many others located all around Multan within a radius of 30 to 40 miles. Both local people and visitors from across the country have a lot of respect for the saints and their mausoleums.

Transportation

BAMDC campus is easy to reach from anywhere

The BAMDC primary campus is located on a on the Northern Bypass dual boulevard, adjacent to the Bakhtawar Amin Trust Hospital and College. This location is within a three-kilometre radius of WAPDA Town Multan, Royal Orchard Housing Scheme, Defence Housing Authority Multan as well as campuses of a number of educational institutions. The new Judicial Complex Multan is less than one kilometre from the site. The Multan Metro track is only a 10 minute drive away. The proposed campus is directly served by public transport and metro feeder busses, the Red Line busses.

The second campus is proposed on the Multan Southern Bypass road in Shershah Town, Multan. This location is directly fed by the Multan Metro feeder buses from the main metro lines and it is only five kilometers (ten-minute drive) from the M-4 interchange in the south.

City transportation

The Multan Metrobus is a bus rapid transit line (BRT) which commenced service in January 2017. The BRT route serves 21 stations over the course of 18.5 kilometers, of which 12.5 kilometers are elevated containing 14 elevated stations, while the remainder are at street level. With a fleet of 35 busses[1], the service serves up to 95,000 passengers per day[2]. The BRT route begins at Bahauddin Zakariya University in northern Multan, and heads southward to pass by the eastern edge of Multan's old city at the Daulat Gate before turning east, across the general bus stand, and finally terminating at the Kumharanwala Chowk in eastern Multan. To connect other parts of the city to the main metro route, 100 feeder busses run across 11 different routes, carrying an estimated 75,000 passengers every day[3]. Conventional public transportation in the form of vans, taxis, rickshaws and busses operate in addition to the BRT and its feeder busses. Famous app-based taxi services Uber and Careem serve in Multan as well.

Intercity transportation

Being a business and cultural hub, Multan city stands well connected within the province, the country, as well as internationally, as the city has its own international airport.

Air Travel

International flights from Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Doha, Medina and Jeddah arrive and depart the Multan International Airport daily, in addition to local flights from Islamabad and Karachi. The airport which operates 24/7, is situated only 4 kilometers from the city center, and can be accessed by using taxi cabs and rickshaws.

Railways

Multan’s principal railway station is the Multan Cantonment Railway station, located in the cantonment at 30.1804°N 71.4446°E. In terms of inter-city connectivity, nine different railway lines stop at this station. The rail connects Multan all the way from Karachi in the south and Quetta in the west, to Peshawar and Lahore in the north and east respectively. The rail network connects the city to all major cities in the Punjab province.