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Muzaffarabad Fort

Muzaffarabad Fort

The capital city of Azad Kashmir (Portion of Kashmir freed from India by Pakistan), Muzaffarabad is situated on the banks of the rivers Neelum and Jhelum. Surrounded by the Baramulla and Kupwara districts of India in the east, by Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the northern side and by the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the west, Muzaffarabad houses almost 741,000 people. Home to many breathtaking sites, Muzaffarabad serves as one of the top tourist sites in Pakistan. Not only from Pakistan but people from all over the world with a knick for site seeing and adventure come to Muzaffarabad to satisfy their needs.

Of the most breathtaking sites to indulge you while visiting Muzaffarabad are the forts, the two ancient forts which stand on the opposite banks of the river Neelum. They are the Red Fort (Chak fort) and the Black Fort. The foundation for Red Fort was laid down by the Chak rulers hence the name Chak fort and it was completed on behalf of Sultan Muzaffar Khan (forefather of Muzaffarabad city) in 1646. The fort lost its importance when the Mughals came into power, because they were more interested in Badakshan, Kabul and Bukhara. The importance of the fort was re-instated during the Durrani regime because of its architectural strength and eloquent location.

This fort was not built as it is today, over the span of time different rulers renovated and extended the fort for various reasons. Some prominent rulers out of them are the Dogras, Rambir Singh and Maharaja Gulab Singh. The main reasons include various political and military reasons. The final residents of the fort, the Dogra forces went away, leaving the fort behind recklessly.

The architectural aspects of the fort show great detail in design while the strength of this marvelous structure leaves many awe-inspired. The fort itself is an inspiration to the architects of today and teaches them many things on how to build a strong and sound structure. The fort is surrounded by the Neelum River from three sides which is ceremoniously known as the Kishenganga River. The eastern wall of the fort is reinforced to protect the fort from floods and the northern part of the fort is connected to the bank of the river via terraces. Even though traces of different compounds inside the fort still remain here the main thing to notice is the strength of the fort and how it sustained over this long time span.


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