Rohtas fort or Qila Rohtas is a historical fort located at approximately 8 kilometers distance from the city Dina of District Jhelum in Pakistan. This fort is approximately 4 kilometers in circumference. This fort is considered the first successful example of Pukhtun and Hindu architectural amalgamation in the subcontinent. Rohtas fort is enlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1997 A.D, due to its architectural style and historical significance.
Rohtas fort was built by the Afghan king Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century. Sher Shah named Rohtas Fort after the famous Rohtasgarh fort in Bihar (now in India) that had been captured by him three years earlier. The construction of this fort took almost 8 years to complete. When Sher Shah Suri took over the King Humayun’s Empire in India, the King fled away with his family. Then Sher Shah Suri ordered his men to construct the fort to block Humayun’s return to India. Todar Mal Khatri was the revenue minister in charge of the project which was started in 1541 A.D. The main reason the fort built was to suppress the Gakhars, the tribes of the area which were loyal to Humayun.
Sher Shah Suri died on 22 May 1545, before the completion of the project. Ten years after the completion of the project, the Suri Empire ended. Ironically, the very people the fort was designed to crush, actually became the sole owners of the tribe. Emperor Humayun returned to India in 1555, captured the fort and ruled for another 15 years. In 1825 Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Ruler took over the fort and used it for administrative purposes.
Rohtas Fort served as a garrison fort, which was able to support 30,000 men. The fort has an irregular shape, which measures approx. 4km in circumference. The fortification has 68 towers located at irregular intervals. The outer wall’s thickness is variable between 10 to 13 meters and its height varies between 10 to 18 meters. There are three terraces of the wall which are connected by staircases.
The Fortification Wall
The outer wall’s thickness is variable between 10 to 13 meters and its height varies between 10 to 18 meters. There are three terraces of the wall which are connected by staircases.
Gates of the Fort
There are Eleven gates of the fort which are named Sohail Gate, Shah Chandwali Gate, Kabuli Gate, Shishi Gate, Langar Khani Gate, Talaqi Gate, Khwas Khani Gate, Gatalli Gate, Mori Gate, Pipalwala Gate and Sar Gate.
The main access to the Fort is through G.T Road, from Islamabad to Lahore.
The Shahi (Royal) Mosque is located near the fort which is a highly decorative building which always attracts the tourists and locals alike. The outer wall of the fort is embellished by various decorations and Islamic verses in Naqsh Script.
Baolis (Masonry Wells)
The Rohtas Fort has three Baolis (a masonry well with steps leading down to water level); the Main Baoli, the Shahi Baoli and the Sar Gate Baoli.
Rani Mahal (Queens Palace)
Rani Mahal originally was not a part of the Fort but is now a part of the fort. It was built with the Haveli Man Singh. It is a single storey structure. It had four rooms originally, but only one room remains standing today.
Sher Shah Suri Museum
The museum is located in the upper part of the Sohail Gate. The museum houses artifacts like Sword of Sher Shah Suri, a collection of old coins, armament, the first foundation stone and seal which was laid for the fort.
Haveli Man Singh
The structure built by Raja Maan Singh called the Haveli Maan Singh is also located near Rohtas Fort.
Phansi Ghat is also a site to visit in Rohtas Fort.