Also known as the ‘City of Saints’, Multan is said to be 2000 years old. Home to history, architecture and Sufism, the city has a lot in it to attract tourists towards itself. Many Muslim shrines and Hindu temples thrive to date, which is why Multan is one of the few cities where different communities continue to co-exist since the beginning of time. Events take place all year round, making the environment of the city a very happening one. The top 10 places to visit in Multan are not only the shrines as the city hosts but a variety of historical landmarks.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Multan
When asked to visit Multan, the images of various shrines shall be the only thing to cross your mind. Whereas in reality, Multan has a lot more to offer as well. This is why we’ve collected the top 10 places to visit in Multan and see for yourself the magic of all communities that once existed or even passed by here. Unlike the Top 10 places to visit in Karachi or the best places to visit in Islamabad, these places are more about history.
1. The Multan Fort
An ancient memorial of the South Asian Defence, the Multan Fort is also known as Fort Kohna Qasim Bagh. It dates back to between 800 to 1000BC and was built under the Katoch Dynasty so as to protect the then city from invaders. A masterpiece of art and architecture, it stands 70 feet high and is a total of 6800 feet in circumference. The fort has 30 towers, a Hindu temple, a mosque and a palace all within the boundaries.
The fort once had 8 gates, out of which only 4 manage to stand to date that includes ‘Qasim Gate’, ‘Khatri Gate’, ‘Hareri Gate’ and ‘Sikhi Gate.’ Despite having been destroyed time and again under several invasions, the fort yet manages to amaze you with its beauty. This is what makes it a must-visit!
2. Patrick Alexander Vans Agnew Monument
A huge tower stands amidst the Multan Fort and is known to be the memorial of a British civil servant named Patrick Alexander. This monument marks the foundation of the Sikh Evolution more because he was killed by the Sikh soldiers, after which the Second Sikh War took place and the British occupied the fort as well as all of Punjab.
Alongside the monument, is the burial spot of Patrick Alexander where the British themselves buried him and marked his gravesite by the tower that now is seen from afar. This tragic incident shall surely leave you in awe and in order to know more about the astounding architecture of the tower, you surely need to pay a visit!
3. Ghanta Ghar Multan
Mainly because its beauty, grandeur and amazing architecture, this is one of the topmost tourist attraction spots of Multan. Built under the British in 1884 AD, the Clock Tower took around 4 years to be complete. Interestingly enough, during the siege of Multan, the Haveli of Ahmad Khan Sadozai was destroyed, upon which the foundation of the Ghanta Ghar was placed.
Being a popular tourist site in the city, it now serves as government offices and the hall within is used for business meetings as well as cultural events. Conversion of the Clock Tower into a museum is also intended. However, if you wish to see the hustle and bustle of the exact centre of Multan, the Ghanta Ghar is then your go-to point!
4. Shrine Shah Rukne Alam
Situated in the heart of Multan, the tomb of Shah Rukne Alam is the signature image of the city of Multan. It is said to have been built by Ghias ud Din Tughluq in 1320 CE as a palace for himself but was later given for the burial of the saint. A masterpiece in itself, the shrine reflects beauty, art and culture at its very best. Pilgrims from all over the world pay a visit here and the foreign minister of Pakistan – Shah Mehmood Qureshi is the current custodian.
The tomb received a number of makeovers, the recent most done by the Department of Auqaf. The brown structure embossed with blue stones and intricate tile work is a sight to behold. One visit to the shrine will have you in awe while you stand in the huge courtyards and stare at the epitome of Islamic and subcontinental architecture in view!
5. Multan Arts Council
Established in 1975, the Multan Arts Council consists of a hall, a stage, an art gallery and a garden. If you are an art enthusiast, then this is the place for you! Often hosting art exhibitions or other culturally related events, the hall remains booked throughout the year. Puppet shows, painting and sculpture displays and dramas are a few of the common happenings therein. In case your visit to the city coincides with the Sufi Festival, The Lok Mela, or any other Drama Night being held in the hall, be ready to view creativity, art and culture at its finest at the Multan Arts Council!
6. Shrine Shah Gardez
Yusuf Shah Gardez is said to be the first-ever saint of the city of Multan. This fact is enough to make his tomb a must-visit in the city of saints. Located in what once was the walled city, the shrine stands apart from the rest. Why? because of being a dome-less cubical building rather than the others who are prominent from their domes. The shrine consists of an Imambargah and a Mosque said to be from the time of Muhammad bin Qasim. Moreover, the shrine hosts numerous graves of the descendants of the saint.
Blue and white glazed tiles, as well as intricate mirror work yet again, puts the shrine apart from all the rest from within the city. Built upon true Islamic architecture, the tiles that grace the walls are a symbolization of Multan’s blue pottery. Different verses of the Quran too are painted here and there on top. You might enjoy having a moment with yourself while you stand in the compounds of the shrine. Or perhaps feed the numerous pigeons that reside therein.
7. Khooni Burj
In the ancient walled city of Multan, is the Alang Route between the famed Pak Gate and Delhi Gate. The Khooni Burj is a prominent point in the history of the city for two major reasons. First, it is said that Alexander the Great died of an arrow that he had received herein. And second is the deadly battle that took place at this very point between the Sikhs and the British troops. After notable incidents as such had taken place here, the area quite actually means ‘The Bloody Bridge’, making it one intriguing site to visit.
8. Hussain Agahi Bazaar
Think of anything, and you can find it here! But in case you’re a crafts lover, the Hussain Agahi Bazaar then is heaven on earth for you! Being one of the oldest markets of the city, it is situated quite close to the Fort and Ghanta Ghar. The selling of unique artefacts makes this bazaar a hub of the local culture of Multan. Blue pottery, handcrafted souvenirs, embroidered clothes, Sohan Halwa and what not! Make sure you head out to this fancy bazaar as well!
9. Yaadgaar e Shuhada
Located on SherShah Road in the Cantonment Area, Yaadgaar e Shuhada or the Memorial for Martyrs is an absolute beauty in itself. Carved entirely in white marble, it was constructed in honour of the military troops. Made entirely for the troops who lost their lives during the Indo-Pak wars. In order to revive your sense of pride as a nation, this is the best place in the city. Surrounding the memorials are lush green gardens and various eateries. A cup of tea out there in the open won’t be of any harm!
10. Bibi Pak Daman Mausoleum
The mother of Shah Rukne Alam and student of Bahauddin Zikriya, Bibi Pak Daman (Bibi Rasti). A woman of her time who worked immensely for the revival of Islam in Multan. Today a heavily decorated, rectangular tomb marks her gravesite that yet again is an icon of Multan’s famed architecture. Thick walls surround the tomb and also includes a domed gatehouse.
The ancient temple of Mai Totla also once was in the vicinity. This is one point of tourist attraction more because of being attributed to a woman. Moreover, also being the mother of the saint, the city of Multan goes known by.
Being one of the oldest cities of not only the subcontinent but the world, Multan has a lot more to showcase. Probably, more than what we know of the city. Histories related to the Indus Valley civilization, the Hindu Era, The Sikh regime, the Mughal tenure, traces of all can be seen within the city making it culturally richer than many others. The top 10 places to visit in Multan are just the beginning point. Once you begin touring, there’s no going back!