One of the architectural marvels of north Pakistan is the Rohtas Fort, which lies in the province of Punjab. Built in the 16th century it bears the testimony of the Pathan architecture in central and south Asia. The majestic edifice lies over a hillock in the north of the famous Jhelum River. The walls of the fort are safeguarded in the west and northern sides by the River Kahan and in the east and south by lofty hills. The great ruler Sher Shah Suri built this fort as a strategic site against Gakkhars. It is thus an incarnation of Sher Shah’s might and competence as a ruler.
Description of the fort
The Rohtas fort is a garrison that extends up to 70 hectares and circumscribed for four Km by strong walls. There are 68 bastions and twelve monumental gates. Within the fort there is an inner citadel. The walls of the fort are made of sandstone, which renders them a majestic and ornate look. The Sohail Gate is famous for its attractive balconies that are cradled in decorative brackets and sturdy bastions. The Shishi Gate has received its name for the use of glazed tiles in the exterior arch.
The other four gates are called double trap that were constructed to distract the attackers to cause harm to the inhabitants of the fort. Near the Kabuli Gate is a mosque called Shahi Masjid where lies a courtyard and a prayer hall. Stair lines interlink the terraces of the fort. These terraces have different thickness at different sections of the fort. The maximum thickness of a terrace is 36 feet, which is near the Mon Gate. There are two tanks called baolis that provide abundant supply of water to the fort. There are three baolis in the fort namely: ShahiBaoli, Main Baoli and Sar Gate Baoli.
What makes the Rohtas Fort an attraction to the visitors?
- The Rohtas Fort is an outstanding edifice that embraces the architectural and aesthetic tradition of both Turkish and Indian subcontinent. This fort has set itself as an example for Mughal architecture in later eras.
- This fort is also an exceptional model of Islamic military and architectural excellence in the south central Asia.
- According to the Antiquity Act (1975), passed by the Parliament of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Rohtas Fort is a heritage site and the Government of Punjab has been given the authority to look after the historical fort.
- In later years after its construction, Akbar and the Sikhs used the fort.
How to reach at Rohtas Fort?
The Rohtas fort is located in a small town called Deenain the Jhelum district in Pakistan. It is a rail station named after the town. At Deena is the busiest bus stop at about 100 Km away from Islamabad. From Lahore and Islamabad one can access the bus route along the G.T. Road.
Visit to Rohtas Fort should be avoided during the rainy season as no bridge is there over the river Ghaan,which has to be crossed. There are many luxurious hotels and lodges near the fort that accommodate tourists who come there at any time of the year.