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Multan District Profile

Introduction.Geographical Location; Multan District

Multan district is located between 29° 22Ꞌ to 30° 45Ꞌ north latitudes and 71° 03Ꞌ to 72° 28Ꞌ east longitudes. It forms a rough triangle, with the confluence of the streams of Rivers Chenab and Sutlej which unite at the district’s southwestern extremity. The district is situated wholly within the Bari Doab.[1] Multan is bounded by the Khanewal district in the north and northeast, Lodhran district in the southeast, Bahawalpur district in the south, and Muzaffargarh district in the west. The River Sutlej, flowing in the south, separates it from Bahawalpur, and the River Chenab in the west forms the boundary between Muzaffargarh and Multan districts.

Multan District at a Glance

Name of District Multan City District
District Headquarter No headquarters, as it is a City District
Population[2] 4,745,109 persons
Area[3] 3,720 km2
Population Density[4] 1,302.0 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[5] 2.2%
Male Population[6] 51.4%
Female Population[7] 48.6%
Urban Population[8] 43.4%

6 townships and 1 Cantonment:

1.    Bosan Town

2.    Sher Shah Town

3.    Shah Rukn-e-Alam Town

4.    Musa Pak Shaheed Town

5.    Shujaabad Town

6.    Jalalpur Pirwala Town

7.    Multan Cantonment (Cantt.)

Main Towns Bosan Town, Shah Rukn-e-Alam Town, Mumtazabad Town, Sher Shah Town, Shujaabad Town, Jalalpur Town, and Multan Cantonment
Literacy Rate[9] 60%
Male Literacy Rate[10] 68%
Female Literacy Rate[11] 52%
Major Economic Activity[12] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing etc. 49.8%
Construction 24.6%
Community, Social and Personal Services 13.3%
Wholesale, Retail Trade, Restaurants, Hotels 7.1%;
Others 5.2%
Main Crops Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice, maize, bajra, jowar, tobacco, maash, moong, masoor, mustard, rapeseed, barley, gram, groundnut, sesanum, sugarbeet, guarseed, linseed, sunflower, sunn hemp, and fodder
Major Fruits Citrus, mango, banana, guavas, pears, pomegranates, dates, jaamun, phalsa, leechee, and loquats
Major Vegetables Onions, potatoes, chilies, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, peas, cauliflower, carrots, bottle gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd, turnips, radishes, and spinach
Forests (area)[13] – HA [14]
Total Black Topped Road[15] 3,024.4 km
National Highways[16] 578.0 km
Motorways[17] 56.0 Km
Provincial Roads[18] 2390.4 km
Sugar Cess Roads[19] – km
No. of Grid Stations[20] 13 grid stations ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV
No. of Tel. Exchanges[21] 32 telephone exchanges, ranging in capacity from 50 lines to 32,000 lines
Industrial Zones[22] 2 Industrial Estates and 589 small, medium, and large industrial units
Major Industry[23] Cotton Ginning & Pressing 127 units
Rice Mills 84 units
Flour Mills 52 units
Household Size[24] 7.2 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water Inside[25] 21.7%
Houses with Electricity[26] 69.6%

Table 1.2 Multan District at a Glance

[1] Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 18, p. 22. Bari Doab is the area between the Rivers Ravi and Beas

[2] 2017 Census

[3] 1998 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] 2017 Census

[9] Pakistan Social & Living measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available.

[10] PSLM

[11] PSLM

[12] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[13] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[14] Land Utilization Statistics also report 0 HA under forests.

[15] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[19] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[20] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; Latest available.

[21] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; Latest available.

[22] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; Latest available.

[23] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; For a detailed listing of all industrial units, please see section on Industry

[24] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[25] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[26] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsProtected Areas/ Tourist Attractions

Brief History of Multan District

Multan district is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of River Chenab, more or less in the geographic center of the country. According to the 2017 Population Census, Multan is the sixth largest city of Pakistan in terms of population. Its origin is about 5,000 years old and trace mentions of the city can be found in Hindu Mythology. It is known to be rich in culture, with a civilization that was contemporaneous to the cities of Mohen-jo-Daro, Harappa, and Kot Diji, all of which, in turn, were part of the Indus Valley Civilization (2600-1900 BC).

The Imperial Gazetteer of India states:

In the earliest time the city now known as Multan probably bore the name of Kasyapapura derived from Kasyapa, father of the Adityas and Daityas, the sun-gods and Titans of Hindu mythology. Under the Hellenic forms of the ancient designation, Multan figures in the works of Hecataeus, Herodotus and Ptolemy. General Cunningham believes that the Kaspeiraea of the last named author, being the capital of Kaspeiraea, whose dominion extended from Kashmir to Multan, must have been the capital city in the Punjab in the second century of Christian era. Five hundred years earlier Multan perhaps appears in the invasions of Alexander as the chief seat of Mali, whom the Macedonian conqueror utterly subdued after a desperate resistance. (v.18 p.24)

Accordingly, it was during Alexander’s campaign against the Mali in Multan when he received the fatal injury that ultimately led to his death.

Alexander the Great left Philippus in the Multan region as satrap,[1] but in 327 BC, the Macedonians were overpowered by Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha.[2] Chandragupta’s descendants continued to rule until the beginning of the 2nd century BC, when the region was invaded by the Bactrians, whose coins were found in the district. From 30 BC to 470 AD, the Kushan Dynasty ruled the area, and from 470 to 550 AD the region was under the White Huns (who were also called the Ephthalites).

The next set of events of historical importance have been drawn from the work by Arab historians and geographers, in whose accounts Multan figures as the capital of an important province of the Kingdom of Sindh, ruled by a line of Hindu Kings known as the Rais, the last of whom died in 631 AD.[3] The throne was then usurped by a Brahman named Chach, who was in power when the Arabs first entered the valley of Indus. During the reign of Chach, in 641 AD, the Chinese Pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, visited Multan, where he found the Golden Image of a Sun God which was called Mulasthana.[4] According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, the name of Multan has been derived from this Sun God. Chach died in 671 AD and his brother Chandar succeeded him to the throne. After his death in 679 AD, Chach’s eldest son Dahir took over as ruler. In 664 AD the first Muslim expedition led by Al Muhallab Ibn Abi Suffrah began launching raids from Persia making inroads into the subcontinent as far as Multan.

In 711, an expedition led by Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir at what is now Hyderabad in Sindh, and established the Umayyad dynasty in the area by 712, which became the beginning of the Arab control over the region. For three centuries, Multan remained the outpost of the Arab Caliphates, the capital of which was in Iraq. The occupation of Multan was mainly military and under an Arab Governor who lived in a cantonment some miles from Multan. Over time, the power of the Arab Caliphs weakened, and by the end of the 9th century, Multan became independent of Iraq.

In 871 AD the Lower Indus Valley (the province of Sindh which included Multan at that time) was conquered by Yakub bin Lais.[5] Shortly afterwards[6], two independent Islamic kingdoms developed, with one capital at Mansura (Brahmanabad near the city of Shahdadpur) and the other at Multan.

In 915-16 the Arab geographer, Masudi, visited Multan, and recorded that it was being ruled by a Qureshi King[1] of the house of Osama. According to Masudi, the word Multan is a corruption of the word Mulasthanapura, by which name it was known during the Buddhist period. In 980 the town was conquered by a Karamati Tribal Chief.[2] When Mahmud Ghaznavi (or Mahmud of Ghazni) first invaded the subcontinent in 1001, the Karamati ruler of Multan, in an attempt to resist the Ghaznavid invasion of Multan, allied himself with Anandpal¾one of the rulers of Punjab who had successfully resisted Ghaznavi’s invasion¾ but submitted to Ghaznavi in 1006 AD. The Karamati ruler revolted again, however, and was captured and deported to Afghanistan by Mahmud, who then made his son, Masud, the Governor of Multan. The Ghaznavids were ultimately overthrown by the Ghorids, who had earlier conquered the Karamati rulers, and thus Karamati rule and supremacy in Multan was permanently ended.

For the next three generations, the history of Multan, as the frontier province of the various Delhi Empires,[3] is the history of Mongol invasions which were all successfully repulsed. Owing to the difficulties of the Khyber route, and the hostility of the Gakkars,[4] the majority of the invaders took the Multan route into Hindustan, until the country along the entire Ghakkar-Hakra river route[5] dried up. Between 1221 and 1528, 10 invasions swept through the Multan area. During this time, the district was only nominally subject to the Delhi Empire, and twice it was practically a separate kingdom independent of Delhi. The first instance of independence from Delhi was between 1210 and 1227, during the rule of the Slave Governor, Nasir-ud Din Kabacha, and the second was 1445-1527 under the Langah Rulers of Multan, the details of which follow.

On the death of Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak (Slave Dynasty Emperor of India, 1206-1210) in 1210 AD, Nasir-ud Din Kabacha (Governor of Multan) seized Multan, along with Sindh and Seistan (Persia) and ruled independently till 1227 AD. After the Delhi Sultanate successfully resisted a Mongol attack in 1221, Multan was again brought under the Delhi Empire during the reign of Emperor Altamush (also spelled Altatmush), by his Lahore Governor. After the Emperor’s death, Altamush’s feudatory, Malik Izz-ud Din Kabir Khan-e-Ayaz, joined in the conspiracy to place Razia Sultana on the throne of Delhi (1236 AD) instead of her brother, Rukn-ud Din Feroze. Razia Sultana remained on the throne from 1236 to 1230, during which time Malik Izz-ud Din Kabir Khan-e-Ayaz got the fief of Lahore from her. He rebelled in 1238 and was made to exchange Lahore for Multan, where he proclaimed his independence, and remained ruler of Multan till he was succeeded by his son Taj-ud Din Abu Bakr-e-Ayaz (1241), who repelled several Karlugh[6] attacks from the gates of the city.

The Mongols, who were rising in power in India, held Multan to ransom in 1246. However, in 1249 Multan was again taken over by the Karlughs from whom it was captured in the same year by Sher Khan, the Viceroy of Punjab. Izz-ud Din Balban-i-Kashlu Khan[7] endeavored to recover Uch and Multan and succeeded in 1254. He rebelled against the minister Gyas-ud Din Balban in 1257 and on being deserted by his troops, fled to Halaku in Iraq, from whence he brought back a Mongol intendant to Multan and joined a Mongol force that descended on the province and dismantled the walls of the city. The city escaped massacre by paying a ransom, which was paid by the Saint, Bahawal Haq (Hazrat Baha-ud Din Zakaria).

For two centuries, the post of the governor was held by distinguished soldiers often related to ruling families of Delhi, among whom the more notable ones are Ghazi Malik and Ghias-ud Din Tughlaq. In fact, it was from Multan that Ghias-ud Din Tughlaq rose to become the Emperor of Delhi. Multan remained under the Tughlaqs until its capture by Amir Taimur in 1397. During the reign of the Tughlaqs, Multan prospered. They invested in monuments and buildings, and established an architectural style that became associated with Multan. The Tombs of Baha-ud Din Zakariya, Shah Rukn-ud Din, Rukn-e-Alam, and Shams Sabzwari are famous examples of this architectural style.

Taimur (Tamerlane) invaded India in 1397. His troops occupied Uch and Multan, sacked Tulamba (a small city in present day Khanewal district), raided the Khokars of Ravi and crossed River Beas to Pakpattan and Delhi. Taimur deputed Khizr Khan as the Governor of Multan, who then took Delhi from Daulat Khan Lodi on May 28, 1414, and founded the Sayyid Dynasty. Khizr Khan was succeeded by his son Mubarrak Khan in 1421. In 1437 the Langahs, a Pathan tribe from Sibi, began to gain power in the region through marriage. Rai Sahara Langah was the father-in-law of Sheikh Yousaf, the governor/ ruler of Multan. He undermined his son-in-law through intrigues, and in 1445, established the Langah Dynasty. They ruled Multan independent of Delhi for 100 years, with River Ravi as the border between the two kingdoms.

In 1524-1525, Afghans/ Turks who had been driven out of Kandahar were induced by Babar (who went on to become the first Mughal Emperor in 1526) to attack Multan, and they occupied and sacked the city. In 1528, the province (of Multan) was peacefully transferred by the Afghans/ Turks to the Empire of Babar, the first Mughal Emperor. Under the Mughal emperors, Multan enjoyed a long period of peace and was known as Dar-ul-Aman (City of Peace), for 200 years, from 1548 to 1748. Since there was no warfare in this part of Punjab, cultivation increased, particularly in the riverine area, and commerce flourished. Multan, thus, became an emporium for trade. The city became the headquarters of a province the area of which covered all of southwestern Punjab and, at times, Sindh. At the decline of the Mughal Empire, Multan, at first, escaped the devastation which affected other parts of India as the route for the invaders from Afghanistan to India lay through Lahore, not Multan. When the armies of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali passed through Multan, they left it unscathed. Over time, in the latter days of the Mughal Empire, Multan province became, by degrees, an appendage of Lahore. As the central power weakened, the affairs of government gradually came into the hands of Hindu nobles, who laid the groundwork for the development of canal irrigation.

After having been a part of the Delhi Empire as a province, Multan, in 1752, became a separate province owing allegiance to the Afghan King of Kabul, ruled, in most parts, by Pathan Governors who were mostly Sadozais. The province of Multan under the Sadozais included Multan, Shujaabad (both are still part of Multan), Lodhran (now a district), Mailsi (now part of Vehari district), Khanewal (now a district), and Kabirwala (now in Khanewal district). The Sadozais ultimately founded a virtually independent kingdom, which extended over part of the province, the southern portion being under the Nawabs of Bahawalpur. The Marathas took over the Multan province in 1758, but the chief feature of this era was the warfare with the Sikhs.

From 1771-79, the Bhangi confederacy of the Sikhs held the North and Center of the province of Multan, but they were expelled by Taimur Shah, with Nawab Muzaffar Khan Sadozais in power in Multan from 1779 to 1818. His relations with the Nawabs of Bahawalpur were strained and he had to face the onslaughts of the Sikhs, which culminated in the capture and sacking of Multan by Ranjit Singh in 1818.

After passing through two or three Sikh Governors, Multan was made over to the famous Dewan Sawan Mal[8] in 1821. By then, the entire region had assumed the look of a desert because of frequent warfare. Sawan Mal constructed irrigation canals and brought in new inhabitants that favored commerce, thus bringing general prosperity to the area. After the death of Ranjit Singh, quarrels broke out between Sawan Mal and Raja Gulab Singh, and in 1844 the former was fatally shot in the chest by a soldier; his son Mulraj succeeded him and in 1849, after the Second Anglo Sikh war, the British annexed the province and sentenced Mulraj Singh to exile or Penal Transportation.

The British invested in developmental projects and infrastructure in Multan, which included:

  • A hospital in 1850
  • An English Medium School in 1856 at Hussain Agahi
  • The new fort in Multan Cantt. in 1857 as well as army residences
  • The central block of Courts Building in 1858
  • Multan-Lahore Railway line in 1859, connected to the Indus Delhi State Railway in 1878
  • Clock Tower of Multan in 1888, with Multan Municipal Committee operating from this building
  • Railway Bridge on Chenab in 1890
  • Government Intermediate College in 1920, upgraded to Degree College in 1934
  • Airport in 1919, with regular service in 1938.

In 1947, Multan became a part of Pakistan. It remained an independent district and was made a City Government in 2005.

Figure 1.3 Multan c1895

Figure 1.4 Multan Fort c1860s

Governmental Structure; Multan district

At the Federal level, Multan district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 6
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 13

Under the Local Government and Community Development Multan district has 1 District Council, 1 Municipal Corporation (Multan), and 2 Municipal Committees as follows:

  • Shujaabad
  • Jalalpur Pirwala

Administrative Divisions; Multan district

Multan being a City District contains townships instead of tehsils; there are 6 Towns and a Cantonment as follows

Bosan Town 24 Union Councils
Jalalpur Pirwala Town 15 Union Councils
Mumtazabad Town 24 Union Councils
Shah Rukn-e-Alam Town 25 Union Councils
Sher Shah Town 24 Union Councils
Shujaabad Town 17 Union Councils

Table 1.3 Multan Administrative Divisions

[1] Multan District Gazetteer 1923-24 p. 27

[2] Karamatis or Qarmatians were a religious group that combined elements of the Zoroastrian doctrine with the Ismaili Shia Islam centered in Al Hasa (Eastern Arabia). They are most famed for their revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate. Mecca was sacked by them, outraging the Muslim world, particularly with their theft of the Black Stone (believed to be a stone from Paradise) and the desecration of the Zamzam Well with corpses during the Hajj season of 930 CE.

[3] Delhi Sultanates or empires consisted of the Mamluk or Slave Dynasty (1206-90), Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320), Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414), Sayyid Dynasty (1414-51) and Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526)

[4] The Gakhars are an ancient warrior clan that has resided predominantly in what is present day northern Punjab and southwestern Kashmir, Pakistan.

[5] Ancient Ghaggar-Hakra River

[6] Karlugh is a Turk tribe that resides mainly in the Hazara region of Pakistan.

[7] Izz-ud Din Balban-i-Kashlu was a Governor of Multan during the Slave Dynasty or Balban Dynasty

[8] Dewan Sawan Mal was a General in Ranjit Singh’s army and had helped him conquer Multa. He was appointed Governor of both Lahore and Multan in 1821. He remained the governor till his death in 1840.

[1] Satrap means governor in ancient Persia

[2] Magadha formed one of the 16 Mahajanapadas (Sanskrit for “Great Countries”) or kingdoms in ancient India. The Maurya Dynasty was established by Chandragupta Maurya in 321 BC.

[3] Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 18, p. 24

[4] Ancient Multan was the center of Sun Worshippers. The original Sun Temple is said to have been built by the son of Krishna and this was the most important Sun Temple in ancient India. The Muslim rulers preserved this temple and used it as “hostage” against Hindu invaders, threatening to destroy it in case of invasion. The temple was destroyed by the Ismaili Shiite rulers in the 10th century AD.

[5] Yakub bin Lais was the first Muslim Warrior to capture Ghazni and bring the city under his control.

[6] Multan District Gazetteer 1923-24 p. 27

Heritage Sites/Tourist Attractions; Multan district

Multan city is known as the City of Saints, as there are a large number of shrines to local saints, as well as forts and historical mosques in the area, all of which have been protected under Pakistan Laws. These include:

  • Sawi Masjid and graves, Kotla Tole Khan; Multan district
  • Tomb of Patrick Alexander Vana and Andrew & William Anderson, Old Fort; Multan district
  • Shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, Old Fort, Multan (World Heritage site)
  • Tomb of Shah Ali Akbar’s mother, Sura Miana, Multan
  • Tomb of Shams Tabriz, Multan
  • Tomb of Shah Ali Akbar and Mosque, Sura Mian, Multan
  • Tomb of Shah Yousaf Gardezi, Multan
  • Tomb of Shah Hussain Soozai, near Abdali Road, Multan
  • Mound Ratti Khari, (relic: Head Bust 133), Village Bhattianwala, Multan
  • Tomb of Mai Mehraban, Multan
  • Ruined Mosque, Village Sargana, Multan
  • Maryala Mound, Chak #267/IOR, Multan

The following monuments have been listed as Special Premises by the Government of Punjab:

  • Shrine of Hazrat Shah Shams Subzwari, 0.8 km from Multan, Fort Multan; Multan district
  • Shrine of Hazrat Bibi Pak Daman, grave of a Princess in Multan, near Basti Dera; Multan district
  • Shrine of Hazrat Musa Pak Shaheed and attached Mosque, Multan
  • Mosque of Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Baha-ud Din Zakarya, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Sultan Ahmad Qatal, (real name Hazrat Pir Syed Jalal-ud Din Bokhari), Jalalpur Pirwala; Multan district
  • Shrine of Hazrat Makhdoom Rashid Haqqani, Makhdoom Rasheed Town, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Sultan Ayub Qatal, Chak Qatalpur, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Shah Dana Shaheed, Muhallah Kamaran, inside Delhi Gate, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Nawab Saeed Qureshi, Delhi Gate, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Awais Khagga, Dera Basti, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Inayat Walait, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Shah Hussain Sadozai, Multan
  • Shrine of Hafiz Jamal, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Hamid Jilani, Multan
  • Shrine of Hazrat Yahya Nawab, Multan
  • Masjid Khuddaka, Fawara Chowk, Multan
  • Tomb of Mian Dalail, Multan
  • Tomb of Shah Ali Mardan, near Chowk Shaheedan, Akbar Road, Multan
  • Tomb of Allah Dad Ghormani, Multan
  • Tomb of Pir Luddan Kuddan, Kultan, Multan
  • Shahi Eid Gah Masjid, Khanewal Road, Multan
  • Old Mosque, Mohammad Pur Ghote, Multan
  • Jamia Mosque, Khairpur Bhutta, Multan
  • Masjid Wazir Khan, Multan
  • Prahaladpuri Temple, Multan
  • Suraj Kund Temple, Multan
  • Old Mosque at Basti Hasil Wali, Multan
  • Tomb of Pir Aulia-e-Ghauri at Bahaderpur, Shujaabad; Multan district
  • Fortification Wall of Shujaabad City; Multan district

Following are the old gates of the walled city of Multan (still extant):

  • Daulat Gate (no physical remnants remaining); Multan district
  • Delhi Gate, Multan
  • Pak Gate; Multan district
  • Haram Gate; Multan district
  • Bohar Gate; Multan district
  • Lohari Gate, Multan

Major, tourist attractions of Multan district include:

  • Multan Arts Council Building
  • Eidgah Mosque; Multan
  • Old City Multan, also called Walled City Multan
  • Khooni Burj or Bloody Bastion on Multan City Wall (Faseel), Multan
  • Haram Gate and other Gates of Multan
  • The City Hall, Multan Municipal Corporation, and Clock Tower, Multan
  • Aam Khas Bagh’ Multan
  • Mary the Virgin’s Cathedral, 113 Qasim Road, Multan Cantt.
  • Jinnah Water Park; Multan
  • Chaman Zar-e-Askari Lake and Amusement Park, Cantt. Multan
  • Qasim Bagh; Multan
  • Bagh Langey Khan Gardens near Fawara Chowk, Multan
  • Shah Shams Park; Multan
  • Cantonment Gardens; Multan
  • Yadgar-e Shaheedan Park and Monument; Multan
  • CSD Gardens, Multan

Topography of Multan District

Topographically, the district is divided into 3 distinct parts:

  • The riverine area or hithar
  • The high barren areas or rawa, the outstanding feature of which is the low water table
  • The intermediate lands between hithar and rawa called uttar

Hithar: There is uniformity of physical conditions between the first two (hithar and rawa) regions, with even the difference in soil being negligible. The distinctive features of the riverine area are the high water-level and the influence of river floods as compared to the lands at a distance from the river. The typically riverine area is relatively small. River Chenab causes larger floods than both the Sutlej and the Ravi owing to the presence of natural creeks and artificial channels, especially in the Shujaabad Town area and along the greater part of the riverine boundary.

Rawa: The rawa consists of desolate stretches of wasteland.

Uttar: The uttar is the highland or bar area between the rawa and hithar, which is midway between the two boundary rivers.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes; Multan district

River Sutlej flows in the district’s west, and River Chenab in its south, or to the west of Shujaabad Town. The River Beas used to run through the center of the district, but it changed direction about 200 years ago and now joins Sutlej in Kasur district.

Some nullahs and streams flowing in the district include Wali Muhammad Nullah dug in 1750, Nullah Gujbatta, Nullah Bukhto, Jannu Nullah, Chinitti Nullah, and Muradabad Rajwah.

There are no lakes or wetlands in the district.

Figure 1.5 Chaman Zar-e-Askari Lake

Forests; Multan district

According to Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19, there are no forests in the District.  There is a total of 3,687 km of linear plantations along roads, and canals. This linear plantation is protected under the Pakistan Laws and is overseen by the Forestry Division Multan.

Soils; Multan district

The soils of the district are generally alluvial, and sand is found everywhere. The deposits brought by River Chenab are generally beneficial and fertile.

Climate; Multan district

Multan district has a hot and arid climate. The summers are very hot and winters are mild, and in fact, the city witnesses some of the most extreme weather in Pakistan. The highest recorded temperature is approximately 54 °C (129 °F), and the lowest recorded temperature is approximately −1 °C (30 °F). The average rainfall is roughly 186 mm, and winter rains are very rare.

The hottest months are May, June, July, and August. The heat and dust of Multan are proverbial; day temperatures in the summer, between May and September, are high, but the nights are comparatively cool. The highest temperatures of the summer months have been recorded in the months of May and June. Coldest months are December and January. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during the summer are 42 °C and 29 °C whereas in winter the temperatures range between 21 °C and 4.5 °C respectively.

Wind storms were common in the recent past, but their frequency has been considerably reduced due to extensive agricultural development in and around the district.

Seismic Activity/Seismicity; Multan district

The district is located in Zone 2A of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan which means minor damage due to earthquakes.

Population of Multan District

Multan district was upgraded to a City District in 2005, with 6 townships but at the time of the 1998 Census the district had 4 tehsils; this status quo has been maintained the 2017 census also, following table shows the population of the district and its tehsils as per the 2017 Census:

District/Tehsil Area km2 Population Male% Female% Urban% Growth Rate %
Multan District 3,720 4,745,109 51.4 49.6 43.4 2.23
Jalalpur Pirwala Tehsil 978 554,152
Multan City Tehsil 304 2,258,570
Multan Sadar Tehsil 1,632 1,322,756
Shujaabad Tehsil 806 609,631

Table 1.4 Multan Population Statistics

Religions; Multan district[1]

Muslims 99.1%
Christians 0.6%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.1%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others 0.1%

Table 1.6 Multan Religious Distribution

Languages; Multan district[2]

Urdu 15.9%
Punjabi 21.6%
Sindhi 0.1%
Pushto 0.6%
Balochi 0.1%
Seraiki 60.6%
Others Negligible %

Table 1.7 Multan Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity; Multan District

The economy of Multan is mainly based on agriculture and industries. Both these sectors are flourishing, and they are not only contributing to the progress and prosperity of Multan but also to the overall development of Pakistan. As per the 1998 Census, the major employers of the district are:

  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing etc. (49.8%)
  • Construction (24.6%)
  • Community, Social and Personal Services (13.3%)
  • Wholesale, Retail and Hotel Industry (7.1%)
  • Others (5.2%)

Land Use; Multan district

The following table shows the land use statistics of Multan City District as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 372,000 HA Reported Area 378,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 307,000 HA Net Sown 257,000 HA
Current Fallows 50,000 HA Total Uncultivated Area 71,000 HA
Culturable Waste 26,000 HA Forest Area – HA

Table 1.8 Multan Land Use Statistics

Irrigation Network; Multan district

The Lower Bari Doab Canal, off-taking from the Left Bank Canal (Balloki Barrage), Sidhnai Canal (Sidhnai Barrage), Trimmu-Sidhnai Link Canal (Trimmu Headworks), Eastern Siddiqia Canal, Fordwah Canal, Pakpattan Canal, Abbasia Canal, and the Panjnad Canal are some of the canals irrigating the district.

The following table shows the mode of irrigation and the area irrigated by each mode as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area Sown 483,000 HA Irrigated Area 475,000 HA
Un-Irrigated Area 8,000 HA Canal Irrigated 13,000 HA
Dug Wells 2,000 HA Tube Well Irrigated 8,000 HA
Canal Well Irrigated 7,000 HA Canal Tube Wells 427,000 HA
Others 18,000 HA

Table 1.12 Multan Irrigation Statistics

Agriculture; Multan district

The district belongs to the Northern Irrigated Plains Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. Agriculture and its allied livestock breeding is the main occupation of the rural areas of the district, with nearly 49.8% of the population engaged in this occupation. Multan is famous for the large variety and high quality of its mango produce.

Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice, maize, bajra, jowar, tobacco, maash, moong, masoor, mustard, rapeseed, barley, gram, groundnut, sesanum, sugarbeet, guarseed, linseed, sunflower, sunn hemp, and fodder are the crops of the district.

Major fruits of the district include citrus, mango, banana, guavas, pears, pomegranates, dates, jaamun, phalsa, leechee, and loquats.

Major vegetables are onions, potatoes, chilies, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, peas, cauliflower, carrots, bottle gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd, turnips, radishes, and spinach.

Livestock Breeding; Multan district

Livestock breeding is the second most important economic activity of the district.

The following table shows the livestock population as of the 2010 Census of Livestock (quoted in Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 342,000 Heads Buffaloes 262,000 Heads Sheep 63,000 Heads
Goats 242,000 Heads Camels 1,161 Heads Horses 1,524 Heads
Mules 589 Heads Asses 8,526 Heads

Table 1.9 Multan Livestock Statistics

Figure 1.6 Daira Din Panah Goat

Figure 1.7 Nachi Goat

Sahiwal cow, nili ravi buffaloes, thalli sheep, beetal goats, beetal-spotted goats, daira din panah goats, and nachi goats are all indigenous breeds of livestock in Multan district.

Poultry Farms; Multan district

According to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock), there are 287 poultry farms in the district. There are privately owned poultry farms in the District. The number of such farms as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19 is 1160 broiler, 118 layer and 04 poultry breeding farms.

Fishing; Multan district

Fishing is carried out in the River Chenab (Multan), River Sutlej (Shujaabad) and the canals irrigating the district,[1] but this fish is mostly consumed locally.

Bee Keeping/ Apiculture; Multan district

In Pakistan, honey bee colonies were introduced in the 1980s, and since then more than 300,000 honey bee colonies have been successfully established in Pakistan, including in Multan district.

[1] Fish Manual, Department of Fisheries Punjab

Minerals and Mining; Multan district

There are no major minerals found in the district.

Industry and Manufacturing; Multan district

At present there is 1 Industrial Estate in the district, and 589 small, medium, and large industrial[1] units operating in the district. The following table shows the type and number of industries in Multan.

Type of Industry Number of Units Type of Industry Number of Units
Auto Parts 07 Beverages 04
Chemicals 01 Chip Straw Board 03
Cold Storage 20 Cotton Ginning & Pressing 127
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals 10 Fertilizer 01
Flour Mills 52 Fruit Juices 02
Glass & Glass Products 02 Hosiery Products 06
Industrial/Burn Gases 08 Paper & Paper Board 08
Paper Cone 10 Pesticides/ Insecticides 04
Poultry Feed 07 Rice Mills 84
Sizing of Yarn 11 Solvent Oil Extraction 11
Tanneries 09 Textile Processing 12
Textile Spinning 18 Textile Weaving 24
Vegetable Oil/Ghee 10 Wool Scouring 04
Woolen Textile/ Spinning 08 Agricultural Implements 14
Bakery Products 05 Biscuits 08
Cement Products 01 Cotton Waste 04
Cosmetics 01 Doubling of Yarn 03
Embroidery 02 Foundry Products 01
Glue 01 Hatchery 05
Light Engineering 06 LPG Gas 01
Lubricants 09 Motor Pumps 02
Paints & Varnishes 02 Packages 17
Plastic Products 06 Ready Made Garments 05
Soaps & Detergents 14 Sodium Silicate 07
Surgical Cotton/ Bandages 01 Towel Industry 04
Industrial Machinery 07

Table 1.10 Multan Industries

Trade (Import/Export); Multan district

The major trade items of the district are traditional handicrafts, agricultural produce, and industrial goods.

Handicrafts; Multan district

Multan district is renowned for its handicrafts, especially decorative items made of camel skins, bangles made of ivory, blue pottery and tiles, and block-printed and embroidered textiles. Mirror crafting on pottery and other household goods, as well as baskets and mats made of date tree leaves are also flourishing crafts. Multani embroidered shoes known as Khussas are world renowned.

Figure 1.8 Table Lamp Shades Made of Camel Skin

Figure 1.9 Mirror Crafts of Multan.

[1] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; latest available.

Economic Infrastructure; Multan District

The district is linked with Khanewal, Lodhran, and Muzaffargarh districts through black topped roads. Generally, the road network in the City District is good. The main Peshawar-Karachi railway line passes through the district.

Road Statistics; Multan district

Total length of the roads in Multan district is 3024.4 km. The following table shows the road statistics of the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Road Length 3,024.4 km
National Highways 578.0 km
Provincial Highways 2,390.4 km
Motorways 56.0 km
Sugar Cess roads – km

Table 1.11 Multan Road Statistics

The longest National Highway of Pakistan, the N 5, passes through the district, as does the Expressway E 5, which connects Khanewal to Lodhran. Other important roads include:

  • National Highway N 70, which connects Multan to Dera Ghazi Khan, and to Loralai, and Qila Saifullah
  • Vehari-Multan Road
  • Multan-Uch Road
  • Multan-Muzaffargarh Road
  • Bosan Road
  • Canal Road

Figure 1.18 Multan-Lahore Section of N-5


Figure 1.19 Inner Ring Road Multan

Figure 1.20 Chungi No 9 Flyover, Multan

Rail and Airways; Multan district

The main Karachi-Peshawar railway line runs through the district. Multan Railway Station is one of the bigger railway stations of Pakistan. The district is linked with Khanewal, Lodhran, and Muzaffargarh districts through Pakistan’s main railway network. There is a commercial international airport, called Multan International Airport in the city, but no military airbase.

Figure 1.21 Multan Railway Station

Figure 1.22 Multan International Airport

Radio and Television

There are 5 privately-owned Radio Stations in Multan district, and Radio Pakistan has 3 broadcasting stations. There are 2 TV Stations in Multan that broadcast programs in the Seraiki language.

Telecommunications; Multan district

Pakistan Telecommunications Ltd. has established a network of telephone lines. In all, there are 32 telephone exchanges operating in the district, ranging in capacity from 50 lines to 32,000 lines.[1] In addition, a number of cellular companies also provide their services in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services; Multan district

There are 26 offices[2] of Pakistan Post in the City District, with 5 offices in Bosan Town, 3 in Shah Rukn-e-Alam Town, 5 in Mumtazabad Town, 3 in Sher Shah Town, 5 in Shujaabad Town, and 5 in Jalalpur Pirwala Town. All courier service providers provide services in the district.

Banking/ Financial Institutions; Multan district

According to the List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019 by State Bank of Pakistan, the following banks have branches in Multan:

  • Al Baraka Bank, Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Askari Bank Ltd.
  • Bank Alfalah Ltd.
  • Bank Al Habib Ltd.
  • Bank Islami Pakistan Ltd.
  • Burj Bank Ltd.
  • Dubai Islamic Bank Ltd.
  • Faysal Bank Ltd.
  • First Women Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd.
  • JS Bank Ltd.
  • KASB Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • Meezan Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • National Investment Bank Ltd.
  • Samba Bank Ltd.
  • Silk Bank Ltd.
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Ltd.
  • Summit Bank Ltd.
  • The Bank of Khyber
  • The Bank of Punjab Ltd.
  • The Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 273 branches of various conventional banks and 79 branches of different Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas; Multan district

There are 13 grid stations[3] ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV in the district. Gas connections for residential purposes are available in the district.

[1] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; latest available.

[2] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; latest available.

[3] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study Multan District 2012; latest available.

Educational Institutions; Multan district

The following table shows the details of educational facilities in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 375/630 Middle Schools 100/120
Secondary Schools 108/57 Higher Secondary 31/26
Degree Colleges 33/34 Other Higher Secondary[1] 09/10
Other Degree Colleges[2] 19/19 Technical Training Institutes[3] 09/02
Vocational Institutes[4] -/04 Commercial Training Institutes[5] 03/-
Universities[6] 07 Govt. Mosque Schools 20/-
Medical Schools 03 Engineering Schools 02

Table 1.13 Multan Educational Institutions

There are privately owned schools at all levels and colleges that award certificates and degrees in the district, all of the degree awarding colleges are affiliated to Baha-ud Din Zakariya University, Multan.

Healthcare Facilities; Multan district

The District Health Officer (DHO) is overall in charge of health services provided in the district. The DHO is supported by doctors, paramedics, technicians, and other support staff. The following table shows the number of health care institutions in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 14/2,136 Dispensaries 52/-
Rural Health Centers 11/160 Basic Health Units 88/164
T B Clinics -/- Mother Child Health Centers 18/-
Private Hospitals 02/150 Sub-Health Centers 11/60
Private Health Care Providers[7] 72/NA

Table 1.14 Multan Health Institutions

Figure 1.23 Nishtar Medical College and Hospital, Multan

Policing; Multan district

Deputy Inspector General Police (DIGP) looks after Multan City Region which comprises of Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, and Lodhran districts. Multan City District is further subdivided into 11 subdivisions, with 32 police stations.[8] The police force in each region is headed by a District Police Officer (DPO) who is assisted by a varying number of Superintendents and Deputy Superintendents of Police.

[1] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations

[2] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations

[3] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study 2012 Multan District; latest available.

[4] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study 2012 Multan District; latest available.

[5] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study 2012 Multan District; latest available.

[6] Campuses of University of Modern Languages, Air University, University of Education and Virtual University, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Women University, Agriculture University, NFC Institute of Engineering & Technology, Muhd. Nawaz Shareef University of Engineering & Technology, Nishtar Medical college, Multan Medical & Dental college, Bakhtawar Amin Medical & Dental College. This list includes Medical Schools, and Engineering Schools

[7] Three Year Rolling Plan 2010-13 District Multan GoPunjab; latest available.


[8] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

Environment and Biodiversity; Mulatan District

The district is located within the Indus Plain region, which is known for its fertility and cultural development throughout history. As a metropolitan center, Multan faces all the environmental problems of a growing/ developing major city, including air pollution. The water quality of River Chenab and Sutlej has remained excellent for irrigation purposes.

Flora and Fauna; Multan district

Flora; Multan district

The principal trees of the district are jhand (Prosopis spicegera), karril (Capparis aphylla), farash (Tamarix articulate), kikar (Acacia Arabica), shisham (Dalbergio sissoo), ber (Zizyphus jujuba), mulberry or toot (Morus maraceae), bohar (Fucas indica), shirin (Albizzia lebbek), neem (Melia indica), peepal (Ficus religiosa), dates or khajji (Phenix doctylifera), and bhan (Populus euphratica).

Fauna; Multan district

Ox, jackal, and wild boar are common. Grey and black partridges, sand grouse (visiting the district in winter), quail, plover, and pigeons are common among birds.

Protected Wildlife Areas

The only protected wildlife area in Multan is the Multan Zoo.


Figure 1.10 Suraj Kund Temple, Multan

Figure 1.11 King Mosque (Shahi Eid Gah), Multan

Figure 1.12 Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam

Figure 1.13 Multan Clock House

Figure 1.14 Services Club, Multan

Figure 1.15 Jinnah Water Park, Multan