Tuesday, 9 April 2013







Monday, 8 April 2013


East of Bahawalpur is the Cholistan Desert .The region was once watered by the Hakra River, known as the Saravati in Vedic times. At one time there were 400 forts in the area and archaeological finds around the Darawar Fort, the only place with a perennial waterhole, indicate that it was contemporaneous with the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Cholistan is locally known as Rohi. This famous desert is 30 Km from Bahawalpur and comprises of an area of 16,000 sq.km. which extends upto the Thar desert extending over to Sindh and futher to India. The word Cholistan is derived from 'Cholna' which means moving. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals.

Its dunes as the name Cholistan signifies (Cholistan -derived from Cholna or walking) as they go on shifting with the tune of time and meteorology.   All along the 500-km of dried up river are over 400 archaeological sites, which date back to the Indus civilization 4500 years ago and are clustered around Derawar Fort. The only perennial water hole in the desert. The desert has an average rainfall of 5 inches a year and there is very little cultivation.The origin of the Thar desert is a controversial subject. Some consider it to be only 4000 to 10,000 years old, whereas others state that aridity started in this region much earlier. Also known as The Great Indian Desert, it is spread over four states in India, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, and two states in Pakistan and covers an area of about 4,46,000 square kilometres. Deriving its name from 'thul' denoting the sand ridges of the region, Thar stands divided between Sindh region in Pakistan and Rajasthan in India.

The people living in the deserts are very hospitial & friendly. You must arrange a Camel Safari to the desert.
A sandy wasteland dotted with nomadic communities and wind-swept forts. Spread over an area of 15,000 acres, east of Bahawalpur, the desert extends into the Thar Desert of India. Cholistan was also called the land of forts because of approximately 400 forts in the area, some dating back to 1000 BC. Today the remains of Drawar Fort still remind the glory of old times. The chain of forts was built at 29 km intervals in three rows. The first line of forts began from Phulra and ended in Lera, the second from Rukhanpur to Islamgarh, and the third from Bilcaner to Kapoo. Ruins of some of these can still be found today. The local pastoral and nomadic populace is somewhat similar to those in Indian Rajasthan.

Derawar Fort is located 48 Km from Dera Nawab Sahib. It is still in a good condition. The rampart walls are intact and still guarded by the personal guards of the Amir of Bahawalpur. The tombs of the ex-rulers of Bahawalpur and their families are located in this fort. The tombs have nice glazed blue tile work. Prior permission of the senior Amir of Bahawalpur is required to enter the fort. The fort was built in 1733. The fort with decoratively carved sandstone walls, which take your breath away, as they rise magnificently from the flat desert wasteland like something so grand it's difficult to imagine.It is extremely photogenic, but is best seen in the morning or evening before or after the desert's midday sun takes hold.
The most interesting event held annually the month ot March is the Cholistan's Desert Jeep Rally. it is held at famous Derawar Fort and vehicles covers the round about distance of 250 km. It includes the vehicles ranging from 1300 cc to 3000 cc plus. Thrillers gathers from all over the Pakistan to enjoy the spring in sand.


The Noor Mahal (Urdu: نور محل)is a palace built in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. It was built in 1872 following Italian architecture, at a time when modernism had set in.

There are various stories regarding its construction. According to one belief, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV had the palace made for his wife. However, she was there for one night, only as she happened to see the adjoining graveyard from her balcony, and refused to spend another night there and so it remained unused during his reign.
Noor Mehal is one of the hidden gems of Bahawalpur , since not many know about it and its not open to public. It is currently in possession of Army and is used as state guest house and for holding state durbars and meetings with foreign delegations. Not being open to public is the reason why Noor Mahal is still in perfect shape. Even the interior Victorian furniture is still in great shape.
You can however visit the place if you have an army relative and even then an army personal will follow you everywhere in the palace while you are there.
Upon entering the palace you still get the aroma of Nawab rule and the legacy. The construction of Noor palace was undertaken by Nawab Subah Sadiq the fourth, who was also known as the Shan Jahan of Bahawalpur for his passion of constructing beautiful buildings. Mr. Hennan; an Englishman who was the state engineer designed the building. Foundation of Noor Palace was laid in 1872. The map and coins of the state were buried in its foundation as good omen. Most of the material and funiture was imported from England and Italy and constuction of the palace was completed in 1875 at a cost of Rs. 1.2 Million. Noor Palace has a covered area of 44,600 square feet. It has 32 rooms including 14 in basement, 6 Verandas and 5 domes.
The design encomasses features of Corinthian and Islamic styles of architecture with a tinghe of sub continental style. Corinthian touch is visible in the columns,balustrade,pediments and the vaulted cieling of Durbar Hall. The Islamic style is evident in the five domes whereas, the angular elliptical shapes are a stroke of subcontinent style. Nawab Muhammad Behawal Khan the fifth, added a mosque to the palace in 1906 at the cost of Rs. 20,000. The design is based on the mosque of Aitcheson College.
The palace was originally built for residential purposes , according to rumors when the nawab’s begam came to the palace , she saw a graveyard out of one of the windows and decided that she wont stay here.
In 1956, When Bahawalpur State was merged into Pakistan, the building was taken over by the Auqaf department. The palace was leased to Army in 1971 who later acquired it in 1997 for a sum of 119 million.


On 19th of May, 1904 Nawab Bahawal Khan (V) approved to establish some more palaces including Gulzar Palace, Nishat Palace and Farukh Palace which are the most famous palaces of them all. Darbar Mahal and Gulzar Mahal are based on beautiful buildings having too many doors.
The rooms are decorated with fabulous furniture and spectacular carpets. The doors are covered with elegant lushly curtains of maroon color. All of walls are made up of marble and the roofs are made up of mosaic. The large lamps placed in the palace have increased its majesty.
There is big gallery with the main hall which was used as an art gallery containing rare norms times ago. Today this gallery does not contain any norms but some rare pictures of the former rulers of the State of Bahawalpur are displayed on its walls.
For a long time this palace was in use of the son (Nawab Abbass Abbassi) of the Nawab. Now this palace is used as an Army office. The total area of this Palace is 34 acers.

After the independence of Pakistan these palaces were in use of the government offices and the rent was paid to His Highness. These palaces were also used as a court in early times of the State of Bahawalpur and were used for assembly sessions later. The total area of Darbar Mahal is almost 75 acers. Now days these palaces are given on rent and are under the control of Pakistan Army.


History of Bahawalpur according to the Abbassi Historians. The city was founded in 1748 by Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi I, whose descendants ruled the area until it joined Pakistan in 1947. The Bahawalpur (princely state) was one of the largest states of British India, more than 451 kilometres long, and was ruled by Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V Bahadur, who decided to join Pakistan at the time of independence in 1947.

The Royal House of Bahawalpur is said to be of Arabic origin and claim descent from Abbas, progenitor of the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad and Cairo. Sultan Ahmad II, son of Shah Muzammil of Egypt left that country and arrived in Sind with a large following of Arabs ca. 1370. He married a daughter of Raja Rai Dhorang Sahta, receiving a third of the country as a dowry. Amir Fathu'llah Khan Abbasi, is the recognized ancestor of the dynasty. He conquered the Bhangar territory from Raja Dallu, of Alor and Bahmanabad, renaming it Qahir Bela. Amir Muhammad Chani Khan Abbasi entered the imperial service and gained appointment as a Panchhazari in 1583. At his death, the leadership of the tribe was contested between two branches of the family, the Daudputras and the Kalhoras. Amir Bahadur Khan Abbasi abandoned Tarai and settled near Bhakkar, founding the town of Shikarpur in 1690. Daud Khan, the first of his family to rule Bahawalpur, originated from Sind where he had opposed the Afghan Governor of that province and was forced to flee. The Nawab entered into Treaty relations with the HEIC, 22 February 1833. The state acceded to the Dominion of Pakistan on 7 October 1947 and was merged into the province of West Pakistan on 14 October 1955. Daud farooq is one the great personalities of the city.

Friday, 29 March 2013


the fabric known as "chunri" the speciality of Bahawalpur.