Hi folks! I’ve been spending my free time watching countless videos from Pakistan. 2021 is the year where apparently it’s become very popular to visit. I put this down to the fact that the security situation has really improved and secondly, it’s an open country in this pandemic age that was are living in right now. Although there are some forms of lockdown in place across Pakistan as I write this blog. But hopefully in a year or so travel starts to return to the world and you may feel like heading Pakistan way. And if you do, well, Multan is a city you should definitely consider visiting!
Multan is a city sort of in the middle of Pakistan I guess. By bus it’s around four and a half hours from Lahore (and the buses are super comfortable in Pakistan) and from Karachi in the south it’s nine and a half to ten hours.
Multan is a city in the desert, with a walled city inside, and some amazing historical places to visit as well. But for me the highlight of visiting Multan, some seventeen years ago now, was the hospitality! Although I stayed in one of the grottiest hotels I’ve ever stayed in there, the people made Multan for me – which is why I am shining the spotlight on this city today.
But before the people, a couple more basics for you. Multan has a population of a little under 2 million people. It sees very little rain, on average over the year less than a day a month, and June is the hottest month with an average daily maximum of 42 degrees Celsius. January, in contrast, sees daily maximums on average of 20 degrees and can get really cold at night. I was there in late March or early April, and it was certainly hot every day, barely a cloud in the sky, not too bad. It could have been a couple of degrees cooler, but it wasn’t too bad.
The people – well I met heaps. And I should preface this by saying, everyone I met was male. I would hope that a female traveller would have a better chance to meet Pakistani women, but my experience in Pakistan was one where I hardly met any women. But the men that I did meet were friendly, kind and helpful.
My goal in Multan was to get to the test match there, between India and Pakistan. I went to the ground and met a load of security guys there who asked me questions (friendly!) and helped me out because it turned out tickets weren’t available at the ground. So I got ferried around to the ticket office. I met loads of others too just at my hotel and hung out in groups.
The people were warm and open, I will never forget that! I made a friend who would take me to this bakery either he or his family owned and I would get food from there. It’s really hard to explain when travelling how you just make friends somehow, I don’t even remember meeting the people!
It’s a brilliant if dusty city, and weaving your way through the passageways and lanes of Multan is a great experience. Check out the market area, which always feels like an adventure to explore. The premiere sight though is this amazing Sufi shrine on the outskirts of the city, overlooking Multan with fantastic views. It is the Tomb of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam. It seems to be the most visited and most photographed place in the whole city. Built in the 1300s according the interweb it is said to be the earliest example of Tughluq Architecture.
Similar in design to this tomb, are the tombs at Uch Shariff, an adventure day trip from Multan. They are three tombs amongst a graveyard behind a mosque I believe. I took a little minibus out there and it was truly magical.
There are a few other tombs and mosques worth checking out in Multan, for example the Tomb of Bahauddin Zakariya and Eidgah Mosque. And of course, just exploring the streets is always a brilliant experience, and in the more recent years they have been restoring the city walls and so since I’ve been there there is even more to discover.
But all in all, nothing quite beats the friendliness of this city, it sticks in my mind as the friendliest place in Pakistan I visited above all others. And if this sort of place appeals to you, and so does Pakistan, well I can’t recommend it enough as a destination!
PS – please do take the time to check out Tim and Angela’s YouTube channels, they are both brilliant vloggers!
Thanks for popping by today! Take care, and May the Journey Never End!