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Faisalabad is the third most populated city of Muslim-majority Pakistan with a population of approx 3.5 million people (after Karachi and Lahore). The new city name was officially coined in 1977 due to its close relationship with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and its British colonial name ‘Lyallpur’ was dropped.
Faisalabad is a major cosmopolitan city located in Punjab, with a growing national and global industrial manufacturing, agricultural and wholesale distribution centre, with good transportation and communication links and an annual GDP of $20.5 billion (Punjab Board of Investment & Trade, 2016).
It has eight city districts (Lyallpur, Madina, Jinnah, Iqbal, Chak Jhumra, Jaranwala, Samundri and Tandlianwala) and 118 union councils.
The city is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery composed of sugarcane, maize, fruit, vegetables, cotton, sugar, flour, oil, wheat and the Chenab / Ravi rivers. It has a good climate, with seasonal variations between its hot desert climate and rainfall.
Faisalabad is known as the ‘Manchester of Pakistan’ because of its large textile industry connection, producing cotton, silk, clothing and hosiery.
The city has eight bazaars all renowned for selling a variety of different items including – mobile phones; gold and cloth; electrical and electronic; fish, meat, fruits and vegetables; stationary; herbal medicines; wholesale soap, oil and ghee; yarn and raw cloth trading; poultry feed, homoeopathic medicinal, blankets, sofa cloth and curtains.
Faisalabad is a cultural city with a diverse heritage and popular for its parks (Jinnah, Canal, Gatwala Wildlife), sports (cricket, hockey, tennis), educational Institutes (schools, colleges, universities, special needs), libraries (Allama Iqbal, Municipal, Forest), museums (Lyallpur), media, telecommunications, film and theatre.
There some renowned places in Faisalabad :
- Clock Tower
- Gumti & Qaisery Gate (entrance to the eight bazaars)
- Lyallpur Gurdwara
- The Chenab Club
- Faisalabad Railway Station
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Auditorium
- Iqbal Cricket Stadium
- D Ground Commercial Area
- Chenab Chowk
- Pindi Bhattian Interchange
- Allama Iqbal Library
- Grain Elevator Flour Mill
- Maktabba Seyah Library
- Agricultural Museum
- Metro Cash & Carry (openned in 2009)
- Imtiaz Super Market
- Faisalabad Hockey Stadium
- Aqua Water Park
- Lyallpur Gym Khana
- Sinbad Amusement Park
- Polo Cricket Ground
- Mosques (Zainab, Usmania, Dildar)
- Sufi Barkat Ali Ludhianwi Shrine
- Churches (Philadelphia, Methodist, St Pauls)
- Gurdwaras (Kallah, Chitti Khurd, Bhawana, Partap Nagar Lyallpur)
- Hindu Temples (Devi Mandir, Massan Mandir, Mandir Sita-Ram)
- Kashmir Bridge Underpass
- Nishatabad Flyovers (Nishatabad, Abdullahpur)
- Hospitals (DHQ, FIC, Allied, Al Noor, Aziz Fatimah, Shifa)
- Cemetries (Jhang Road)
The city has a multicultural heritage and therefore houses many Buddhist monastries, Zoroastrian temples, Sikh Gurudwaras, Hindu mandirs and many Muslim mosques.
There are famous poets who originated from the area such as Barkat Ali Ludhianwi, who wrote more than 400 books.
Other renowned personalities include the qawali singers Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The Faisalabad Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar) is an old popular monument built in 1903 and located at the centre of the eight market bazaars, which form a union jack (due to its British colonial heritage).
The Gatwala Wildlife Park is a beautiful large park, botanical garden and a breeding centre, which was completed in 1992 and took seven years to build. It includes a main lake, children area, bird sanctuary, crocodile farm, bamboo forest and open park.
The Jinnah Garden (Company Baagh) is a famous park, which contains the Chenab social club, walking paths, cycling lanes, food outlets and the tomb of Sir Charles James Lyall.
The Gumti Water Fountain, currently operates as a roundabout, but used to be a general meeting place for local townsfolk during the British colonial era.
Dr Ghulam S Ashraf is a Content Writer for www.mullk.com