A ghat Multan.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the ghats or stepped embankments lining the Ravi river in Multan, now in Pakistan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. The city of Multan has a recorded history that stretches back over two millenia. It was an ancient stronghold of the Buddhist Gandharas, then from the 6th century AD a centre of Hinduism, especially the worship of Surya or the sun god. Following the advent of Islam in South Asia, when the city came under Arab rule in the 7th century, it became a centre for Muslim saints and scholars, where many of their shrines and tombs remain. These include the mausolea of the famed Islamic scholar Shaikh Baha-u'd-din Zakria and his grandson Shah Rukh-i-Alam. The Multan Fort sits on a high mound that separates it from the River Ravi and the city below and has six gates in its defensive walls. As a key city on the invasion route into India from Central Asia and vice versa, Multan has seen much warfare, invaded by Muslims, Sikhs and the British successively during its history.