Multan is Pakistan’s third largest city by area and it is fifth largest by population. 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 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.
The culture of Multan has some prominent elements that form its identity. Those elements include:
Multani is one of the oldest dialects spoken in southern Punjab. It is a dialect of Punjabi and is a mixture of Jhangochi of Punjabi and Sindhi. Saraiki is the new name but for centuries, Multani was in use. it is mainly spoken in Multan District, Muzaffargarh District and adjacent areas This entire area has almost the same traditions, customs and culture
The area around the city is a flat 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.
Multan produces one of the best mangoes in the world. There are many varieties of mangoes being produced and mango farms are undoubtedly the most common sight in the suburbs of Multan. The hot weather and abundant well irrigated fertile land assures unprecedented taste for these mangoes. Chaunsa, Langra, Anwar ratol, Dusairi, Fajri, Desi and Sindhri are some of the many mango varieties currently being cultivated in Multan. The mangoes produced here are probably the sweetest on the globe and a large portion of the cultivation is exported to many different countries including America, England, Canada, Saudia Arabia and Japan.
Sohan Halwa is another specialty of Multan and is popular throughout the country.
It is famous for the cultivation of wheat, cotton, rice and sugar cane as well as other fruits apart from mangoes such as citrus, guavas and pomegranates.
It is multani sand used as Clay for beauty mask for absorbing moisture. It is available in most of the cosmetics shops and is very famous among women who are conscious about their skin. It is demanded all over the country by different parlors’ and skin care institutions.
Multan is famous for its multani dresses, mainly for women. The dresses are made with beautiful embroidery and have a very ethnic touch to them. The dress for men includes shalwar kamiz and lungi. Another element in its dress code includes the Multani Khussas: shoes that are the latest trends in streets of Pakistan. Nowadays, these khussas are in fashion and are demanded by women all over Pakistan. This demand has risen the price of this product and has made it slightly expensive than other regular khussas available in the market.
The Fort site now looks as a part of the city because instead of the river it is now separated by a road which 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.
- Shah Yousaf Gardez:
Shrine of Muhammad Yousaf Gardezi is just inside the Bohar Gate. It is a rectangular dome less building decorated with glazed tiles, a work of considerable beauty.
- Bahauddin Zakria:
The prime attraction of the Fort area is the Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-udDin Zakariya (the ornament of the Faith) and Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath, (pillar of the World).The Mausoleum was almost completely ruined during the siege of 1848, but was soon afterwards restored by the Muslims.
- Bibi Pak Daman:
Bibi Pak Daman was a princess and as per her will, she was buried in the garden of her home, the palace. Now after 900 years the palace become a grave yard and her grave is also there, which is now the most famous grave of Multan.
- Shah Shams
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. 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.
- Shah Rukn-e-Alam
The Mazar of Rukn-i-Alam is the glory of multan. When the city is approached from 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-e-Alam (pillar of the world). The tomb is located on the south-West side of the Fort premises.
Multan also boasts of having some of the oldest mosques which were once considered as the jewels of the city. These mosques now remind us the glorious past of Multan as it was governed by Muslims for more than a thousand years.
- Jaima Mosque:
The first mosque ever built in Multan was the Jamia Mosque which was constructed on the orders of Mohammad-bin- Qasim the famous general who conquered multan in 712 AD.
- Sawi Mosque:
Sawi mosque is supposed to be the oldest mosque which still exists though it has no roof now and most of its decorations have been damaged.
- Mosque Baqarabadi:
Baqarabadi Mosque was built by Baqar Khan in 1720 A.D.
- Mosque Ali Muhammad Khan:
The second oldest mosque of Multan which is still in good shape is Mosque Ali Mohammad Khan also called as Mosque Wali Mohammad Khan. It was built by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani, in 1757 (1171 A.H.) when he was the governor of Multan in the time of Alamgir II. The mosque is provided with a reservoir for the ablutions, baths, and a large hall for prayers. The mosque was restored to the Muslims by the British Government at the commencement of the British rule.
Multan is one of the hottest cities of the country. It features an arid climate with very hot summers and cold winters. The city witnesses some of the most extreme temperatures in the country. Recorded-breaking highest temperature of 50 °C (122 °F) was recorded on 27 May 2010.
Pakistan has dynamic, vigorous and export oriented textile industry that has an overwhelming impact on economy. Textile being largest industrial sector generates the country’s highest export earnings. Other industries include fertilizer industries, rubber industries, plastic industries etc. However, these industries have been suffering a great deal now because of load shedding.
Some main industries include:
- Pakarab Fertilizers Company
- Three Stars Hosiery Mills
- Hussain Industries
- Hafeez Ghee and General Mills
- Rubber and Plastic industries
- Mehr Dastgir Group of Industries
- Mahmood group of industries
- Sandhu Textiles.
- Sunrays Textile Mills Ltd (Indus Group of Companies)
- Muzammil Traders (Home Textiles Manufacturers & Exporters)