Forts in Cholistan

Derawar Fort

Deep in the heart of the Cholistan Desert stands the lonely but awe-inspiring Derawar Fort. A massive fort with decoratively carved sandstone walls, which take your breath away, as they rise magnificently from the flat desert wasteland like something so grand it’s difficult to imagine. Built in 1733 by the Nawab (Royal family) of Bahawalpur, the fort can be seen for many miles with walls 90 ft high. It is extremely photogenic, but is best seen in the morning or evening before or after the desert’s midday sun takes hold.

Islamgarh Fort

Islamgarh Fort is located deep in Cholistan near the Indian border at a distance of 150 km from Derawar Fort. The fort itself is an impressive square building of brick work with high sloping roofs strengthened by bastions. The fort was built by Rawal Bhim Singh in 1608 A.D. The fort has been in a state of neglect and disrepair for over a century.The fortification walls are l0 to 12 feet thick.

Mirgarh Fort

Mirgarh Fort was founded by Noor Muhammad Khan, in l799 AD, was completed in 3 years. A Persian inscription seen at the gates of the fort in 1872 recorded that he was a disciple of the Gillani Makhdooms of Uch. The fort is built of burnt- bricks, is square, measuring 92 feet on each side, and possess 7 bastions, standing 39 feet in height. The distance between MirGarh Fort and Fort Abbas city is 21 km.

Jamgarh Fort

This beautiful burnt-brick fort stands in the desert with much of its original appearance, 9 km away from MirGarh Fort. It was built in 1788 A.D., by Jam Khan Maroofani. It’s square in plan, measuring 114 feet on each side. Its walls survive to a height of 28 feet and are strengthened by circular bastions at the corners. An arched entrance, nearly 9 feet wide, was provided through the eastern wall.

Mojgarh Fort

The Moj Garh fort was founded by Muhammad Maroof Khan Kehrani, in 1743 A.D. This square fort decorated with glazed tiles and surmounted by a single dome stands about 400 yards south of the fort. The fort is at a distance of 32 km from Marot Fort

At present the fort is in ruins. The outer burnt-brick facing and the interior facing of the fortification wall has collapsed at several places exposing the mud brick core. The fort is almost square in plan measuring 325, 312, and 238 feet on the southern, western and northern sides respectively. The walls are strengthened with a series of semi circular bastions.

Khangarh Fort

This fort was built by Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan 11 in 1783 A.D. It is square in plan with semi-circular bastions at each corner and an entrance on the east side. The fort measures 128 feet on each side. The walls and bastions, which are built of mud-bricks with a burnt-brick facing, have fallen down leaving only piles of burnt bricks and signs of old walls, telling the tale of the lost grandeur. It is 70 km away from Derawar Fort.

Khairgarh Fort

Built in 1775 A.D. with mud and burnt bricks, it is square in plan, measuring 170 feet on the inner side between octagonal bastions, and is at a distance of 70 km from Derawar Fort.

The mud- brick fortification walls are 8 feet thick on top and stand 24 feet high, including a 5 feet high parapet above. On the inner side, the bastions have a circular vaulted chamber, 19 feet in diameter, which provides access to the top.

Nawankot Fort

Nawan Kot Fort still retains some of its original features and is located 45 km away from Derawar Fort. Built of mud-bricks with 4 corner towers, it measures 156 feet externally between the bastions. The doorway on the north side is 10 feet wide and is flanked by guard rooms built with burnt bricks.

Bijnot Fort

Bijnot (Winjhrot) is structurally an impressive fort. It was originally built by Raja Winjha or Bija Bhatia in 757 A.D. At present the fort is in ruins but still depicts most of its original features. It is at a distance of 45 km from Nawan Kot Fort and is built of blocks of limestone set in locally available lime mortar. The outer fortification is almost square with an overall length of 300 feet on each side. On the northern side, there is an eleven feet wide entrance, above which three rooms are built. The walls survive to the height of 21 feet, excluding the about 7 feet of the parapet wall on it.


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