Picturesquely located on the summit of hill and surrounded by bluish water of River Jehlum, Ramkot Fort gives a majestic view to tourists.
Despite its condition, the fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and southern Asia.
Ramkot Fort is built over the site of an old Hindu Shiva temple. After excavation, relics from the 5th and 9th centuries have been discovered near one of the temples.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Muslim rulers of Kashmir had built numerous forts, one of which is Ramkot to protect the state from warriors.
The Sikh Maharaja of Kashmir further fortified Ramkot. According to historians, Mahraja Hari Singh was last used by Maharaja Hari Singh.
The fort is located on the opposite side of the Mirpur town and one has to cross Mangla Lake on boat to reach there. A 10 minutes travel by road from Mirpur leads to Sukhian and nearby army water sports club from where boats are available for access to Ramkot Fort. It takes 45 minutes to reach there.
The place can also be visited from Mirpur via Dadyal-Siakh Road (77 km) but will have to take boat’s ride for 10 to 15 minutes to reach there.
Today the fort should be as appealing as a Scottish castle. However, the situation on ground is not as much optimistic.
Ramkot Fort today feels like an abode for ghosts and most of its parts have decayed and are lost forever.
Although the journey to the fort is tiresome owing to the lack of tourism facilities, there is plenty to enthrall those with a love for nature and ancient architecture. The mystery and majesty of this beautiful structure is yet to be tapped as a tourist resort.
In a time when our country is witnessing a harsh decrease in domestic as well as foreign tourism due to terrorism, sites like Ramkot Fort, which are located in a relatively peaceful area of the country, need to be highlighted.
In 2009, the World Economic Forum’s travel and tourism competitiveness report ranked Pakistan as one of the top 25 per cent tourist destinations for its world heritage sites. Pakistan’s rich heritage is one that outdoes many countries of the world.