Sufi Ziarat Tour
08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS
NOTE :- Although, we try to adhere to the schedule listed below, this itinerary is subject to change due to numerous reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, canceled or delayed flights, road washouts, vehicle breakdowns, sickness, accidents, government restrictions & all other unforeseen exigencies for which we cannot make provisions.
Sufism is Islam's mystical tradition, the Sufis being Muslim holy men who develop their spirituality through prayer and meditation. Sufi comes from the Arabic 'safa' meaning purity, so Sufis are those whose hearts and souls are pure. The first Sufis wandered through Persia and Afghanistan and into the South Asia, preaching love, peace and brotherhood. Some of Pakistan's finest music and literature were written by Sufi saints; verses set to music that tell of the love of God, and stories in which virtue receives its reward. Sufi saints portrayed life at its most perfect. The shrines of the great saints draw many who come to pray and make offerings.
Each shrine has a festival (Urs) each year on the death anniversary of the saint's death. The shrine then becomes a fairground, with musicians playing traditional instruments and singers performing mystical folk songs while dancers dance themselves in to a devotional frenzy. Trade fairs, sports competitions and traditional martial arts also take place such as fighting with daggers and riding.
Arrival at Lahore met and transfer to your Hotel – Lahore.
Full day sightseeing excursion of Lahore.
AM : The visit to the Walled City of Lahore includes Wazir Khan's Mosque - built in 1634 by Hakim Ali-ud-Din; Shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh - a great scholar from Ghazni 1039-1072. has millions of pilgrims and his Urs (death festival) is a national event; Anarkali Bazaar - named after Prince Salim's (Jehangir) lover, is a cluster of street bazaars exclusively for ladies.
Return to hotel or drive to Food Street for lunch. After lunch resume sightseeing.
PM : Visit to Shalimar Gardens - built by Shah Jahan in 1642, this 3 terraced garden is perfectly adorned with beautiful fountains, marble pavilions and geometrically designed ponds.
Return to Hotel for overnight. All meals included.
Full day sightseeing excursion of Lahore.
AM : Visit the Lahore Fort - a marvel of Moghal Architecture begun in the 11th Century and completed in the end of 16th Century. Among the emperors who contributed to its splendors are Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jehan; the Badshahi Mosque - the Second biggest in the world made of red stone by Aurangzeb; Hazuri Bagh - a grand marble pavilion constructed by Raja Ranjit Singh in 1818; Minar -e-Pakistan - a towering Pakistan Day Memorial.
Overnight at Hotel. All meals included.
PM : Datta Ganj Bakhsh; Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Usman al-Jullabi al-Hajvery al-Ghaznawi, also known as Daata Ganj Bakhsh, which means the master who bestows treasures) or Daata Sahib was a Persian Sufi and scholar in the 11th century. He significantly contributed to the spreading of Islam in South Asia.
He was born around 990 CE near Ghazni, Afghanistan, during the Ghaznavid Empire and died in Lahore (Punjab, Pakistan) in 1077 CE. His most famous work is Revelation of the Veiled (Kashf Al Mahjub), written in the Persian language. The work, which is one of the earliest and most respected treatises of Sufism, debates Sufi doctrines of the past.
Ali Hajvery is also famous for his mausoleum in Lahore, which is surrounded by a large marble courtyard, a mosque and other buildings. It is the most frequented of all the shrines in that city, and one of the most famous in Pakistan and nearby countries. His name is a household word, and his mausoleum the object of pilgrimage from distant places
Ali Hujwiri is both al-Hasani and al-Husayni Sayyid. His father is al-Hasani Sayyid and his mother is al-Husayni. Abul Hasan Ali bin Usman Al-Hujwiri Al-Jullabi Al-Ghazanwi was born in Ghazni (Hujwir) where his family had settled and the members of which were passionate for devoutness and learning. He was known as Ali Al-Hujwiri Al-Jullabi, Al-Ghazanwi because he lived for a long time in Hujwir and Jullab, the two suburbs (Mazafat) of the city of Ghazni located in Afghanistan. In spite of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Al-Hujwiri's popularity and deep reverence; coming across his life biography is very much tortuous. Much of his life history and thought came from his own authentic reference Revelation of the Veiled.
Ali Hujwiri studied Sufism under Abu 'l-Fadl Muhammad, who was a student of Abu 'l-Hasan al-Husri. Abu 'l-Fadl Muhammed bin al-Hasan was well-versed in tafsir and riwayat. Ali Hujwiri traveled far and wide through the Indus River to the Caspian Sea. Among the countries and places which he visited were Adharbayajan, the tomb of Bayazid at Bistam, Damascus, Ramla, and Bayt al-Jinn in Syria. In Khursan alone he is reported to have met 300 Sufis. Al-Hujwiri was associated with the most well-known Sufi orders in the subcontinent, such as the Qadiri, Suharwardi, Naqshbandi, and the Junaidi orders. Hujwiri belonged to the Junaidia school of Sufism, founded by Junaid Baghdadi, a major Sufi saint of Baghdad. Hajwiri is also viewed as an important intercessor for many Sufis. Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri, a chief saint of the Chishti order, stated that an aspiring murid (disciple) one who does not (yet) have a murshid (spiritual master), should read Ali Hujwiri's book Kashf al-Mahjub, as that would be (temporarily) enough for his spiritual guidance. He settled for some time in Iraq where he had a short experience with married life.
Al-Hujwiri was a contemporary of al-Qushairi. During his travels, he met with many eminent Sufis, and saw and felt the slow transformation of Sufism from simple asceticism and adoration of God to a highly developed theosophical cult considerably influenced by pantheistic ideas. He is the link between mysticism as it developed in Persia and Khurasan, and the form it took in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.
Although a Sunni Hanafi, Hujwiri's theology was reconciled with the concept of Sufi annihilation. However he strenuously campaigned against the doctrine that human personalities can be merged with God, instead likening annihilation to burning by fire which allows the substance to acquire fire like properties while retaining its own individuality. He also was a great upholder of the Sharia and rebuffed the idea that outward observances of Islam are not important for Sufis. Hujwiri believed that individuals should not claim to have attained "marifat" or gnosis because it meant that one was prideful, and that true understanding of God should be a silent understanding.
Ali-Hujwiri is said to have died on the twentieth of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal 465 H.E, but the date, the month and year are all conjectural. Most early writers agree on 455 H.E. as the year of his death, on the basis of the various chronograms. Though the actual date of his passing was the 9th of Muharram and his Urs is on the 19th of Safar.
Ali Hujwiri was buried near the mosque which he had built during his lifetime. It has a been a practice of Sufi saints coming to South Asia to first visit the shrine of Ali Hujwiri. Upon arriving in the subcontinent, Moinuddin Chishti first came to Lahore to pay his respects at Daata Ganj-Bakhsh's shrine, where he spent quite some time in meditation and prayer before attaining enlightenment. He was then directed to settle in Ajmer Sharif, and commence his spiritual mission to go further east and preach. Moinuddin Chishti paid homage to Ali Hujwiri in the following words:
Overnight at hotel. All meals included.
LAHORE TO MULTAN VIA PAK PATTAN
AM : Drive to Multan via Pak Pattan
Pakpattan, is the capital city of the Pakpattan District in the Sahiwal Division in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Pakpattan is one of the ancient cities of Pakistan. It is the city that has the shrine of Baba Fareed. Pakpattan is located roughly 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the border with India, and 184 kilometres (114 mi) by road southwest of Lahore.
Hazrat Khwaja Farīduddīn Mas'ūd Ganjshakar (1173-1266) was a Sufi saint and Muslim missionary in Punjab region of South Asia, belonging to the Chishti Order. Baba Farid, as he is commonly known, is heavily quoted in Sikh scriptures, giving him a unique place of honour within Sikhism. The town of Faridkot in Punjab, India is named after him.
Bābā Farīd was born in 1179 or 1188 AD (584 Hijri) at Kothewal village, 10 km from Multan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan, to Jamāl-ud-dīn Suleimān and Maryam Bībī (Qarsum Bībī), daughter of Sheikh Wajīh-ud-dīn Khojendī. He was one of the founding fathers of the Chishti Sufi order.
Farīd's lineage is traced back to the second Caliph Umar ibn Khattab Razi Allah tala anhu). Bābā Farīd received his early education at Multan, which had become a centre for Muslim education; it was here that he met his murshid (master), Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī, a noted Sufi saint, who was passing through Multan, from Baghdad on his way to Delhi. Upon completing his education, Farīd left for Sistan and Kandahar and went to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage with his parents at the age of 16.
Once his education was over, he moved to Delhi, where he learned the Islamic doctrine from his master, Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī. He later moved to Hansi, Haryana. When Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī died in 1235, Farīd left Hansi and became his spiritual successor, and he settled in Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan, Pakistan) instead of Delhi. On his way to Ajodhan, while passing through Faridkot, he met the 20-year-old Nizāmuddīn, who went on to become his disciple, and later his successor Sufi khalīfah.
Bābā Farīd had three wives and eight children (five were sons and three daughters). One of his wives, Hazabara, was the daughter of Sulṭān Nasīruddīn Maḥmūd.
The great Arab traveller Ibn Baṭūṭah once visited this Sufi saint. Ibn Battuta says that Fariduddin Ganjshakar was the spiritual guide of the King of India, and that the King had given him the village of Ajodhan. He also met Bābā Farīd's two sons. Fariduddin Ganjshakar's shrine darbār is located in Pakpattan.
Bābā Farīd's descendants, also known as Fareedi, Fareedies or Faridy, mostly carry the name Fārūqī, and can be found in Pakistan, India and the diaspora. Fariduddin Ganjshakar's descendants include the Sufi saint Salim Chishti, whose daughter was the Emperor Jehangir's foster mother. Their descendants settled in Sheikhupur, Badaun and the remains of a fort they built can still be found.
One of Farīd's most important contributions to Punjabi literature was his development of the language for literary purposes. Whereas Sanskrit, Arabic, Turkish and Persian had historically been considered the languages of the learned and the elite, and used in monastic centres, Punjabi was generally considered a less refined folk language. Although earlier poets had written in a primitive Punjabi, before Farīd there was little in Punjabi literature apart from traditional and anonymous ballads. By using Punjabi as the language of poetry, Farīd laid the basis for a vernacular Punjabi literature that would be developed later.
The city of Faridkot bears his name. According to legend, Farīd stopped by the city, then named Mokhalpūr, and sat in seclusion for forty days near the fort of King Mokhal. The king was said to be so impressed by his presence that he named the city after Bābā Farīd, which today is known as Tilla Bābā Farīd. The festival Bābā Sheikh Farād Āgman Purb Melā' is celebrated in September each year from (21–23 Sep, 3 days), commemorating his arrival in the city. Ajodhan was also renamed as Farīd's 'Pāk Pattan', meaning 'Holy Ferry'; today it is generally called Pāk Pattan Sharīf.
Faridia Islamic University, a religious madrassa in Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan, is named after him, and in July 1998, the Punjab Government in India established the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot, the city which itself was named after him.
There are various explanations of why Bābā Farīd was given the title Shakar Ganj ('Treasure of Sugar'). One legend says his mother used to encourage the young Farīd to pray by placing sugar under his prayer mat. Once, when she forgot, the young Farīd found the sugar anyway, an experience that gave him more spiritual fervour and led to his being given the name.
The small tomb of Baba Farid is made of white marble with two doors, one facing east and called the Nūrī Darwāza or 'Gate of Light', and the second facing north called Bahishtī Darwāza, or 'Gate of Paradise'. There is also a long covered corridor. Inside the tomb are two white marbled graves. One is Baba Farid's, and the other is his elder son's. These graves are always covered by sheets of cloth called Chadders (the green coloured chadders are covered with Islamic verses), and flowers that are brought by visitors. The space inside the tomb is limited; not more than ten people can be inside at one time. Ladies are not allowed inside the tomb, but the late Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan, managed to enter inside when she visited the shrine. Another rare exceptional case was the late Hajjah Kainz Hussain of Jhelum,wife of the late Haji Manzoor Hussain,was allowed inside the tomb and was given a Chadder,which resulted in miraculous improvement in her health.
A Chilla of Baba Farid is located in Dhirdan village of Lunkaransar tehsil in Bikaner district, Rajasthan, India.;Maharashtra, Wardha district samudrapur constituency in Girad a small town and in shakar baoli
The Shrine (mazar/mazār) is vast and spacious, located in the city of Pakpattan, otherwise Pākpattan Sharīf. At first his tomb and shrine were constructed under the supervision of Saint Nizamuddin Auliya/Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia. The shrine is made entirely of marble. Some years back it was partly made of marble and bricks. Charity food called Langar is distributed all day to visitors and the Auqaf Department, which administers the shrine. The shrine is open all day and night for visitors. The shrine has its own huge electricity generator that is used whenever there is power cut or loadshedding, so the shrine remains bright all night, all year round. There is no separation of male and female areas but a small female area is also there. There is a big new mosque in the shrine. Thousands of people daily visit the shrine for their wishes and unresolvable matters; for this they vow to give to some charity when their wishes or problems are resolved. When their matters are solved they bring charity food for visitors and the poor, and drop money in big money boxes that are kept for this purpose. This money is collected by the Auqaf Department that looks after the shrine.
Every year, the saint's death anniversary or Urs is celebrated for six days in the first Islamic month of Muharram, in Pakpattan, Pakistan. The Bahishtī Darwāza (Gate of Paradise) is opened only once a year, during the time of the Urs fair. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all over the country and the world come to pay homage. The door of the Bahishti Darwaza is made of silver, with floral designs inlaid in gold leaf. This "Gate to Paradise" is padlocked all year, and only opened for ten days from sunset to sunrise in the month of Muharram. Some followers believe that by crossing this door all of one's sins are washed away. Some critics say it is unholy to pass through this door only with this intention. Others argue that it is good to pass this door with a resolution not to commit sins in the future. During the opening of the Gate of Paradise, extensive security arrangements are made to protect people from stampedes. In 2001, 27 people were crushed to death and 100 were injured in a stampede. The Urs is celebrated every year from the fifth through the tenth of Muharram. Some of his personal belongings were taken by his descendant Sheikh Salim to a fort he built for his family in Sheikhupur, Badaun, where they are preserved in a trunk called 'pitari'. To this day it is taken out in a procession for the first six days of Muharram.
One of the significant features of the daily life of the shrine is Qawwali. It is performed all day at some part of the shrine, but at night it attracts a huge gathering. Every Thursday evening, there is a big Mehfil-e-Sama just outside the tomb, that lasts all night and attracts hundreds of people. Many famous and popular Qawwals (Qawwali singers) of the country participate in the Mehfil. Many listeners become so mesmerised that they start dancing a traditional religious dance called Dhamaal. The first Thursday evening of every lunar month attracts extra thousands of people, making the shrine jam packed.
After lunch continue drive to Multan.
PM : Visit to the Shrines of Shah Rukan-e-Alam, Bahauddin Zikirya Temple of Pra Halad (temple and Phulhattan Mosque. All presenting intricate designing and incomparable workmanship.
Multan, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, is one of the oldest cities in South Asia, the exact age has yet to be determined. Its modern name comes from its old Sanskrit name Mūlasthān. It has seen a lot of warfare because of its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia. It is famous for its Sufi shrines.
Multan was ruled by various Hindu and Buddhist empires for over 1000 years. It was the capital of ancient Trigarta Kingdom at the time of Mahabharta and ruled by Katoch Clan Kshatriya Rajputs.It is believed to have been visited by Alexander the Great. It is said that when Alexander was fighting for the city, a poisoned arrow struck him, making him ill and eventually leading to his death. The exact place where Alexander was hit by the arrow can be seen in the old city premises. It is believed to be the same city as "Maii-us-than", where Alexander's forces stormed the citadel after seeing their king injured and unconscious on the field of battle. Multan was part of the Mauryan and the Gupta empires that ruled much of northern India. In the mid-5th century, the city was attacked by a group of nomads led by Toramana. These nomads were successful in taking the city, but did not stay, and the long-standing Hindu rule over the city was re-established. The noted Chinese traveller Huen Tsang visited Multan in 641.
During the early period, Multan was known as the city of gold for its large and wealthy temples. The Sun temple, Suraj Mandir, was considered one of the largest and wealthiest temples in the entire sub-continent. Numerous historians have written about this extremely large Hindu temple that housed over 6,000 people within it. Other famous sites included the Suraj Kund ("pool of the Sun") and Temple of Prahladapuri. Story of Prahlada from whom the temple took its name is interesting.
Prahlada was the son of King Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu held sway over this country and condemned the gods and forbade the paying of homage in their name. Prahlada was recognized as being a very devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment. As Prahlada grows in age, his father Hiranyakashipu becomes upset at his devotion to Vishnu, who he sees as his mortal enemy. Eventually his anger leads him to attempt to kill the boy Prahlada in many ways, but each time Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. Finally in disgust Hiranyakashipu points to a particular pillar and asks if his Vishnu is in it? Prahlada answers "He is". Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, it burst in two and out sprang the god Vishnu in the form of a man-lion form called Narasimha Avatar who laid the King across his knees and ripped his stomach open with his claws. A temple devoted to Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu is built. The temple of Prahladpuri Temple is situated close to the shrine of Bahawal Huk. Currently its roof and surrounding building have been damaged but the pillar is no more. The Idol was shifted from temple to a new place near old fruit market. Now it has been relocated at Haridwar, where it was brought in 1947 by Narayan Das Baba.
Early Muslim era; In the 7th century, Multan had its first experience with Muslim armies. Armies led by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah launched numerous raids from Persia into India in 664 for inclusion of the area into their empires.
“ In the same year Abdool Ruhman Bin Shimur, another Arab Ameer of distinction, marched from Merv to Kabul, where he made converts of upwards of twelve thousand persons. At the same time, also Mohalib Bin Aby-Suffra, proceeding with a detachment from thence, in the direction of India, penetrated as far as Multan: when having plundered the country, he returned to the headquarters of the army at Khorassan, bringing with him many prisoners, who were compelled to become converts to the faith.
However, only a few decades later, Muhammad bin Qasim would come on behalf of the Arabs, and take Multan along with Sindh. His conquest was accompanied by much plundering:
“ He then crossed the Biyas, and went towards Multan. Muhammad Bin Qasim destroyed the water-course; upon which the inhabitants, oppressed with thirst, surrendered at discretion. He massacred the men capable of bearing arms, but the children were taken captive, as well as ministers of the temple, to the number of 6,000. The Muslims found there much gold in a chamber ten cubits long by eight broad ”
Following bin Qasim's conquest, the city was securely under Muslim rule, although it was in effect an independent state, but around the start of the 11th century, the city was attacked twice by Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the Sun Temple and broke its giant Idol. A graphic detail is available in Al-Biruni's writings:
“ A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun, and therefore called Aditya. It was of wood and covered with red Cordovan leather; in its two eyes were two red rubies. It is said to have been made in the last Kritayuga. When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunaibh conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore, he thought it best to have the idol where it was, but he hung a piece of cow's flesh on its neck by way of mockery. On the same place a mosque was built. When the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests. ”
In 965, Multan was conquered by Halam bin Shayban, an Ismaili da’i. Soon after, Multan was attacked by the Ghaznavids, destabilizing the Ismaili state. Mahmud of Ghazna invaded Multan in 1005, conducting a series of campaigns during which some Ismailis were massacred while most later converted to Sunni Hanafi fiqh.
In an effort to gain his allegiance, the Fatimid Ismaili Imam-caliph al-Hakim dispatched an envoy to Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi two years later. This attempt appeared to be unsuccessful and the Ghaznawids continued to attack other Ismaili strongholds in Sindh to suppress any resurgence of the community in the region. In 1032, Mahmud’s very own vizier, Hasanak was executed for having accepted a cloak from the Imam-caliph on suspicions that he had become an adherent of the Ismaili fiqh.
Mahmud’s purges of the region led several scholars including Stern to believe that the Ghaznawid purges of the region drove out Ismailism from the area, however, recently discovered letters dating to 1083 and 1088 demonstrate continued Ismaili activity in the region, as the Imam-caliph Mustansir dispatched new da’is to replace those who were killed in the attacks.
Like his predecessor, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor first took, in 1178, the Ismaili Multan sultans in northern Sindh, which had regained independence from Ghaznavid rule. Muhammad Ghori as a part of his campaigns to conquer north India, again massacred them,
After Sultan Muhammad Ghori's victories in India, and his establishment of a capital in Delhi, Multan was made a part of his empire. However, the rise of the Mongols would again give it some independence, albeit requiring it to be vigilant against Mongol raids from Central Asia.
The Qarmatians came to Multan in the 10th century and were expelled in 1175 by Sultan Muhammad Ghori.
Under the Mughal Empire, Multan enjoyed over 200 years of peace, and became known as Dar al-Aman (Abode of Peace). The Khakwani Nawabs of Multan gave it a lot of financial stability and growth to the local farming sector. It was at this time that Multan was ruled by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani. As governor of Multan, he built the famous Mosque Ali Mohammad Khan in 1757 which remains to this day. Many buildings were constructed in this time, and agricultural production grew rapidly. The Khakwani Nawabs of Multan at this time were paying homage to the Afghan king but due to lack of power in Delhi and Kabul they had free rein and were the de facto absolute rulers of Multan. Multan at that time included areas which are part of Vehari, Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan districts. The city escaped the destruction brought upon India by the armies of Nadir Shah. Afterwards it was ruled from Kabul by numerous Afghan dynasties for a while. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Multan region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Maratha and Sikh invaded and occupied Multan.
Main article: Maratha conquest of North-west India
In 1758, the Maratha Empire's general Raghunathrao marched onwards, conquered Lahore and Attock and defeated Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Lahore, Multan, Kashmir and other subahs on the eastern side of Attock were under the Maratha rule for the most part. In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas plundered the prosperous Mughal cities. Maratha general Bapuji Trimbak was given the charge of guarding Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan from Afghans. Maratha rule in Multan was short-lived as Durrani re-captured the city in November 1759.
Multan witnessed difficult times as Mughal rule declined. After Ahmad Shah Durrani's dynasty went into decline, it was ruled locally by the Pashtun Khakwani and Sadozai chieftains. The Sadozais having gained the favour of the king and having the Khakwani Nawab removed. This period saw the rise of Sikh power and frequent clashes took place between the Muslims and Sikhs. The Sikhs attacked Multan killed the Sadozai Nawab and took over the city. The Khakwanis had moved out of the city at that time and lived in small walled cities around main Multan.
The Khokhars and Khatri Muslims occupied Multan intermittently between 1756 to 1763 displacing replacing ruling Sadozai member by Khakwani nawab or his brother, son or even son-in-law, this was most turbulent period in history of Multan resulting administration getting paralyzed and inviting attack from misl from Gujranwal. The Sikhs plundered many village. His sons Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh attacked again in 1764. However, attempts to take the Multan fort failed and they retreated after collecting several million rupees loot from the ruler Muzaffar Khan Saddozai.
The front view of an old colonial building built during the rule of the British Raj.
In the 19th century, the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh with his capital at Lahore occupied Multan. Sikh armies under General Hari Singh Nalwa defeated and brutally murdered the ruler of Multan, Muzaffar Khan Saddozai. The death of Muzaffar Khan was in fact the death of Muslim rule in Multan.
However, Sikh rule would not last long, as the British were eventually provoked into checking the Sikh strength in Punjab. After a long and bloody battle, Multan was made part of the British Raj. During this time, Sardar Karan Narain's son became an icon during the British Raj and was awarded titles 'Rai Bahadur' and Knighted 'Sir' by Her Majesty. The British built some rail routes to the city, but its industrial capacity was never fully developed.
The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Multan. It initially lacked industry, hospitals and universities. Since then, there has been some industrial growth, and the city's population is continually growing. Today, it is one of the country's largest urban centres and remains an important settlement in the Southern Punjab.
Overnight at your hotel. All meals included.
MULTAN TO UCH
AM : Drive to Uch.
Uchch domains the Muslim tombs of the 13th and 14th centuries. Located near the confluence of the Chenab and Sutlej rivers, Uchch has been largely bypassed by the 20th century, and is now just a small country bazaar surrounded by mud houses, but in the 13th and 14th centuries it was the capital of a rich kingdom and, with its sister city Multan, a center of political, cultural and literary activity. The independent Kingdom of Uch was short-lived, as the river changed course and the town declined, but it still continued to attract the pious and saintly. Today it is always referred to as Uch Sharif (Holy Uch).
Uch was famous long before the advent of Islam. Alexander the Great arrived in 325 BC, Arrian, the second-century AD military historian, records that 'Alexander ordered a city to be built at the confluence of the two rivers, imagining that by the advantage of such a situation, it would become rich and prosperous'. The locals sent Alexander 100 men as hostages and 500 war chariots with the drivers and horses fully caparisoned; apparently Alexander was so touched by this gesture that he returned the hostages.
At the beginning of the eighth century Uch was part of the kingdom of the Brahmin ruler Chach, author of the Chach Nama, who is believed to have invented and given his name to chess. It then fell in 711 to the Arab Muhammad bin Qasim after a siege of seven days. Five centuries later it reached its height as a great religious center.
Today Uch is famous for the tombs of its saints, the most exquisite ruins in Pakistan. Of these the most aesthetically pleasing is the blue and white tiled Tomb of Bibi Jawindi (d. 1403), a lady famous for her piety. The proportions and coloring of the tomb are lovely, even though 200 or so years ago it was party destroyed in a flood. Built in 1498, it features two octagonal tiers surmounted by a white dome which are very similar in design to the earlier Rukh-e-Alam Tomb in Multan. Broad bands of brilliant blue tiles laid in pleasing geometric patterns decorate the round buttresses at the corners and surround the arches on each wall. The two ruined tombs of Bahawal Halim and Ustad Ladla stand in the same graveyard.
The Tomb of Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari is right beside the tomb of Bibi Jawindi, but is easily missed as it is a low, square building with a flat roof and a plain brick outside wall. The entrance is on the other side. The tomb consists of an oblong room, built in the 14th century and extensively repaired in the 1800s, with a beautifully painted wooden ceiling held up by 40 carved wooden pillars. Saint Jalaluddin, who came from Bukhara in the 13th century, was a charismatic religious leader and is still greatly revered today. His cenotaph, on a raised platform at one end of the grave-filled room, is surrounded by a carved rail and covered by a wooden canopy, all encased in glass. The square mosque in the same compound has interesting carved brickwork and a wooden ceiling supported by pillars.
Two other tombs in Uch that should not be missed are those of Shaikh Saifuddin Ghazrooni, thought to be the oldest Muslim tomb in the subcontinent, and Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht. You will need a guide to find them as both are square buildings with flat wooden roofs. Saifuddin Ghazrooni came from Baghdad in 980 and was the first Muslim saint to settle in Uch. Jahanian Jahangasht spent his life travelling (his second name means Great Traveller); he was the grandson of Jalaluddin Bukhari.
After sightseeing Uchch, proceed to Bahawalpur. Packed lunch enroute.
Bahawalpur was rebuilt in 1748 by the Nawab (Lord) on an old site, Bahawalpur's wide tree-lined streets and large houses with arched verandas give it an air of calm spaciousness. Most public transport is by bicycle rickshaw, so life here seems graciously
unhurried. Bahawalpur is a small but prosperous town, and is an ideal starting-point for safaris into the Cholistan Desert, or for day trips to the Lal Suhanra National Game Park or Derawar Fort.
The Nawabs of Bahawalpur built several palaces here before moving, ostensibly for reasons of privacy, to Dera Nawab Sahib in the 1890s. The Noor Mahal, built in 1885 in Italian style, stands in extensive gardens. It was used as a guest house for high-ranking visitors, including Edward VII of Britain who once stayed here. Once lavishly furnished, it is now occupied by the Pakistan army and closed to the public.
The Bahawalgarh, built in 1876, and the Gulzar Mahal, built in 1902, are two other palaces now used as army offices and the officers' mess. Both are closed to the public, though the mosque in the grounds of the latter is open. The Daulat Khana, built in the 1880s, was used by the then-nawab's mother but is now abandoned and falling into disrepair.
The nawab's elegant capital featured numerous examples of Victorian architecture with pillared cupolas, arches and domes. Victoria Hospital, dating from 1906, and the high school, built in 1911, are the most charming examples. The library, another palace-like building with domes and arches, built in 1924, houses one of Pakistan's best collections of books. The children's library to its left and the museum to the right, are both modern buildings. The latter has a good collection of Indus Civilization artifacts, Buddhist Gandharan stone statues, Hindu wood carvings, coins, stamps and miniatures, and an ethnographic display of clothes and tools from the Cholistan Desert.
Overnight hotel for overnight. All meals included.
UCH TO ISLAMABAD
AM : Drive to Islamabad via Lahore Islamabad Motorway with estimated time 8 hours 40 minutes with 703km.
Islamabad is the national capital city of Pakistan located within the Islamabad Capital Territory. According to a 2012 estimate by the Census Department, the population of Islamabad including its surrounding territory has increased to 2 million and together with its neighbouring twin city of Rawalpindi, the greater Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the third largest conurbation in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants. Since its foundation, Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most cosmopolitan and urbanised cities of Pakistan. As the national capital, Islamabad is the seat of the Government of Pakistan; the Presidential Palace (Aiwan-e-Sadr) is located here. Islamabad is also home to the Pakistan Monument, which is one of the two national monuments of Pakistan. Islamabad is known as a clean, calm and green city. It hosts a large number of foreign diplomats, politicians and government employees.
Islamabad is a modern, planned and maintained city located in the Pothohar Plateau in the northeastern part of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Margalla Pass acting as the gateway between the two regions. The city was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital. Islamabad is a well-organised international city divided into several different sectors and zones. It is regarded as the most developed city in Pakistan and is ranked as a Gamma+ world city. The city is home to the Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest mosque in the world.
Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan. There are 16 recognised universities in Islamabad, including some of the top-ranked universities in Pakistan: Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences, and National University of Sciences and Technology. Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad is one of the world's largest universities by enrollment. Islamabad has the lowest infant mortality rate in the country at 38 deaths per thousand as compared to the national average of 78 deaths per thousand. The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Islamabad is one of the largest hospitals in Pakistan.
On arrival transfer to hotel for rest and overnight.
NERIAN SHARIF AZAD KASHMIR
Early morning visit Bari Imam (1617–1705), whose real name was Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, was born in 1026 Hijra (1617 AD) in Jhelum. His father, Syed Mehmood Shah, shifted his family from Jhelum District to Baghan village, presently called Aabpara. At that time, it was a barren land. Soon after the arrival of Bari Imam’s family, his father started farming and also kept some animals. Shah Latif helped his father in grazing the animals, but left his father at 12 and came to Nurpur Shahan. He is the first cousin from his father's side of Shah Chan Charagh.
Nurpur Shahan, the village was initially called churpur Shahan since it was infested by thieves, robbers and people of dubious character in those days. Bari Imam while spreading the message of peace converted them to Islam and convinced them to become law abiding citizens.
From Nurpur Shahan, Bari Imam went to Ghorghushti in Campbellpur (now known as Attock) where he stayed for two years to learning fiqh, hadith, logic, and other disciplines related to Islam, because at that time Ghorghushti was a great seat of learning.
To get spiritual knowledge and satiate his love for Islam, Bari Imam visited many places, including Kashmir, Badakhshan, Bukhara, Mashhad, Baghdad and Damascus. He not only received spiritual knowledge in these places but also held discussions with scholars belonging to different schools of thought on various subjects. Later, he went to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.
Bari Imam received spiritual knowledge from Hayat-al-Mir (Zinda Pir). His Pir (Sufi Mentor) gave him the title of Bari Imam (The leader of the earth). Bari Imam converted thousands of Hindus into Muslims through the teachings of Islam at Nurpur Shahan. It is stated that once Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir himself came there to pay respects to Bari Imam.
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who was devoted to spreading his empire, originally built the silver-mirrored shrine of Bari Imam. It has been renovated since and is now maintained by the Government of Pakistan. Inside the mausoleum, where the great saint rests, only men are permitted, a steady stream of believers enter and exit, most bending to kiss and strew rose petals on the green cloth covering the grave of Bari Imam.
Every year at the Urs (Birth celebration) of the saint, who spread Islam in this part of the world, gains momentum; devotees in their thousands set out for the Margalla foothills and gather at Nurpur Shahan to pay their respect. Although many swarm the shrine all year round, only last year the number exceeded a head count of 1.2 million people.
After visiting Bari Imam continue drive 128 km to Darbar Aalia Nerian Sharif the holy tombs of Khwaja Ghaznavi and his younger brother are located in Nerian Sharif. The tombs are visited daily and are constantly surrounded by much recitation of the Holy Qur'an & remembrance of Allah by both visitors and locals.
Now referred to as Darbar Aalia Nerian Sharif, the area is recognised as a sacred land and renowned for its hospitality of guests. The Langar Khaana (public kitchen) is open to all, and the Mosque/Masjid itself often hosts many events for Islamic education and similar purposes.
It is also the location of Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University.
The successor & guardian of this religious land is the son of Khwaja Ghaznavi, who is also an important scholar in Islam today, Pir Shaykh Allau-ud-din Siddiqui, who is Chancellor of Mohi-ud-din Islamic University in Pakistan, founder of Mohi-ud-din Medical College, Pakistan, and also the Chairman of Al-Ehya Trust, which is engaged in accommodating and educating, orphaned and deprived children in Pakistan. As the Chairman of Noor TV and the founder of Mohiuddin Trust, he has set up many projects in aid of the poor and needy.
Overnight at hotel at Murree. All meals included.
MURREE TO LAHORE
AM : Drive to Lahore 358 km from Murree via Rawalpindi.
Rawalpindi, commonly known as Pindi is a rapidly growing city in the Pothohar region of northern Punjab, Pakistan. It is located only 14 kilometres (9 mi) south from the capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth most populous urban area and is in the List of most populous metropolitan areas in Pakistan. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad metropolitan area is ranked the third highest in the country. Due to the high interdependence and intertwined areas of the two cities, they are known as the twin cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad. In the 1950s, Rawalpindi was smaller than Hyderabad and Multan, but the city's economy received a boost during the building of Islamabad (1959–1969), during which Rawalpindi served as the national capital. Rawalpindi is in the northernmost part of the Punjab province, located 275 km (171 mi) to the north-west of Lahore. It is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District. Also, Rawalpindi is the military headquarters GHQ of the Pakistani Armed Forces.
Many tourists use the city as a stop before traveling towards the northern areas. Numerous shopping bazaars, parks and a cosmopolitan population attract shoppers from all over Pakistan and abroad. The city is home to several industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport is located in Rawalpindi, which is also the Chaklala Airbase, and serves both cities and several neighboring districts for international flights.
AM : Transfer to airport for your return flight back home. End of our Services.
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