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. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    khalid: “lot of Pakistanis living in Pakistan don’t know about these places”

    Most of the Pakistanis living both inside and outside Pakistan do not know much about places in Pakistan. There is very little domestic tourism at this time. Half of our people do not know how to read and write. How would they know if they can not read. ATP and sites like this are helping some of us learn about some of the places in Pakistan while most of the population is still in the dark. Such is the level of our own ignorance, poverty and illiteracy.

  2. khalid says:

    Very informative article, so much can be done in Pakistan for domestic tourism but ( lot of Pakistanis living in Pakistan don’t know about these places )as per this article nobody owns this fort. There is ministry of tourism and ministry of archeology etc somebody should take care of these historical sites ,buildings,forts etc.
    Tourism both domestic and international can be increased a lot in Pakistan,one can learn from Dubai how they have increased inbound tourism since last 10 years.

  3. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Saadia Khan: Your both points are very well taken. Yes it is up to the common folks like us to take up the task of preserving our heritage. And yes there must always be full transparency in the use of the public funds. Unfortunately in Pakistan we lack on both counts. Apathy for the historical sites comes from the ignorance and lack of general education. The misuse of public funds comes from incompetency and greed. You are right.

  4. Eidee Man says:

    Great post. I’ve been to both this fort and the Mohenjo-daro area. What’s most striking is how little attention is paid to these places by our citizens….these places are usually deserted with tour guides competing for your business.

  5. Saadia Khan says:

    Pervaiz Saheb, please make a NGO in Pakistan for this, with full transparency of funds and its use, I believe many ATP readers including me would like to join you.

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