Rohtas Fort in Pakistan is one of the recent forts built in this land and is easy accessible to History buffs. In 1997, UNESCO inscribed it as World Heritage site.
Qila Rohtas Pakistan Google Map location
It is 8 km south of grand trunk road and is near the city of Dina. it easily accessible and road condition is very good.
It’s Google map route, location and pictures are pasted below for your reference.
Rohtas Fort Pakistan Route?
The Qila Rohtas lies on the edge of Tilla Jogian mountain range, near the town of Jhelum and Dina, in the province of Pakistani Punjab.
Qila Rohtas Distance from Islamabad
Total distance from Rawalpindi to Rohtas fort is almost 100 km and it takes 2 hours to get there by car.
Fort Rohtas Distance from Lahore
Rohtas Fort is 4 hours from Lahore and 217 Kms.
The Rohtas Fort Geographical Plan
It is bound from three sides by the Kahaan River (Nullah Ghaan) that winds around it and empties into River Jhelum. Rohtas fort was naturally protected by Nullah Ghaan from three sides :-
- The northern
- Western side
This fort over looks the Grand Trunk Road as it enters and leaves Jhelum District.
The fort is located at the confluence of Kahan River and Parnal Kass stream.
Rohtas Fort Pakistan History
After defeating Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541, Sher Shah Suri built a strong fortified complex upon a hill top at Rohtas, to prevent Humayun’s return.
It was also meant to subdue the rebellious Gakhars’.
This fort was also meant to act as a security post for raiders approaching the Jhelum river crossing.
Rohtas fort of Jehlum Pakistan was built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541 to keep Humayun out of India and Gakhars’ of Potohar under control, but Humayun came in anyways and Gakhars’ dropped their opposition. Gakhars’ had their own fort closer to Kashmir in Kahuta, the Pharwala Gakhar fort.
Also, Akbar built Attock Fort in 1583 at the bank of the Indus River, which was more strategically placed to keep Afghan invaders out. so, Rohtas Fort of Jhelum Pakistan lost its prestige very soon.
It is spread over four km, has massive defensive walls and 12 gates.
Rohtas Fort Bihar
There is another Rohtas Fort in Bihar, India, but I would’t know much about that because of visa issues, except that it was built pre-1223 CE
Legendary Story of Rohtas
The locals of Jhelum often narate this story of how the original Rohtas fort in Bihar India was wrestled from a Hindu Raja through the guile of Sher Shah Suri.
What happened was that Sher Shah wasn’t breaking through the defense of the fort despite his best efforts, so he chose the cunning way.
He sent in Afghan crack troops hidden under layers of gold and ornaments presented as gifts for the Hindu ruler of Rohtas Garh Bihar, knowing their love for the yellow metal.
When the Raja let the palanquin carrying the gifts inside his fort, Sher Shah’s crack troop quickly took over.
Sher Shah was so happy with his guile that he named his swanky new fort in Jhelum, Rohtas.
Things to see at Rohtas Fort
There are many interesting things in and around the fort :-
Massive Fort Gates
What impresses me the most was how huge the gates and ramparts are. You can see its massive walls from quite some distance. This Qila can be entered from one of the gates by driving straight through.
Haveli Man Singh
Man Singh was Akbar’s trusted Rajput General and his vicegerent in this area. Man Singh’s residential quarters were built on the fort walls that are on the cliff side of the Tilla Jogian Mountain, at least 300 feet from the river bed below.
Stepping Well Baoli
One step well (baoli), in the centre of the fort is quite impressive considering this well was supposed to water thousands of soldiers and cavalry animals in the event of a siege that could last months.
Hindu temple Rohtas
The interesting thing here was that the fort had a Hindu temple inside the compound whereas the Sikh temple was outside.
This could be because Sikhism had not gained official sanction like influential Hindus like Man Singh had helped gain.
Gurdwara Chowa Sahib Rohtas Fort
The Gurdwara Chowa Sahib, is located near the notorious Talaqi gate and commemorates the site where Guru Nanak is said to have created a water-spring with the strike of his cane.
Talaqi gate is where Man Singh and his successors would execute dissidents and throw their body into the gorge below
Shahi Masjid Rohtas Fort
Sher Shah Suri had to build his mosque to keep muslim soldiery happy.
Subsequently, Akbar would not have allowed a Temple and not build a Mosque to counter the negative impression of him being a weak muslim.
Shahi masjid is located to the south of Kabuli gate.
The fort has a very basic Museum as well that opens only in office hours.
Rohtas Picnic Garden
Fort has a garden with manicured grass and benches as well, so that families can enjoy their weekend picnics here.
You need few hours and good weather to explore the complete fort and it is better to hire a local guide.
Road to Tilla Jogian Hindu Sikh Temple Complex
If you leave from the Sohail gate you can go to Tilla Jogian Hindu Sikh Temple Complex
Rohtas is among the better preserved forts of Pakistan.
Qila Rohtas Aerial View
This is what the fort looks like from the Air
Visit to Rohtas Qila is good for families and Heritage History enthusiasts. For the rest, visit other fun places in Islamabad.
I hope the country realizes its historical significance for nation building before the local village encroachment completely destroys this gem