You don’t need to travel to Turkey or Scotland to see some historic forts. If you love history and respect the oldest architecture, you must make sure to visit at least one of the several historical forts in Pakistan.
Pakistan, with its rich history, has countless forts in different areas. Forts in Pakistan today have become public places which are worth visiting to get a look into the lives of lords who live in such forts.
Fortresses in Pakistan
Rohtas Fort: One of the most famous fort in Pakistan. This formidable fortress was constructed between 1541 and 1548 and is located near the city of Dina in Jhelum District. It was constructed by the famous king Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the short-lived Suri Dynasty in the Indian sub-continent. It is located in the town of Dina, which is near Jhelum city and also not far from the capital, Islamabad.
If you’re wondering what is so special about
Rohtas Fort, well, for starters, it has never been defeat by force. This historical fort in Pakistan could hold up to 30,000 army staff at a time. Suri chose an upraised hill on the Pothohar Highland to construct this fort so that his forces could keep an eye on the passageway into the region. This military fort only meant to keep the Mughal forces at bay but also monitor the local Ghakkar tribe. Rohtas Fort Timing: 08:00 AM to 09:00 PM Rohtas Fort Entry Fee: PKR 20
(Foreigners may have to show their passport to enter the fort.)
This fort is also famously known as the great wall of Sindh. Ranikot fort is located in the Jamshoro District and is a natural wonder of the country. It was built in 836 AD but it was again reconstructed in the year 1812.
Ranikot Fort is 90 km to the north of Hyderabad on the Indus Highway. There is also easy access to about an hour’s journey from Karachi to Sann on the Indus Highway. A redirection road, starting a little distance away from Sann, the
nearest town, leads the way to the fort along a stony 21 km road and reaches the eastern gate of the fort, known as Sann Gate. The fort is huge, connecting several treeless mountains of the Kirthar hills along curves, and measures 31 km in length. The fort’s wall is sprinkled with several bastions, and three are of semi-circular shape. The northern part of the fort’s perimeter is a natural high hilly evolution while on the other three sides it is covered by fort walls. The whole structure of the fort has been built with stone and lime mortar.
The fort is constructed in a zig-zag form with four entry gates in the shape of a rhomboid. There are four gates of Ranikot fort. Two of the gates crossed diagonally by the Sann river; the first gate is on the western side and is go round by the river water and is difficult to approach. The southern arrival gate has a double doors gate. The Sann gate is well preserved and can be climbed to reach the top of the fort from both sides to get a beautiful view of the country around the fort. Ranikot Fort Timing: Open 24 hours Ranikot Fort Entry Fee: None
The Lahore Fort is in the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It spreads over an area greater than 20 hectares. It contains 21 notable monuments. It is situated in the heart of Lahore which signifies the brilliance in the construction of the Mughal Empire. It was constructed by Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Royal dynasty and is still there in very excellent condition.
The fort is situated in the northern part of Lahore’s old walled city. The fort’s Alamgiri gate is part of an ensemble of buildings, which along with the Badshahi Mosque, Roshnai Gate, and Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, form a square around the Hazuri Bagh. The Minar-e-Pakistan and Iqbal Park are close to the northern boundary of the fort.
Structure of the fort is as, the fort is divided into two sections: first, the administrative section, which is well connected with main entrances, and includes gardens and Diwan-e-Khas for first-class audiences. Second, a private residential section is divided into courts in the
north and accessible through the elephant gate. It also contains Sheesh Mahal, spacious bedrooms, and small gardens. The exterior walls are furnished with blue Persian Kashi tiles.The influence of Hindu architecture is seen in the zoomorphic corbels.
In 1981, the United Nations declared this historical fort in Pakistan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover, this famous fort in Pakistan is known for its unique architecture and design as it includes both Islamic and Hindu motifs. The entire structure spreads over an area greater than 400 Kanal and is one of the most iconic moments from the glorious Mughal era. Lahore Fort Timings: 08:30 AM to 05:00 PM
Lahore Fort Entry Fee: PKR 30
(Visitors who want to visit Sheesh Mahal must pay PKR 100 in addition to the Lahore Fort’s ticket price.)
You can’t compile a list of historical forts in Pakistan without mentioning the pictures of Derawar Fort, located about 130 km south of the city of Bahawalpur in Ahmedpur East, this glorious landmark in the Cholistan Desert dates back to the 9th century. The walls have a perimeter of 1500 meters and hold up meters high. Derawar Fort is an important place for tourists. The offroad Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally or Cholistan Jeep Rally was latterly settled near the Derawar Fort in Ahmadpur East Tehsil. Derawar fort was first constructed in the 9th century by Rai Jajja Bhutta, as a tribute to Rawal Deoraj Bhati the king of Jaisalmer and Bahawalpur. The fort was at first known as Dera Rawal, and later named Dera Rawar, which with time came to be pronounced Derawar. In the 18th century, the fort was adopted by Muslim Nawabs of Bahawalpur from the Shahotra tribe. It was later reconstructed in its current form in 1732 by the Abbasi ruler Nawab Sadeq Muhammad, but in 1747 the fort slipped from their hands owing to Bahawal Khan’s concentrations at Shikarpur. Nawab Mubarak Khan took the fort back in 1804.
Nawab Sadeq Muhammad Khan Abbasi, the 12th and last ruler of Bahawalpur State, was born in this fort in 1904.
This remarkable fort presents an expansive and impressive structure in the heart of the Cholistan desert, but it is rapidly falling and in need of immediate protective measures for preservation. The fort has got to new-found popularity in the recent years as camping in the Cholistan has become popular among the adventure seekers. These tours not only provide people to sleep under the stars near the walls of Derawar Fort but also enjoy the local food and culture. Derawar Fort Timing: Open 24 hours Derawar Fort Entry Fee: None
Baltit Fort is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of northern Pakistan. Established in the 8th century, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004. The beautiful town of Karimabad in the picture of Hunza Valley, the ancient Baltit Fort was
built as a part of the dowry of a princess from Baltistan who had married a local prince. In the past, the durability of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive fort, which overlooks Karimabad. The foundations of the fort go before to 700 years ago, with reconstructing and modifications over the centuries Over the years, more room and facilities were added to the impressive structure discovered on the hilltop. Actually, until 1945, this historical fort in Pakistan served as the primary apartment of the Mirs of Hunza. However, they later moved into yet another glorious fort down the hill over concerns that the fort had started decay. The stone and wooden design of Baltit Fort features beautiful carvings and brickwork in the standard style. Most of the rooms inside the fort are single-storied, wide, and properly ventilated. The staircases are also building out of stone. Visitors can also see the olden, handmade cooking utensils used by the royals of Baltistan regions in the incurved royal kitchen, whereas the outer courtyard features wall-mounted heads of several animals as well as the rare Marco Polo Sheep and ibex. Since Baltit Fort is located at a hilltop, visitors have to walk a steep stone road to get the entrance. Although
the walk might take long and look tiring to some, the captivating view from the fort is undoubtedly worth the hike. Baltit Fort Timing: 09:00 AM to 05:50 PM Baltit Fort Entry Fee: PKR 200 (The ticket price includes a guided tour.) Ramkot Fort: Ramkot Fort is the oldest fort in Azad Kashmir providing remarkable views of the Mangla Dam. It is reachable through boat only. The location is 13 km away from Dina and 79 km from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir to Dadyal town. It was constructed in 1186. The fort is accessible from Siakh village from Dadyal side and Mangla through boats which take about 20 to 30 minutes. Three sides of the hilltop are surrounded by the Jhelum River, which falls into the huge lake of Mangla Dam. It was set up by the Ghurid sultan named Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad as documented by the traveler and geologist Frederick Drew in his book.
In 1992, the government has built a small museum here, which consists of several types of pieces of rocks, paintings, and models of Mangla Power House. Ramkot Fort is the oldest fort in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan currently beside the Mangla Dam
The best season to visit the Ramkot fort is July to September because the lake is full of water in those days. Otherwise, in other months, the lake is dry and the way is horrible. Whenever you go their water must be carried with you. Ramkot Fort gives a view of hills nearby water from its top. It takes up to twenty minutes on a speed boat to reach the cliff on which the fort is located. Boats are handy by Army Water Sports Club at the lake. Following are the list of forts available to visit in Pakistan:
✓ Red Fort Muzaffarabad ✓ Bala Hissar Castle ✓ Shigar Fort ✓ Sharda Castle ✓ Baghsar Fort ✓ Kargai Fort ✓ Zhob Fort ✓ Kalat Fort ✓ Punno Fort ✓ Skardu Fort ✓ Kalam Darchi Fort
✓ Chitral Fort