Ranikot Fort

WORLD’S BIGEST FORT RANI KOT. 2500 Labours had prepared FORT RANI KOT 22 miles during 3-4 years about (before) 325 BC.

We were travelling north from Hyderabad on the West bank of the Indus towards Moenjodaro – the T List site of Rani Kot fort lies around 30kms west from the main highway into the mountains of the Khirthar National Park. The Indus valley is flat and largely well irrigated (with the help of one of the World’s largest irrigation systems) all the way up the length of Pakistan but, a bit like the Nile, in Sindh at least it doesn’t take that long if one sets off at 90 degrees to reach mountain and desert. The road is surfaced to the fort now – various sources still say that a 4×4 is needed. We saw no other traffic along the way apart from a few tribes people walking with their goats and a couple of camel riders. Our guide remembered a few years earlier getting his vehicle stuck in the sand in the summer heat and having some considerable difficulty in summoning assistance – this is quite wild countryRanikot_Fort-1

Then, what is called “The Great Wall of Sindh”, comes into view snaking its way across the hills in a way certainly very reminiscent of the classic photos of the Great Wall of China. The road continues through a gap in the wall where a river bed passes – this is the Sann Gate, one of 3 through the wall situated at the W/S and E cardinal points. Rani Kot’s claim to be the world’s “biggest fort” relates to this wall which extends to some 30kms in an approximate rectangular shape, the northern side of which is a steep cliff which doesn’t actually need a “wall”. But why? There is no evidence of there having been anything much within the walls which required a fortification of this size. Which takes us back to that sign at the main road and its “(before) 325BC”. In fact the earliest record of the walls dates back only to 1812. In some form the wall certainly predates this, but, by how much is a mystery. As stated on the sign 325BC does however seem to be excessively early and not likely to be accurate!