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After seeing the palaces and other attractions in Bahawalpur, a tourist should also visit the some important places around the city. A trip to Bahawalpur is not complete without visiting the following places:
1) Uch Sharif
Uch Sharif, the oldest living city in Pakistan is a beautiful historical site for the tourists and is located some 75 KM from Bahawalpur. It is located between Sutlej and Chenab. The interesting part about Uch Sharif is that different historians have narrated different stories about the city. It is said that the town existed since before the reign of Bikramajit, while others say Uch Sharif was under Hindu’s before the invasion of Alexander. What makes Uch Sharif so beautiful and attractive are the shrines and tombs. However, Uch Sharif is divided into three sections; each section is named over the famous rulers who ruled here. Uch Bukhari is named over Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari, Uch Jilani is named over Hazrat Sheikh M Ghaus Qadri and Uch Mughalian is named after the various mughal rulers.
2) Cholistan Desert
Cholistan desert has been an interesting tourist attraction over decades. It is situated some 30 KM from Bahawalpur and covers an area of around 16000 Square KM. Visiting Cholistan gives the exposure to the desert life and acquaintance with the culture of the semi nomadic people living there. Cholistan jeep rally has been a popular event since the past decade, that takes place within the first two months of the year (January and Febuary). Contestants bring the best of the jeeps to compete. The contestants come from all over Pakistan and abroad. This event is considered as the event of the elite. There is also a rain forest in Cholistan named Dodhla forest.
3) Derawar Fort
Derawar Fort is located in Cholistan Desert and is situated at a distance of about 100 KM from the city of Bahawalpur. This fort is almost 800 years old and is still in a fine condition. Derawar fort is still guarded by personal guards of Amir of Bahawalpur. Tombs of various rulers and their family member exist there. The tombs are covered in Blue tiled work which seems fantastic. The permission of the nawab is needed before entering the fort. The fort was decorated in carving sandstone. There are 40 bastions that surround this fort in a square (10 on each side). These are 30 meters high. An overnight stay in the fort is a life time experience.
4) Lal Suhanra National Park
Lal Suhanra National park located in Bahawalpur district is one of the largest national parks in South Asia and perhaps the biggest in Pakistan. It is spread over 153000 acre consists of desert, forest and natural lake. It features watch towers, catching grounds, and tourist huts (TDCP), rest house and camping sites. The major attraction of this park is the lion safari, which allows the tourists to see lions in their natural habitat at close range. The pair of Rhinoceros, gifted by the Government of Nepal is a major temptation for the visitors. Jackals, black buck, nilgai, hares, porcupines, fox, mongoose, larks, owls and hawks are also housed in the park. Besides, a special system of breeding is taken care of for more than 400 species of animals and birds living in the park. Hunting is strictly forbidden.