Bahawalpur, is a city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Bahawalpur is the 12th largest city in Pakistan with a population of 798,509. The city also lies near the ancient Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert near the border with India, Bahawalpur was once the capital of the former princely state of Bahawalpur ruled by Nawabs. The Nawabs of Bahawalpur were regarded as part of the Rajputana States, the Nawabs bestowed Bahawalpur with several monuments, such as the palaces of Noor Mahal, Sadiq Ghar Palace, and Darbar Mahal. Bahawalpur was founded in 1748, in a region near the city of Uch. The princely state of Bahawalpur was founded in 1802 by Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan II after the break-up of the Durrani Empire, and was based in the city. Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan III signed a treaty with the British on 22 February 1833, guaranteeing the independence of the Nawab and the autonomy of Bahawalpur as a princely state. The city and princely state acceded to Pakistan on 7 October 1947 when Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V Bahadur joined Pakistan at the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947. Following independence, the citys minority Hindu and Sikh communities largely migrated to India en masse, while Muslim refugees from India settled in the city and surrounding region. Bahawalpur lies immediately south of the Sutlej River, and is the site of the 4,250 foot long Empress Bridge - the only bridge over the Sutlej in Pakistan. The city is situated 90 km from Multan,420 km from Lahore,122 km from Burewala,90 km from Vehari,270 km from Faisalabad and about 700 km from the national capital, the region is primarily arid desert with low annual rainfall totals. Regions to the west of the city are fertile alluvial tracts irrigated by the Sultej River, east of Bahawalpur is the Pat, or Bar - a tract of land at considerably higher altitude than the adjoining valley. Farther east, the Cholistan, is a desert tract, bounded on the north and west by the Hakra depression with mound ruins of old settlements along its high banks. The citys climate is hot and dry. In the summer the temperature reaches the high 40s during the day, the average temperature in summer is 33 °C, and 18 °C in winter. The average rainfall is 20 to 25 cm annually, the main crops for which Bahawalpur is recognised are cotton, sugarcane, wheat, sunflower seeds, rape/mustard seed and rice. Bahawalpur mangoes, citrus, dates and guavas are some of the fruits exported out of the country, vegetables include onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. In 2007, the population was estimated to have risen to 798,509 from 403,408 in 1998
Clockwise from top:
The Noor Mahal was the seat of the city's ruling Nawabs.
Irrigation from canals such as this provides the city with fertile soil for crop production.