Cholistan Jeep Rally 2017 – Most Awaited Event in South Punjab
Bahawalpur is City of Nawabs, it has rich history, emperor looks and Royal Persona. Cholistan is basically a desert with sand dunes. Moreover, Cholistan is famous for Jeep Rally over the years. Tourism department development Corporation has been organising this jeep rally for few years now. However, this year it saw a rapid rise as more then 10,000 people reached Cholistan to witness this Jeep Rally. Most noteworthy, near 60 participants takes part in race this year. Furthermore, participants from other countries like Iran, Korea, Japan and Turkey takes part in Cholistan Jeep Rally.
We also participated in Jeep rally and started our quest to see Multan, Bahawalpur and Fort Dirawar this time. Our Journey starts from Rawalpindi at 3pm when we took sharp turn towards Gt Road for sake of reaching Motorway which turns out to be pains taking experience as 15 minutes proposed journey took near one hour to reach Islamabad Motorway. However, after reaching Islamabad Motorway rest of journey was smooth as we stayed for few minutes at Bherra interchange after 2 hours Journey. We were three initially, me ( Ejaz Husain), my younger brothers Waseeq and Gulfam who was driving as well on whole tour. Our first milestone was to reach Faisalabad where Mr. Iqbal Anchan was waiting for us to join us. We have been swift on Motorway but while reaching Faisalabad City, traffic was very slow so we were also slow. Picked Iqbal at 07.30 pm. Furthermore, we went to nearby restaurant which was jam packed as it happened to be first day of PSL ( Pakistan Super League ) , inaugural ceremony was being aired and large part of Restaurant was occupied with mix emotions but taste of Biryani was amazingly nice.
Multan was our next destination. Multan City is city of saints but it was 4 hours journey if we were on correct road we lost our way despite using Google map but luckily remained on route to reach Multan by 1.30am. This leg of journey was more tiring as road structure is not good due to unavailability of Motorway from Gojra till Multan. However, road is very good from Multan City till Bahawalpur. Interestingly, we were able to reach our destination by 3am. Our friend, Mr. Ahsan Raza Shah more famous as Shah JI was continuously in touch on telephone and called near 300 times so that we could reach the City safely. Most Noteworthy, when we met him, dinner was ready which was taken near breakfast time. Furthermore, it was lavish Dinner with few nicely cooked items. After, having dinner we reached our Hotel well situated in Heart of Bahawalpur City, comfortable room awaited us and we slept right away.
First of all, we visited Library of Bahawalpur, we saw some amazing handicrafts, historical scripts, famous Rolls Rice which was used by Quaid E Azam during his reign as Governor General of Pakistan. Ancients Coins that were used during reigns of Mughals and few other famous emperors. Furthermore, various war items are part of capacious library which was earlier a palace as well. Moreover, road structure is very good in City and it does not look like ancient city anymore as modern Structure as everywhere with state of the Art Airport which is gift from Arab Rulers who come frequently to area for hunting various birds. Most Noteworthy, we visited Lal Sohanra Park where large quantity of Blackbucks is being nurtured in open. We then went towards Cholistan. We reached CHolistan in 2 hours time from Bahawalpur. Road was not suitable for Toyota GLI Car but we reached after some struggle.
We reached Fort near 5.30pm so light was fading and area was buzzing with tourists who were coming from all Corners. Jeep Race had already commenced day before we reached the area. We saw Fort in diminishing lights but it was nice to see it even in fading lights. We viewed various camping sights near fort. Whole areas was buzzing with festive look. We were not able to go inside the fort due to its alarmingly bad condition due to no rehabilitation efforts by anyone. Fort is on verge of collapse hence visitors are allowed to enter the fort. Ancient Shahi Mosque is present nearby fort. This Mosque is amazing as it was built by Nawabs of Bahawalpur and it is still living its glory days. We saw many people offering prayers. Cholistan desert go towards Rahim Yar Khan and rally had distance of near 450 kilo meter with 3 nights to stay in open forest. TDCP tried good efforts to promote tourism in this southern Punjab but facilities were bit odd. Sanitation was virtually not there nor toilets were built despite huge amount of expected visitors which was really bad. Moreover, arrangements were not up to mark. Food stalls were present but they were providing sub standard food.
Last day, we spent most of time in Multan where we visited the famous shrines of Hazarat Bahauddin Zikriya ( RA), Hazrat Shah Rukene Alam and Hazarat Shah Shams Tabreez. All Shrines are heavily visited. These all Shrines are nearby each other can be reached within few minutes. After Visiting Multan we headed towards Rawalpindi Islamabad and reached Home in 8 hours time from Multan.
Ejaz hussain is CEO of Pakistan tour and travel operating in Northern areas of pakistan offering honeymoon Packages from Pakistan in affordable rates with good quality services.