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Diji Kot Fort

Diji Kot Fort

A fort known as Diji Kot Fort is located in the town of Diji Kot in Khairpur District, Pakistan. This town is located at the edge of Nara-Rajasthan Desert that is about 25 miles east of Indus River. The Diji Kot Fort was previously known as Ahmadabad Fort. The Persian architect Ahmed designed this fort and fort was named after his name.

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In 1783, Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur established his Kingdom of Upper Sindh and between 1785 to 1795, he built the Diji Kot Fort. A mud wall around the city was also built that was 5 kilometer long and 12 feet high. This was a defensive wall that had huge iron gates and was the only entrance of city.  There were bastions throughout the length of the wall.

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Diji Kot Fort is located on a limestone hill and is constructed with kiln-baked bricks. The purpose of using these bricks was that locally available limestone rocks were so brittle and with the impact of cannonball, they would have shattered easily. Height of the hill is about 110 feet and 30 feet of the walls above the hill give the fort more rise. There are three 50 feet tall strategically placed towers. About 50 bastions make segments in the wall and the fort is over half kilometer long.

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Outer parameters wall is 1.8 km that follows the double crescent-shaped contours of the hill identically. This construction is done in the way that three sides of the fort surround the attacking enemy on the west front. Entrance of the fort lies on the east where the fort is divided by three elephant proof gates. These elephant-proof gates are further divided into three overlapping levels.

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At the time of fort building, use of cannon balls was very common. Design of the fort includes multitudes of station for canons. Its position was high on narrow ridge, so, enemies had to plan to fire the cannons with accuracy from a great distance. Cannon balls fired from the enemies could hit the hill or fall on the other side after flying over the fort on enemy’s own forces on the other side.

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During the British rule, the British recognized the Upper Sindh Kingdom as princely state of Khyrpur. Fort was used as the central military base for the kingdom. After the independence of Pakistan and mergence of state with Pakistan, the fort could be included in the personal property of Mir of Khyrpur. Mir Ali Murad II decided to give the control of fort to the government of Pakistan with the expectation of better maintenance. Recently this fort is not in a good condition and it requires the keen and intense attention from the government of Pakistan.

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