Multan – City of the Saints

Hazrat Bahuddin Zakaria (R.A)

Multan is one of my favourite places to visit. The city is also called ‘Mandinatu-Aulya’, the city of saints. It has tombs, mosques and ‘Khanqahs’ of saints. All these monuments are beautifully decorated and ornamented with blue tiles and mosaic work, and some with the delightful and soothing Kashi and Naqashi work for which Multan is famous. The city has been developed a lot in recent years. Its new residential colonies, Cantonment Market, Askari Park, Holiday Inn Hotel, KFC and Pizza Hut Outlets displays the new lifestyle the city is adopting, however, together they have not at all diminished the grandeur of its history.

The old city exists and the Bazaar exists today. Old Multan was actually a walled city built on a huge ancient mound with six gates set at different places. The six entrances to the old city are; Dault Gate, Bohar Gate and Lahori Gate. Three of these (Dault, Lahori and Pak) Gates have been destroyed while the remaining three are intact. The walled city is densely populated with narrow streets and old style houses.

But the most attractive feature of Multan is the Historical Tombs of great Sufi Saints. Tombs of Hazrat Baha-ud-din Zakariya and the mausoleum of Shah Rukn al-Din Rukn-I- Alam, are known as ‘one the most splendid memorial ever erected in the honour of the dead.

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Rukan e Alam(R.A) - 2Standing at the northeastern side of the old fort which is situated on the high mound, is the tomb of Shikh-al-Kabir, Bahauddin Abu Mohammed Zakariya Al-Qurashi (R.A). The tomb occupies the centre of a vast oblong open area measuring 260 feet N.S by 203 feet E.W and is enclosed by a perimeters brick wall. It has two main gates one on the east and the other on the West Side. It is said that it belongs to the early decades of the 13th century. The Shaikh died on the 7th of Safar (661/21 December 1262).

The mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam (R.A.) is also situated on the fort mound. The Shaikh was the son of Pir Sadar-Al-Din Arif born at Multan on the 9th of Friday Ramazan 649/26 November 1251. He was the grandson and successor of Shaikh Baha-Al-Din Zakariya.

Shaikh Rukn-i-Alam (Rukn-al-Din) died on the 7th of Friday (735/3 Jamadial-Awwal, January 1335). He was buried in the mausoleum of his grandfather, according to his own will. After sometime, however, his coffin was transferred to the present mausoleum. It was constructed, according to a popular belief, by Ghiyas-al-Din Tughluq (1340-1350) during the days of his governorship of Depalpur, but was given by Feruz Shah Tughluq to the descendents of Shah Rukn-I-Alam for the latter’s burial. The mausoleum of Rukn-I-Alam has been admired by not only the travelers but also by the historians and archaeologist who wrote the architectural history of the subcontinent.

The tomb was built on octagon plan, 90 ft in diameter with walls which are 414 ft high and 13.3 ft thick. As the tomb is standing on a high artificial mound, it is visible from about 45 kilometers. Most of its patterns are geometric-created by arranging the glazed tiles-and a living testimony to creative genius of their designers. The building is also decorated with some floral as well as calligraphic patterns.

The city is well connected with the country through National air, road and rail links. Traveling by Daewoo Express Bus Services is most convenient and comfortable. The city is peaceful and the people of Multan are soft spoken. But Multan is also famous for its hot weather so next time you are planning to go to Southern Punjab, do visit this magnificent city. Choose Winter or Spring season as these are the best times for visiting the city.

(Photo Credit: Author)

12 thoughts on “Multan – City of the Saints”

  1. BHAKKAR- a gateway to Pakistan for Taliban. The people of BHAKKAR district have elected a chief minister of Punjab and a prime minister of Pakistan in different elections. Although a goup of local leaders sponcer the occasion and personally benefited by this gesture but basically the people of Bhakkar elected these leaders in hope of a better Bhakkar. It’s requested to the President, prime minister of Pakistan and chief minister of Punjab to please consider upgrading Bhakkar as a divisional head quarter by appointing a commissioner to provide better governance, extra facilities and security in the area. There are news that religious violence and drug smuggling is increased in the area recently. Bhakkar is a gate way to the Punjab and Sind provinces for NWFP and Afghanistan. Bhakkar has been head quarters of divisional level organization of Thal Development Authority since 1952. TDA was abolish in 1971 on corruption charges against it’s high officials. Bhakkar is also a border district to Dera Ismail Khan and a capital city of Thal desert area-spread in six districts in Punjab. Thanking you, Khwaja Aftab Shah,Florida, U.S.A

  2. What do you know of Fard Muhammad founder of the Nation of Islam in
    North America?

    I have heard he is of Pakistani lineage.

    What does the name Shabazz mean?

    what is the holy book of the sufi?

    What does the word sufi mean in sanskrit?

  3. salam,i proud to b a multani and searching true love in multan if u r then plz contact wd me. .age 21,gender male,student of D.A.E.


  4. MashaAllah. Pakistan is a very special country due to the number of saints and Walis buries there. I do have a complaint brother, one shouldn’t refer to the saints as “dead”, all right thinking muslims (and you are one as I see from your posts) do belive that the saints are alive and do not die, they merely pass on to the eternal life, in fact one can say that they are more alive that we “living” people are! Salli Alaa Rasul Allah Wa Alaa Aalihi Wa Ashabihi

  5. Rajesh Sharma.

    Following are the coordinates of the Haram and other Gates of Multan inner City based on Google Earth.

    Haram Gate 30,11,24.48N & 71,28,09.01E
    Bohar Gate 30,11,37.24N & 71,27,53.88E
    Lohari Gate 30,11,52.73N & 71,28,05.43E
    Delhi Gate 30,11,31.87N & 71,28,40.21E
    City Rlwy Stn 30,10,58.28N & 71,27,52.84E, just south of haram gate
    Cantoment Stn 30,10,49.58N & 71,26,36.70E

    The following link show map for Haram Gate and Bohar Gate. (click on the picture to enlarge.)

    The following link gives better justapostion of gates but it is a sketch. This also shows the Cantonment and City railway station which you can locate on the Google Earth also.

    I am told that my family had a house few building south of Town Hall within the inner Multan city. The town hall is very close to Lohari Gate. Last January I located this place after talking to my brother. It is possible that my family could be knowing your family too.

    I in fact would like to get feedback from anyone living in Multan and appreciate photographs from the area where we lived. I can be more specific about the place when contacted.


  6. As Multan is a historic city, it has still the old historic gates which were used for protecting the city from enemy in ancient times. Present appearance of these gates has been maintained to illustrate the historic aspect. There are six such gates called as: LOHARI GATE, DELHI GATE, BOHR GATE, HARAM GATE, DOULAT GATE and PAK GATE. aLL of them are situated in old city, as the city has now propagated widely in all its dimensions, the other part of the city is the combination of modernity, outclass infrastructure, shopping plazas, trade centres, hotels and restaurents. cell phone and hardware technology is at the greatest rise

  7. where is harm darwasa in multan and whatis the longitude ,latitude of it please tell my bithor birth place is there.

  8. multan is the city with highest progress rate in pakistan in all major industries, communications, education and sports, second largest city of punjab after lahore, agreat city with great people
    peace and calm everywhere, many historic monuments, modern multi-storey buildings, shoping malls, colleges, universities, superb road and railway systems, REALLY A HEAVEN ON EARTH


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