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Often referred to as the “City of Saints”, Multan is Pakistan’s sixth largest city and a commercial hub for the southern part of its Punjab province. Multan’s popularity with tourists is soaring, as more and more people each year discover its ample charms.
Book a flight to Multan with Qatar Airways and explore Pakistan’s sleepier side, amid a garden of culture, and architecture that seldom fails to impress.Multan is an agricultural town, and amid its rolling farmland lives a welcoming community with centuries of history to share. The region is famed for its pottery, with an entire institute dedicated to its practitioners. Elsewhere, the atmospheric ruins of a glamorous past await the curious traveller.
Sitting on top of a small hillock is the first landmark you will see when you travel to Multan. The Shah Rukn-e-Alam sits behind the old ruins of Multan Fort. It is the tomb of the 13th-century Sufi saint, Shah Rukn-e-Alam, and its characteristic domed roof is a local landmark.
If you are a lover of architecture, history and culture, Multan has plenty to keep you busy. Still visible on a high mound of earth that elevates it from the River Ravi, Multan Fort was once one of the most strategic military strongholds in the country. Today, its crumbling, yet still dramatic, remains include its once-proud battlements. For a wonderful view of the city, head for Damdama, on the west side of the fort.
Dotted around Multan are the gates that once formed part of the city’s defences. Pak Gate is named after Saint Hazrat Musa Pak Shaheed, and Bohar Gate faces the river, which once led out to the busy port.
The region is also known for its ceramics. The Institute of Blue Pottery is a great place to see artisans using both modern and traditional methods to create beautiful vases and pots.
In Pakistan, cricket is a national passion. During your trip to Multan, you should try to see at least one game at Multan Cricket Stadium, which is considered one of the best in the country.
Gole Bagh Park is an ideal spot for those looking for a tranquil intermission from more active pursuits. Chaman Zar Askari Lake Park is similarly peaceful, but if you time your visit to coincide with the park’s annual carnival, then you’re in for a treat. A few rupees will buy admission to a cultural extravaganza, involving performers from around the world.
If culture is your preference, a leisurely stroll around Multan Museum will expose you to yet more of the history of the region, through a fine selection of artefacts, artwork and manuscripts.
If there is one foodstuff that Multan is known for, it’s mangoes. If you thought there was just one type of mango then travelling to Multan during mango season will open your eyes. Each type has a distinctive flavour and hours can easily be spent discovering just a few of them. Look out for Sindhri, anwar ratol, langra, chaunsa and dasheri.
The people of Multan have a sweet tooth, and the diet-busting Multani Sohan Halwa is a local speciality. It’s made from sugar, pure ghee and flour, to which pistachios and other nuts are added.
Street food is excellent, and is usually either chicken-based dishes with naan bread, or kebabs. More upmarket eateries are clustered around the Gulgasht area, and include everything from local and international options to Mongolian restaurants.
If you travel to Multan for a bit of retail therapy, then you’ll find a great selection of everything from high-end luxury goods to locally produced crafts.
There are three main shopping districts in Multan: Sadar Bazar, Hussain Agahi and Gulgasht. Sadar is home to department stores, while Sharif Plaza, near the city courts, is great for clothing bargains. The city is particularly well known for its blue tiles, which make for great mementos of your trip to Multan.
Essential facts about Multan
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip