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Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort: Following his defeat of the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541, Sher Shah Suri built a strong fortified complex at Rohtas, a strategic site in the north of what is now Pakistan. It was never taken by storm and has survived intact to the present day. The main fortifications consist of the massive walls, which extend for more than 4 km; they are lined with bastions and pierced by monumental gateways. Rohtas Fort, also called Qila Rohtas, is an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in Central and South Asia.

Rohtas Fort, built in the 16th century at a strategic site in the north of Pakistan, Province of Punjab, is an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in central and south Asia. The main fortifications of this 70-hectare garrison consist of massive masonry walls more than four kilometres in circumference, lined with 68 bastions and pierced at strategic points by 12 monumental gateways. A blend of architectural and artistic traditions from elsewhere in the Islamic world, the fort had a profound influence on the development of architectural style in the Mughal Empire.

Sher Sha Suri, founder of the Suri dynasty, commenced construction of Rohtas Fort (also called Qila Rohtas) in 1541. Irregular in plan, this early example of Muslim military architecture follows the contours of its hilltop site. An interior wall partitions the inner citadel from the remainder of the fort, and an internal water supply in the form of baolis (stepped wells) gave the fort’s garrison self-sufficiency in water. A beautiful mosque known as Shahi Masjid is situated near the Kabuli Gate, and the Haveli (Palatial House) Man Singh was constructed later in the Mughal period. Rohtas Fort represented a new form of fortification, based essentially on Turkish military architecture developed in reaction to the introduction of gunpowder and cannon, but transformed into a distinct style of its own.

Rohtas Fort blended architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent, thereby creating the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations (including the European colonial architecture that made abundant use of that tradition). Most noteworthy are the sophistication and high artistic value of its decorative elements, notably its high- and low-relief carvings, its calligraphic inscriptions in marble and sandstone, its plaster decoration, and its glazed tiles.

The garrison complex was in continuous use until 1707, and then reoccupied under the Durrani and Sikh rulers of the 18th and 19th centuries respectively. A village grew within the walls, and exists day. Rohtas Fort is unique: there are no surviving examples on the subcontinent of military architecture of this period on the same scale and with the same degree of completeness and preservation.

Rohtas Fort blends architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent to create the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations.

Rohtas Fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and south Asia during the 16th century.

Within the boundaries of the property are located all the elements and components necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including its massive defensive walls, monumental gateways, irregularly spaced semi-circular bastions, and, within the enclosure, the cross wall that defines the inner citadel, the baolis (stepped wells), the Haveli Man Singh, and the Shahi Masjid mosque. The physical fabric of most of these elements and components is in a reasonable state of conservation. The fortification wall, however, has collapsed at some places, and the monument is threatened by encroachment, which has disturbed the original drainage system of the fort.

The main historic features of Rohtas Fort are authentic in form, setting, and materials. The limited restoration that has been carried out has been minimal and discreet, avoiding the use of inappropriate modern materials. The fortification wall is nevertheless vulnerable to rainwater flooding and choking the original drainage system.

Rawat Fort: is an early 16th century fort in the Pothohar plateau of Pakistan, near the city of Rawalpindi in the province of Punjab. The fort was built to defend the Pothohar plateau from the forces of the Pashtun king Sher Shah Suri. It is 17 km east of Rawalpindi on Grand Trunk Road. The 2nd century Mankiala Stupa can be seen from the roof of the fort’s mosque. The fort is located approximately 50 miles from the vast Rohtas Fort, which had been built by Sher Shah Suri to establish control of the Gakhar region.

The fort was founded as a Caravan Serai in the 15th century by Salteen-e-Dehli, though the caravan itself may have been built atop a Ghaznavid-era fort that was established in 1036 CE. The caravanserai was then later fortified in the 16th century by the local Gakhar – warrior clan loyal to the Mughal emperor Humayun in order to defend the Pothohar plateau from Sher Shah Suri’s forces.

The fort was the scene of a battle between the Gakhar chief Sultan Sarang and Afghan king Sher Shah Suri in 1546. Sarang was captured, tortured at the fort by the forces of Sher Shah Suri, and then buried at the fort.

Mankiala Stupa: is a 2nd-century Buddhist Stupa near the village of Tope Mankiala, in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The stupa was built to commemorate the spot, where according to the Jataka tales, an incarnation of the Buddha called Prince Sattva sacrificed himself to feed seven hungry tiger cubs.

Mankiala stupa is located in the village of Tope Mankiala, near the village of Mankiala. It is 36 km southeast of Islamabad, and near the city of Rawalpindi. It is visible from the nearby historic Rawat Fort.

The stupa was built to commemorate the spot, where according to the Jataka tales, the Golden Light Sutra and popular belief, Prince Sattva, an earlier incarnation of the Buddha, sacrificed some of his body parts or his entire body to feed seven hungry tiger cubs.

The stupa is said to have been built during the reign of Kanishka between 128-151 CE. An alternate theory suggest that the stupa is one of 84 such buildings, built during the reign of Mauryan emperor Ashoka to house the ashes of the Buddha.

The stupa was discovered by Mountstuart Elphinstome, the first British emissary to Afghanistan, in 1808 – a detailed account of which is in his memoir ‘Kingdom of Caubul’ (1815), The stupa contains an engraving which indicates that the stupa was restored in 1891.

Mankiala stupa’s relic deposits were discovered by Jean Baptiste Ventura in 1830. The relics were then removed from the site during the British Raj, and are now housed in the British Museum.

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