Sunday, September 18, 2011

RANI KOT FORT.

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There is another evidence of its antiquity that the original construction was for bow and arrow warfare, later on modified for cross bow and finally circular bastions or towers were added for artillery fire. Later on probably in 18th or 19th century, additions, and modifications were made for muskets. All these periodic changes in construction are visible at the site and easily recognised even by laymen. While adding these bastions, the later builders, used sand stone against lime stone in original walls. The two are visible to naked eye. Artillery guns were developed by Chinese but copied by Mongols and Timur (Mongol) used them in the last quarter of fourteenth century AD. Bahman dynasty of South India had then been using it about the same time and Babur used it in 1525/26 AD during the conquest of Delhi Sultanate from Lodhis. They were in common use since then and therefore bastions were added any time in or after the sixteenth century AD and before British conquest of Sindh in 1843 AD. Cross bow was used by Rajput soldiers even in Mughal era, but after 1700 AD they also used muskets. Thus modifications to fort for muskets belong to 18th or early 19th centuries.


Rani Kot hills are 53- 65 million years old. Fossils found there in are: fish, and long fish but no mammals. Fossilised trees found in Rani Kot hills are 53-62 million years old, when it has tropical climate and Sindh in its movement along with Gandavaland towards Asia was close to equator with heavy rain and vast forests. The coal deposits of Lakra belong to the same period.


Latest findings by archaeologist Mr. Shaikh Khursheed Hasan may also be noted that; tomb near the gate has similarly with mosque at Giri near Txila, built by Gaznavids of Lahore in 1050-1180 AD, shows that fort existed before those dates and also a grave inside the fort has lion, peacock and buffalo engraved on it. Lion was emblem of Seljuks (12-13th centuries), buffalo may have represented Sindhi buffalo breeders or Jats and peacock a symbol of local non-Muslims. This in brief reflects on antiquity of fort. Dr. G. Allana of Sindhology fame, said that Mughal coins were found from the fort. All these reflect on antiquity of fort.




Rani Kot hills are 53- 65 million years old. Fossils found there in are: fish, and long fish but no mammals. Fossilised trees found in Rani Kot hills are 53-62 million years old, when it has tropical climate and Sindh in its movement along with Gandavaland towards Asia was close to equator with heavy rain and vast forests. The coal deposits of Lakra belong to the same period.





Of two forts inside the main Rani Kot fort, the lower one is called Miri and is a word used in Seistan for small fortress. It has nothing to do with Mirs of Sindh. Miri fort Landhis were used by Geological Survey of India from 1865 to 1879 and they may have put roof over the walls of Landhis probably already existing, but stone of Landhi walls stone is the same as of the original fort wall. Date of their construction therefore is doubtful. They must have been there before the British, conquest as British had standardised on the designs of quarters for them and never used Sindhi Landhi type roofs in construction.




Exploration of fort has to be under taken by archaeologists and without proving its antiquity UNESCO will not protect it as World Heritage, even though it may be world’s largest fort. Pakistan Archaeologists are afraid to work specially in Thar and Kohitan deserts of Sindh, after murder of Mujamdar in 1938 AD. Archaeology Department of Kharipur University with help of some foreign archaeologists can be assigned the task of exploration.

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