Jun 25

Multan – The City of Saints

EST. Reading time : 3 minutes

Multan, the City of Saints, encompasses an important cultural and historical significance. It is situated in the South of Punjab and is generally known as the City of Saints because a great number of shrines are located here. This ancient city has a long and rich history and plays a significant role in the country’s economy.

Multan is a region flourishing with culture; it is one of the biggest marketplaces for handicrafts in Pakistan. It is well-known for its old culture and civilization and was a famous centre for some of the most powerful rulers who left a mark on the Indian – Subcontinent. The city’s beautiful and diverse traditions introduced gorgeous arts and crafts, which fascinated the rulers and became the main element in home décor and buildings. Multan is very popular across the globe for its handmade Blue Pottery and Camel Skin products, as well as other decorative items.

Multan is very rich from a historical and archaeological point of view. The city is full of beautiful cultures which have always amaze people around the world without fail. The monuments in Multan make the city rather magnificent. The old name of Multan was Kashep Puri, and it was built by Raja Kashep. His son Prahalad succeeded the throne after Hurnakas, after which the town was named after him as Prahalad Puri. Keshap Puri (Multan) was formerly the capital of Raja Hurnakas, where the temple of the sun (in which the idol was laid), was built by Persian Kings and Multan derives its name from that idol.

The old Multan city is built on a huge ancient mound and has six gates situated around it. The six gates to the old city are known as; Dault Gate, Bohar Gate, Lohari Gate, Delhi Gate, Haram Gate and Pak Gate. Unfortunately, three of the gates i.e. Dault, Lahori and Pak, have been demolished; three of the remaining Gates are safe, all of which are of the same pattern. “Alan” is a circular road that goes right around the old city inside the preserved wall. On the other hand, a contemporary circular shaped road also goes to the outer side of the city. The walled city is extremely populated with narrow streets, and the old pattern houses built close to each other makes it even more congested. The houses in the walled city are constructed with woodwork as the city was once the hub of wood carving.

Multan is renowned for Blue Pottery. The art for making blue pottery is also known as “Kashi work”, which was introduced centuries ago by the local artisans whose craft was inspired by Persia, Central Asia and the Mongols. It is believed that Kashi work originates from Kashgar city of Western China. But over time, Kashi work in Multan formed its own unique way by bringing in new designs and giving several forms to it. However, the mixture of blue and white colour continues to be the most dominant and renowned colours in blue pottery.

Blue Pottery was often patronized by the Royals and was majorly used in utensils, decorative tiles and architecture. The graceful blue and white tile of Multan is well-known throughout the world for its beautiful combination and its usage in traditional architecture. Tombs and Mosques of Multan are beautifully decorated and ornamented with blue tiles, fresco-paints, mosaic, and Naqashi work. A large number of monuments and crafts are influenced by Islamic culture.

Multan is not only blessed with abundant resources or agriculture but also is home to many creative people. Multan’s artisans are remarkably skilled and talented. The craftswomen are equally as talented as the craftsmen. The handmade “Multani Karhai” is exquisitely crafted by the artisans of Multan. Moreover, the traditional footwear called “Khussa” is another high-quality threadwork specialization of Multan.