Multan, The City of Saints

Multan, the city of saints, has been a center of learning, culture and civilization for centuries . It is one of the oldest living cities of the world. Its original name as described by Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, who visited the city in October 641 A.D., was ‘Mulo-san-pu-lu’, which is believed to be a translation of ‘Mulasthana-Pura’. Al-Beruni, who came to South Asia in 1015 A.D. alongwith his Master Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, writes about the town as ‘Mulatana’. He visited Multan the same year and recorded that Multan was originally called ‘Kasyapapura, then Hansapura, then Bhagapura, then Sambapura and then Mulasthana. Sir Gen. Alexander Cunningham, after conducting excavations in the old fort in 1853 A.D. and 1864 A.D., further adds to these names those of ‘Prahladapura andAdysthana’. The first recorded event in the history is the invasion ofAlexander the Great in February 325 B.C.

Several other important historians visited Multan including Masudi (915 A.D.), Istakhri (951 A.D.) and Ibn Batuta (1334 A.D.) and they all wrote about the social, cultural and educational activities in Multan. Multan’s importance has always been acknowledged and it has always maintained its distinguished and honorable position among the cities of this region.

The city (740 ft. above sea level) is located almost in the center of Pakistan. It is at a distance of approximately 950 km from Karachi and 630 km from Islamabad, right on the main highway and about six kilometers from the mighty Chenab, in a bend created by the five confluent rivers. The vast plain of Multan Division is dissected by rivers, canals and narrow water channels, forming an ideal agricultural base for the economic development of the region.

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