Pakistan has a rich cultural heritage and it is depicted in the form of marvelous structure built for the defense of a state or a country. There are many forts located all around the world that are of historical significance. The main purpose behind the construction of forts was to protect a country from invaders and enemies. However, they serve another purpose also which involves making a display of one’s architecture as depicted by its significance in a culture. Pakistan is proud to have enormous forts with beautiful architecture and rich cultural significance.Ranikot, the largest fort of the world is also situated in Pakistan. The reason behind the accumulation of forts in Pakistan lies in its history. As Pakistan initially was a part of Indo-Pak sub-continent, it had been ruled over by various monarchs including Mughals who were fond of art and architecture. Here a list of the famous forts of Pakistan has been presented naming only the top ten forts of Pakistan with their respective locations. These forts are a place of frequent local visits along with being famous tourist attractions
1) Ranikot Fort located in the province of Sindh.
2) Baltit Fort situated in Hunza Valley
3) Royal Fort located in Lahore
4) Rohtas Fort situated in Dina
5) Multan Fort located in Multan
6) Rawat Fort in Rawalpindi
7) Phrasal Fort in Rawalpindi
8) Red Fort of Muzaffarabad
9) Attock Fort of Rawalpindi
10) Giri Fort in Taxila
The Pharwala Fort is situated 40km from the city of Rawalpindi in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. It was once the capital of the Gakhar Estate. The fort was built in the 15th century on the ruins of an old Hindu fort. The site of Pharwala Fort was chosen wisely as a small Himalayan range stood guard on one side and the River Soan defended it from the other making it difficult to attack and capture.
Gakhars were the rulers of Northern Punjab and some areas of Eastern Punjab were also under their control. When the first Moghul Emperor Babar invaded India, he attacked the fort but was repelled by the strong Gakhar army; his second attack was successful and the fort was conquered. After reconciliations however, the fort was handed over to the Gakhars who remained the loyal friends of the Moghuls. In 1825, the Pharwala Fort was captured by the Sikhs.
At present the fort is in a dilapidated condition. The apathy of governments past and present has resulted in the deterioration of many landmarks. It is up to us citizens now to save these historic buildings. Located in Kahuta district, Pharwala Fort can only be visited by Pakistani citizens.
There are two beautiful and historic forts in Muzzafarabad; the Red Fort and the Black Fort. Both of them are popular tourist spots in Muzzafarabad.
The Red Fort
The Red Fort in the Muzzafarabad city of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan is an ancient fort. The Chuk rulers started its construction primarily to save the territory from invaders. The fort was finally completed in 1646 during the time of Sultan Muzzafar Khan who is also the founder of present day Muzzafarabad.
The Red Fort was a specimen of great architectural expertise. It was surrounded by Neelum River on three sides and was constructed in such a way that it remained safe even when the river flooded. A flight of steps led down to the river on the Northern side and this side was a bit vulnerable to flood waters. An inn was constructed at the entrance of the fort.
This beautiful monument was damaged by the earthquake which hit the area in 2005.
The Black Fort
Little is known about the Black Fort located in Muzzafarabad except that it was built by the Moghuls above the river junction. At present the fort is under the use of the army and people are strictly prohibited to enter it.
The Kot Dijji Fort is located in the town of Kot Dijji in Khairpur District in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It was constructed on the orders of Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur. The fort is located at the edge of the Nara-Rajasthan desert and in a way is protected by the desert from that side. Kot Diji fort is very beautiful.
The fort is well designed, planned and constructed. The main entrance has three levels all of which are protected by “elephant proof” gates. These gates have heavy iron spikes jutting out on them. Other tactics such as arrow slits in the walls and the bastions were also used to protect the fort against invasions making the fort practically invincible. The fort had many cannon stations to attack the enemy. The elevation and position of the fort ensured that the enemy cannons never hit the fort. The fort was however never attacked.
The fort served as a royal residence of the Ameers (rulers) of Khairpur. The fort is built on a limestone hill around 110 feet high. Kiln baked bricks were used in its construction.
The impressive structure of Kot Dijji still stands today and is a major tourist attraction of Khairpur.
Rawat Fort is located on the Potohar Plateau at a distance of 17 km from the city of Rawalpindi. It is believed to be built by the Gakhars; a tribe known for its bravery in the 16th century. A battle between the Afghan warrior Sher Shah Suri and the chief of the Gakhar clan Sultan Sarang Khan was fought at the fort. Sultan Sarang died fighting and is buried here along with his sons. It is a very beautiful fort which carries historic value thus attracts a lot of visitors.
The square shaped fort has two gates with the main gate opening eastwards and a smaller second gate facing north. The fort consists of a three domed mosque, an octagonal building with a single dome; some say this structure is actually a mausoleum. There are many small identical rooms along the inner side of the four walls overlooking a courtyard. Some graves can also be seen inside the fort. If you go up the dilapidated stairs, you will get a magnificent view of the Potohar Plateau and the Mankiala Stupa.
The fort which was once a symbol of pride now stands in shambles mainly due to the negligence of the government and the irresponsible insensitive attitude of the people.
After Sher Shah Suri the Afghan ruler defeated Moghul King Humayun, Suri decided to build a strong complex at a point from where he could successfully block the advances of Humayun and his allies the Gakhars who refused to side with Suri.
A gorge some 16km North West of Jehlum was chosen as the site of the Rohtas Fort. The Fort is built on a hillock 300 feet and the huge complex occupies an area of 12.63 acres. Built mainly for military purpose, the fort is charming in its own strange way. The building style is a rich blend of Afghan and Hindu architecture. The fort could house 30,000 men and features such as the trap gates, massive walls, 68 towers, 3 stepped walls (called Baolis) and the fortification wall were added to make the fort almost invincible. The fort complex includes a mosque called the Shahi Mosque, Rani Mahal and Haveli Maan Singh.
The fort has 12 gates with interesting names and a few with interesting stories. The fort is decorated with engravings in Arabic and sun flower motifs, some specimen of calligraphy are also found here but the general look and feel of the fort is more of a military base rather then a luxurious dwelling. For this very reason the fort was unpopular with the Moghul kings who had a rather refined taste. this fort to the Gakhars. The Rohtas Fort still remains a grand piece of architecture.
Suri died before the Fort could be completed and Humayun the new ruler of India gave