About Rohtas Fort
One of the biggest and most formidable fortresses in the Indian subcontinent, Rohtas Fort is a 16th century fortress near Jhelum in Pakistan. Incredibly, Rohtas was never stormed by force and so has survived the ravages of time remarkably intact.
Rohtas Fort history
The fort was commissioned by Sher Shah Suri, founder of the Sur Empire, to stop the advancing Mughal emperor Humayun. Humayan had been exiled to Persia after his defeat at the Battle of Kannauj. Therefore, the fort was built upon a strategic location between Afghanistan’s mountains and the plains of Punjab to stop the Mughal emperor returning to India.
The fort doubled as a means of suppressing the local Gakhar tribes – allies of the Mughal Empire who refused to recognise Sher Shah Suri’s authority. Unfortunately, the fort was soon ceded to Humayun in 1555 after the local governor deserted the fort when the Mughals advanced. The fort was later used by the Sikh Empire until its collapse by the British Empire in 1849.
Rohtas Fort today
Today, visitors to Rohtas Fort are greeted by the view of the Sohail Gate, featuring some of the best masonry work of the Sur Empire. This ceremonial entrance was named for the local saint, Sohail Bukhari, whose remains were interred within the gate.
Another gate, the Kabuli Gate, is so named for facing Kabul and now houses a visitors’ information centre as well as a museum founded by the Himalayan Wildlife Foundation, open between 8am and 5pm.
Getting to Rohtas Fort
Rohtas Fort lies 16 kilometres from Jhelum and is near the city of Dina. The easiest way of getting there is by car.