Bahawalpur is home to wealthy rulers and ancient societies that comprise rich historical sites that make you want to visit the beautiful city in Pakistan. The city locates near the Cholistan Desert and is situated in the Punjab Province. Bahawalpur was established in 1748 and ruled by the Abbasi family of Nawabs until 1955. The Nawabs left the legacy of architecture and until today, the city has known for its recognized monuments dating from that period.
The city of Punjab is famous for its rich manufacturing items such as handicrafts, pottery, embroidery and jewellery. This makes you want to visit the rich architecture that will leave you in wonder. Bahawalpur was once called the Rajputana State, which is now Rajasthan in India. The city was part of the princely state until 1955 and was founded in 1609 AD.
Bahawalpur has the greatest architectural wonders and unique sites that make it different from other cities in Punjab. Bahawalpur is one of Pakistan’s most valuable treasures. It is the best site for history lovers and many historical buildings are worth visiting in Bahawalpur. To visit the beautiful city in Punjab, you must not miss these eleven places to visit in Bahawalpur.
Here are the top 11 places to visit in Bahawalpur:
1. Noor Mahal
Noor Mahal is a beautiful and most recognized place of architecture. The mansion locates near Canal Road and leaves the stunning architecture of the wealthy ruler. The mansion is also known for ‘The Palace of Lights’ as the palace leaves elegance and standouts at night that makes it awe to see. Noor Mahal was constructed in 1872 and completed in 1875.
The mansion was built for Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV who was known for the Shah Jahan of Bahawalpur. He built Noor Mahal to honour his wife, which she refused to live as the palace was close to the Basti Muluk Graveyard. Later, the mansion served as a guesthouse for elite families.
With the elegant architecture, Noor Mahal was constructed in a style of Italian touch with the combination of neoclassical and Islamic architecture. The construction of the palace was imported from England and Italy. Today, Noor Mahal is open to the public and is under the control of the Pakistan Army. To visit the elegance of the lovely palace, you must not miss the Noor Mahal!
2. Derawar Fort
Derawar Fort marks one of the most exotic places to visit in Bahawalpur where the fort marks the most famous sites in Pakistan. The fort situates in Ahmadpur East Tehsil of Bahawalpur. This magnificent fort is worth driving 130 km south of Bahawalpur City near Shadab Colony.
A Rajput ruler constructed Derawar Fort in the 9th century. By the 17th century, Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan, the Nawab of Bahawalpur conquered the fort and rebuilt it with baked bricks. The walls of the fort are 30 meters high and consist of 40 bastions that spread throughout the Cholistan Desert for kilometres. In 1747, the fort slipped from the Nawab ruler and owned to Bahawal Khan’s preoccupations at Shikapur.
The fort leaves the capturing site where you can see the bastions from a further distance and you can reach by Jeep. This marks the symbolism of antiquity, in which the fort leaves beauty, and history that is worth a visit. You can even visit Derawar Fort at night and see it from far away. The bright stars and standout fort makes it one of the greatest places to visit in Bahawalpur. To visit the historical site, you should visit the Derawar Fort!
3. Darbar Mahal
Darbar Mahal is one of Bahawalpur’s most beautiful royal residences. The palace was constructed to hold legal events and government offices for the state of Bahawalpur. Darbar Mahal was previously called Mubarak Mahal. This place has built and purchased by Bahawal Khan V for his wife. The palace was built in 1905 and sits in a 75-acre garden. The palace locates near the edges of Darbar Road and has the blended architecture of Mughal, European and Arabic.
The mansion is near Nishat Mahal, Gulzar Mahal and Farrukh Mahal. The structure of the palace was made of red bricks that resemble the Lahore Fort. In 1966, Pakistan Army leases the palace and is in charge of taking it under control. Unfortunately, the palace is not open to the public but you can still enjoy the exterior view. To enter the palace requires special permission to see it in advance. To visit a palace with mixed architecture, you should not miss the Darbar Mahal!
4. Abbasi Mosque
Abbasi Mosque is a beautiful mosque in Bahawalpur where the masjid leaves the beauty that makes it worth a visit. The mosque located next to Derawar Fort in Yazman Tehsil gives the pearl of beauty in the desert. Abbasi Mosque was constructed in 1849 and built by Nawab Bahawal Khan. The pearly white architecture makes a great Islamic architecture that dedicates to the people of Bahawalpur.
Since the masjid locates within the Cholistan Desert, the mosque has been made with pure marble to add beauty and accessibility for spiritual worship. A few yards away from Derawar fort, you will find the rectangular tombs of all the 12 Nawab rulers that ruled the city in Punjab. The visiting of the graveyard considers private which requires special permission. To visit the beautiful place, you must dress fully from head to toe. When visiting the Derawar Fort, you must visit the Abbasi Mosque!
5. Gulzar Mahal
Gulzar Mahal considers an architectural masterpiece as Gulzar Mahal is the first building in Bahawalpur to equip with hidden electricity wires. The palace constructed between 1906 and 1909 and built for the residence for the women of the state of Bahawalpur. Gulzar Mahal locates in the Bahawalgarh Palace Complex and is close to Darbar Mahal, Farrukh Mahal and Nishat Mahal. Nawab Sadiq Mohammad Khan V commissioned this building.
With the beautiful architecture, the palace leaves the European structure that is similar to Noor Mahal and surrounds it with a large garden. This lush green garden adds beauty and looks like a painting from far away. The palace has long driveways, wide terraces and bright lamps that make it stunning to see at night. To visit the exotic palace in Bahawalpur, you ought to visit the Gulzar Mahal!
6. Central Library
Bahawalpur Central Library is the second largest library in Punjab. This marks the most attractive places to visit in Bahawalpur where the library is a must-visit for book lovers. The library was founded in 1924 by Sir Rufus Daniel Isaacs, which opened during the coronation of Sadiq Muhammad Khan V.
The Central Library locates next to Bahawalpur Museum. To talk about the architecture, the library has constructed in a Gothic Revival or Victorian style. The place stood out from other royal buildings by having single-foiled arches to present the beauty of the library. Central Library divides into three sections that are the main hall, children’s book section and visual archive section. The library holds old newspapers, manuscripts, historic documents and over 100,000 books. To plan a visit, be sure you visit the Bahawalpur Central Library!
7. Nishat Mahal
Nishat Mahal is another stunning palace that locates near Gulzar Mahal, Farrukh Mahal and Darbar Mahal. The palace comprises four square minarets with a large rectangular structure at the centre to add the beauty of the lovely location. The Mahal locates in Bahawalpur Palaces where the palace has white and red bricks surrounded by massive lawns and gardens that make it worth a visit.
Nishat Mahal has several arches on each side of the rectangular structure to present a great historical site in Bahawalpur. The palace constructed by the Nawab M. Bahawal Khan began in 1905 and was completed in 1911. The palace was constructed for his wife and the architecture was heavily influenced by European designs that extend outward designs on all four sides. To visit the lovely palace in the city, you should not miss the Nishat Mahal!
8. Lal Sohanra National Park
Bahawalpur has national parks and attractive physical features in which the Lal Sohanra National Park is a great place to visit. The park considers the largest national park in South Asia. The government has classified it as a national park and has endorsed it by UNESCO. Lal Sohanra National Park was established in 1972 where the park has various wildlife and species that make it worth a visit. The national park locates 35 kilometres east of Bahawalpur and is spread over an area of 127,480 acres (51,368 hectares).
The park has known a wide diversity of exotic landscapes. With the wide area, the park occupies land on both sides of Desert Branch Canal where the park is surrounded by dunes that are between 1 to 6 meters in height. Lal Sohanra Park covers the area of 20,974 acres of green land, 101,726 deserts and 4780 ponds and lakes. This makes a great place for a great family hangout or relaxes the calming atmosphere! To visit the park in Bahawalpur, be sure not to miss the beautiful Lal Sohanra National Park!
9. Farid Gate
Bahawalpur is one of Pakistan’s greatest historic sites and is known for its old and walled city of gates. The Fareed Gate is one of them in the seven gates. Fareed Gate is the only gate that still exists and stands in the old Bahawalpur city.
Nawab Bahawal Khan I founded the gate in 1748. He migrated to Uch Sharif from Shikapur. Bahawalpur replaced Derawar as the clan of the capital city. Although Fareed Gate is still under restoration, it is worth a visit to Bahawalpur. Inside the gate, you will see old bazaars that locate in the centre of the city. To visit the old gate in Bahawalpur, you must visit the Fareed Gate!
10. Tomb of Bibi Jawindi
The Tomb of Bibi Jawindi locates in Uch Sharif and marks one of the five monuments that are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The tomb is famous for its shrines and the Sufi culture. With the historical background, an Iranian prince built the tomb in 1493. Dilshad built the tomb for Bibi Jawindi, the great-granddaughter of the famous Sufi saint Jahaniyan Jahangasht.
Since Uch Sharif is known for its shrine culture, the tomb leaves beautiful mosaics of blue and white tiles with an octagonal base and eight turrets. A large number of pilgrims come and worship in the mornings and evenings. Despite its deterioration, the heritage officials are making effort to preserve the tomb and maintain the beautiful blue and white tiles. This makes it one of the most eager places to visit in Bahawalpur. To find a beautiful historical site, you ought to see the Tomb of Bibi Jawindi!
11. Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq
Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq or Al Sadiq Mosque is marked as one of the most beautiful mosques in the city of Punjab where the masjid holds the capacity of 60,000 worshippers. The masjid leaves the exotic beauty of white marble that has laid by the Great Sufi of the Chishtia Clan and the Spiritual Master Noor Muhammad Maharvi.
He was the Nawab of Bahawalpur that has laid the foundation of marble 200 years ago. The renovation had ordered by Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi in 1935 after returning from Hajj. The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore inspired the masjid. All of the ornaments, decorations and architectural details have followed from the Badshahi Masjid. To visit the beautiful white masjid in Bahawalpur, you must visit the Al Sadiq Mosque!
Bahawalpur is known for its ancient societies and wealthy background where the city has various historical sites and rich architecture that makes it worth a visit. These places to visit in Bahawalpur will leave you in wonder and expand your knowledge about the beautiful city in Punjab. The rich culture and architecture make it one of the most visiting places in Pakistan. Regardless of your reasons, you must not miss these places when planning to visit Bahawalpur!