Miri fort was the center of power of Baluchistan for centuries, before the British took over formally in 1888.
This was where the Khan of Kalat stationed his troops to protect “Kota” town.
Make no mistake, Miri fort is no Miramar Beach Florida – it is as dry as it gets in this part of Pakistan. Still, the fort represents the essence of Quetta: Tribal, Multi-faith, Rugged and Colonial.
History of Miri Fort Quetta
“Miri” is derived from the title Mir or Chieftain. Khan of Kalat had his governor rule these parts from the fort.
Colonial British, namely the treacherous Major Sandeman, forcibly took over Miri fort and with that Quetta from the Khan of Kalat in 1877 when two officers were killed by local tribesmen.
Its current form took shape in 1888, including the temple, gun posts and approach lanes.
The Crown of Quetta is the Fort of Miri Baluchistan
In fact, “Quetta” is derived from the word “Kota” meaning Fort. The only fort of olden days here was the Miri Fort. So the city of Quetta is name after the Miri fort.
Tomas Holdich wrote in the 1884 Baluchistan District Gazette, “The Crown of Quetta is Mirri. The Mirri Fort has been the Fortress of Quetta from time immemorial and the base of the fortress is what was probably a mud volcano in days that are prehistoric.”
The fort sits on top of a mud hill measuring 500x500x80ft.
Pictures of Miri Fort Quetta Baluchistan
Aerial View of Mirri fort indicates that the town of Quetta was protected by a rivulet
The fort is now right in the centre of Quetta Garrison on the PAF Base Samungli Road leaving Quetta.
The place has all the essentials of a proper fort i.e. ditches, hurdles, fences, disorienting pathways, secret passages, high gun posts and an arsenal.
Going into the compound of Mirri fort, you feel like you have entered colonial British times.
Sid Pani Nath Hindu Temple Quetta, Baluchistan
Mirri houses one of the few completely functional Hindu temples in Quetta city of Baluchistan. What surprised me was how well preserved the temple and its deities and fresco were.
Painting on the wall and roof is interesting and so vivid. I wish someone could explain which historical legend they were referring to.
History of Miri fort temple
The only history I could find was written on the Hindu Temple itself. Sid Pani Nath was a saint, and according to the Hindu religion, he could control the flow of river water.
Contractor L. Baboo ram constructed the Hindu temple (mandir) inside the fort walls in 1940.
Nothing like Hinglaj Temple Hingol
Another Hindu temple that we visited in Baluchistan was in the south, in Hingol National Park is the Hinglaj Mata Hindu temple. Hinglaj was more of a meditation site than a temple.
Interior of the temple is clean and well kept. The frescos and paintings of Hindu Gods were fascinating.
Visit to Mirri fort
As the fort is right at the edge of the garrison, visit to the place is a half-day affair. There is no food or water served there.
Can anyone visit the fort of Miri and Hindu Temple?
Too bad general public cannot appreciate the historical and heritage value of this Mirri Fort and Hindu temple, because it is in the government’s control.
Might as well write a Mirri Fort obituary.
Museum of Miri Fort
There is a nice museum inside as well; not much to see in there though, except mannequins with a wild west theme of Baluchistan.
The antiquated guns and canons are worth the visit though.
Miri fort and the Hindu temple give a time capsule insight into the development of Quetta city itself – therefore it is worth the visit for history and anthropology buffs.