Bahawalpur was one of the princely states during the British period and was ruled by the Nawab family. The state was one of the most developed and well administrated states of the time and financially the Nawabs were one of the richest families of the era. Architectural achievements of the Nawabs can still be seen during a visit to the city. Following are some of the tourist attractions of Bahawalpur:
1) Nur Mahal
Nur Mahal is located in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Its construction ended in 1875 on neoclassical lines. It belonged to the Nawab of Bahawalpur princely state. There are different opinions regarding the purpose of construction. Few people are of the opinion that Nawab Sadiq Muhammad IV built the palace for his wife. The palace is open for the public who can visit and admire its architecture. Nur mahal currently is in the ownership of the Pakistan Army and is also used as a state guest house for hosting state durbars and meetings with the foreign delegations.
The construction of the palace was completed in 1875 at a cost of Rs 1.2 million. It covers an area of 44,600 square feet. There are 32 rooms including 14 in the basement, 6 verandas and 5 domes.
2) Darbar Mahal
The Darbar Mahal is a historic fort located in the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur. The city is but its grounds are a famous tourist attraction as they provide proximity and excellent view of the architecture that resembles that of the ancient Mughalai Forts. The construction of the fort was completed in 1905 and was dedicated to one of the wives of the Nawab. It is built with red brick following the style of earlier Lahore Fort. It’s a great potential for attracting tourists.
3) Gulzar Mahal
The construction of Gulzar Mahal was also approved at the same time of Darbar and Nur Mahal. Its architecture is on the similar lines and the purpose is also same. It is one of the best tourist attractions present in Bahawalpur.
4) Sadiq Garh Palace
This is the only Palace which is superior to the rest in terms of elegance and glory. Its construction took almost 10 years before it was completed and the cost incurred to build this was 15 lac Rupees. It is a glorious Palace with lush green lawns with beautiful plants and flowers. There is also a beautiful dome in the center of the building which looks even better at night. There are a total of three verandas around the building with rooms such as drawing and dressing. The material used in the construction of the Palace is of best quality. There are big mirrors and lamps in the rooms. The color contrast is also worth watching. An ideal tourist attraction for the people of Pakistan.
5) Bahawalpur Museum
This museum exists since 1976 consisting of archaeology, art, heritage, modern history and religion. When you visit Bahawalpur the museum has a lot to offer in terms of tourist attraction. As we know Bahawalpur is one of the oldest cities of the Sub Continent, hence it consists artifacts and variety from different religions (Mughals, Muhammad Bin Qasim’s time) and Indus civilization. There are ancient items from British rule as well. Your visit to the museum will enhance your knowledge as each artifact has a long interesting history behind it. However the building of the museum needs renovation for attraction.
6) Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq
It is a beautiful mosque with a stunning architecture. It is white as marble with two huge pillars (Minars). The marble is subject to beautiful calligraphy of the names of Allah and verses of the Quran. The mosque was established it can accommodate 50000 to 60000 people at one time. It was established by Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi. Tourists can visit the mosque and see how beautifully mosques are kept, organized and maintained in Bahawalpur.
7) Bahawalpur Zoo
Commonly known as “Sher Bagh” exists since 1942 on a 25 acres land. There are old style cages and newer moated enclosures. There are lions, tigers, hyenas, pelicans, cranes, geese, peafowl, black buck, hog deer, nilgai, European dear, chinkara and European mouflon paddocks. The visit to the zoo is interesting when we hear the sounds of different animals and watch them move around, it becomes an interesting site for the tourists, especially children.