Multan, often referred to as the “City of Saints” or the “Mango City,” is one of the oldest cities in the Indian subcontinent with a history that dates back thousands of years. Located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, Multan has been a center of trade, culture, and religious diversity. Here are some key features and aspects of Multan:
- Historical Significance: Multan is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the region, with a history that spans over 2,000 years. It has been a cultural and economic center since ancient times.
- Multan Fort: The Multan Fort, also known as Qilla Kohna, is a historic fort located in the heart of the city. It has witnessed the rise and fall of various civilizations and empires and offers panoramic views of the city.
- Mausoleums and Shrines: Multan is known for its numerous mausoleums and shrines of Sufi saints. The shrines of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, Bahauddin Zakariya, and Shah Shams Tabriz are revered and draw devotees from different parts of the country.
- Bazaars and Markets: The bustling bazaars of Multan, including the Ghanta Ghar and Hussain Agahi Bazaar, offer a wide range of traditional goods, handicrafts, and textiles. The city is famous for its vibrant and diverse markets.
- Blue Pottery: Multan is renowned for its blue pottery, a traditional craft that involves the use of distinctive blue and white designs on ceramics. The city’s pottery is sought after for its artistic and cultural value.
- Mango Orchards: Multan is a major producer of mangoes, particularly the famous varieties such as Chaunsa and Sindhri. The city’s mango orchards contribute significantly to Pakistan’s mango industry.
- Sufi Music and Poetry: Multan has a rich tradition of Sufi music and poetry. The Sufi poetry of saints like Shah Hussain and Bulleh Shah resonates in the city, and musical gatherings are held to celebrate this cultural heritage.
- Multani Sohan Halwa: Multani Sohan Halwa is a popular sweet delicacy that originated in Multan. Made with ghee, sugar, and dry fruits, it is a favorite among locals and tourists.
- Educational Institutions: Multan is home to several educational institutions, including Bahauddin Zakariya University, which is named after the Sufi saint Bahauddin Zakariya.
- Multan International Airport: The city is served by the Multan International Airport, connecting it to domestic and international destinations. The airport contributes to the city’s importance as a transportation hub.
- Agricultural Hub: Multan’s fertile agricultural land and the presence of the Chenab River make it an important agricultural hub. The region produces a variety of crops, including cotton, wheat, and citrus fruits.
Multan’s rich cultural heritage, religious significance, and economic contributions make it a city that reflects the diversity and resilience of the people of the region. The city’s historic sites, Sufi traditions, and vibrant markets contribute to its unique identity in the landscape of Pakistani cities.