Bahawalpur - or Baghdad al-Jadid (the new Baghdad) - has had a fascinating history. In local lore, the story begins with Muluk Shah, a Sufi saint who poured holy water onto Bahawalpur’s once barren land, which henceforth became fertile...
Born as a successor state out of the great Durrani Afghan Empire in 1802, Bahawalpur became an independent amirate, and a vital link between Afghanistan and British India. Eventually, the Abbasi Nawabs of Bahawalpur (rulers or governors, who incidentally claimed descent from the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad) entered into a subsidiary alliance with British India. Bahawalpur thus became one of the many semi-autonomous princely states, and developed its own distinct Anglo-Punjabi flavour. The walled city still bears traces of Bahawalpur’s Mughal and Afghan past, while the grand palaces and the Nawab’s library in the environs of the old city reflect the grandeur of the princely state era.
Keywords:Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Punjab
© Mehreen Farooq & Waleed Ziad