The founder of the state of
Bahawalpur was Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbasi I. The abbasi family ruled over
the state more than 200 years (1748 to 1954). During the rule of the
last Nawab Sir Sadiq Khan Abbasi V, Bahawalpur State was merged with
Pakistan in 1954. Bahawalpur was formerly the capital of the state and
now is the District Divisional Headquarters of Bahawalpur division. It
is an important marketing center for surrounding areas and is located on
the crossroads between Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. Saraiki is
the local language of the area. Urdu, Punjabi and English are also
spoken and understood by most of the people.
What to see
It is housed in a building having
fine architectural value. The foundation stone of this building was laid
by the then governor and viceroy of India Sir Rufus Danial Issacs on 8
March, 1924 to mark the installation of late Nawab of Bahawalpur Sir
Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi V. The central library was established in
1947 in this building. It has a vast collection of books and rare
manuscripts. It is one of the best libraries in Pakistan and visited by
students and scholars from within the country and abroad.
Bahawalpur has a modest museum with a
fine collection of coins, medals, postage stamps of former state of
Bahawalpur, manuscripts, documents, inscriptions, wood carvings, camel
skin paintings, historical models and stone carvings etc. of Islamic and
pre-Islamic period. There is a complete set of models of all classes
issued by the ex state to its military officers civilians and to other
important citizens of the ex state.
The zoological garden of Bahawalpur
is considered to be one of the best in the country. Spread over an area
of 25acres of land, it has an interesting collection of 120 animals and
750 birds of tropical areas, particularly those found in this region.
The zoo has the distinction of occasional breeding of lions and supply
of beasts to other zoos in the country. It also has a aquarium and
zoological museum with stuffed rare birds and animals.
Bahawalpur has one of the finest
stadiums in the country having fine cricket grounds, two football
grounds one basket ball court and lawn tennis courts and covered
swimming pool. There is also a hockey stadium, which is considered to be
the second best in the country after Karachi Stadium. It can accommodate
13000 people at a time.
Shrine of Muluk Shah
The shrine of Muluk Shah, a popular saint of his time, is located in the
city and visited by devotees on every Thursday ashura and Eid days. A
small fair is also held annually.
Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq
It was made by the Nawab Sadiq
Mohammad Khan Abbasi V at the elevation of more than 12ft from earth. It
can house 50,000 to 60,000 people at a time, during the Eid festivals.
It is well-reputed mosque in Pakistan like other prominent mosques of
Uch, 75 km from Bahawalpur, is a very
old town, it is believed that it existed even in 500 B.C. Some
historians believe that Uch was there even before the advent of
Bikramajit when Jains and Bhudhists ruled over sub continent. At the
time of the invasion by Alexander the Great, Uch was under Hindu rule.
Some historians say that Alexander came to Uch after conquering northern
parts of India and spent over a fortnight in the city and renamed it
Alexandariya. Some have mentioned Uch by the name of Sikandara or
Iskalanda. They have decided it as the most flourishing and beautiful
town perched upon the Plateau near the confluence of the Chanab and Rave
rivers. Famous shrines existing at Uch include those of Hazrat Bahawal
Haleem, Hazrat Jalal-ud-din Surkh Bokhari, Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht,
Bibi Jawindi and Sheikh Saif-ud-din Ghazrooni etc.
Uch is a small town today
and divided into three different quarters known as (i)Uch Bokhari, after
Hazrat Syed Jalal-ud-din Bokhari Surkhposh, (ii) Uch Jilani (Bandagi),
who came from Halab in 887A.H., and (iii) Uch Mughlan after the Mughal
Makhdoom Sahib of Uch
Bokhari has some rare Islamic relics in his possession for example, (i)
Turban of Holy Prophet (PBUH), (ii) a mantle of the Prophet (PBUH)
(iii) “Samsam” (sword) of Hazrat Imam
Hasan, (iv) a cap and turbine of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani of
Baghdad and (v) mantle of Hazrat Salman Farsi.
Makhdoom Sahib Uch Jilani is the custodian of (i) Holy Prophets
footprints (ii) a few chapter of the Holy Quran written by Hazrat Imam
Hussain and (iii) a tooth of Hazrat Awais Qarni