General Information

Founded in 1748, Bahawalpur was the capital of the former princely state of Bahawalpur, ruled by the Abbasi family of Nawabs until 1955. The Nawabs left a rich architectural legacy, and Bahawalpur is now known for its monuments dating from that period. The city also lies at the edge of the Cholistan Desert, and serves as the gateway to the nearby Lal Suhanra National Park. Bahawalpur, is a city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Bahawalpur is the 11th largest city in Pakistan by population as per 2017 census with a population of 762,111.

The area known as Bahawalpur State was home to various ancient societies. The Bahawalpur region contains ruins from the Indus Valley Civilization, as well as ancient Buddhist sites such as the nearby Patan minara. British archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham identified the Bahawalpur region as home of the Yaudheya kingdoms of the Mahābhārata. Prior to the establishment of Bahawalpur, the region’s major city was the holy city of Uch Sharif – a regional metropolitan centre between the 12th and 17th centuries that is renowned for its collection of historic shrines dedicated to Muslim mystics from the 12-15th centuries built in the region’s vernacular style.

Bahawalpur was founded in 1748 by Nawab Bahawal Khan I, after migrating to the region around Uch from Shikarpur, Sindh. Bahawalpur replaced Derawar as the clan’s capital city. The city had initially flourished as a trading post on trade routes between Afghanistan and central India.

In 1785, the Durrani commander Sardar Khan attacked Bahawalpur city and destroyed many of its buildings on behalf of Mian Abdul Nabi Kalhora of Sindh. Bahawalpur’s ruling family, along with nobles from nearby Uch, were forced to take refuge in the Derawar Fort, where they successfully repulsed attacks. The attacking Durrani force accepted 60,000 rupees as nazrana tribute, though Bahawal Khan later had to seek refuge in the Rajput states as the Afghan Durranis occupied Derawar Fort. Bahawal Khan returned to conquer the fort by way of Uch, and re-established control of Bahawalpur.

Princely state

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. In 1807, Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire laid siege to the fort in Multan, prompting refugees to seek safety in Bahawalpur in the wake of his marauding forces that began to attack the countryside around Multan. Ranjit Singh eventually withdrew the siege, and gifted the Nawab of Bahawalpur some gifts as the Sikh forces retreated.

Bahalwapur offered an outpost of stability in the wake of crumbling Mughal rule and declining power of Khorasan’s monarchy. The city became a refuge for prominent families from affected regions, and also saw an influx of religious scholars escaping the consolidation of Sikh power in Punjab.

Fearing an invasion from the Sikh Empire, Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan III signed a treaty with the British on February 22, 1833, guaranteeing the independence of the Nawab and the autonomy of Bahawalpur as a princely state. The treaty guaranteed the British a friendly southern frontier during their invasion of the Sikh Empire.

Trade routes had shifted away from Bahawalpur by the 1830s, and British visitors to the city noted several empty shops in the city’s bazaar. The population at this time was estimated to be 20,000, and was noted to be made up primarily of low-caste Hindus. Also in 1833, the Sutlej and Indus Rivers were opened to navigation, allowing goods to reach Bahawalpur.

By 1845, newly opened trade routes to Delhi re-established Bahawalpur as a commercial centre. The city was known in the late 19th century as a centre for the production of silk goods, lungis, and cotton goods. The city’s silk was noted to be of higher quality than silk works from Benares or Amritsar.

The 1866 crisis over succession to the Bahawalpur throne markedly increased British influence in the princely state. Bahawalpur was constituted as a municipality in 1874. The city’s Noor Mahal palace was completed in 1875. In 1878, Bahawalpur’s 4,285-foot long Empress Bridge was opened as the only rail crossing over the Sutlej River. Bahawalpur’s Sadiq Egerton College was founded in 1886. Bahalwapur’s Nawabs celebrated the Golden Jubillee of Queen Victoria in 1887 in a state function at the Noor Mahal palace. Two hospitals were established in the city in 1898. In 1901, the population of the city was 18,546.

Bahawalpur’s Islamia University was founded as Jamia Abbasia in 1925. At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Bahawalpur’s Nawab was the first ruler of a princely state to offer his full support and resources of the state towards the crown’s war efforts.

Bahawalpur was announced as one of six cities in Punjab whose security would be improved by the Punjab Safe Cities Authority. 5.6 billion Rupees have been allocated for the project, which will be modeled along the lines of the Lahore Safe City project in which 8,000 CCTV cameras were installed throughout the city at a cost of 12 billion rupees to record and send images to Integrated Command and Control Centres.

The surrounding countryside, irrigated by the lower Chenab River, produces cotton, wheat, sugarcane, maize, vegetables and fruits. The city is an industrial centre with major railway repair yards, engineering works, and mills that process sugar, flour, and oilseed. Faisalabad is a major producer of superphosphates, cotton and silk textiles, hosiery, dyes, industrial chemicals, beverages, clothing, pulp and paper, printing, agricultural equipment, and ghee (clarified butter). The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry monitors industrial activity in the city and reports their findings to the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and provincial government. The city has a major dry port and international airport.


Bahawalpur lies some 117 metres or 384 feet above sea level. The climate is dry. Over the year, there is virtually no rainfall in Bahawalpur. According to the Köppen-Geiger system, it is classified as BWh. The average annual temperature is 25.7 °C or 78.3 °F. The rainfall is around 143 millimetres or 5.6 inches per year.

Passport and Visa

Passports, valid for at least six months from the entry into Pakistan, and entry visas are required to visit Pakistan. Participants are advised to consult the nearest diplomatic mission of Pakistan for details.

The Conference Secretariat will send a formal invitation letter with which the participants can apply for a visa at the diplomatic mission of Pakistan. In order to receive the Formal Invitation Letter, you need to fill out the registration form online and pay the registration fee at your earliest time.

Participants may also ask their local travel agents to arrange their travel to Pakistan and obtain a tourist visa. If participants have any difficulties in obtaining their visa, they should contact the Conference Secretariat.

Once in Pakistan, the participants should carry their passports on them at all times because the passports may be needed to check into hotels, book airline tickets, and change money.

Pakistan Online Visa System is now open for the citizens of  175 Countries! Moreover, citizens from 50 Countries are eligible to apply for Visa On Arrival under Tourist Category and the citizens from 95 Countries are eligible to apply for Visa on Arrival under Business Category. Issuance of Visa is the prerogative of the Government of Pakistan.

The online visa application may be submitted at;


Conference registration fee does not include any insurance for the participants regarding accidents, sickness or loss of personal property. Participants should make their own arrangements in respect of health and travel insurance before leaving their countries.


Emergency call numbers are 15 for police, 16 for fire brigade, 1122 for rescue and traffic accident.

Currency Exchange

In Pakistan, only PKR is used. However, exchange centers can be found at airports, banks and large shopping centers. The exchange rate is due to the official rate (State Bank of Pakistan). When exchanging money, please keep your receipt by which you can change any remaining PKR back to foreign currency when leaving Pakistan.

Master, Visa and American Express Cards are accepted in many department stores and hotels. Some ATMs may be able to allow you to withdraw PKR on your credit cards.

By Plane

Bahawalpur is well-connected by rail, road and air. Public transportation in Bahawalpur includes private-taxies, buses and railways. Bahawalpur Airport (IATA: BHV, ICAO: OPBW) is located on the outskirts of the city, and operates flights to the Middle East. The nearest international airpot is Multan Internatioanl Airport

Multan International Airport (IATA: MUX, ICAO: OPMT), is approximately 115 kilometres (71 mi) from the conference location and is a major airport for domestic and international travel. The Airport has connections to many other hubs such as Toronto, London, New York, Tokyo and Dubai. It is also the hub for Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan’s national carrier, which flies to numerous destinations, including all the major cities in Pakistan, and international cities such as Beijing, Barcelona, London, New York, Toronto, Istanbul, Kabul, Colombo, Copenhagen, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Oslo, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Dhaka, Sharjah, Al-Ain, Kathmandu, Kuwait, Mumbai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah, Amman, Bangkok and Tokyo.

By bus

Faisal movers business class bus service from/to Bahawalpur city. Contact: +92-311-1224488. Tickets can be purchased online from Bookkaru

Daewoo Sammi offers some direct services to/from Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, and other major cities of Pakistan. UAN +92 21 111 007-008. Tickets can also be purchased online from Daewoo.

Minibuses are the cheapest way to get between the larger cities, and the only way to get to some more remote destinations. They can be uncomfortably crowded, so if possible opt for a more comfortable larger bus.

Kohistan, Skyways, Bilal Travels and a couple of others operate large, comfortable buses to Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Lahore, Faisalabad and many other cities and towns from their own bus terminals near Motorway Interchange. These services are rather affordable and convenient way of intercity travel.

By train

First Class travel with Pakistan Railways is good, and Bahawalpur has railway connections with various major cities in Pakistan including Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, & Peshawar.

By car

A modern motorway and National Highways connects Bahawalpur to different cities of Pakistan.

While Pakistani traffic is generally chaotic and highly dangerous, the motorways and the national highway is very comfortable and one of the few places traffic laws are enforced. Now a days, new Traffic Police has arrived and is enforcing traffic laws on Highways too.

Pick-up service to the congress venue from airport, faisal movers, daewoo bus terminal and railway station will be provided to all conference participants.