Pakistan is amazingly beautiful in landscapes as well as in rich historical sites. Ranikot Fort is one of them. World still has no picture of largest fort in the world yet here let me show you the great architecture which will take you back to The Great Wall of China if you know about it.
Overview of Ranikot Fort
Ranikot Fort, also known as Rannikot is a historical fort near Sann, Jamshoro District, Sindh, Pakistan. Ranikot Fort is also known as The Great Wall of Sindh and is believed to be the world’s largest fort. with a circumference of approximately 32 kilometers (20 mi). The fort’s ramparts have been compared to the Great Wall of China.
The Fort site was nominated in 1993 by the Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO world heritage status and has since been on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fort is listed as a historical site under the Antiquities Act, 1975 and its subsequent amendments, and is provided protection.
History of Ranikot Fort
The origin, the purpose and architecture of this historical fort also regarded as the Great Wall of Sindh, still remains unknown. However, it is believed that the fort was built during the regimes of the Sassanians, the Scythians, the Parthians or the Bactrian Greeks.Archaeologists point to the 17th century as the time of its first construction but Sindh archaeologists now agree that some of the present structures were reconstructed by Talpurs in 1812 at a cost of 1.2 million rupees.
The battlements of Ranikot formed the last capital of the Amirs of Sind when they were brought under the colonial rule of the British Empire. Radiocarbon tests were conducted at the Sann Gate on the charcoal embedded in the mortar of a collapsed pillar of the eastern gate of the fort. These tests have confirmed that this gate was probably renovated between the early part of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century, prior to Britain invading the fort when the Kalhoras, or most likely the Talpur Mirs of Sindh ruled over the area.
Architecture of Ranikot Fort
The Rannikot Fort is huge, connecting several bleak mountains of the Kirthar hills along contours, and measures 31 kilometers in length. The northern part of the fort’s perimeter is a natural high hilly formation while on the other three sides it is covered by fort walls. Within this main fort, there is a smaller fort known as the “Miri Fort” which is about 3 km from the Sann gate and is reported to have served as the palace of the Mir royal family. Fortified with 45 bastions, this colossal structure is made of gypsum sandstone decorated high walls.
The outer boundaries of the fort are a combination of rectangular and round walls, modified to use gunpowder. The entire fort structure has been built with stone and lime mortar. The fort is built in a zig-zag form, with four entry gates in the shape of a rhomboid. The fort has four entrances, the Sann Gate, located on the east, the Amri Gate on the north-eastern side, Shah per Darwaza on the south and the Mohan or Upper Gate on the western corner. The southern entry gate has a double doors gate. Within the gates, there are two niches which have floral ornamentation and carved stones. The Sann gate is well preserved and can be climbed to reach the top of the fort from both sides to get a scenic view of the terrain around the fort. This gate is also the entrance to the Meeri.
Inside of Ranikot Fort
This massive fort includes two citadels within its territory, one at the top of its structure and the other at the center of the fortified area. There is an extensive graveyard located below the upper citadel, otherwise the huge complex is desolated from any signs of habitation
In spite of being an architectural wonder of Pakistan, the fort remains unexplored due to lack of interest from archaeologists and the Pakistani Government.
Ranikot Fort distance from Karachi
Karachi to Rannikot Fort/Sindh wall: 3 h 56 min (256.8 km) via Karachi – Hyderabad Motorway and Indus Hwy/N-55
Travel Plan and Things to See in Ranikot Fort
Any car can reach Meeri Kot easily, you can take your car to entrance of Paryon Jo Tar, fresh water ponds but 4×4 SUV is better to see all of Rannikot Fort, and can also camp overnight inside Meeri Kot Fort, proper washroom facility and rest house is available to book but taking camping gear is recommended. The entry to the Fort is through the Sann Gate. Climb up on both sides for a panoramic view of the landscape. Further down the road, there is a small fortress, “Meeri”, housing the royal quarters. From Meeri Kot Fort, one can see “Shergarh”, another fortress, up in the mountain. After driving and walking some more, head over to Mohan Gate. There are a number of canyons inside the fort, and small rain-streams used by the Gabol villagers residing inside the fort. The ‘Paryon Jo Tar’ (the pond of fairies) pond is quite deep and the stones around it are slippery. Beside Sann and Mohan Gates, there are two additional gates ‘Amri Gate’ and ‘Shahpar Gate’.
You can contact me to arrange a private or group, corporate trip tp Ranikot Fort.
Also read my blog about highest place of Sindh, Gorakh Hill Station: