Islam Garh Fort – which was originally known as Bheem War Fort – has now been reduced to a shadow of its former self.
Built by Raja Rawal Siri Bheem Singh in 1665 to stop the advances of attackers coming from Sindh, it is located in the heart of the Cholistan Desert.
It took Raja Rawal 20 years to build the fort. For years, it successfully deterred invaders. When Ikhtiar Khan Sund-i-Elahi conquered the fort in 1780, he renamed it to Islam Garh Fort.
The architecture of the fort is the testament of its past glory. While the bricks used in the construction were prepared locally but the material and stones for the construction were brought all the way from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
“A temple was also built in the fort when it was constructed but when Muslim rulers conquered it, they converted into a mosque,” said Akbar Sajid, a local.
The fort is located just 10kms from the Pakistan-India border. “During the 1965 and 1971 wars, India attacked on the fort,” said another local Muhammad Sohail. You can still see the signs of Indian bombing on the walls of the fort, he said.
The fort that stood firm against foreign invaders is now fast fading into memory due to negligence of the concerned authorities.