Multan, the commercial hub and the biggest city of South Punjab, is important mainly because of its historical importance. It is one of the oldest living cities in Pakistan and has a very rich sufi traditions. Known as the city of saints, Multan housed the mazaars of leading Sufis who lived in this region. Anyone interested in spiritualism cannot afford to miss a visit to Multan. The following are the main tourist attractions in the city:
1) Baha-ud-din Zakriya’sMazaar
Baha-ud-din Zakriyamazaar is the tomb of the renowned Sufi Abu Muhammad Baha-ud-din Zakriya. The shrine is square in shape from the base after which comes an octagon shape and lastly a hemispherical dome. The building is made of red bricks with blue tiles for decoration. During the British rule the dome was destroyed but was renovated later on by the Muslims. The grave of Baha-ud-din Zakryia is present inside which is carefully looked after and from inside the building is heavily decorated with glasses and blue glazed tiles. The decoration is very antique and almost every other shrine from this era has the same design.
2) Shah Rukn-e-Alam’sMazaar
Another great Sufi of that time who was the grandson of Baha-ud-din Zakriya lies in peace at this mausoleum. He was given the title of Rukn-e-Alam which means Pillar of the World. The tomb has almost the same design as of his grandfather with octagonal base supported by pillars and a hemispherical base. The dome has the same white color just like the previous shrine. This shrine has the same architecture design and decoration because it was made in the same era of 1300s. Inside the shrine not only lies Rukn-e-Alam but other family members as well. Moreover, its dome is considered as the world’s second largest dome. From architectural point of view, it is the best constructed building in the city.
3) Shah Shams Sabzwari’sMazaar
This mazaar is located east of the fort site which was also built in the same century as of Rukn-e-Alam. The building has a base of squared shape with the same octagonal middle part with a top hemispherical dome. Although the architecture design is the same as other toms but the decoration is quite distinctive from the previous shrines. The dome has a green color and from inside the dome has been decorated with glasses and stylish tiles of those times. These shrines surely are the masterpiece of that time with unique designs and architect. The tourists may find these features attractive however there are many beggars in these shrines. Lastly, these shrines have melody nights which most of the time sing the Kalaam of these Sufis.
4) Mai Maharban’sMazaar
Probably one of the most antique structures of Multan is the Mai Maharban’smazaar which is located near Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower). The lady was a saint and was known for her spirituality. The building is in very poor condition and needs renovation but on the contrary the building surely does look quite old and it’s a small shrine as compared to the other mentioned shrines. Again, it has the same architectural design with the same dimensions of base and dome. It is not decorated at all but the beauty of the building lies in the age of the shrine.
5) Eidgah Masjid
Eidgah Masjid is also known as the grand mosque of Multan which was constructed in the Mughal era in 1735. The mosque is huge and it depicts an architectural design and decoration of the time of the Mughals. The building had calligraphy once but now they have vanished due to ill-maintenance and environmental factors. The inside of the mosque is heavily designed with precious glasses and stones just like other Mughal era buildings. If someone wants to know how the Mughals decorated their structures one can get an idea by studying this mosque’s decoration. It should be noted that these structures are delicate and old and need attention for renovation.
6) Wali Muhammad Masjid
Another old mosque but in a good condition is Wali Muhammad Masjid which was built by Nawab Ali Muhammad Khan Khakwani in 1757. The building is decorated immensely with light blue tiles and the inside of the mosque depicts the true extravaganza by Mughals when it came to decoration. This mosque is situated in Chowk Bazaar. Instead of using tap water for ablution the mosque has a reservoir for performing ablution and baths. In the Sikh period the mosque was taken over by Sikhs but was later restored by Muslims under the British rule.
7) Khuni Burj
Khuni Burj or the (Bloody Bastion) was named after a special incident happened in Multan. Khuni Burj is located between the Pak Gate and Delhi Gate on the Alang road in the old walled city. This bastion has significance because during the visit of Alexander the Great, he was injured badly and took refuge in this bastion. Moreover, a devastating war between British army and the Sikhs on this bastion. For these two reasons, the bastion is of great importance.
8) Ghanta Ghar
The Clock Tower of Multan is the city government headquarters of Multan in the province of Punjab and is located at 30.11’60N 71.27’49E. It is a historical place and a tourist attraction located in Multan. It was built in 1884 AD during the British Raj. It took almost four years to construct the clock tower of Multan. Its hall was used for office meetings and the cultural programs. Now the idea is to change it into a museum since the hall space is insufficient for office meetings. The convenient way to visit Ghanta Ghar is through using an auto Rikshaw. The Clock tower is also very near to Fort KohnaQasim Bagh Multan.
9) Haram Darwaza
It is one of the oldest gates of Multan. A circular road runs around the walled city connecting all the six gates. Few of the gates namely Bohar, Haram and Delhi were reconstructed in the latter half of the nineteenth century with pointed arches and rebuked towers however all of the gateways need renovation now. The haram gate comprises of two pylons on each flank, with a large four cantered pointed arch in the middle and the castigated towers on flanks are double storied.
10) Multan Fort
The Multan Fort is also a historical place in Multan. It was a landmark of the Indian defense and architecture, built in the Punjab province; however the fort was destroyed by the British forces during the invasion of India. The Fort was famous for its effectiveness as a defense installation and also for its architecture. The walls of the fort are 21m high and 2 km in circumference and the fort was originally known as katochgarh, built by the katoch dynasty.