Rumored to be imperishable, the great strong hold of Rohtas Fort was built by Sher Shah Suri to crush the local Potohar and Gukkhar tribes and to prevent Emperor Hamayun from entering Shah,s domains. It has been built on the Grand Trunk Road at a distance of 16 km from Jehlum (a site chosen by Sher Shah himself), blocking the route from Quetta to Lahore. The fort is a beautiful blend of Indian and Pakhtun architecture. The elements of Hindu architecture include balconies and decorations while the utilitarian style of construction has been taken from Pakhtun architecture.
The fort has twelve gates including four trap gates which are in the direct line of fire of the bastions built at irregular intervals. It can accommodate a 30000 strong force. The length of outer wall is 5.2 km while it’s height ranges from 10 to 18 meters. The fortress is irregular in it’s shape. The cost of construction of Rohtas Fortress was about Rs. 3425000 as per Waqiat-e- Jahangiri. The 12 gates are a s follows: 1. Sohail Gate, 2. Kabuli Gate, 3. Shishi Gate, 4. Langar Khani Gate, 5. Talaqi Gate, 6. Khwas Khani Gate, 7. Gatali Gate, 8. Tulla Mori Gate, 9. Pipalwala Gate, 10. Sar Gate, 11. Shah Chandwali Gate, 12. Mori or Kashmiri Gate. There are 3 Baolis in the fort. These were made by cutting deep into the lime rock. Near the Kabuli gate there is a mosque named as the Shahi Masjid. The mosque has been decorated with beautiful round designs in which Islamic verses are written in Naqsh script. The stone carvings and calligraphic pieces of art are truly remarkable. For decorational purposes glazed tiles and plaster have also been used. Stunned by it’s splendor and strength the Emperor Jehangir said:
“This fort was founded in a cleft and the strength of it cannot be imagined”
The fort was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997. Rohtas fort can be visited easily from Lahore via the Grand Trunk Road.