The city was home to various Nawabs (rulers) and counted as part of the Rajputana states (now Rajasthan, India).
The city is known for its famous palaces such as the Noor Mahal, Sadiq Ghar Palace, and Darbar Mahal, as well as the ancient fort of Derawar in the Cholistan Desert bordering India.
The city is located near the historical and ancient cities of Uch and Harappa, which were once a stronghold of the Delhi Sultanate and Indus Valley Civilisation. The city is home to one of the few natural safari parks in Pakistan, Lal Suhanra National Park.
In 2007, the city's population was recorded to have risen to 798,509 from 403,408 in 1998. Punjabi and Saraiki are the major languages of local people, while Urdu is well understood and English is the official languages used in various educational and government institutions.
Bahawalpur is located south of the Sutlej River and lies in the Cholistan region near the Thar Desert. It is situated 90 km from Multan, 420 km from Lahore, and 270 km from Faisalabad.
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.
Being an expanding industrial city, the government has revolutionised and libertised various markets, allowing the caustic soda, cotton ginning and pressing, flour mills, fruit juices, general engineering, iron and steel re-rolling mills, looms, oil mills, poultry feed, sugar, textile spinning, textile weaving, vegetable ghee and cooking oil industries to flourish.
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