Colonial Canal Built Environment of Multan Punjab: An Analysis of Administrative & Residential Structures


  • Abdul Basit Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
  • Muhammad Shafique Bhatti Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan



Colonial Architecture, Canal Colonies, Colonial Multan, Built Environment


Architectural structures are mirrors of society’s standard of living, norms as well as values, especially the old architectural structures, that are not only the tangible realities rather  the providers of the  clues to the patterns of living  and human sense of understanding including the aesthetic sense. This research aims to analyses about the residential and official built structures of colonial era Multan in this perspective. The study also explores the architectural representation, ornamentation patterns, usage of spaces, and usage of material and climatic aspects of built structures of canal department in colonial Multan. Studying the drawings of the built structures (colonial circuit offices and bungalows of Multan), photographs, original and secondary type of documents are used while analyzing the colonial architecture of canal department of Multan. Analyzing the bungalows, the question taken up is: how different styles of architecture were adopted? and why these residential and official structures were built separately away from local populated area of Multan? Although the structure was developed in the sub-continent, both in terms of form and name, yet an indigenous typology of built environment was adapted and adopted by the Europeans and Bungalows as representative element of colonial built environment were restricted to Europeans. The colonial architecture fulfilled represented the social, environmental and political requirements of administrative European and mercantile class. Among the urban centers in India, Multan was one of the most important canal center that was occupied by the British in 1849 CE. It became an important frontier cantonment station in Punjab and very soon the major canal colony district of the British India. Therefore, the study analyses an important section of colonial continuity as Multan Canal Division still is represented as the agricultural center of Pakistani Punjab and Canal built structure is still functional and used residentially, administratively and for communication and irrigation purposes..

Author Biographies

Abdul Basit, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

PhD Research Scholar & visiting faculty

Department of History & Civilization Studies

Muhammad Shafique Bhatti , Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan


Department of History & Civilization Studies



How to Cite

Abdul Basit, & Muhammad Shafique Bhatti. (2024). Colonial Canal Built Environment of Multan Punjab: An Analysis of Administrative & Residential Structures. PERENNIAL JOURNAL OF HISTORY, 5(1), 35-61.