Attock Fort was raised in 1581 over a period of 2 years and 2 months under the supervision of Khawaja Shams-ud-din on the directive of the Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar. The main purpose of Attock was to guard the passage through the Indus River and defend the Mughal lands from Afghan invasions.
The fort was a military garrison on the western frontiers of the Mughal Empire. It remained under Mughal control up until the end of the 18th century. In 1812 the fort was captured by the Sikhs. It eventually came into British control in 1846. Under British rule the fort defenses were upgraded and it became much stronger. It remained under their control until the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
The fort has 4 gates, namely the Delhi Gate, Mori Gate, Lahori Gate and Kabuli Gate. Delhi Gate is in the center of the fort and links the upper and lower parts of the fort. Mori Gate is the entry point to the upper fort in the east. Lahori Gate is an entry point to the lower part of the fort in the south. The Kabuli Gate is the fort’s gate in the south-east part.
Some Facts About the Fort:
- The fort is an example of Mughal Architecture and was built from 1581-1583.
- It played a crucial role during the Afghan-Sikh wars, especially during the Battle of Attock.
- Attock Fort is about 80km away from the city of Islamabad.
- The parameter wall of the fort stretches over 1600m.
- The fort is accessible by the Grand Trunk Road and through a bridge from Peshawar.
- In 1947 after Pakistan’s creation, the fort became the headquarters of the 7th Division of the Pakistan Army.
- In 1956, the fort was handed over to the 3rd Commando battalion of the Special Service Group(SSG) called ‘Powindhas’. SSG are the special operations force of the Pakistan Army.
- The fort was handed over to the 1 Commando ‘Yaldram’ battalion of SSG in 1996.
- The Yaldram battalion remained at the fort until 1st April 2012 when it was handed over to the 6 Commando or the ‘Al-Samsaam’ battalion of SSG.
- The Fort remains under the control of the Special Service Group(SSG) of the Pakistan Army.
- Apart from this, the fort is also quite famous for being the place where Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned after the military coup by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
- As the fort is a military base, it’s closed to visitors in general. Any unauthorized personnel are not allowed to enter the base.