Editor’s Note: Rare black & white photos of Multan dating back to 1877 are in the last portion of this Post.
Brief History: Multan is one of the oldest cities in the world dating back 6000 years when it was known as Maloha. Its current name is derived from the Sanskrit name Mulasthana named after a Sun Temple. Multan has frequently been a site of conflict due to its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia.
Multan was conquered by Alexander the Great in 326 BC. It was later conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 AD. In 965 AD, Multan was conquered by Halam b. Shayban, an Ismaili da’i. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Multan in 1005 AD, conducting a series of campaigns during which the Ismailis of Multan were massacred. Later Muhammad of Ghor attacked the city and drove out the remaining Ismailis.
Following annexation to Mughal empire in 1557 AD, Multan enjoyed 200 years of peace, and became known as Dar al-Aman (Abode of Peace). After the death of emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, Multan witnessed difficult times as Mughal rule declined. Ahmad Shah Durrani captured Multan in 1752.
In 1758, the Marathas captured Multan. The city was re-captured by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1760. However, after his death in 1772, the influence of Durrani empire declined sharply. Starting at late in 1700s, Multan was ruled locally by the Pashtun Sadozai and Khogyani (also known as Khakwani) chieftains.
On 2 March 1818 Sikh armies defeated Durrani General of Multan Nawab Muzaffar Khan. Later Multan was made part of the British Raj. Multan again came under Muslims rule only when British Empire gave independence to Pakistan in 1947.
Ghanta Ghar Chowk Multan. This chowk was always a traffic mess. It was renovated by the efforts of DCO Multan, Naseem Sadiq. Hats off to his contribution.
Multan in 1970s
Ghanta Ghar Chowk Multan, Fort in the Background
Video Tour of Multan City
Mausoleum of Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakaria at Multan. Photo by Hydaspes’ Lightbox.
Tomb at Eid Gah, Multan. Photo by Dr. Junaid.
Nishtar Medical College, Multan. Nishtar Medical College, Multan is named after Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, a celebrated companion of Father of the Nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the then Governor of Punjab. Nishtar Medical College’s foundation stone was laid on the 28th of April, 1951 and the inauguration ceremony was held on 1 October 1951. The founding principal was Prof. Dr. Jamal Bhutta. On 1 October 1953, Nishtar Hospital started functioning with 80 beds.
Nishtar Hospital, Multan. Photo by Dr. Junaid.
Multan Burn Unit and Trauma Centre. Photo by Dr. Junaid.
State Bank of Pakistan, Multan. Photo by Dr. Junaid.
Multan Garrison Club (Old Services Club)
Ghora Wala Chowk, Multan Cantt. Photo by Dr. Junaid.
Ghora Chowk, Multan Cantt. Photo by Zeeshan Nasir.
Suraj Kund Temple, Multan. The historical temple of Suraj Kund (the Pond of Sun) is located in the south of Multan city in Suraj Kund Area on Old Shujabad Road. It had a pond 132 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep when full of water. It was a place of pilgrimage till 1947 and two fairs were held here annually. One on the 7th of the Vanishing moon of Bhadon, and the other on the 7th of the rising moon of Magh, the numbers having references to the seven hours of the Sun’s Chariot, according to the Hindu belief of the seven Rishies. This temple is in the list of 52 monuments to be preserved on the pattern of Morocco’s city Fez. It is in dilapidated condition and nearing collapse.
Prahlad Temple, Multan. Prahlad Temple (also known as Prahladpuri Temple) is an ancient Hindu temple located on a mound in Multan. The wall of this temple touched the wall of the Muslim saint Shah Rukn-e-Alam’s shrine. The original temple of Prahlad is said to have been built by Bhagat Prahlad, son of Hiranayakashipu, the king of Multan in honor of Narsing Avatar, an incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is at present in ruins, since its destruction in 1992 by a mob.
Multan Cantonment Railway Station, 1913
Multan Railway Station, 1910
A Pottery Shop in Multan, 1902
British and Indian Soldiers on Elephants at Multan, 1899
Indian Soldiers and Elephants at Multan, 1898
A British Officer and his family at Multan, 1877
Photos of Punjab
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