Bahawalpur (Bhawalpur, Bhawulpore) is a city in Punjab, Pakistan.
You can buy local tie and dye clothes (Chunri) from the local markets. Silver jewelry is also very pretty. Handmade close sandals (with embroidery) called khussas are also available at affordable prices (about $5 for a pair).
Visit the villages where they work on tie and dye work.
- Nur Mahal - Nur Mahal is a very beautiful palace (mahal) build by Nawab Sadiq, the former ruler of Bahawalpur.
- Cholistan Desert of Bahawalpur - You can make an intersting excursions from Bahawalpur, full day trip requiring a four-wheel drive vehicle to Derawar Fort (Qila Derawar), through the semi-desert of cholistan.
You need a guide to take you to Derawar, and also permission from the present Amir of Bahawalpur to get inside the fort. The drive takes three to four hours through fasinating barren landscape. The cholistan desert covers 26,000 sq km (10,000 sq miles) and extends into the Thar desert to India. The whole area was once well watered by the river Ghaggar, now called the Hakara in Pakistan, and known in vedic times as the Sarasvati. All along the 500 km (300 miles) of the dried-up river are over 400 archaeological sites. Most of these date from the indus civilisation, 45,00 years ago, and are clustered round Derawar Fort, the only perennial water hole in the desert.
There is very little to make out today.The desert has an average rainfall of 12 cm (5 inches) a year, and there is very little civilisation. The underground water is brackish. The few people of the desert dig artificial wells in the troughs between the sand hills and use camels to draw the water up.
- Fort Darawar- Derawar Fort (Qila Derawar) is in good condition, its walls are intact and still guarded by soldiers in fezes. Its age is unknown. The tombs of the Amirs of Bahawalpur are also at Derawar, decorated with attractive blue glazed tiles contrasting with the ochre landscape. Some of the cannons which were used times ago by the Army of Bahawalpur are also kept in this fort.
- The Replica of Fort Darawar - This is a beautiful replica of Fort Darawar, a private property of a local resident of Bahawalpur. It has a very beautiful surrounding with a small lake with fish. A must see.
- Mai Jindaan Da Mazaar - Tomb of Mai Jindan is one of the most famous landmarks of Pakistan.
- The trip to Lal Suhanra National Park is intersting for naturalists. The park was developed in 1972, is the home of many animals and birds, including the rare chinkara gazelle and plentiful wild boar.
There is a project here for re-introducing black buck into their former desert habitate; you can see about 30 of them in the fenced enclosure just inside the forest plantation. In winter there are abundant duck on the lake.
Lal Suhanra is 36 km (22 miles) north-east of Bahawalpur; leave the town by the khairpur road and fork right after about 30 km (20 miles) on a dirt track to join the desert feeder canal. You hire a guide to enterance to the park . There is a rest house which you can book through the Park Office, 3-A Trust colony, Bahawalpur or you can camp.
Follow a conservative dress code and try to dress as locals. It is better to have someone from the city as a guide.
The main language is Seraiki and its best that you use the Seraiki phrasebook to help you get around.