On the busy GT Road Linking Islamabad to Lahore, about ten kilometers before Jhelum, a sign advertising Rohtas Fort UNESCO world heritage site appears in the middle of the road. This sign points to a small patchy road which one would expect only to lead to small villages. This single lane road winds through dry hills and soon the walls of the fort become visible. The road ends in the village of Rohtas which is situated inside the fort’s walls.
Rohtas Fort is a huge fort, among the largest in South Asia. With more than 4 kilometers of wall and 14 gates, it circles an area of 175 acres. The wall is 30 – 40 feet wide and 50 – 80 feet high.
In 1539, Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun at the battle of Chaunsa. Humayun fled Dehli to take refuge in Iran. To prevent the return of Humayun, Sher Shah Suri ordered the construction of this fort in 1541. The fort was completed in 1548, in just 7 years.
The fort is majestic, blends in with its surroundings, and it is a unique specimen of 16th century South Asian military architecture. In addition, there is a “sufi mazar” at each gate. The Sufis mystics are buried inside the walls of the fort!
The fort is situated halfway between Lahore and Islamabad. It is a must see for anyone visiting Islamabad or Lahore.