Little remains of the fort today, for much of it was blown up during the siege in 1848. But inside the old enclosure is the tomb of Rukn-ud-din, an octagonal brick building supported by sloping towers and covered by a hemispherical dome.
The tomb is superbly decorated with dark blue, azure, turquoise and white tiles, contrasting with the deep red of the polished brick in Multan. It has intricately carved woodwork.
Rukn-ud-din was a great fourteenth century religious and political figure. Unfortunately, the tomb of Bahauddin Zakaria Multan, “the ornament of the Faith”, a thirteenth-century Sufi and spiritual leader with an extremely large following, is much neglected. It was almost completely ruined during the siege of l848 and only a few glazed tiles remain to decorate it.
Zakaria is regarded as the sponsor of the Suhrawardia order of dervishes in the subcontinent and credited with several miracles. His anniversary on the fifth of the lunar month of Saffar, is observed by thousands of pilgrims.
The shrine of Shams-e-Tabriz, the great Sufi martyr who was murdered in 1247, is one kilometre (half a mile) east of the fort above the old bed of the Ravi. The tomb was rebuilt in 178O and has a dome covered with sky-blue tiles.
Multan has some interesting handicrafts, particularly handloom weaving, pottery, and tiles which are well worth looking out for. You can see the pottery being made.
How to reach Multan:
Multan 945 kilometres (587 miles) from Karachi, and 636 kilometres (395 miles) from Islamabad, is served by road and daily air and rail services.