Important Places of Multan

Mausoleum Bahauddin Zakariya

Today the prime attraction of the Fort area is the Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-Uddin Zakariya (the ornament of the Faith) generally known as Bahawal Haq and Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath, commonly known by the title of Rukn-i-Alam (pillar of the World). The lofty domes of these Mausoleums are visible, from miles and dominate the skyline of Multan.



Bahawal Haq as a saint is respected throughout the country particularly in Southern Punjab and Sind. He is the saint whose name is repeated for the sake of benediction and safety by a landlord in his spacious bungalow, a farmer in his field, a shepherd in the jungle, and a boatman while navigating his boat in the midst of a swollen river. The boatmen, as they ply their poles in the waters of Chenab and Indus may be heard repeating loudly’ “Dam Bahawal Haq- Dam-Bahawal Haq Dam”.

The phrase is fervently repeated until the boat, with its contents, is carried safely to its destination. There are many legends spun around the personality of this saint but it will not be possible to reproduce such legends in the limited space available in this book. Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya known as Bahawal Haq was born at Kot Kehror a town of District Laiah near Multan, around 1170 AD His father died when he was a child, but he grew in wisdom and studied in Turan and Iran. He received religious instructions from Sheikh Shahab-ud-Din Suhrawardy in Baghdad and became his Khalifa. He was on terms of a great friendship with Sheikh Farid Shakar Ganj and lived with him for a long time.

Bahawal Haq was a pious man and for many years he was the great saint of Multan. For fifteen years he preached for the glory of Islam and his fame as a teacher and a pious man spread far and wide. He also travelled far and wide. After performing Haj he visited Jerusalem, Syria, Baghdad and many other Muslim countries. After his wanderings Bahawal Haq settled in Multan in 1222 AD and very soon his sanctity, piety and learning spread throughout the country and the number of his followers swell to thousands.

This great man, however, passed away from this world during 1267 AD The Mausoleum, where he lies in eternal peace, is said to have been built by the saint himself and according to Cunningham, there is only one other specimen of the architecture of this exact period and, that is, at Sonepat in (India). The Mausoleum is a square of 51 feet 9 inches, measured internally. Above this is an octagon, about half the height of the square, which is surmounted by a hemispherical dome.

The Mausoleum was almost completely ruined during the siege of 1848, but was soon afterward restored by the Muslims. The Mausoleum contains besides the tomb of the saint and many of his descendants, including his son Sadr-ud-Din. According to tradition, Bahawal Haq left enormous wealth, but Sadr-ud-Din distributed the whole of it to the poor. Opposite the door of the Mausoleum, there is a small grave of Nawab Muzaffar Khan who died defending himself against the Sikhs.

Mausoleum of Rukn-e-Alam

The Mausoleum of Rukn-i-Alam is the glory of Multan. When the city is approached f rom any side the most prominent thing which can be seen from miles all around is a huge dome. 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 south-West side of the Fort premises.


In beauty and grandeur so other domes perhaps equal it This elegant building is an octagon, 51 feet 9 inches in diameter internally, with walls 41 feet 4 inches high and 13 feet 3 inches thick, supported at the angles by sloping towers. Over this is a smaller octagon 25 feet 8 inches, on the exterior side, and 26 feet 1 0 inches high, 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 of 58 feet external diameter. The total height of the building, including a plinth of 3 feet, is 100 feet. As it stands on the high ground, the total height above the road level is 150 feet. This contributes materially to the majestic and colossal appearance of the tomb, making it the most prominent object of view to the visitors. 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), which is the largest.

The mausoleum is built entirely of red brick, bounded with beams of Shisham wood, which have now turned black after so many centuries. The whole of the exterior is elaborately ornamented with glazed tile panels, string courses, and battlements. Colors used are dark blue, azure, and white, but these are contrasted with the deep red of the finely polished bricks, while the result is both effective and pleasing.

These mosaics are not like those of later day’s plane surfaces, but the patterns are raised from half an inch to two inches above the background. This mode of construction must have been very difficult but its increased effect is undeniable, as it unites all the beauty and variety of colors with the light and shade of a raised pattern.

The grave of Rukn-i-Alam is of plain brickwork covered with plaster. 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-e-Alam, when he passed away from this world during 1 330 AD at the age of 88. It is generally believed that Sh. Rukn-i-Alam was not. Equal in piety and sanctity to his illustrious grandfather Bahawal Haq, but there is no doubt that he was one of the most accomplished men of his age. He taught his disciples a modified form of metempsychosis and discoursed with the people on metaphysical subjects.

Mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din

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 1 330 AD It was rebuilt by one of his followers in 171 8 AD The Tomb is square, 30 feet in height surmounted by a hemispherical dome. It is decorated with ornamental glazed tiles.

It is generally believed that Shah Shams Tabrez performed many miracles. So much so that he once begged the sun to come down and the luminary moved so much near that the fish held in the hand of Shah Shams was roasted.

The local population to this day attribute the heat of Multan, which is somehow proverbial, to this incident.In addition to the above mentioned mausoleum, there are many others located all around Multan within a radius of 30 to 40 miles. There was a time when scores of legends were spun around the life of the saints buried in all these tombs but with the passage of time the number of legends has also decreased though there are people who have a lot of respect for most of these mausoleums and the saints. Within the city, there are a few more shrines such as the Shrine of Muhammad Yusaf Gardezi commonly known as Shah Gardez just inside the Bohar Gate.

It is a rectangular domeless building decorated with glazed tiles, a work of considerable beauty. He came to Multan around 1088 AD and settled here for good. He is reputed to have been a gifted man of great learning who could ride tigers and handle snakes. The Mausoleum of Moosa Pak Shaheed is inside the Pak Gate. Sheikh Abul Hassab Musa Pak Shaheed was a descendant of Abdul Qadir Gillani and was born in Uch. The Shrine of Musa Pak Shaheed is also frequented by a large number of Pathans from all parts of Pakistan. The Mausoleum of Bibi Pak Daman is located near Basti Daira, Hazrat Sher Shah Syed laial on Multan Mazzaffarghar Road and Hazrat Makhdoom Abdul Rashid Haqqani at Makhdoom Rashid.

Multan Fort

The Multan Fort was built on a detached, rather, high mound of earth separated from the city by the bed of an old branch of the river Ravi. There is no Fort now as it was destroyed by the British Garrison which was stationed there for a long time but the entire site is known as the Fort. The Fort site now looks as a part of the city because instead of the river it is now separated by a road that looks more like a bazar and remains crowded throughout the day. Nobody knows when Multan Fort came into being but it was there and it was admired and desired by kings and emperors throughout centuries’.

It was considered as one of the best forts of the sub-continent from the defense as well as architectural points of view. When it was intact its circuit was 6,800 feet or, say, about one and a half-mile. It had 46 bastions including two flanking towers at each of the four gates named as the De, the Sikki. the Hareri and the Khizri Gate.

The Khizri Gate was called so because it led directly to the river which was considered to be under the protection of the saint Khawaja Khizer. Description of the Multan Fort as recorded by John Duntop, who visited the city and the Fort on the eve of the British occupation in 1849 is reproduced below: “The Fort stands on the highest part of the mound on which the town is built it is an ancient formed by a hexagonal wall from forty to seventy feet high, the longest side of which faces the north-west and extends for 600 yards, and which isolates it from the town.

A ditch twenty-five feet deep and forty feet wide is on the fort side of the wall, behind which is a glacis exhibiting a face of some eighteen feet high, and so thick as to present an almost impregnable rocky mound. Within the fort, and on a very considerable elevation, stands the citadel, in itself of very great strength.

The walls are flanked by thirty towers, and enclose numerous houses, mosques, a Hindu temple of high antiquity, and a Khan’s palace, the beauty of which was severely damaged by the battering it got from the guns of Ranjeet Singh in 1818. This fortification is said to be more regular in construction than any other laid down by native engineers.

Mr. Vans Agnew-the unfortunate political agent whose murder ,with that of his companion, Lieutenant Anderson, gave rise to the recent hostilities to the British Resident at Lahore, that he had seen many forts in India, but one that could compare with Mooltan the ramparts of which bristled with eighty pieces of ordnance”.A correspondent of Bombay Times, who also visitedthe Multan Fort around the same time recorded: “The Fortress was filled with stores to profusion.

I think Mooltan is the beau ideal of a Buneca’s Fort, or rather fortified shop: Never perhaps in India have such depots existed of merchandise and arms, amalgamated as they with avarice. Here opium, indigo, salt, sulphur, and every known drug, are heaped in endless profusion-there apparently ancient in the bowels of the earth disclose their huge hoards of wheat and rice; here stacks of leathern ghee vessels, brimming with the grease, fill the pucka receptacles below ground.

The silk and shawls reveal in darkness, bales rise on bales, here some mammoth chest discovering glittering scabbards of gold and gems-there reveals tiers of copper canisters crammed with gold Mohurs: My pen cannot describe the variety of wealth displayed to the inquisitive eyes”. Once this was the position of the Multan Fort but during the British occupation, everything was lost a finished forever. With the passage of time, the British stronghold over India grew stronger and stronger, and the importance of Multan was lost gradually. The Multan Fort and other important historical places deteriorated slowly and sadly turned into ruins

Other Tombs

In addition to the tombs mentioned in the proceeding pages, Multan and its environs abound in the Historical and Archaeological remains of the Muslim period. Prominent among these are the long brick tombs generally known as Nuagaza tombs, or the “nine yarder tombs”. This term is generally applied, in the sub-continent, to the warriors and martyrs of Islam who, at the time of the early invasions of the Muslims fell in action against the Hindus.

General Cunningham counted no less than fifteen of such tombs in Multan, varying from 31/2 yards to 18 feet in length. Outside the Delhi Gate, beside the Tomb of Pir Ghor Sultan, nearly twelve yards (351/2 feet to be exact) in length, there is a stone of chocolate colour with marks of light yellow on it, 27 inches in diameter and 78 inches thick, with a hole through the middle 9 inches in diameter.

It is called Manka. People say the saint wore it round his neck, while some maintain that it was his thumb ring. The tomb is asserted to be 1300 years old. It is possible, says General Cunningham, that it may belong to the times of the early Muslim invasion under Mohammad -bin-Qasim.

Shrine- Jamal-ud-Din Syed “Shah Yousaf Gardez”

Shrine-Bahauddin Zakria

Shrine-Bibi Pak Daman

Shrine-Shah Rukn-e-Alam

Shrine-Syed Shams-ud-din “Shah Shams Sabzwari”

Shrine-Hameed-ud-Din Hakim

Shrine-Qutab-al-qutaab “Moj Dariya”

Shrine-Syed Pir Sakhi Shah Hassan Parwana

Shrine-Qazi Qutab-ud-Din Kashani

Shrine-Syed Hasan Khanjzee

Shrine-Hazrat Shah Dana Shaheed

Shrine-Abu Hassan Hafiz Jamal-ud-din “Musa Pak Shaheed”

Shrine-Hazrat Shah Kamal Qadari

Shrine-Hafiz Muhammad Jamal Chisti Nazami

Shrine-Pir Chup Wardi Waly

Shrine-Mollana Hamid Ali Khan Naqshbandi

Shrine-Allama Syed Ahmad Saeed Kazmi

Shrine-Hazrat Khawaja Awais Khagga

Shrine-Pir Syed Wali Muhammad Shah(Chadar Wali Sarkar)

Shrine-Hazrat Gul Shah

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