We talk about going abroad all the time, forgetting that there is so much to explore in our own country. And if we talk about roaming in Pakistan, only the north seems like an option. But in the marginalized south of Punjab, there lies a city whose history goes back to 1802 and can offer so many places to visit that it can amaze one who hasn't been there. Let's explore the amazing Bahawalpur and one small tip: before summer comes and the city heats up, make a plan because you won't regret it.
Utterly Beautiful and amazing, this fort is not to be missed. The Fort was built by Deoraj, a prince of Jaisalmir. It was in possession of royal family of Jaisalmir when it was captured by Abbasis in 1735. As per Bahawalpur Gazetteer (1904), in 1747 the Fort slipped from the hands of Abbasis in the reign of Nawab Bahawal Khan due to his pre-occupations at Shikarpur. Nawab Mubarak Khan took the stronghold back in 1804.
The lofty and rolling battlements made of thin red bricks, ten on each side of the fort are visible from miles around. The circumference wall is about 40 meters high. There are two old vintage guns mounted on pedestals in the dusty courtyard of the Fort. On the western side are small underground cells now infested with bats and wood being eaten by termite. As per the fable the secret to change metal into gold was told to Prince Deoraj, it is believed that there is treasure hidden somewhere. Go and explore it.
If you want to have mughal feeling, go to Darbar Mehal. The mehal itself is under the control of Pakistan Army, but its grounds are a popular tourist attraction since they provide proximity and excellent view of the architecture that resembles that of the ancient Mughalai Forts, and is on par with the typical fusion of East Indian and Arabic architectural techniques that were prevalent in the subcontinent during the 1800s. Darbar Mahal was commissioned by Nawab Bahal Khan (V) in 1904, and was one of its kind among other forts that had been built around that time. Originally conceived as the “Bhawal Gerh”; the fort was completed in 1905 and was dedicated to one of the wives of the Nawab. The least you can do it is take your wife to visit and dedicate the trip to her. We hope it works.
When in the evening the lights get on, life gets on at Noor mahal. It is a two story palace with exquisite furniture and tremendous fixtures like cupboards and chandeliers. It is rich with a beautiful collection of arms and a few of the muskets and swords displayed on walls. A beautiful mosque exactly like the Aitchison College was also added to it. In 1999 this palace was used as an army club and is still in the army’s possession. It is a hotel, a park and a museum attracting millions of visitors each year. School, colleges and university trips are arranged to this historical palace every year. If you haven't spent an evening in its lawn sipping mint Margarita and looking at this marvel, you are missing some real thing.
The Tomb of Bibi jawindi in Uch Sharif
The most elegant building and the prime attraction in Uch is the tomb of Bibi Jind Waddi. Her name has been described by Bibi Jalwandi and Bibi Jind Waddi as well. Since Jind Waddi is a popular name in this region so we believe, this name would be the most appropriate.
It is described by the historians that her mausoleum was built in 1494. The basic structure of her tomb is built by bricks, embellished with stunning glazed tile mosaic. The building is erected in three octagonal stories with lower storey supported by rounded and sloping corner turrets. The second storey was supported with a narrow gallery for walking round and the third is a hemispherical dome, which crowns the building. There is an aesthetically carved wooden mehrab in the West wall. Basically it follows the typical pattern of Multani architecture on which the tombs of Hazrat Rukn-e-Alam and Baha-ud-Deen Zakria are built.
The outside walls of the tomb are completely covered by glazed blue colored tiles while the turrets are surmounted with a bunch of broad flowering leaves. This unique design makes it different from Multani tombs.
Sadiq Garh Palace
The only Palace which is far more superior to all others in terms of elegance and glory is named Sadiq Garh Palace. This Palace was established in 1882 by His Highness Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan (IV). This Palace was constructed under the supervision of expert engineers with a cost of fifteen lac rupees. The work of construction continued for almost ten years. After the completion of the palace it was inaugurated in the presence of a majestic court.
There is huge wall all around the palace and there are lush green lawns inside it with beautiful plants having colorful flowers. This sky building is a masterpiece of beauty. There is a bastion in every corner of the palace. There is a beautiful dome in the center of the building which looks more beautiful at night when it is glowing with lights of different colors.
Lal Sohanra National Park
Even the library in Bahwalpur is an architectural marvel. The trip to Lal Suhanra National Park is very interesting for the naturalists. The park was developed in 1972 and is the home of many animals and birds, including the rare Chinkara Gazelle and plentiful wild boar.There is a project here for re-introducing the black buck into their former desert habitat; you can see about 30 of them in the fenced enclosure just inside the forest plantation. In winter there are abundant ducks in the lake. Lal Suhanra is approximately 36 km (22 miles) north-east of Bahawlpur; leave the town by the Khairpur road and fork right after about 30 km (20 miles) on a dirt track to join the desert feeder canal. You can hire a local guide to explore the park. There is a rest house which you can book through the Park Office, 3-A Trust colony, Bahawalpur or you can camp. The imposing architecture of Italian variety lends the building old world charm. The red-brick structure is, in fact, an edifice of Bahawalpur’s identity – a relic of its glorious culture. A small wonder, then, the well-stocked Central Library is counted among the most emblematic of the city’s monuments. The second largest library of Punjab, the Central Library is famous for its treasury of books. Aside from tomes on a whole array of subjects and thousands of documents, including rare manuscripts, of historical importance, it contains antiques such as parts of the Quran said to be scripted by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) about 1,400 years ago on a deer hide.Long considered by bibliophiles as one of the prides of Bahawalpur, the library is now struggling for its upkeep, chiefly because funds have tapered off to a trickle. Go there and add have some knowledge while travelling.
We hope the history of these seven awesome places will make you visit the city if you have not yet.