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Uch Sharif

It is worth making a small visit to Uch Sharif or (Uch Shareef), a very ancient place which still has some beautiful mosques and tombs. Its great period of glory came in the 13th century, when it was together with Multan, a center of political and cultural activities. The architecture of the mausoleums and mosques still standing in Uch is refreshing and attractive, reflecting a central Asian influence, with superb blue and white glazed tiles, not similar to those in Multan and Bahawalpur. Sadly many of the tombs are in poor condition.

Uch has been associated by some authorities with one of the many Alexandrias built by Alexander on his way down the Indus in 325 Bc. Arrian, the military historian writing in 2nd century AD, records that ‘Alexander ordered a city to built at the confluence of the two rivers, imagining that by the advantage of such a situation, it would become rich and prosperous’. The of this city sent to Alexander 100 brave and noble men as hostages besides 500 war chariots with their drivers and horses fully caparisoned. Alexander was so touched by this gesture that he returned the hostages, but not the chariots.

In the 7th century Uch was part of kingdom of the barhmin ruler chach (who may or may not have invented chess), and then fell to the Arab invader Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 after a siege of seven days. Five centuries later came its period of glory as a great religious center.

The tombs are either square or domed. The tomb of Bibi Jawindi is the most complete, octagonal in shape and with every inch decorated with faience blue and white tiles. The later tomb of Jaial Surkh Bukhari is unusual in that it has a superb wooden roof painted in lacquer, predominantly red and blue. The tomb of Baha’al Halim has horizontal stripes of blue and white faience tiles, although little of it remains.

From Uch you can cross the confluence of the Sutlej and Chenab river to Alipur and then turn north for Muzaffargarh. Here you have to find the road to the east to cross the chenab river again to take you to Multan or you can turn south-east and rejoin the main road to Bahawalpur.

Religious people from all over the Pakistan often visit Uch Sharif.