Bahawalpur (Bhawalpur, Bhawulpore; Punjabi, Urdu: بہاولپور) is a city in Punjab, Pakistan. It is the capital of the district of the same name and anchors the 11th most populous metropolitan area in Pakistan.
Bahawalpur is one of the safest cities in Punjab. It has its own airport which connect all major cities in Pakistan. PIA operate in Bahawalpur to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. A new airport is also built near the old airport and it is expected that international flights will operate at the new airport.
Bahawalpur is connected with all major cities of Pakistan by train.
From Lahore you can travel on KLP road.
Bus services are available throughout Pakistan. Bahawalpur has a very beautiful Daewoo Bus Terminal. You can catch a daewoo bus, from any big city like Karachi, Rawalpindi or Lahore and come to Bahawalpur directly.
Map of Bahawalpur
Renting a car with driver (for about US$30 per day) is the best way to move around though you can use local transport as well. But to see things around Bahawalpur you will need a car.
- 1 Bahawalpur Museum.
- Central Library of Bahawalpur. This library was built in 1927. The building has a beautiful architecture.it has 105,000 books. It is the 2nd biggest public library of the province.
- Lal Suhanra. The trip to Lal Suhanra National Park is interesting 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 habitat; 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 entrance 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.
- Mai Jindaan Da Mazaar. The Tomb of Mai Jindan is one of the most famous landmarks of Pakistan.
- . Nur Mahal is a very beautiful palace (mahal) built by Nawab Sadiq, the former ruler of Bahawalpur.
- 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.
- 2 Bahawalpur Zoo.
- Bahawalpur Golf course
- Derawar Fort is a beautiful desert tourist place for safari. It runs the off-road Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally or also known as “TDCP Cholistan Jeep Rally”. The rally starts near the Derawar Fort in Ahmadpur East Tehsil.
You can buy local tie/dye clothes (Chunri) from the local markets. Silver jewellery is also very pretty. Handmade closed sandals (with embroidery) called khussas are also available at affordable prices (about US$5 for a pair). To shop for clothes you can visit Outfitters, Crossroads, Riverstone and Boom Fashion.
- 4 Seasons, Muhammad Bin Qasim Rd (near Railway station). Sister of Multan’s Zanzibar restaurant. Plush modern decor and an ambitious menu covering steaks, pizza, pasta, Chinese and other cuisines, this is the most Western place in town. Food is acceptable and the service good – although not much English is spoken. mains around Rs 400.
- Almaida fried chicken (Pizza Garden), Welcome chowk near railway road (Any type of vehicle). A fast food club having great textures and harmony of fried chicken and pizza.
- Al Maida, Fawara Chowk Bahawalfur near Noor Mahal Rd.
- Desert grill.
- Green chilli.
- Lataska. Probably the second most popular place to eat in city. It’s famous for Chinese and Italian food.
- Pizza hut. Most famous place for pizza.
- Shahjahan Grill Restaurant (Shahjahan Grill, Bahawalpur), Opp.QMC Circular Road, ☏ , ✉ [email protected]. Authentic imperial cuisine.
- Zanzibar Food Club, ☏ .
Sohn Halwa: Sohn Halwa is the most special sweet dish of Bahawalpur. You can buy most delicious and fantastic Sohn Halwa mixed with dry fruits and nuts from certain old halwa maker shops.
- Victoria Lounge, Opposite, QMC, Circular Road, ☏ . Tea, coffee hot & cold, snacks, cakes etc at your choice.
- Hotel one – This 2-star hotel near airport is probably the best hotel in Bahawalpur.
- Luxury Hotel, Fawara Chowk. Basic hotel on a noisy junction – rooms have a/c and en suite. OK for a nights sleep but not somewhere to linger Rs 1,800.
- New Bahawalpur Hotel, Inside Ahmad Puri Gate, Shahzadi Chowk. Single room Rs 350. ☏
- Pak Continental. Aging hotel near the centre of town. Rooms OK but a/c doesn’t work when the hotel is running on its generator. Ask for a room away from the street. Rs 2,000- 2,500.
- PTDC hotel. Probably the best place to stay in the city – but only because the alternatives are so poor. Now showing its age the PTDC is in a quiet cul-de-sac near the museum and library. Rs 3,300 single, Rs 4,200 double.
Follow a conservative dress code and try to dress as locals. It is better to have someone from the city as a guide.
In the case of an emergency, call police by 15 from any landline phone.
- Ambulance Access To get an ambulance in case of an emergency, dial 115 from any landline or cellphone.
If you found yourself in serious trouble and need any type of emergency rescue or help then feel free to dial 1122. The name of the emergency service is “Rescue 1122”.
- Cholistan Desert of Bahawalpur – You can make an interesting excursions from Bahawalpur, a half day trip (no four-wheel drive vehicle required) to Derawar Fort (Qila Derawar), through the semi-desert of Cholistan.
Best to take a guide for Derawar fort – although with a GPS and a pre-planned route you could self drive. You also need permission from the present Amir of Bahawalpur to get inside the fort. The drive takes two hours on a sealed road through fascinating 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.