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October 21, 2018

Restoration work commences at Rawat Fort


October 21, 2018

Rawalpindi : Rawal Fort situated at Rawat is finally undergoing restoration and a renovation work as its premises has been cleared from illegal encroachments and drug addicts.

The fort consists of a mosque, a tomb of Sarang Khan, a graveyard and Travellers Inn that dates back to pre-Mughal era of early 16th century.

The Assistant Curator Rawat Fort Farhat Saeed present there while talking to ‘The News’ said that this fort has great significance in the history of Potohar region and a great asset of Pakistan. The work Rawat came from the word ‘Rabat’ that means a place to stay. Since then the word Rabat changed into Rawat. “Hence it was initially a caravanserai, a resting place for travellers, but it was later converted into a fort by the local Gakhar tribe loyal to Sultan Sarang Khan in 1542 who was loyal to the Mughal Emperor. After a fierce battle against Sher Shah Suri, Sultan Sarang Khan and his 16 sons died defending the fort. Within its walls lies the tomb of the leader of the tribe, Sultan Sarang Khan and the graves of his 16 sons. Sultan Sarang Khan who ruled the area from Attock to Jhelum including Hazara and Kashmir and his sons were buried within the premises of this fort after a fearless battle against Sher Shah Suri’s army.

The fort rests on top of the mountain behind the bustling market of Rawat. There were hardly any visitors except a few faithful men who come to pray inside the mosque within the premises of the fort.

The Planning department has promised unhindered funds for the restoration work. Though the restoration and the tipping work has been started from six to eight months but now the area has been cleared and the cell walls are being restored. This renovation work is being done under Division of National History and Literary Heritage. The Department of Archaeology and Museums would make sure that a proper tuck shop, canteen and clean area for tourists would be developed. Earlier, he said that they gave a briefing to UNESCO officials as well as Turkish, French and Chinese ambassadors have also visited the place.

The curator said that they have also recovered some pottery and bones from the fort’s travellers cells and those relics are kept in the Departments Head Office.

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