Faisalabad is the third largest city of Pakistan after Karachi and Lahore located in the province of Punjab. Untill 1979 Faisalabad was formerly called Lyallpur, after Sir Charles James Lyall, lieutenant governor of the Punjab. It became headquarters of the Lower Chenab colony and in 1898 was incorporated as a municipality. It is also known as ” Little Manchester ” because of its textile mills, it has grown rapidly in just a century and is famed as the University of Punjab’s Agriculture campus (established 1961).
After Karachi and Lahore, Faisalabad is the third largest city of Pakistan with an estimated 2006 population of 2.6 million. Faisalabad is bounded on the north by the districts of Gujranwala and Sheikhupura, on the east by Sahiwal district, on the south by Toba Tek Singh district and on the west by Jhang district. The river Ravi flows on the Eastern and the Chenab on the Western boundary of the district. Faisalabad district is un-parallel for its agricultural productivity with cotton and wheat as its major crops, besides grains and ghee (clarified butter). Faisalabad district is also famous for its fruit production, which include fruits like Kinno (a cross breed between oranges), oranges, fruiter, mango and guava. No worthwhile wild life exists in the area except foxes, wild boar and jackals. as for birds, partridges, pigeons, tilliar, lal mena, quail, mallard and teal are found on the agricultural lands.
The city of Faisalabad is not more than a century old and only a century back it was the center of keeping livestock in the area. The present day Faisalabad in late 19th century was known as “Pakka Marri”. Being a fertile area across river Chenab, most of the caravans would a stop over in this general area when frequenting between Lahore and Jhang. When the British came into the area, they converted the small town into a colony, which was named as “Chenab Canal Colony” in 1885. This small residential colony later turned into a bigger dwelling and was renamed as “Lyall Pur” after the name of Lt. General Sir James B Lyall, the then governor of Punjab. The main purpose of building this city was to establish a market to transport the agricultural produce from the fertile plains around the city.
The map of Faisalabad is just the copy of British flag Union jack designed by an architect Desmond Yong. The total area of 110 square. acres was used to build eight bazaars & clock tower in a round shape. All these eight bazaars are connected with each other through another bazaar, which is called Goal Bazaar. The clock tower was called the “Ghanta Ghar” for which the gigantic clock was brought from Bombay. On September 1st 1997, Lyall Pur was re-named “Faisal Abad” in the memory of the slain King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who during his life time contributed a lot to bolster the friendship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Besides agriculture, the agro-based industry of Faisalabad has made rapid strides, for which it is usually referred to as the “Manchester of Asia”, specially for its extensive development of textile industry. There are dozens of textile mills with other subsidiary units. As a rough estimate, there are over 500 large industrial units out of which 328 are textile units, 92 engineering units and 92 of chemicals and food processing units. Other industries include hosiery, carpet and rugs, printing and publishing and pharmaceutical products etc. Besides, the cottage industry has over the year expanded to some 12,000 units, which include some 60,000 power loom factories.
The city was founded in 1890 and offers little of interest to the tourist. Sir Charles James Lyalllaid out the town in the shape of the British flag: a rectangle with across and two diagonals; a clock tower stands at the crossroads.
Its most distinguished feature (now indescribably filthy) is the town center which was laid out patriotically by Sir James Lyall in the shape of the British flag—-a rectangle containing a cross and two diagonals. At the center is a clock tower where eight roads meet. These eight segments form the town’s main bazaars.
The weather in the city is monitored by the Pakistan Meteorological Department. The Pakistan Meteorological Department regularly provides forecasts, public warnings and rainfall information to farmers with the assistance of the National Agromet Centre.
Faisalabad is well-connected by rail, road and air. Public transportation in Faisalabad includes auto-rickshaws, buses and railways. Faisalabad International Airport is located on the outskirts of the city, and operates flights to the Middle East.
The majority of roads are under the control of the National Highway Authority, linking Faisalabad with other cities in the country.
- National highways and motorways passing through Faisalabad
- Faisalabad is connected to various parts of the country by several National Highways and Motorways.
- The Grand Trunk Road, otherwise known as GT Road, is the original highway that links Faisalabad to most parts of Pakistan as well as neighboring countries. GT Road was the main highway that ran through the district before the completion of the motorways.
- The M-3 motorway (Pakistan) or M3 is an access-controlled motorway connecting Faisalabad with the M-2 motorway (Pakistan) or M2 via the Pindi Bhattian Interchange. The M2 was the first motorway connecting Rawalpindi and Islamabad to Lahore.
- The M-4 motorway (Pakistan) or M4 is an access-controlled motorway connecting Faisalabad to Multan. The M4 further joined the M5 which connects to the southern city of Sukkur.
- The district government has worked with the National Highway Authority to connect Multan and Faisalabad. The M4 was designed to reduce congestion, boost trade, and reduce travel times and transportation costs from Faisalabad, a major textile hub to the major trade center of Multan.
The Faisalabad railway station is the central railway station in the city. The railway line forms part of the Khanewal–Wazirabad railway line. Rail services are operated by Pakistan Railways, owned and operated by the Ministry of Railways. Cargo Express services are operated by Pakistan Railways which runs from Karachi to Faisalabad via Multan. Twenty-seven bogies comprise the goods train, and are handled respectively by private contractors at the station. The station has a special cargo facility operated by the Ministry of Railways (Pakistan) for handling various goods from the city to other regions of the country. An express parcel service runs from Karachi to Lahore via Faisalabad.
Faisalabad International Airport is approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) from the city center and is a major airport for domestic and international travel. The airport includes a cargo facility. As of January 2016, passenger flights are run by the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, and a number of middle eastern carriers. FlyDubai became the first international carrier to launch operations from the city followed by Qatar Airways, Air Arabia and Gulf Air. n 2015, significant upgrades and renovations to the airport were initiated by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, including updates to aviation technology, construction of additional areas and services for travelers, and the expansion of air traffic capabilities to accommodate wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 777.
Famous Places in Faisal Abad (Must Visit Things)
Gatwala is a wildlife and forest preservation park that was established between the years 1985-1992. It is located 15 to 20 kilometres away from Faisalabad on the Faisalabad-Sheikhupura Road. Today, this park is a major picnic spot for the locals with boating, camping and other activities for families to enjoy. The park also has a wildlife breeding centre and lush green forests to enjoy.
A tour of Faisalabad offers its share of shopping opportunities. Among these is D Ground, which is the second most important commercial hub of the city. The semi-circle area of the D is divided between a park and the office of Radio Pakistan, while the roads forming the D are full of high-end shopping outlets and eateries. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy themselves here.
Named after the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jinnah Garden is actually the final resting place of Sir Charles James Lyall. It is one of the central parks of the city and is also known to the locals as “Company Bagh.”
Gumti & Qaisery Gate
Qaisery Gate is located at the outer edge of Rail Bazaar. A straight walk through the bazaar can lead you to the Clock Tower and the 7 adjacent markets. It was built in the late 1800s during the British Rule and is well preserved to this date.
Gumti Water Fountain
Built in front of the Qaisery Gate, Gumti Fountain is another structure that has withstood the test of time from the early 1800s to date. While it has now become a busy intersection for traffic, it was once a designated spot for town meetings. The fountain is still in working condition today.
Faisalabad has a rich history attached to the name Lyallpur and there’s no better place to witness it than visiting the Lyallpur Museum. As a heritage museum, it preserves the history and culture associated with the area within its walls. While the construction began in 2010, it was actually completed by 2013. Various collections are displayed in 10 different galleries within the museum. These galleries are:
- Orientation Gallery
- Regional Heritage Archaeological Gallery
- Chenab Colony Gallery
- Sandal Bar Gallery
- Thought and Act Gallery
- Pakistan Movement Gallery
- Social Beauty Gallery
- Muslim to Sikh Period Gallery
- Textile Gallery
- Lyallpur Gallery
The Government College Faisalabad
The Government College Faisalabad is one of the oldest educational institutions in Punjab, founded in 1897. The college has produced great sports men, academicians, politicians and notable civil and military officers. The institution has rendered significant services in the dissemination of knowledge.
Iqbal Cricket Stadium
Whenever any foreign cricket team visits Pakistan, Faisalabad is not left out to provide their traditional hospitality and its residents put up a good crowd at the Iqbal Stadium. despite very hot, cold and fogy weather of Faisalabad, the cricket goes on. In 1998-99 fog caused the third Test against Zimbabwe to be abandoned abandoned without a ball being bowled. An exciting Test was played out in 1997-98 when South Africa brushed aside the home team for just 92, successfully defending a target of 142 on the final day. In 2004-05,Sanath Jayasuriya smashed 253 to bring victory to the Sri Lanka squad. However, the crowd would never forget the confrontation between Mike Gating and Shakoor Rana during England’s 1987-88 tour, which led to a day being lost during the match and some long-lasting bad feeling between the teams.
Ghanta Ghar and the eight bazaars (The Clock Tower)
When visiting Faisalabad, one shouldn’t forget to visit the Ghanta Ghar and the eight bazaars originating from it. Jinnah Garden is also a beautiful park in the city commonly known as “Company Baagh, where the tomb of Sir Charles James Lyall is located. At the Am Tex Square, the Am Tex water fall, the biggest artificial water fall of Asia, is located. D Ground is the busiest area in the evening, where people usually come out in the evening for the outing. Most of the local eateries and restaurants are located here.
The Faisalabad clock tower and its eight bazaars (markets) remain a major trading zone in the city. Each of the eight bazaars has a special name and is known for selling certain goods as follows:
- Katchery Bazaar, named for the court (Katchery) is known for its mobile phone and accessory market.
- Rail Bazar is a gold and cloth market.
- Bhawana Bazaar supplies electrical and electronic goods.
- Jhang Bazaar supplies fish, meat, vegetables and fruits.
- Aminpur Bazaar supplies stationery and interior décor.
- Kharkhana Bazaar is known for herbal medicines.
- Gol Bazaar contains dry fruit, as well as wholesale soap, oil, and ghee shops.
- Chiniot Bazaar is known for allopathic and homoeopathic medicinal stores, cloth, blankets, sofa cloth, and curtains. It also has poultry feed wholesale shops.
- Montgomery Bazaar (also known as Sutar Mandi) is known for yarn and raw cloth trading.
Faisalabad Hockey Stadium
The Faisalabad Hockey Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Faisalabad, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for field hockey matches. It is the third largest hockey stadium in Pakistan.
Sir James Lyall Monument
The Chenab Club
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Auditorium
Science Center Museum
Higher Educational Institutes in Faisal Abad
- NFC Institute of Engineering and Fertilizer Research (NFC-IEFR)
- National University of Modern Languages (NUML)
- University of Sargodha, Lyallpur Campus, Faisalabad
- University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore: Faisalabad campus
- Riphah International University Faisalabad
- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
- Punjab Medical College / Faisalabad Medical University
- Aziz Fatimah Medical and Dental College
- Government College University, Faisalabad
- Government College Women University (Faisalabad)
- National Textile University
- University of Faisalabad
- Independent Medical College, Faisalabad
- SKANS School of Accountancy
- Punjab Law College
- Allama Iqbal Open University
- Hamdard University, Faisalabad
- Preston University
- University of Education
- Virtual University
- Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)
- Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA)
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP)
- University of Central Punjab
- National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences Chiniot – Faisalabad Campus (FAST NU – NUCES)
University Community College, GCUF
- Govt. College of Commerce, Abdullah Pur, Faisalabad