Places of Interest
built on a mound separating it from the city by the old bed of river
Ravi. Its date cannot be fixed with accuracy. When intact, its
circumference was 6,600 ft. having 46 bastions, including two towers at
each of the four gates i.e., Delhi Gate, Khizri Gate,
Sikhi Gate and Rehri Gate. The fort was ravaged by the British to avenge
the murder of one Mr. Agnew in 1848. At present it is survived by some
parts of the old rampart and bastions besides the shrines of Hazrat
Bahauddin Zakaria and Shah Rukn-e-Alam, an obelisk in memory of Agnew
and a Hindu temple. The famous Qasim Bagh and a stadium are located
within the walls of the fort. A panoramic view of multan City can be had
from the highest point in the fort.
is no Fort now as it was destroyed by the British Garrison which was
stationed there for a long time but the entire site is known as the
Fort. The Fort site now looks as a part of the city because instead of
the river it is now separated by a road which looks more like a bazar
and remains crowded throughout the day. Nobody knows when multan Fort
came into being but it was there and it was admired and desired by kings
and emperors throughout centuries'.
was considered as one of the best forts of the sub-continent from the defense
as well as architectural points of view.
of the multan Fort as recorded by John Duntop, who visited the city and
the Fort on the eve of the British occupation in 1849 is reproduced
below: "The Fort stands on the highest part of the mound on which
the town is built it is an ancient formed by a hexagonal wall from forty
to seventy feet high, the longest side of which faces the north-west and
extends for 600 yards, and which isolates it from the town. A ditch
twenty-five feet deep and forty feet wide is on the fort side of the
wall, behind which is a glacis exhibiting a face of some eighteen feet
high, and so thick as to present an almost impregnable rocky mound.
Within the fort, and on a very considerable elevation, stands the
citadel, in itself of very great strength. The walls are flanked by
thirty towers, and enclose numerous houses, mosques, a Hindu temple of
high antiquity, and a Khan's palace, the beauty of which was severely
damaged by the battering it got from the guns of Ranjeet Singh in 1818.
This fortification is said to be more regular in construction than any
other laid down by native engineers. Mr. Vans Agnew-the unfortunate
political agent whose murder ,with that of his companion, Lieutenant
Anderson, gave rise to the recent hostilities to the British Resident at
Lahore, that he had seen many forts in India, but one that could compare
with Mooltan the ramparts of which bristled with eighty pieces of
ordnance". A correspondent of Bombay Times, who also visited the
multan Fort around the same time recorded : "The Fortress was
filled with stores to profusion. I think Mooltan is the beauideal of a
Buneca's Fort, or rather fortified shop: Never perhaps in India have
such depots existed of merchandise and arms, amalgamated as they with
avarice. Here opium, indigo, salt, sulphur, and every known drug, are
heaped in endless profusion-there apparently ancient in the bowels of
the earth disclose their huge hoards of wheat and rice; here stacks of
leathern ghee vessels, brimming with the grease, fill the pucka
receptacles below ground. The silk and shawls reveal in darkness, bales
rise on bales, here some mamoth chest discovering glittering scabbards
of gold and gems-there reveals tiers of copper cansters crammed with
gold Mohurs: My pen cannot describe the variety of wealth displayed to
the inquisitive eyes". Once this was the position of the Multan
Fort but during the British occupation everything was lost an finished
forever. With the passage of time the British stronghold over India grew
stronger and stronger, and the importance of multan was lost gradually.
The multan Fort and other important historical places deteriorated
slowly and sadly turned into ruins.
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