Multan is the third largest city in Pakistan and is situated in the southern Punjab region. It has the nickname ‘the City of the Shrines’. It sits on the banks of river Chenab and has very fertile soil and a reputation for growing the best mangoes in the world during the summer and oranges in the winter months – locally grown falsa makes a delicious freshly squeezed juice too. Shopping in the city is fun, particularly in the many different bazaars. Some are specialist ones like the mobile phone market and Andhi Khoi which is a wholesale cloth market.
The biggest and best market is Hussain Agahi Bazaar – which is also one of the oldest, the second best is Sadar Bazar Multan Cantt. The selection of stalls is amazing and if you see something you like, you can definitely bargain to get a good price! If you enjoy wandering in stylish malls, there are eight different ones to discover in Multan including Chenone Tower, Crystal Mall and the particularly popular, Pace N Pace.
1. Taste the delicious Sohan Halwa
This is a really delicious sweet that tastes so good you will want to take some boxes for your friends! Sohan Halwa is made from sugar, pure ghee and flour and is encrusted with pistachio nuts and slivers of almonds. The sweet is available everywhere and can be bought by weight or in attractive gift boxes.
2. Pamper your skin
The soil in the area is very sandy and it has been found that it makes a really good mask for nourishing the skin. Known as Multani Mitti, this skin treatment is very popular as is known to be beneficial for treating spots and acne.
3. Choose some beautiful local pottery
Multani blue pottery is very stylish and has been made for hundreds of years in the city. It is made in elegantly shaped vases, bowls, and plates. The intricate floral patterns are in several shades of blue on a white background and the pottery makes a very special souvenir to cherish
4. Admire the Multani embroidery
The city has a long tradition for making beautiful pieces of intricately stitched embroidery which takes many hours to complete.
5. Buy a really unusual lampshade
There is definitely a prize for guessing what the smart table lamps are made from – camel skin! They create a soft golden light which is attractive. If you don’t have room in your suitcase, there are a number of other decorative pieces also made from camel skin.
6. Invest in a gorgeous pashmina
When the weather gets cooler, local women wear huge soft pashminas (shawls) to keep them cozy and it is well worth buying a few to take home. The pashminas come in standard and large sizes and are available in plain jewel colors that can look smart worn over your winter coat to provide an extra layer of warmth. There are many gorgeous patterned pashminas to choose from that are richly decorated with embroidery and sequins and are perfect for evening wear.
7. Be tempted by the black onyx
Black onyx may not be the cheapest souvenir, but it is certainly a very stylish one. The onyx is carved into a variety of attractive vases, bowls and trinket boxes and certainly makes a handsome gift.
7. Try on the Multani footwear
This classic design of footwear might not be on top of the fashion stakes, but it certainly wins on sheer comfort! Beautifully made in soft leather in a rainbow of colors, you will certainly get your money’s worth from these shoes as you will never want to take them off!
9. Have a suit made-to-measure
There are a number of excellent tailors in the city who make beautiful suits for men and women in just a few days. The cloth used is good quality and the tailors are real craftsmen, carefully hand stitching certain parts to ensure a perfect fit. It is fun to have a suit made as you not only choose the color but the lining material and buttons too! The prices charged are really good too.
10. Treasure a beautiful piece of gold jewelry
The city is well known for its fine jewelry which is very distinctive in design. The best place to see some of the craftsmen at work is in the Hassan Arcade on Nusrat Road where there is a whole square of little jewelry shops each with wonderful displays of gold jewelry. If you find a piece you like, some gentle bargaining can work and it is a good idea to check that the piece is hallmarked.