Posted on December 7, 2006
Filed Under >S.A.J. Shirazi, Architecture, Culture & Heritage, History, Travel
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S.A.J Shirazi

We had an earlier post on Ranikot here. S.A.J Shirazi now brings a very detailed historical post for ATP about this great fort. Clicking on photos will take you to their source and larger image sizes.

Sindh has been cradle of ancient civilization. The explored archaeological sites are testimony to this fact. But much is still in the store to be explored and investigated in the field of archaeology and antiquity.

Moenjodaro is described as the most valuable site in the world being one of the oldest as its scripts have not been deciphered so far. Experts are of the view that a more serious exploration and excavation in various areas will unravel many mysteries of the ancient and glorious past of Sindh.

Sindh is full of old, historic and ancient sites which also include remains of ancient cities, forts, graveyards, mausoleums, monuments and more. One such mysterious site is Ranikot, in district Jamshoro about 90 km north of Hyderabad, which has been a riddle for historians, research, scholars and archaeologists.

It is said to be one of the largest forts of the world. The pre historic site of Amri is also near the fort. On a clear day one can even see Indus River 37 kilometers away to the east.The fort occupies an area of about 29 square km, with approximately 9 km diameters and wall averagely 10 meters high. It has four gates on its four sides and is nearly square shape. One that is always kept open is Sunn Gate. A perennial old Mohan River passes through its eastern and western gates with three natural springs inside.There are three fortresses inside Ranikot: Mirikot, Shergarh and Mohat Kot. Mirikot is located at a very safe place in the very heart of Ranikot. Some historians attribute Mirikot to Mirs of Sindh. There are ruins of the court harem, guest rooms and soldier quarters.

A spring emerging from an underground source near the Mohan Gate is named as parryen jo taro ( the spring of fairies). The local inhabitants tell that fairies come from far and wide on full moon nights to take bath.

There are different versions about its antiquity. This talismanic wonder is attributed by some historians to Arabs, by some to Sassanians, some connect it to Greeks, and some others to the Romans, Scythians and Parthians, who ruled the sub continent from 350 BC to 120 BC.

The variety of the estimates can be gauged from the fact that at one end of the possible builders are Scythians and Parthians or Nawab Wali Muhammad Leghari, Prime Minister under the Talpur ruling dynasty. There is another reference that some Rajasthani queen “RaniÃ¢à ‚¬Â? built the fort. Despite many testimonies, the antiquity of the fort is still not established. The fort has not been included in the world heritage list yet.At present activities of animal husbandry, wildlife and some cultivation of crops can be seen in the fort. Some Khoso tribe people inhabit there.

Why this fort was built and who actually and originally built it is mystery and riddles which historians and archaeologists have to find out.

12 responses to “Ranikot”

  1. Owais Mughal says:

    I’ve looked at the urdu dictionary and the word ‘kot’ indeed means ‘fort’. I’ll do necessary corrections to remove redundancies in a bit

  2. Owais Mughal says:

    Pervaiz Sahib, redundancy in Ranikot fort is my mistake as I formatted the article for ATP. Shirazi sahib provided the article and I put the title on it. I must admit my ignorance that I didn’t know ‘kot’ meant ‘fort’. Let me research this word a bit and then I’ll correct it.

  3. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    “I feel bad that govt. is not taking any care of this wonderful fort”

    Saadia Khan:
    Why we always wait for government and blame the government for our own inaction. Government has no time, money or interest in such projects. What folks like you and me, who care for our heritage, have to do is form a non-profit organization and petition the government for the custody of these historical orphans. After that solicit funds and do the actual preservation and restoration and then open the sites to public. It is a lot of work but some body especially well to do Pakistanis like yourself have to take the lead. Mere complaining will do nothing. Like to hear from others on this point. And to Shiazi: Is’n “Kot” and “Fort” redundant. Thanks for the informative post.

  4. Samdani says:

    That last picture with the heavily cemented stones is depressing and shows the lack of thought into keeping the historical integrity of the structure

  5. Saadia Khan says:

    Shirazi thank you much. Its pretty informative post. I feel bad that govt. is not taking any care of this wonderful fort and some people have taken this as their property. If it was a commercial area then all the animals and their owners would have been kicked out for a long time. But its sad, paisa bolta hai (money talks) in our country.

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