Pakistan is a special creation of Almighty that is not only blessed with four beautiful seasons in a year but also it is a wonderland of some spectacular natural scenes coupled with renowned historic treasures. Before Partition of the sub-continent, this area was very important strategically and from a historic perspective and perhaps that is the reason that the legacy is carried on for generations and most of what is rare to be found in this day and age of modernization. Attock Fort is such a rare treasure that is still in its original shape what it used to be. It was of profound importance strategically to the army of that time. Here is a complete traveler’s guide for Attock Forts Location, History, construction and many more.
It is located in the beautiful city of Attock in the province of Punjab. From the capital territory, Islamabad, is almost one and half hours away or if you travel from Lahore it takes five hours and the journey is one of the picturesque in the country. Some visitors are confused about how to visit Attock Fort? This article may help to find your question regarding the concerned topic.
The name Attock is driven from the Urdu language and means “Go-slow layover”. Mentions of Attock as a town and a fort at the crossing point at River Indus between Punjab and Afghan-Pashtun frontier dates back to the times of Alexander the Great’s invasion and occupies a prominent position in the chronicles of Megasthenes (326 BC), Ibn-e-Battuta (1350 AD) and Hwen Tsang (631 AD). Attock Fort built by Khwaja Shamshuddin Khawafi between 1581 and 1583 which was a Minister of Emperor Akbar. It stayed as an important strategic fort during the peak of the Mughal Empire. Persian ruler Nadir Shah crossed through Attock and defeated the Mughals in 1738, thus ending Mughal power in Northern India.
The Attock Fort was a strategically important military bastion for the Durrani Empire when the Marathas under Peshwa Raghunath Rao attacked it on 28 April 1758. The Marathas delivered a decisive victory and captured the fort, which is seen as a great success and the pinnacle of power for the Maratha Empire. The combined forces of the Durrani Empire and the Rohillas recaptured Attock from the Marathas soon, on the way to the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 where the Maratha Empire was decisively defeated by the Durrani Empire, which temporarily ended Maratha dominance in Northern India. From that time, Attock fort stayed under the control of the Afghans till 1813.
The next Battle of Attock, also known as the battle of Chach or the Battle of Haidru, took place on 13th July 1813 between the Sikh Empire and the Durrani Empire. In late 1812, Fateh Khan, the Vizier of Kabul, crossed the Indus River to raid Kashmir and to capture it from its renegade Vizier Atta Mohammad Khan. Fateh Khan agreed with Ranjit Singh to a joint invasion of Kashmir and a share of the plunder, but after successfully capturing Kashmir with the help of Sikh Dewan Mokham Chand, he refused to share the spoils. When Ranjit Singh came to know about it, he opened negotiations with the renegade governor of Attock Jahandad Khan, brother of the recently deposed Atta Mohammad Khan of Kashmir.
After Jahandad Khan accepted Jagir offered by Ranjit Singh, Sardar Diya Singh with a small contingent of troops took control of the Attock Fort. Hari Singh Nalva, the revered Sikh general, arrived with Dewan Devidas with a detachment of cavalry to support the Sikh garrison of Attock. Accusing Ranjit Singh of treachery, Fateh Khan set off from Kashmir at the head of 15,000 cavalries and surrounded the Attock Fort in April 1813. At the same time Ranjit Singh rushed Dewan Mokham Chand and Karam Chand Chahal from Burhan to meet the Afghans. The Afghans and Sikhs met each other in a fierce battle on 13 April 1813 and in subsequent battles yet the Sikhs stood their ground.
The Attock Fort and the old city of Attock or Attock Khurd, came under the control of the British East India Company after the defeat of the Sikh Empire in the 2 Anglo-Sikh War of 1849. Following the Indian rebellion in 1857, the region’s strategical value was appreciated by the British, who established the Campbellpur Cantonment in 1857-1858 with the Attock Fort as its main military stronghold.
After independence in 1947, this fort had been under the control of the Army and still, you would see army here but a large or almost entire fort is open for the public. Most of the time especially on vacations stream of the public throng to explore Attock Fort.
With the assumption of a new government in the center of Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaaf (PTI) the tourism industry has certainly boomed and it seems to be the top priority of the government. The Prime Minister several times in his speeches has stressed the point that his government is working on the tourism promotion in the country and some very concrete measures have also been taken in this regard. Attock fort has also gained importance to facilitate the tourists who come to explore this historic monument that after so many decades erects as before. The government in this regard is keen to invest on the infrastructure leading to the Attock fort and other facilities for the tourists here.
So, if you are one of the buffs of history you definitely cannot afford to miss it. Although the road leading to it and the transport are quite accessible and up to the mark yet ion recent time measures are being taken to better facilitate you. Tick it in your visiting list and do fly over in the first chance. Lastly, along with historic knowledge and aesthetic amusement you can have the best photography as well so that goes on to require you to have a good camera in your hand while visiting this awesome historic treasure. As they say photographs are cherishable and live with you as a memory for a long time without getting old.