rawat fort

Story of Mankiala Buddhist stupa & Rawat Fort Pakistan

How am I going to link Mankiala Buddhist Stupa & Rawat Fort, two towering monuments of Northern Pakistan’s ancient history, in 600 words? 


mankiala stupa

Mankyala Buddhist Stupa Location

Mankiala village, 30 Kms from Rawalpindi on GT road.

This is the site where Sher Shah Suri’s son punished the local Gakhar Chief Sultan Sarang Khan for staying loyal towards Humayun, the routed Mughal.

That incidence just about ended 700 years of Gakhar domination over the vital crossing of Rawat.


History of Rawat City

Rawat or Rabat is the name of the safe house built somewhere in the 9th century but upgraded in the 15th century.


rawat fort

Purpose of Rawat Fort

This safe house was meant to protect trade caravans crisscrossing from Poonch city and Amritsar towards Kabul.

It was also meant to keep an eye on invaders coming through Margalla hills. Naturally, it had to have a fortified compound.

It is nowadays known as Rawat Fort.


rawat fort

History of Rawat Fort

Earliest recorded history talks of Mahmoud Ghaznavi’s son retreating to this outpost to hide from the Seljuk Turks after his defeat in 1029, later to be executed by his own guards at Taxila.

The modern structure of Rawat fort was built by Gakhar Sultan Sarang Khan.


rawat fort

Military significance of Rawat Fort

There are no natural protections to this fort, therefore, it can’t be accorded the same importance as the Rohtas fort of Sher Shah, which had purely military purposes.


Rawat Fort is right on GT road, smack in the center of Rawat city, overlooking this vital trade and invasion route towards the rich plains of India.

Description of Rawat Fort

In the center of the fort is the grave of the Brave Gakhar who was flayed alive along with his 12 sons’ killed by Sher Shah’s son.


All along the thick boundary walls are rooms for visitors that may be doubled as barracks too. On one side is the VIP accommodation, probably for the royals. Mughal Humayun is said to have been in the area after his return to power. 

The central piece is the mausoleum of some unknown notable. Its construction is unmistakably Mughal.


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Mankiala Stupa near Rawat 

 From the top of one of the gun posts, we could see the Gandhara period Buddhist Stupa and the site of the battle of Sultan Sarang.

Don’t feel sorry for the guy, he poisoned his rival to get to the top of the Gakhar Clan.


15 kms from Rawat Karawan serai is Mankiala or Manikpur village and it’s Buddhist Stupa.

It is believed to be one of the 84 stupas’ that had the ashes of Buddha buried in its top dome by Asoka.

Mankyala Stupa History

Its construction is estimated to be 128 BC; Asoka launched his empire in 250 BC.

Mankiala Stupa is where a Buddha reincarnates fed hungry tigers flesh from his own body.

The British raj discovered this place in early 1800 excavated and renovated it to its present condition. They also stole relics of Buddhist times like lamps and stones and placed them in their British museum.

There once were stairs that went all the way up to the Stupa top, where the most pious of Buddhist priests meditated in silence.

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The legend of Mankiala

The local legend says that a great calamity came to this Stupa and its adjoining village close by, in ancient times. My theory is that it was the Mehmood Ghaznavi who ransacked and burned the temple and adjoining village during his spring forays into India.

Even now people of the Mankiala village find archaeological structures, gold, precious stones, relics, brass instruments, and coins below old structures.

I talked to a 90 years old teacher in the adjoining village of Sagri about the Hindu and Sikh presence before 1947.


The hindus and Sikh of Rawat

He said, “the Hindus were very good to us. Doctor Dina Nath owned vast lands in the surrounding. We never touched them in the communal violence that took place in March 1947.

It was a Hindu school teacher ‘Tilla’, from Rawat, who ran to Delhi and lied to everyone that Muslims are slaughtering Hindus and Sikhs. That lead to a wave of executions in Delhi and the hate reached our village too. The enraged mobs from the surrounding villages closed in on the besieged Hindu and Sikh community at night with axes.

We never gave the enraged mob access to the Hindu temple and Sikh Dharamshala from where they were firing at the crowd. Then the army came to the village in the morning and dispersed the crowd. The rich non-muslims left with all their riches in trunks under army escort towards Delhi from the main Sagri train stop. No one was killed. The only murder was done by a Hindu of his own 7 cousins. 

One of Dr. Dina Nath’s sons later joined the Indian hockey team and visited his ancestral home. ”

What historical wonders lie close to us that is revealed to only the few that seek the truth!


rawat fort

FAQ on Buddhism 

Who was Prince Sattva?

Prince Sattva was thought to be the previous reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama

For more forts, you can click the following links

Baltit Hunza

Rohtas Qila

Lal qila, Muzaffarabad

Shahi qila, Lahore

Do watch the video.

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  1. Raja Mahad Badar says:

    I have a question on dates ? i am here from the article written on pharwala and the writer aay that hathi khan king of gakhars came to potohar with mehmood ghazanvi in 1500 something. And here u are narrating that son of mehmood ghazavni came here in 1000’ to save his life from the sheljuk turks. So how come there can be the difference of 500 years between father and the son

    1. Thank you for reading our blog.
      Yes, Mahmood of Ghazni’s son did come to this area in 1013, to sack Nandna fort, with his father. He again came in 1027 for protection. This is a fact. Kai Gohar Gakhar came with Mahmood of Ghazni in the 10th century.
      However, I will make the dates simpler to understand.

  2. Adiba Khali says:

    Fascinating read ..! More tourist need to see this

  3. Adiba Khali says:

    Am I the anonymous ?
    My comment didn’t register

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fascinating ..!
    Needs more exposure ..more tourists need to see this.

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