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Best forts to visit in Pakistan

Best forts to visit in Pakistan

The past, culture, and legacy of Pakistan are very rich. Here, several dynasties from various ages have left their imprint. Prominent structures, such as forts, mosques, historical sites, etc., were built in Pakistan by people like the Mughals and Nawabs. These structures still remain today and are well-liked tourist attractions.

As a result, we have created a list of exquisite historical forts around the country that you should add to your travel list. Tourists can easily visit all these historical forts in a rented car, with a tourist company or local guide.

Lahore Fort:

At the northernmost point of the renowned Walled City in Lahore, there is a castle known as Lahore Fort, which is one of Pakistan’s most popular tourist attractions and is a magnificent reminder of the splendor of the Mughal era.

The Lahore Fort, also known as Shahi Qila, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort is believed to have been built in the 11th century and has undergone several additions and renovations over the centuries. It is a grand complex of palaces, courtyards, and gardens that showcase the rich history and architectural styles of the Mughal era.

The fort is known for its impressive defensive walls and gates, as well as its impressive collection of buildings and monuments. Some of the notable structures within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, a palace adorned with intricate mirror work, the Naulakha Pavilion, a 9-story palace, the Diwan-i-Aam, a hall for public audiences and the Diwan-i-Khas, a hall for private audiences. The Lahore Fort also contains a mosque. It is a popular tourist destination and attracts a large number of visitors every year. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Derawar Fort:

One of Pakistan’s most well-known forts, QillaDerawar, is a breathtaking site amid the Cholistan Desert. For miles across the desert, its forty bastions are visible. The fort is known for its impressive walls that stand 30 meters high and stretch for 1.5 kilometers. This fort was built in the 9th century by Raja Deoraj Bhatti, a Hindu Rajput ruler, but it was later captured and rebuilt by the Muslim Nawabs of Bahawalpur in the 18th century.

The fort has a unique architecture, with a series of 40 bastions, each with a diameter of 30 meters, surrounding the walls. The walls are made of unbaked bricks and have been coated with white gypsum plaster, making it visible from a great distance in the desert. Visitors can climb to the top of the walls to get a panoramic view of the surrounding desert.

Inside the fort, there are several buildings and structures, including a mosque, a palace, and a baoli (step well). The palace has a central courtyard, and the mosque has a unique square minaret. Derawar Fort is an important historical site in Pakistan, and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Cholistan desert and the region. Visitors can also enjoy camel and jeep safari in the desert, and traditional music and dance performances. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Rohtas Fort:

A stronghold called Kila Rohtas was constructed in the 16th century close to Jhelum. This fort’s most remarkable feature is that, although being the biggest on the subcontinent, it has never been attacked violently. The fort was built by the Pashtun king Farid Khan, also known as Sher Shah Suri, in the 16th century. It is considered one of the most impressive and well-preserved forts in South Asia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fort is built on a hill and covers an area of about 4 square kilometers. It has several gates, including the Shahi Darwaza, the Talaqi Gate, and the Hathi Gate, each with its unique architectural design and decoration. Inside the fort, there are several buildings and structures, including a palace, a mosque, and a baoli (step well). The palace has a central courtyard, and the mosque has a unique square minaret.

The fort is known for its impressive defensive walls, which are up to 20 feet thick in some places and up to 40 feet high. The walls are punctuated by 68 bastions, many of which are still intact, and have a total circumference of about 5.5 km. The fort was built to protect the region from the Mughal Empire and other invaders, but it was never captured by force.

Rohtas Fort is an important historical site in Pakistan, and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Red Fort Muzaffarabad:

The Chak kings of Kashmir constructed the Red Fort, commonly referred to as the Muzaffarabad Fort. The stunning fort is bordered on three sides by the river Neelum and is worth seeing. It is precisely located in Muzaffarabad, a city in Azad Kashmir. The fort is situated on the banks of the Neelum River and is known for its unique architecture and historical significance.

The Red Fort was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar during the 16th century, as a symbol of his power and influence over the region. The fort is made of red sandstone and is known for its impressive defensive walls and gates. The fort has a unique architectural design, with several buildings and structures inside, including a palace, a mosque, and a baoli (step well). The palace has a central courtyard, and the mosque has a unique square minaret.

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the fort was used as a military base by the Indian army and suffered severe damage. After the war, it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. However, in recent years, the fort has been restored and is now open to the public as a tourist attraction and a historical site.

The Red Fort in Muzaffarabad is an important historical site in Pakistan and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Bala Hisar Fort:

The Durrani Empire originally utilized this fort near Peshawar as their imperial winter home. The Pakistan Frontier Corps is currently using it after a comprehensive renovation. The fort is situated on a hilltop overlooking the city and is known for its strategic importance and rich cultural heritage.

The Bala Hisar Fort has a long history, dating back to the ancient Gandhara period. The fort has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries, with the most significant ones being made by the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. Whole fort is made of clay and mud, with walls as high as 30 meters and surrounded by a deep moat. The fort has several gates and towers, each with its unique architectural design and decoration.

Inside the fort, there are several buildings and structures, including a palace, a mosque, and a baoli (step well). The palace has a central courtyard, and the mosque has a unique square minaret. During the British Raj, the Bala Hisar Fort served as the residence of the British political agent in the region. After the independence of Pakistan, the fort was converted into a military cantonment and was used as a military base.

The Bala Hisar Fort is an important historical site in Pakistan, and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Ranikot Fort:

When it comes to forts, Sindh is unmatched, and the Ranikot Fort, which is in the Jamshoro district and is close to Sann, is the crown gem. The biggest fort in Pakistan is referred to as the “Great Wall of Sindh”.

Ranikot fort is known for its impressive defensive walls that stretch for over 26 kilometers, making it one of the largest fortresses in the world. The fort is believed to have been built in the 19th century, but the exact origins and history of the fort are still shrouded in mystery.

This fort has several gates, towers, and bastions, each with its unique architectural design and decoration. Inside the fort, there are several buildings and structures, including a palace, a mosque, and a baoli (step well). The palace has a central courtyard, and the mosque has a unique square minaret. The baoli is an underground well with steps that lead down to the water level.

The fort’s walls are made of clay and mud, and it is surrounded by a deep moat. The walls are punctuated by several bastions, many of which are still intact, and have a total circumference of about 26 kilometers. The fort was built to protect the region from invaders, but it was never captured by force.

Ranikot Fort is an important historical site in Pakistan, and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Ramkot Fort:

The ancient Ramkot Fort in Azad Kashmir provides breathtaking views of the Mangla Dam. It can only be reached by boat and is situated 79 km from Mirpur and 13 km from Dina. The fort is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Mangla Dam and is known for its strategic importance and rich cultural heritage.

The Ramkot Fort has a long history, dating back to the ancient Hindu Shahi period, but it was rebuilt and expanded by the Dogra dynasty in the 19th century. This fort is made of stone and clay, with walls as high as 30 meters and surrounded by a deep moat.

The Ramkot Fort was built to protect the region from invaders, but it was never captured by force. After the independence of Pakistan, the fort was converted into a military cantonment and was used as a military base.

The Ramkot Fort is an important historical site in Pakistan, and it is considered a symbol of the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Attock Fort:

This majestic fort is situated close to Attock on the right side of the river Indus, near Peshawar Road, and is clearly visible if you are going from Islamabad to Peshawar. Attock fort was built in 1581 by the Mughal emperor Akbar to secure the passage of the Indus River and protect the region from invasions by neighboring kingdoms.

The fort was later expanded and strengthened by subsequent Mughal emperors, including Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. The fort features high walls, towers, and gates, and is considered an important example of Mughal military architecture. Today, the fort is open to visitors and is considered a tourist attraction in the region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Shigar Fort:

The Shigar Fort may not be as grand as the others on our list, but it stands out due to its idyllic village location, charming garden, and relaxing places. It is situated in Shigar, a village/town in Baltistan.

This fort was constructed in the 17th century by the local ruler Raja Shigar and was later expanded by the Rajas of Skardu. The fort was used as a residence for the local rulers and as a military stronghold to protect the region from invasions.

This fort is made of clay and stone and features high walls, towers, and gates. The fort also has a palace, a mosque, a garden, and a reservoir within its walls. The palace is decorated with traditional Balti woodcarvings and frescoes.

Today, the Shigar Fort is a popular tourist attraction and is considered an important example of traditional Balti architecture. The fort is also known for its beautiful location, as it is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Shigar Valley and the Karakoram mountain range. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Sangni Fort:

Sangni Fort, which is a part of a series of fortifications that extend along the Potohar plateau midway between Ramkot Fort, located 25 km to the southeast, and Rawat Fort, located 28 km to the west, is a stunning tourist attraction. This fort is exactly located close to the village of Takal, Kallar Syedan, Rawalpindi.

Malot Fort:

Malot Fort was constructed on top of a hill near the Malot hamlet, 12 km from Kallar Kahar and around 40 km from Chakwal city. The temple and its doorway, which are made of red sandstone, make the area a lovely tourist destination. The Jangua Rajput tribe first built the city of Malot where this fort is located.

Many different rulers such as Sultan Sebuktegin, Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznawi, rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire ruled the area. The city was originally called Malik Kot but later became just Malot. The Malot Fort was constructed in the 10th century and is known for its unique mix of Greek and Kashmiri architecture. Some historical records show that Malot was built around 980 AD. It is now a popular tourist destination. The area is also known for its red sandstone, which is found in the Salt Ridge Mountains.

Kot Diji Fort:

Kot Diji Fort was constructed between 1785 to 1795 by Mir Sohrab Talpur who was a notable ruler of the Talpur dynasty. It is situated 25 kilometers southwest of the Khairpur district of Sindh province. It played a significant role in the defense of the region against invasions and attacks by foreign powers. The fort was also used as a residence for the Talpur Mirs and their court.

In addition to its military and political importance, Kot Diji Fort also has significant cultural and historical value. The fort is home to many ancient artifacts and ruins, including a mosque and a palace, that offer insight into the lifestyle and customs of the people who lived there in the past.

The Kot Diji Fort is now a tourist destination and a protected site under the Antiquities Act of 1975, The Government of Pakistan has declared Kot Diji as a National Heritage site and it’s open for visitors and tourists to explore. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Kharphocho Fort:

Kharphocho Fort or Skardu Fort is situated in Skardu, a city in the Gilgit-Baltistan province. It is known as the “King of Forts” and is built at a height of 1,400 meters above the city. This beautiful fort was built by ruler Ali Sher Khan Anchan in the 16th century. It is made of stone and rock and has a rough, mountainous appearance. It was used by General Zorawar Singh as a strategic location during military campaigns. To get to the fort, there is a 30-minute trek with steep drops and beautiful mountain views.

At the top, visitors can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the whole city and the Indus River. Inside the fort, there is an ancient mosque and a high-ceilinged reception area held together by tree trunks and stone. Visitors should dedicate a day to visiting this historic place while in Skardu. Because it is one of the most famous and must-visit forts of this region. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Baltit Fort:

The Baltit Fort is a medieval fort located in the Hunza Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD by the local ruler Tamerlane and later rebuilt and expanded by the Mirs of Hunza in the 15th century. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction in the region.

The Baltit Fort is built on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Hunza Valley and is surrounded by high walls and towers. The fort has several levels, each with its own courtyards, living quarters, and storage rooms. The architecture of the fort is a unique blend of traditional local design and Persian influences.

Inside the fort, visitors can see traditional Hunza architecture, including wooden lattice work, and learn about the history of the region through the fort’s museum. Visitors can also enjoy panoramic views of the Hunza Valley and the surrounding mountains from the top of the fort.

The Baltit Fort is also an important cultural and religious site, as it has been used as a residence for the Mirs of Hunza and their families, and also contain a mosque. The fort is open to the public, and visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the history and culture of the region.

Overall, the Baltit Fort is a must-see destination for visitors to the Hunza Valley, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich history and cultural heritage. That’s why it is one of the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

Altit Fort:

Altit Fort is situated in Altit, a town in Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan. It was constructed in the 16th century by a princess from the Mir dynasty. The tower of this fort is around 1100 years old and it gives a breathtaking view of Altit. In 2011, this fort obtained the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. It’s a popular tourist destination in this area.

Khaplu Fort:

Khaplu Palace or Khaplu Fort is located in Khaplu, Gilgit-Baltistan. This magnificent palace was constructed in 1840 by Yabgo Raja Daulat Ali Khan. It is one of the famous tourist destinations of Khaplu. Currently, Serena hotels turned it into a luxurious hotel for tourists. So, tourists can stay in this palace, enjoy the breathtaking scenery, and experience the culture and heritage.

If you are curious to see more forts in Pakistan then here is the list of all the remaining forts.

  • Fort Munro, Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab
  • Pharwala Castle, Pharwala, Punjab
  • Sheikhupura Fort, Sheikhupura, Punjab
  • Multan Fort, Multan, Punjab
  • Mankera Fort, Bhakkar, Punjab
  • Meer Garh Fort, Meer Garh, Punjab
  • Marot Fort, Marot, Punjab
  • Fort Abbas, Bahawalnagar, Punjab
  • Bavaani Fort, Sahiwal, Punjab
  • Shujabad Fort, Shujaabad, Punjab
  • Nandana Fort, District Jhelum, Punjab
  • Satghara Fort, Satghara, Okara, Punjab
  • Mauj Garh Fort, Mauj Garh, Bahawalpur, Punjab
  • Khair Garh Fort, Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab
  • Islam Garh Fort, Islamgarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab
  • Bijnot Fort, Bijnot, Bahawalpur, Punjab
  • Naukot Fort, Mithi Taluqa, Tharparkar, Sindh
  • Bakhar Fort, Sukkur, Sindh
  • Sehwan Fort, Jamshoro, Sindh
  • Qasim Fort, Karachi, Sindh
  • Pacco Qillo, Hyderabad, Sindh
  • Umerkot Fort, Umerkot, Sindh
  • Rawat Fort, Rawat, Islamabad
  • Chitral Fort, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Mastuj Fort, Mastuj, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Drosh Fort, Drosh, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Chakdara Fort, Chakdara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Malakand Fort, Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Handyside Fort, Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Kalam Darchi Fort, Misgar, Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan
  • Throtchi Castle, Kotli, Azad Kashmir
  • Baghsar Fort, Baghsar, Bhimber, Azad Kashmir
  • Kargai Fort, Kotli, Azad Kashmir
  • Sandeman Fort, Zhob, Balochistan
  • Kalat Fort, Kalat, Balochistan
  • Sassi Punnu Fort, Turbat, Balochistan
  • Sibi Fort, Sibi, Balochistan

If you have any questions about the best forts to visit in Pakistan then ask in the comments section. Locals will provide you with more info about the best forts to visit in Pakistan.

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