Bahawalpur (بہاولپور ), is a city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Bahawalpur is the 11th largest city in Pakistan with an estimated population of 798,509.
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.
The area known as Bahawalpur was home to various ancient societies. The Bahawalpur region contains ruins from the Indus Valley Civilisation, as well as ancient Buddhist sites such as the nearby Patan minara. British archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunninghamidentified 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 it is renowned for its collection of historic shrines dedicated to Muslim mystics from the 12-15th centuries built in the region's vernacular style.