Multan, one of the oldest cities in the Asian subcontinent and known as the 'City of Saints', is located in central Pakistan some 562 km from the capital Islamabad.

Hindu legends mention Multan as the capital of the Trigarta Kingdom ruled by the Katoch Dynasty, which was involved in the Mahabharata war mentioned in the Hindu epic of the same name.

Multan became part of Pakistan following the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, with buildings dating from the 17th and 18th century becoming historical landmarks in Multan. The old city remains in a dilapidated state, with political and security issues discouraging development and tourists from the area. — Photos by AFP

A vendor tends to his stall beside an alleyway in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
A vendor tends to his stall beside an alleyway in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents are seen in narrow alleys in the old town section of Multan.
 ?AFP Photo
Local residents are seen in narrow alleys in the old town section of Multan. ?AFP Photo
An alley-side bazaar is pictured in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
An alley-side bazaar is pictured in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
Pigeons fly above an alley lined with dilapidated buildings in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
Pigeons fly above an alley lined with dilapidated buildings in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
Colourful buildings are pictured in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
Colourful buildings are pictured in the old town section of Multan . ?AFP Photo
A pigeon rests on loudspeakers at a mosque in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
A pigeon rests on loudspeakers at a mosque in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents pose inside a 200-year old house undergoing ownership disputes between heirs, residents, and the local government in the old town section of Multan .
Local residents pose inside a 200-year old house undergoing ownership disputes between heirs, residents, and the local government in the old town section of Multan .
Local residents are seen in alleyways in front of a 200-year old house (C, background) undergoing ownership disputes between heirs, residents, and the local government in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents are seen in alleyways in front of a 200-year old house (C, background) undergoing ownership disputes between heirs, residents, and the local government in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents travel past a dilapidated building in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents travel past a dilapidated building in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents travel through narrow alleys past dilapidated buildings in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012 . ?AFP Photo
Local residents travel through narrow alleys past dilapidated buildings in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012 . ?AFP Photo
Local residents go about their daily lives in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Local residents go about their daily lives in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Pedestrians are seen on a street next to a dilapidated building in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Pedestrians are seen on a street next to a dilapidated building in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Dilapidated buildings and residences are pictured in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo
Dilapidated buildings and residences are pictured in the old town section of Multan on March 17, 2012. ?AFP Photo

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Comments (7) Closed

Abuali
Mar 19, 2012 08:32pm
Multan comes from Sanskrit Mool-Sthan which means native or original location. As per Hindu beliefs, this is where Demon Hiranyakashipu was killed by Narsimha, the avatar of Lord Vishnu. A priest from my city traveled to Multan just to see the reminiscent of the Narsimha temple. He told me the etymology. He had to travel in guise of cricket spectator when India and Pak was in better humor during Vajpayee era. Hope one day we can openly go without hiding such harmless intentions.
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Pankaj Patel(USA)
Mar 20, 2012 02:12am
Multan is the oldest of Indian cities,perhaps first settlement dating beck to Indus civilization. As per Hindu mythology its name is Mul Sthan (original place) and was ruled by Hirnyakashyap the king who belived him self as god.His son Prahlad was a believer in God and the great Hindu festival of Holi is based on the story that instead of Prahlad king's sister Holika was burnt in the flame.
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Shayan Khurshid
Mar 20, 2012 11:11am
Well, I'm in multan for two weeks now and in addition to its fame being mainly due to being the 'city of saints' and the famous 'sohan halwa', I found multan very interesting. Since I am from karachi, I am used to of hearing about all the street crimes but here in multan, the situation is very relaxing as all the locals i met here asked me not to worry about this issue as there are hardly any events. Now i dont know whether this is due to increased security (well, obviously not) or is it a natural blessing for this area but whatever the case might be, I am very relaxed to be here as I can roam freely on the streets and shop around (sohan halwa for sure). Another astonishing fact about multan i noticed is the infrastructure development that has taken place in the city recently and has given the people of this city a lot of comfort in travelling. Though a lot has to be achieved too, but the number of flyovers in multan speak of the city's development itself. I will be going back to karachi in a day or two but I will surely miss the 'City of Saints'
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UA
Mar 20, 2012 12:25pm
That's some very poor photography. It's a bunch of random photographs with no real context. How come the title has "Saint" and there is not a single photograph of a shrine.
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GKrishnan
Mar 20, 2012 01:18pm
The name Multan is from the original Sanskrit term Moola-sthanam, sometimes taken to mean a sun temple, and often referred to as the sanctum-sanctorum of any temple.
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Jaya
Mar 20, 2012 09:23pm
Dilapidated and where have all the women gone???
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atul
Mar 20, 2012 11:36pm
Yes totally correct, Multan is exactly the place where Narsimha killed demon called Hiranyakashyapu In Pakistan there are so many places connected with ancient Hindu mythology that i wonder why Pakistan makes no effort to encash this by allowing Hindu tourists from India to visit these places.It will be a huge tourism revenue for Pakistan,Package tours of 10 - 15 days can be arranged after proper advertising & marketing in Indian newspapers /TV channels
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