On its North East is the city of Sahiwal; south east is another major agricultural district of Bahawalpur, which lies on the banks of River Sutlej and on the south side is district Rahim Yar Khan. On the West side across River Chenab lies district Muzaffargarh mainly famous for its mangoes. Being main strength Rivers & canals makes this whole area extremely rich in agriculture.
From September til February Multan enjoys low temperature weather and this perhaps is a very good time to visit Multan. As a tourist’s perspective wildlife includes Fox, Jackal and wild boar etc. Amongst birds are grey and black partridges, sand grouse visiting the district in winter, quail, plover and pigeons are common.
Being centrally located in the country, Multan enjoys good road, air and rail connection with all the major cities. A good wide 4-lane national highway is connecting it to Lahore & Karachi. A new 6-lane motorway is being built between Faisalabad & Multan, which will reduce time for travel time between Islamabad-Faisalabad & Lahore–Faisalabad and giving links to many other cities as well. Multan airport also enjoys good regular connection with all major cities of Pakistan. Multan also enjoys good & regular rail connection.
The unique & beautiful multistory building of State bank of Pakistan in the centre of Multan shows the worth and important role played by Multan in Pakistan’s growing economy.
Multan is a versatile city with economy base ranging from rich heritage artifacts to modern day industry. Multan’s vast economy is based on industry which includes Sugar & flour mills, foundries, fertilizer factories, power plants in Kot Addu & Muzaffargarh, Textile & weaving & dyeing industry, & most importantly agriculture.
Agriculture is unquestionably important major factor in Multan’s economy. While main crops remain mangoes, citrus, sugarcane, cotton, and wheat others includes rice, maize, tobacco, vetch, lentils and oil seeds. A lots of fruit forms also grow fruit crops, which include dates, pears, bananas and guavas. Potatoes, Onion and Cauliflower are the main vegetables grown in the district. History once called it "city of Gold” & today it is called a cotton mine with 35,000 power looms manufacturing exported cotton goods.
Its extremely talented artisans are known for their handmade beautiful blue pottery, ceramics, camel skin lamps, wooden crafts, furniture, metal handicrafts, multani khussa (embroidered leather shoes) & hand embroidered cloths, which makes the strong cottage industry of Multan adding to national exchequer.
CULTURE AND DEMOGRAPHY
Multan has produced country’s many popluar poets such as Arsh Siddiqi, Sahir Bukhari Raziuddin Razi, Ghazala Khakwani, and Riffat Abbass & urdu spy novelist Muzhar Kaleem comes from Multan. The city since ages has been under the influence of saints and their beautiful numerous Mausoleums with unique & fantastic looking tombs are still a source of mysticism & spiritualism not for the local people but for the visitors from all over the country & worldwide. Multan is the city of hardworking & praiseworthy people. One can call it city of calligraphers, writers & poets.
There are 6 (six) towns fall under the jurisdiction of City district government Multan.
These authorities report to the CDGK and are responsible for infrastructure and spatial planning, development facilitation, and municipal services (water, sanitation, solid waste, repairing roads, parks, street lights, and traffic engineering), with some functions being retained by the CDG.
The UC Nazim heads the union administration and is responsible for facilitating the CDG to plan and execute municipal services, as well as for informing higher authorities about public concerns and complaints.
“Mai-us-than: or “Mul-asthan” both of these believed to be the old names of Multan.
Multan later believed to be attacked by nomads knows as Epthalite (White Huns) lead by Torman. Like Alexander, Torman faced resistance but eventually conquered Multan. After Epthalite (White Huns) left Multan it came under the Hindu rule.
Multan is referenced as a city where first Muslim’s arrived in subcontinent. Although Muslims believed to have visited Multan in 664 AD, yet the most prominent warrior in the history is Muhammad Bin Qasim. Muhammad Bin Qasim in 721 AD invaded this part of the subcontinent and extended Umayyad rule to Indus valley.
Muhammed Bin Qasim had to face the strong Hindu ruler Raja Dahir with whom fighting continued for a week. Muhammed Bin Qasim succeded in conquering the city. Hence Multan became the first city in subcontinent to be under the rule of a muslim. This was start of arrival of Muslim Scholars & saints from middle east & Persia prominently.
The next was the historical arrival of Mahmood Ghaznavi. Mahmood Ghaznavi defeated Ismailis & Carmathians in Multan & present day sindh. The Ghaznavid rule in Eleventh century ushered in an era of Muslim rule over the subcontinent. Hazrat Baha-ud-din Zakaria's was among the first prominent scholars alongwith other other saints in 12th early century to arrive and stay in Multan. His Mausoleum built by himself is still present at the Multan Fort.
Later Multan stayed under the control of Mughals & Tughlaq’s. Amir Taimur was another prominent ruler who conquered Multan in 1397 AD. It is believed that during his period Multan’s heritage, architecture & prosperity grew. Most Mausoleums in Multan belong to the era of Amir Taimur. As the Muslim rule over subcontinent expanded, Multan started playing the role as a transit route between Kandhar & subcontinent. It stayed under different Muslims rulers of subcontinent, and became one of the important biggest cities of southern part of subcontinent covering parts of today’s Sindh & Blauchistan.
In coming centuries Muslim rule continued and at one stage Multan was called as a City of Gold or Meadows of Gold. Lately Multan came under different prominent rulers Mahmood Ghouri, Ahmad Shah Abdali, Sultan Subuktgeen and Shahabudin Ghauri etc. These afghan rulers didn’t had the best control of area. The rulers kept changing now and then.
As the Mughal empire grew, alongwith came the most peaceful era for Multan, which was under the Mughal empire. Peace & prosperity came to the region, with agriculture & commerce thrive. Multan was now the hub of then South Punjab. Such was the era for Multan that it was remembered as Darul-Aman i.e. city of peace. After the demise of Mughals in 1750, it came under the afghan rulers briefly.
After Mughal’s decline Multan had started loosing its importance as a trade route. The focus was now Lahore for western intruders as it was now fast becoming the new trade corridor. Under western Afghan rulers, Multan remained ignored. Later growing Sikh influence on west part of subcontinent reached Multan and they ultimately attacked and plundered Multan to its worst, possibly the worst era for Multan. The prosperity era of Multan was undoubtedly finished. Sikhs ruled the city for sometime but eventually defeated by British in 1849. With this it came under British rule and slowly Multan totally lost its importance. After independence Multan became part of the Punjab province. Though in shambles, Multan slowly rebuilt itself & revived its heritage. It earned its name in agriculture & textile industry.
SITES OF INTEREST
Since Multan is a major city in south Punjab it attracts lots of people from nearby cities and districts. The city needs constant attention and continuous civic development. During last decade lots of development work has been done. This includes an overhead bridge near state bank building, metallization of all roads and dual carriageway link with National Highway N-5.
Present government of Punjab has earmarked huge amount of sum for rural development.
The prominent educations institutes in Multan are Bahauddin Zakariya University formely known as Multan University, Government College, Government Science College, Nishtar Medical College, Punjab College, Government Degree College & Government Islamia High School.
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