Mausoleum Of Sheikh Rukn-I-Alam

Mausoleum Of Sheikh Rukn-I-Alam information

Multan , Pakistan
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Lying just inside the main entrance to the fort, this masterpiece of Mughal architecture is the most significant and attractive of Multan's shrines. A pious and widely loved scholar, Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fatah (1251-1334), commonly known as Sheikh Rukn-i-Alam (Pillar of the World), became head of the Suhrawardiya Sufi branch introduced to the region by his father Baha-ud-Din Zakaria, and is regarded as the patron saint of Multan.

Built entirely of red brick and timber, the structure is not only beautiful but is skilfully executed, with a brilliant mastery of the squinch (a small arch across the corner of a tower masking the transition from square to dome). It is said that the Tughlaq king Ghiyasud-Din originally built the mausoleum for himself in 1320, but that his son offered it as the saint's resting place out of religious duty.

The building has two octagonal lower storeys strengthened by buttresses, supporting a massive spired dome almost 20m in diameter, and has a total height of over 30m. One of the supporting towers was destroyed during the siege of 1849, but it was later restored. The interior and exterior are decorated with garters of glazed tiles in blue and turquoise laid in regular geometric basreliefs. Inside are dozens of chevron-shaped ridges laid out on the ground like graves, but the tomb of the saint is draped in a cloth under a canopy.

The saint's urs is held on 3 Jamaldi ul Awal.