From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

City District
Clockwise from top: Multan Fort, Rukn-e-Alam, Shahi Eid Ghah Mosque, Multan Arts Council, Multan Clock Tower and State Bank of Pakistan
Nickname(s): The City of Sufis, The City of Saints, The City of Tombs, Madinat-ul-Auliya
Multan is located in Pakistan
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 30°11′52″N 71°28′11″E / 30.19778°N 71.46972°E / 30.19778; 71.46972Coordinates: 30°11′52″N 71°28′11″E / 30.19778°N 71.46972°E / 30.19778; 71.46972
Country Pakistan
DistrictMultan District
Autonomous towns6
Union councils4
 • City District133 km2 (51 sq mi)
Elevation122 m (400 ft)
Population (2009)
 • City District1,566,932
 • Urban1,871,000 (March '13)[1]
Time zonePST (UTC+5)
Area code(s)061
Jump to: navigation, search
City District
Clockwise from top: Multan Fort, Rukn-e-Alam, Shahi Eid Ghah Mosque, Multan Arts Council, Multan Clock Tower and State Bank of Pakistan
Nickname(s): The City of Sufis, The City of Saints, The City of Tombs, Madinat-ul-Auliya
Multan is located in Pakistan
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 30°11′52″N 71°28′11″E / 30.19778°N 71.46972°E / 30.19778; 71.46972Coordinates: 30°11′52″N 71°28′11″E / 30.19778°N 71.46972°E / 30.19778; 71.46972
Country Pakistan
DistrictMultan District
Autonomous towns6
Union councils4
 • City District133 km2 (51 sq mi)
Elevation122 m (400 ft)
Population (2009)
 • City District1,566,932
 • Urban1,871,000 (March '13)[1]
Time zonePST (UTC+5)
Area code(s)061

Multan (About this sound pronunciation ) is a city in the Multan District, of Punjab Province, Pakistan. It is Pakistan's fifth largest city by population and has an area of 133 square kilometers (51 sq mi). The city is located on the banks of the Chenab River in the geographic center of the country.


Multan is known as the City of Sufis or City of Saints and Madinat-ul-Auliya because of the large number of shrines and Sufi saints from the city. The city is blanketed with bazaars, mosques, shrines, and ornate tombs. It is the birthplace of Fariduddin Ganjshakar (popularly known as "Baba Farid"), recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language.

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 city has grown to become an influential political and economical center for the country, with a dry port and excellent transport links. Multan is famous for its crops: wheat, cotton, sugar cane, mangoes, citrus, guavas, and pomegranates.


A map dated from 1669 showing Multan
Aerial view of Multan Old city near Lohari Gate.
The Multan Clock Tower
A historic cannon in Multan Fort
The Shahi Eid Ghah Mosque, Islam is the major religion in Multan

Multan is one of the oldest cities not only in the Asian subcontinent but also in the world.[2][3] According to Hindu legends, it was the capital of the Trigarta Kingdom at the time of the Mahabharata war, ruled by the Katoch Dynasty. Multan has had various names over the years. According to Hindu mythology, it was originally called Kashtpur (Kashyapapura) after a Hindu sage named Kashyapa, which is also the Gotra used by the Katoch dynasty.[4] Other names were Hanspur (Hamsapura), Bagpur (Vegapura), Sanb or Sanahpur (Sambapura).[5][6] It has been postulated that the current name is derived from the Sanskrit name Mulasthana named after a Sun Temple.[7][8] Multan has frequently been a site of conflict due to its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia. It was conquered by Alexander the Great in 326 BC. In the mid-5th century BC, the city was attacked by a group of Huna Hephthalite nomads led by Toramana.

Multan was conquered along with Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim, from the local ruler Chach of Alor circa 712 AD.Following bin Qasim's conquest, the city was securely under Muslim rule, although it was in effect an independent state and most of the subjects were non-Muslim.

In 965 CE, Multan was conquered by Halam b. Shayban, an Ismaili da'i. Soon after, Multan was attacked by Mahmud of Ghazni, destabilizing the Ismaili state. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Multan in 1005 CE, conducting a series of campaigns during which the Ismailis of Multan were massacred.[9] In an effort to gain his allegiance, the Fatimid Ismaili Imam-caliph al-Hakim dispatched an envoy to Mahmud two years later. This attempt appeared to be unsuccessful and the Ghaznawids continued to attack other Ismaili strongholds in Sindh to suppress any resurgence of the community in the region. In 1032CE Mahmud's very own vizier, Hasanak was executed for having accepted a cloak from the Imam-caliph on suspicions that he had become an adherent of the Ismaili faith.[9] Mahmud's purges of the region led several scholars including Stern to believe that the Ghaznawid purges of the region drove out Ismailism from the area; however, recently discovered letters dating to 1083 and 1088 demonstrate continued Ismaili activity in the region, as the Imam-caliph Mustansir dispatched new da'is to replace those who were killed in the attacks.[9]

Multan's location at the entrance to the sub-continent resulted in it being invaded by a long series of conquerors on their way to Delhi. Timur, Babur and many others passed through the city, leaving much destruction in their wake. This violence continued as when Muhammad of Ghor attacked the city and drove out the remaining Ismailis[10] whom he deemed to be heretics, in stark contrast to his predecessor, the Ghurid Sultan 'Ala' al-Din who welcomed numerous envoys from the Ismaili state of Alamut and according to the historian Juzjani, gave them "great reverence"[9] Following annexation to Mughal empire in 1557 CE, at the beginning of emperor Akbar's rule;[11] Multan enjoyed 200 years of peace, and became known as Dar al-Aman (Abode of Peace). Akbar was known as a wise ruler, setting reasonable taxes, creating effective government and being tolerant of religious differences.

Multan witnessed difficult times as Mughal rule declined in early 1700s, starting after death of emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. The last Naib Subahdars appointed by Farrukhsiyar at Multan were Khan Zaman Khan Ali Asghar ibn Kartalab Khan Bahadur Shahi Qazi Ghulam Mustafa and then Aqidat Khan ibn Ameer Khan.[12] Persia was united under Nader Shah, ruling from 1736 as Shah of Iran. After his assassination in 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani—who was born in Multan—rose to power. This counts as beginning of Durrani Empire.

In 1758, the Marathas under Raghunathrao captured Multan along with Lahore, Attock, Peshawar and Kashmir.[13][14]

The city was re-captured by Durrani in 1760. However, after death of Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1772, the influence of Durrani empire declined sharply in mere fifty years. Starting at late in 1700s, Multan was ruled locally by the Pashtun Sadozai and Khogyani aka Khakwani chieftains.

In 1817, Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent a body of troops to Multan under the command of Diwan Bhiwani Das to receive from Nawab Muzaffar Khan the tribute he owed to the Sikh Darbar. In 1818, Kharak Singh and Hindu Commander Diwan Misr Chand armies lay around Multan without making much initial headway. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent a large cannon named Zamzama . Though in name Armies was commanded by Prince Kharak Singh however it was the military genius of Diwan Misr Chand which captured Multan Fort.

Muzzafar Khan urged the Majority Muslim population of Multan to fight a holy war against Sikhs and Hindus, however the tactics of Muzzafar Khan failed miserably as Sikh armies were able to suppress the religious revolt of Multan population. In the battle Diwan Misr Chand led Sikh armies to a decisive victory over Durrani General of Multan Nawab Muzaffar Khan. Muzzafar Khan and seven of his sons were killed before the Multan fort finally fell on March 2, 1818.[15][16] The death of Durrani General Nawab Muzzafar Khan brought the death of Muslim rule in Multan. After the defeat of Muslims in 1818, Multan came under Muslims only when British Empire divided India into two Portion and gave Muslim majority areas to Muslims in 1947.[17] Kharak Singh left Jodh Singh Ramgarhia with 600 men to guard the fort of Multan.[18] The Sikhs thereafter ruled Punjab until 1849, when it was lost in the Second Anglo-Sikh War.. Sardar Karan Narain's son was awarded the title 'Rai Bahadur' and knighted by the British Raj for switching to their side. After the Anglo-Sikh Wars, Multan was made part of the British Raj. The British built some rail routes to the city, but its industrial capacity was never developed. Muhammad Basher Ahmed Amretsri was revolted many time against British Government and died there.Choudy Ayzed Habib Arain and choudry Israr are the grandson of him. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in Multan. It initially lacked industry, hospitals and universities. Since then, there has been some industrial growth, and the city's population is continually growing. But the old city continues to be in a dilapidated state, and many monuments wear the effects of the warfare that has visited the city.

Geography and climate[edit]

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: World Meteorological Organization
Administrative divisions of Multan District

The city of Multan is located in Punjab. The nearest major cities are Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur. The area around the city is a flat, alluvial plain and is ideal for agriculture, with many citrus and mango farms. There are many canals that cut across the Multan District, providing water from nearby farms. This makes the land very fertile. However land close to the Chenab River is usually flooded in the monsoon season.

Multan features an arid climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with very hot summers and mild winters. The city witnesses some of the most extreme weather in the country. The highest recorded temperature is approximately 54 °C (129 °F), and the lowest recorded temperature is approximately −1 °C (30 °F).[19][20] The average rainfall is roughly 186 millimetres (7.3 in). Dust storms are a common occurrence within the city.

Climate data for Multan
Record high °C (°F)28.3
Average high °C (°F)21.0
Daily mean °C (°F)12.7
Average low °C (°F)4.5
Record low °C (°F)−3.9
Precipitation mm (inches)7.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours222.3211.6250.8273.3293.5266.8265.0277.6277.6274.9255.0229.23,097.6
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[21]


Administrators who are government servants have the powers of Nazims (Mayor). Multan district is spread over an area of 3,721 square kilometers, comprising four tehsils: Multan City, Multan Saddar, Shujabad and Jalalpur Pirwala. In 2005 Multan was reorganised as a City District composed of six autonomous towns:


The overwhelming majority of the people are Muslims. However, the city does have some remnant Sikh and Hindu communities within the district that stayed after partition. There are also some temples and Gurdwaras that have survived within the city.

Majority of people in the district speak Punjabi dialects, including Saraiki.

Other languages include:


A local coppersmith displays his wares at the central market in Multan, Pakistan.
Mangoes form a large portion of Multan's agricultural export market.

Multan is a commercial and industrial centre, as it is connected with the rest of the country through rail and air including the other industrial hubs such as Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Quetta and Faisalabad. Industries include fertilizer, cosmetics, glass manufacturing, cotton production and processing, large textile units, flour mills, sugar and oil mills and large-scale power generation projects. It is famous for its handicrafts (carpets & ceramics) and cottage industries. Roughly 1,900 acres (7.7 km2) of the city is still forested in the district. Trees grown in the area are Kikar, Shisham and Mulberry.

Large, irregular suburbs have grown outside the old walled town, and two satellite towns have been set up. The mangoes of Multan district are well-known. Multani khussa (traditional shoes), embroidery on dresses for women and men, furniture and other wooden products, earthenware pottery, painted pottery, camel-skin ware, surgical instruments and carpets are a few of the city's major exports, with a great demand within the country as well.

Multan is an important agricultural centre. Wheat, cotton and sugarcane are the main crops grown in the district. Moreover, rice, maize, tobacco, bajra, moong (lentils), mash (lentils), masoor (lentils), oil seed such as rape, mustard and sunflower are also grown in minor quantities in the district. Mangoes, citrus, guavas and pomegranate are the main fruits grown in the Multan district. Additionally, dates, jaman, pears, phalsa and bananas are grown in minor quantities in the district The city is also rich in minerals. These include argillaceous clay, coal, dolomite, fire clay, gypsum, limestone, silica and rock salt. Most of these are excavated for commercial activities and transported to other cities within the country. Many industrial factories are being inaugurated to handle the separation and quality control of these minerals. The minerals in the city are used in dolomite processing, fire bricks/refractories, hollow glassware, insulators/capacitors and ceramics.

Since Multan is agriculture-based, there is also plenty of livestock still growing at a positive rate, which has led to milk processing/dairy products units, ice cream manufacturing, animal and poultry feed, dairy farms, cattle/sheep/goat fattening plants, meat/poultry processing units, leather garments manufacturing, leather footwear, cosmetics, tinned goods and pharmaceuticals.


Inside Shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam
Beautiful new look of Multan Fort
Monument of Patrick Alexander Vans Agnew in Multan

Multan has many tombs, shrines, temples, cathedrals and mausoleums, and a fort, Multan Fort. The old city has various bazaars selling mystical artifacts, perfumes to arts and crafts. There are also elaborately decorated shrines of the Sufi saints, tombs of various travellers and important people within the old city of Multan.

The prime attractions of Multan are its mausoleums of Sufi saints. The Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya, as well as the Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam are the prime attractions of the city. Their lofty domes of are visible, from miles and dominate the skyline of Multan. Another popular shrine is the Mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din, commonly known as Shah Shamsuddin Sabzwari is located about half a mile to the east of the Multan Fort, on the high bank of the old bed of the Ravi River.

There are also a number of other mausoleums located within the city which gather a great deal of attention. The Nuagaza tombs are shrines to martyrs and warriors who fought in wars centuries ago, some dating back 1,300 years ago. The Multan Museum located within the city has a vast collection of coins, medals, postage stamps of the former State of Bahawalpur, manuscripts, documented inscriptions, wood carvings, camel-skin paintings, historical models and stone carvings of the Islamic and Pre-Islamic periods.

Multan also has a number of old mosques which were once considered as the jewels of the city. Some have been dated back to over a thousand years ago and have been recognized as some of the oldest mosques within South East Asia. The legend goes that the first mosque ever built in Multan was the Jamia Mosque which was constructed on the orders of General Mohammed Qasim, who conquered Multan in 712AD. Ruins of this mosque were visible till 1954 at Qasim Bella; however, due to repeated floods, the structure was lost. Sawi Mosque is supposed to be the oldest mosque which still exists today, though in deteriorating state; there are glazed blue tiles from the era in which it was built which dates the mosque to several centuries ago. The second oldest mosque within Multan is Mohammad Khan Wali Mosque. It is an excellent condition, situated in the busiest Chowck Bazar of the city. It was built by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani, in 1757 when he was the governor of Multan in the time of Alamgir II.


Nishtar Medical College


Cricket is the main sport in the city. Multan is home of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup team Multan Tigers. The city has the Multan Cricket Stadium, which hosts domestic and international cricket matches and is home to the Multan Cricket Association. The Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, an old multi-purpose stadium, is used mainly for football and cricket matches. Other sports grounds include Divisional Sports Ground and the Pakistan Cricket Board owned Government College Cricket Ground.


Multan has connections with other cities by a variety of means of transportation. The district has concrete road reaching up to 983.69 km. The district is linked with Khanewal, Lodhran and Muzaffargarh districts through concrete roads. Buses to Bahawalpur leave frequently, since it is located closely to the city. There are a variety of buses travelling farther from the city. Many of them are now air-conditioned with a fairly good safety record. The N-5 National Highway connects the city to connect to all parts of Pakistan. The road otherwise, known as GT Road, allows connections to Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore as well as Bahawalpur. Coach services such as Daewoo Express, Faisal Movers Express, Shalimar Express, Niazi Express, Khan brothers transport, Nadir flying coach, Punjab Tourism Department, Kohistan Express Skyways[disambiguation needed] and New Khan Bus Service are some of the most reliable coach companies operating out of Multan.

Multan is connected by rail with all parts of the country and lies on the main track between Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta. The main Peshawar-Karachi railway line passes through Multan district. The district then links trains to nearby districts of Khanewal, Lodhran and Muzafargarh districts through the railway network.[24] Multan Cantonment railway station is the main railway station of Multan.

Multan International Airport is an airport situated 10 km away from the city center of Multan. It is not as large as the other airports in Pakistan, as it operates to cater mainly to the population of Multan, Vehari, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Sahiwal, and Pakpattan to mainly to other points within Pakistan as well as the Middle East. Flight are currently operated by the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines.

Notable saints of Multan[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Multan has a friendship agreement with six cities in the world as of 2011:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Demographia World Urban Areas PDF (March 2013)". Demographia. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Multan History according to Multan Official Website
  3. ^ Multan history according to Multan Police official website
  4. ^ Katoch Dynasty as per DAWN News
  5. ^ Singh, Fauja. "History of the Punjab: Pre-historic times to age of Asoka". Pg.41. Retrieved 02-06-2009. 
  6. ^ Sircar, D.C. "Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India". Pg.52. Retrieved 02-06-2009. 
  7. ^ "Multān City - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 18, p. 35". Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  8. ^ Hindu History BY Akshoy K Majumdar Published by Rupa and CO PAGE 54
  9. ^ a b c d Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), p. 100.
  10. ^ Adrian Marsh. [Gypsies and the problem of identities: contextual, constructed and contested, Volume 2003]. Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2006. ISBN 91-86884-17-4, ISBN 978-91-86884-17-8
  11. ^ [Sanderson]. "Mughal Conquest of India 1526-56". INDIA & Southeast Asia to 1800. Retrieved 11-06-2009. 
  12. ^ Tazkirat us-Salatin Chaghta – A Mughal Chronicle of Post Aurangzeb Period (1707-1724) by Muhammad Hadi Kamwar Khan; edited Persian text and with an Introduction by Muzaffar Alam (1980), Centre Of Advanced Study Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (U.P.) -202001, India(page 226)
  13. ^ Roy, Kaushik. India's Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil. Permanent Black, India. pp. 80–1. ISBN 978-81-7824-109-8. 
  14. ^ Elphinstone, Mountstuart (1841). History of India. John Murray, Albermarle Street. p. 276. 
  15. ^ Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O - Tony Jaques - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  16. ^ Ranjit Singh: And the Sikh Barrier Between British Empire and Central Asia - William Wilson Hunter - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  17. ^ "Multan History -City District Government Multan". Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  18. ^ Harbans Singh "The Heritage of the Sikhs"
  19. ^ Multan Developemt Authority Official website says 50 Deg Highest
  20. ^ Doaba Foundation web Link about Climate of Multan
  21. ^ "Multan Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ List of High Education Commission Recognized Institutes
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ Transport in Multan Lonely Planet Travel Information. Accessed 2009-08-15.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs". 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  27. ^ "Gilani visits land of his forefathers - Thaindian News". 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  28. ^ "Kardeş Şehirler". Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi Basın Koordinasyon Merkez. Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 

External links[edit]