Dark sights in Multan
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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…
Just near the Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukni-Alam, the Mausoleum of Baha-ud-Din Zakaria, father of Rukni-Alam, was built in 1263. A disciple of the Sufi mystic Hazrat Shahabuddin Umar Suhrawardy of Jerusalem, Baha-ud-Din (1182-1262) introduced the Suhrawardiya branch to the subcontinent and founded a university in Multan. His tomb was badly damaged in 1848 but was later restored.
The brick building has a square base and an octagonal second storey supporting a dome, and is decorated with blue tiles and Arabic inscriptions. Although the upper halves of this tomb and Rukn-i-Alam's mausoleum have similar designs from the outside, it's interesting to compare the top-heavy and…
This largely forgotten but impressive 16th century tomb lies in the Suraj Miani suburb to the north of the city centre. Akbar's mother has her own tomb nearby.
To get here take a passenger tonga from the north side of Kutchery Chowk to Suraj Miani in the northern outskirts and then walk 400m east and south, winding through the backstreets. You'll be able to see the huge octagonal building from the tonga. A qinji costs about Rs60 (Rs10 per person if there are six people) or it's Rs70 by autorickshaw.