Rohtas Castle of the Suri Dynasty

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Homa.png
Construction Duration: 1540—1547 (up to 1560)
Architect Unknown
Commisioned By Sher Shah Suri
Era Suri Dynasty
UNESCO World
Heritage Site Status
1997
Google Maps Link Google Maps
Coordinates 32.9653° N, 73.5763° E
Cost to Build $230.2 million dollars
(as of May 22nd, 2017)
Annual Tourist Visits
(2010)
145,000 Domestic[1]
5,000 Foreign[1]
State Punjab, Rawalpindi
Pakistan
A map of Rohtas Castle.

Rohtas Castle is an Afghan fortress that was built in 1540 by the ruler of Northern India, Sher Shah Suri, who in order to calcify his rule against the Mughals and their loyal faction known as the Gakhars, built it as a bulwark against his enemies. The castle can be found in modern day Pakistan, and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Suri was one of the last Afghan kings of India, and also had one of the shortest duration of kingship on the subcontinent. Despite his short rule, he contributed heavily to the infrastructure of India, having built roads, inns, and various buildings. His Rohtas fortress however wasn't ever occupied for very long by any faction after his demise, and strategically didn't represent a site of significant importance. However given the cost, effort and the conflicting history between the Mughals, Suris, Durranis, Sikhs and the British, it remains a testament of how rich and powerful the Suri Dynasty was, even if it didn't last as long as the others. It stands today, and although in ruin, is an attractive tourist destination. It has been difficult and costly to maintain, given it's incredibly large size.

Historical Importance and Construction Costs

History:— Rohtas Castle, (also known as the "Rohtas Fortress"/"Rohtas Fort"), is a Muslim castle that was built between 1540—1547[2][3] during the reign of the Suri and Mughal Dynasties in India.[4] It can be found in it's ruins in the state of Punjab, Pakistan, which UNESCO has called "an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in central and south Asia".[4] The castle spans 70 hectares, a circumference of 4,000 meters, 68 bastions and 12 large gates.[4] It was built by the Afghan king (and creator of the rupee currency[5]),[6][7] Sher Sha Suri (1472[8]/1486—1545), who was the founder of the powerful Suri Dynasty, a fierce rival of the Mughal Empire.[4][9] The castle was specifically built in order to ensure self-sufficiency in matters of survival (having it's own water supply and fields for farming should a long siege arise).[4] It was built in response to the gun-powder and cannon revolution warfare across South-Asia (which had long occurred in the Turkic lands to the North and West[10]) as well as to pacify Humayun's allies, the Gakkars.[4][6] The castle was deliberately constructed irregularly, and thereafter used sporadically by several different factions throughout history (although permanent settlement did not occur); which included the Sikhs, Durranis and the British.[4] In 1997, Pakistan formally submitted the castle for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status, which was successfully granted in the same year as "one of the finest specimen of medieval military architecture in Pakistan".[2] It cost $230 million dollars to build in today's money, as of May 2017.[n. 1]

Rohtas Castle as seen from a height. Built in 1540,[2] it is one of best preserved castles in Punjab, Pakistan.

Mughal—Suri War (1535—1576) & Abandonment

Rohtas Castle was built during a time when the Mughal Empire was under severe strain of being destroyed.
In 1526, Babur, the first Mughal emperor, invaded and conquered northern India from the Lodhi Afghans with only 12,000 soldiers (going up against a force of 100,000),[11] before passing away, and leaving his empire to his son Humayun. Soon after, an intense power struggle broke out with the Suri Dynasty (lead by Sher Shah Suri), lasting for many years, which almost caused the near annihilation of the Mughal bloodline. In 1534 Suri had invaded the Bengal,[12] which threatened the Mughal empire. Suri was a native of India, although he too like the Lodhis, was of ethnic Afghan origin.[12] Having conquered the Bengal he openly declared his independence and broke off with the Mughals officially.[12] In 1539, threatened by the growing power east of their capital, Delhi; Humayun declared war on the Suris, wanting to ultimately annex the Bengal.[12] This ultimately culminated in the Battle of Chausa in 1539, where both emperors desperately fought for supremacy.[12] Humayun lost this battle, and had no choice but to make his way back to Delhi. Suri hunted him down a year later.[12] This wasn't the first time the two dynasties had clashed, indeed when Sher Shah was known as Sher Khan in 1532 for example,[13] Humayun was forced to lay siege to the Chunar Fortress.[14] He was forced to fight again for Malwa and Gujurat, but eventually lost them; and also haphazardly made for Bengal without finishing another siege, and had had the added problem of his own brother, Hindal, declaring independence in Agra.[14]
Humayun was forced into an exile after several defeats to Suri.[15] His defeat at the Battle of Kannauj forced him to relocate his base of operations to Lahore.[15] Thereafter he was forced to move to the Sindh, and from here to Rajputana, and then back to Sind, before finally leaving for Persia.[15] He was even forced to become a Shia Muslim and conquer Kandahar for Persia.[16][15] These humiliations for the king were not lost on Humayan, who wandered the deserts for 12 long years,[17] enduring severe hardships and homelessness along the way. It wasn't through Humayans ineptness that saw his fathers empire crumble, it was in fact to do with the early political structure of the Mughal Empire.[15] The aristocracy were the ones to pledge their allegiance, or there lack of, firstly to the chiefs of their clans, before swearing fealty to the emperor.[15] This created a circumstance which lead to severe fault lines forming within the empire, where increasingly one chief could one up the emperor and take advantage of him and rebel.[15] Despite this immense setback, the strain must have been burdensome on Humuyan who was forced to face the very real reality that he was a failure.[15] History has been rather unfair to Humayan. However the tenacity which he showed ensured he would never give up. He would go on to win against the colossal Afghan armies.[16] Together with his trusted military advisor, Baryam Khan, they furiously thundered into India, and evicted those who had rooted them out of power for so long.
Humayan with Emperor Tahmasp of Persia.
A small scale model of Rohtas Castle, along with the buildings found inside the fortress.
Humayun had sought refuge in Persia, where he negotiated for the help of the Shah in order to re-claim his throne.[18] The Mughals had previously been quite loyal to them, when his father Babur had backed them both politically and militarily.[18] Eventually, armed with his help, Humayun made for Kandahar, crushing his opposition, and then raided Kabul, where his brother, Kamran, was stationed.[18] By now Akbar had already been born, and was safely in the hands of his uncle.[18] Unfortunately, this uncle was Kamran, who had even pleaded for Humayan to stop the siege against him by using Akbar.[18] This did nothing to stop him who, spurned after having been humiliated for so long, violently captured it.[18] In 1554, both Humayan and Akbar made for their homeland, and entered India.[18] Kamran had previously tried to create an alliance between the Suri's and himself, but the Gakkars—as loyal as ever—immediately captured and arrested him, throwing him in front of the Mughal emperor, who promptly proceeded to blind him.[18] As an extra punishment, Humayan forced his brother to attend the pilgrimage to Makkah in order for him to atone for his disloyalty and betrayal.[18] The first thing which Humuyan did in India, was to take Rohtas without battle, as the Afghan Governor and his garrison had fled.[18] His next move was to conquer Lahore, then Sirhind and finally Delhi and Agra in 1555.[18] After years on the campaign to reclaim his land, Humayan died in 1556, one year after finishing his campaign.[18]
The loss of Suri for the Afghans was a great blow to their cause; as his death was greatly untimely,[n. 2] given that he had accomplished much during his life as a king.[18] Suri's rule only lasted a mere five years, but according to historians he was the "the first Musalman ruler who studied seriously. He had the genius to see that government must be popularised and that the king must govern for the benefit to his subjects".[19] In total he had amassed an army of 150,000 cavalry, 25,000 infantry, 300 war elephants, and a "grand park of artillery".[19] Between 5,000[19]—30,000[20] of his soldiers were stationed in Rohtas.[19] Including the buildings found on the inside, the castle itself had taken 20 years to build, before seemingly being abandoned.[21] Humayuns capture, without siege in 1555,[18][22] cemented and solidified the Mughals power.[21] Suri's son's in the meanwhile were hopeless; they were never fit to take over, they were unable to carry on their father's legacy.[21] Even though Rohtas was permanently deserted, Akbar and even his Humayan's grandson, Jahaingir visited and stayed on their route to Kashmir.[23] Akbar however, later held no interest in the fortress.[21] It would not be until the 18th century when it would be repopulated again by the Durrani Empire,[24] and thereafter the Sikhs (both of which who's empires lasted less than a century each).[21][25][26] Thereafter, it fell into British hands, being left to a John Marshall, who was the Empire's Director General of Archaeology in India.[21]
Rohtas Castle was built during a time when the Mughal Empire was under severe strain of being destroyed.

The Legacy of the Gakkar Tribe (c. 565—1765)

The Sassanian Empire (224–651), along with it's arch rival, the Byzantine Empire (330–1453).
The Shia[27] Gakkars history can be obtained chiefly from the "Kaygawharnama" (1725; by Rayzada D. Bali) and sources gathered by Ferishta (in 1606).[28] The former of these sources outline them as the descendents of the Sassanian Persian nobleman, who migrated to China, Tibet and Kashmir, and that after some time as nomads, they decided to pledge fealty to the Afghan king, Mahmud of Ghazni of the Ghaznavid Empire in 1008, for a campaign of conquest into India.[28] For their services they were awarded with territory from the Potohar Empire, which has remained in their possession since.[28] However in Ferishta's sources, the Gakkars are wholly descended from Indians, who fought against Ghazni in 1008, where 30,000 of them allegedly killed 5,000 Muslim soldiers in the space of a few minutes.[28] According however to one Hindu historian they were a part of the Sassanian Empire and left in 565 as either exiles or willingly.[28] They then forced the Raja of Lahore to sign a peace treaty,[29] where he also ceded land to them on condition of protecting the Indian borders from Muslims.[28] However the author of this information is problematic in that he also promotes the conspiracy theory that the Gakkars, like all Indian Muslims, were allegedly "forcibly converted" to Islam (in 1204), but also bizarrely claims they successfully opposed Muslim rule simultaneously.[28] This idea has widespread currency amongst radical Hindus,[30] but is historically inaccurate as it makes no sense.[31]

According to other historians, the Gakkars are able to trace their ancestry to Kai Gohar, who was from Isfahan in modern day Iran.[32] Gohar's son, Sultan Kaid, is believed to have gone on to conquer Badakshan and Tibet, with the clan wielding their power there for centuries, including at Kashmir.[32] By the time Babur invaded India (with muskets and artillery[33]), Hati Khan (the chief of the clan) was forced to defend the Gakkar stronghold and capital, Pharwala, in 1519.[32][34][35] Khan was driven out of the city, when from the opposite side of the capital, Babur's troops had broken through, having faced strong and fierce resistance from the inhabitants,[32] but effectively lost their power.[36] The Gakkars were eventually destroyed by the Sikhs in the late 1700s, where Mukarrab Khan, who was the last independent ruler of the Gakkars, lost his factions power permanently.[32] In 1765, Gujar Singh, chief of the Bhangi tribe, wiped out most of the Gakkars,[35] and annexed their territories.[37] Throughout the Mughal tenure the Gakkar's had been extremely important; having possessed Gujurat and lands as far as Bhimbar.[32] They were so well respected, that Ahmed Shah Durani even treated them as royalty.[32] Eventually the last chieftan was betrayed after the Sikh debacle.[32] Overall, despite fighting the Mughals, the Gakkars, after having conceded defeat, honoured their treaty with Babur, going as far as to protect his son and heir, when they could have annexed the territory themselves.[36]

Grave stones of the Gakkar soldiers who died fighting the Mughals in 1519. They then remained loyal to Mughal Emperors till the end.

Construction and Costs

Rohtas Castle was built using Taraki sandstone; and is also close to Ramkot Castle. There are various estimates of how much it cost to built, and to maintain, although it contains inscriptions on it's stonework.
The castle was built using the "Ashlar masonry" technique, which consists of using a grey-green sandstone known as "Taraki".[38] Ashlar stonework masonry is a type of construction that uses stone blocks that have been prepared in advance and shaped into squares, with a smooth surface finishing.[38][39] This form of masonry is one of three types to have been traditionally used, the others being "rubble masonry", and the second being "Stone Veneering" (or "Stone Cladding").[38] The entire cost of the construction was extremely expensive, with the sandstone alone costing it's own weight in copper.[40] In total it cost 8 Crore, 5 thousand and 2.5 dams to build it according to one Indian historian.[40] However, according to another it cost Rs. 3,425,000 rupees as per the inscriptions found in the castle.[41] However the true cost of the building and maintenance of the castle may never be known given that it was so huge in scale and mired by political problems in labour recruitment (the Gakkars refused to work and support the project given that they were fiercely loyal to the Mughals).[41] The Shishi Gate however contains an inscription which claims, "[t]he amount is 16,10,00,000 and something more, which is 34,25,000 Rupees of Hindustan, 120,000 Tumans of Iran or 1,21,75,000 Khanis of Turan". Another historical document (the "Tarikh-i-Daudi") has said it cost 80,505,002 dams, whereas another manuscript states both cost and maintainence amounted to a figure of Rs. 110,107,975 rupees.[41]
Construction Duration: 1540—1547 (up to 1560)
Architect Unknown
Commisioned By Sher Shah Suri
Era Suri Dynasty
UNESCO World
Heritage Site Status
1997
Google Maps Link Google Maps
Coordinates 32.9653° N, 73.5763° E
Cost to Build $230.2 million dollars
(as of May 22nd, 2017)
Annual Tourist Visits
(2010)
145,000 Domestic[1]
5,000 Foreign[1]
State Punjab, Rawalpindi
Pakistan
A map of Rohtas Castle.

Rohtas Castle is an Afghan fortress that was built in 1540 by the ruler of Northern India, Sher Shah Suri, who in order to calcify his rule against the Mughals and their loyal faction known as the Gakhars, built it as a bulwark against his enemies. The castle can be found in modern day Pakistan, and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Suri was one of the last Afghan kings of India, and also had one of the shortest duration of kingship on the subcontinent. Despite his short rule, he contributed heavily to the infrastructure of India, having built roads, inns, and various buildings. His Rohtas fortress however wasn't ever occupied for very long by any faction after his demise, and strategically didn't represent a site of significant importance. However given the cost, effort and the conflicting history between the Mughals, Suris, Durranis, Sikhs and the British, it remains a testament of how rich and powerful the Suri Dynasty was, even if it didn't last as long as the others. It stands today, and although in ruin, is an attractive tourist destination. It has been difficult and costly to maintain, given it's incredibly large size.

Historical Importance and Construction Costs

Rohtas Castle as seen from a height. Built in 1540,[2] it is one of best preserved castles in Punjab, Pakistan.

History:— Rohtas Castle, (also known as the "Rohtas Fortress"/"Rohtas Fort"), is a Muslim castle that was built between 1540—1547[2][3] during the reign of the Suri and Mughal Dynasties in India.[4] It can be found in it's ruins in the state of Punjab, Pakistan, which UNESCO has called "an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in central and south Asia".[4] The castle spans 70 hectares, a circumference of 4,000 meters, 68 bastions and 12 large gates.[4] It was built by the Afghan king (and creator of the rupee currency[5]),[6][7] Sher Sha Suri (1472[8]/1486—1545), who was the founder of the powerful Suri Dynasty, a fierce rival of the Mughal Empire.[4][9] The castle was specifically built in order to ensure self-sufficiency in matters of survival (having it's own water supply and fields for farming should a long siege arise).[4] It was built in response to the gun-powder and cannon revolution warfare across South-Asia (which had long occurred in the Turkic lands to the North and West[10]) as well as to pacify Humayun's allies, the Gakkars.[4][6] The castle was deliberately constructed irregularly, and thereafter used sporadically by several different factions throughout history (although permanent settlement did not occur); which included the Sikhs, Durranis and the British.[4] In 1997, Pakistan formally submitted the castle for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status, which was successfully granted in the same year as "one of the finest specimen of medieval military architecture in Pakistan".[2] It cost $230 million dollars to build in today's money, as of May 2017.[n. 3]

Mughal—Suri War (1535—1576) & Abandonment

Rohtas Castle was built during a time when the Mughal Empire was under severe strain of being destroyed.
In 1526, Babur, the first Mughal emperor, invaded and conquered northern India from the Lodhi Afghans with only 12,000 soldiers (going up against a force of 100,000),[11] before passing away, and leaving his empire to his son Humayun. Soon after, an intense power struggle broke out with the Suri Dynasty (lead by Sher Shah Suri), lasting for many years, which almost caused the near annihilation of the Mughal bloodline. In 1534 Suri had invaded the Bengal,[12] which threatened the Mughal empire. Suri was a native of India, although he too like the Lodhis, was of ethnic Afghan origin.[12] Having conquered the Bengal he openly declared his independence and broke off with the Mughals officially.[12] In 1539, threatened by the growing power east of their capital, Delhi; Humayun declared war on the Suris, wanting to ultimately annex the Bengal.[12] This ultimately culminated in the Battle of Chausa in 1539, where both emperors desperately fought for supremacy.[12] Humayun lost this battle, and had no choice but to make his way back to Delhi. Suri hunted him down a year later.[12] This wasn't the first time the two dynasties had clashed, indeed when Sher Shah was known as Sher Khan in 1532 for example,[13] Humayun was forced to lay siege to the Chunar Fortress.[14] He was forced to fight again for Malwa and Gujurat, but eventually lost them; and also haphazardly made for Bengal without finishing another siege, and had had the added problem of his own brother, Hindal, declaring independence in Agra.[14]
Humayan with Emperor Tahmasp of Persia.
Humayun was forced into an exile after several defeats to Suri.[15] His defeat at the Battle of Kannauj forced him to relocate his base of operations to Lahore.[15] Thereafter he was forced to move to the Sindh, and from here to Rajputana, and then back to Sind, before finally leaving for Persia.[15] He was even forced to become a Shia Muslim and conquer Kandahar for Persia.[16][15] These humiliations for the king were not lost on Humayan, who wandered the deserts for 12 long years,[17] enduring severe hardships and homelessness along the way. It wasn't through Humayans ineptness that saw his fathers empire crumble, it was in fact to do with the early political structure of the Mughal Empire.[15] The aristocracy were the ones to pledge their allegiance, or there lack of, firstly to the chiefs of their clans, before swearing fealty to the emperor.[15] This created a circumstance which lead to severe fault lines forming within the empire, where increasingly one chief could one up the emperor and take advantage of him and rebel.[15] Despite this immense setback, the strain must have been burdensome on Humuyan who was forced to face the very real reality that he was a failure.[15] History has been rather unfair to Humayan. However the tenacity which he showed ensured he would never give up. He would go on to win against the colossal Afghan armies.[16] Together with his trusted military advisor, Baryam Khan, they furiously thundered into India, and evicted those who had rooted them out of power for so long.
A small scale model of Rohtas Castle, along with the buildings found inside the fortress.
Humayun had sought refuge in Persia, where he negotiated for the help of the Shah in order to re-claim his throne.[18] The Mughals had previously been quite loyal to them, when his father Babur had backed them both politically and militarily.[18] Eventually, armed with his help, Humayun made for Kandahar, crushing his opposition, and then raided Kabul, where his brother, Kamran, was stationed.[18] By now Akbar had already been born, and was safely in the hands of his uncle.[18] Unfortunately, this uncle was Kamran, who had even pleaded for Humayan to stop the siege against him by using Akbar.[18] This did nothing to stop him who, spurned after having been humiliated for so long, violently captured it.[18] In 1554, both Humayan and Akbar made for their homeland, and entered India.[18] Kamran had previously tried to create an alliance between the Suri's and himself, but the Gakkars—as loyal as ever—immediately captured and arrested him, throwing him in front of the Mughal emperor, who promptly proceeded to blind him.[18] As an extra punishment, Humayan forced his brother to attend the pilgrimage to Makkah in order for him to atone for his disloyalty and betrayal.[18] The first thing which Humuyan did in India, was to take Rohtas without battle, as the Afghan Governor and his garrison had fled.[18] His next move was to conquer Lahore, then Sirhind and finally Delhi and Agra in 1555.[18] After years on the campaign to reclaim his land, Humayan died in 1556, one year after finishing his campaign.[18]
Rohtas Castle was built during a time when the Mughal Empire was under severe strain of being destroyed.
The loss of Suri for the Afghans was a great blow to their cause; as his death was greatly untimely,[n. 4] given that he had accomplished much during his life as a king.[18] Suri's rule only lasted a mere five years, but according to historians he was the "the first Musalman ruler who studied seriously. He had the genius to see that government must be popularised and that the king must govern for the benefit to his subjects".[19] In total he had amassed an army of 150,000 cavalry, 25,000 infantry, 300 war elephants, and a "grand park of artillery".[19] Between 5,000[19]—30,000[20] of his soldiers were stationed in Rohtas.[19] Including the buildings found on the inside, the castle itself had taken 20 years to build, before seemingly being abandoned.[21] Humayuns capture, without siege in 1555,[18][22] cemented and solidified the Mughals power.[21] Suri's son's in the meanwhile were hopeless; they were never fit to take over, they were unable to carry on their father's legacy.[21] Even though Rohtas was permanently deserted, Akbar and even his Humayan's grandson, Jahaingir visited and stayed on their route to Kashmir.[23] Akbar however, later held no interest in the fortress.[21] It would not be until the 18th century when it would be repopulated again by the Durrani Empire,[42] and thereafter the Sikhs (both of which who's empires lasted less than a century each).[21][25][26] Thereafter, it fell into British hands, being left to a John Marshall, who was the Empire's Director General of Archaeology in India.[21]

The Legacy of the Gakkar Tribe (c. 565—1765)

The Sassanian Empire (224–651), along with it's arch rival, the Byzantine Empire (330–1453).
The Shia[27] Gakkars history can be obtained chiefly from the "Kaygawharnama" (1725; by Rayzada D. Bali) and sources gathered by Ferishta (in 1606).[28] The former of these sources outline them as the descendents of the Sassanian Persian nobleman, who migrated to China, Tibet and Kashmir, and that after some time as nomads, they decided to pledge fealty to the Afghan king, Mahmud of Ghazni of the Ghaznavid Empire in 1008, for a campaign of conquest into India.[28] For their services they were awarded with territory from the Potohar Empire, which has remained in their possession since.[28] However in Ferishta's sources, the Gakkars are wholly descended from Indians, who fought against Ghazni in 1008, where 30,000 of them allegedly killed 5,000 Muslim soldiers in the space of a few minutes.[28] According however to one Hindu historian they were a part of the Sassanian Empire and left in 565 as either exiles or willingly.[28] They then forced the Raja of Lahore to sign a peace treaty,[29] where he also ceded land to them on condition of protecting the Indian borders from Muslims.[28] However the author of this information is problematic in that he also promotes the conspiracy theory that the Gakkars, like all Indian Muslims, were allegedly "forcibly converted" to Islam (in 1204), but also bizarrely claims they successfully opposed Muslim rule simultaneously.[28] This idea has widespread currency amongst radical Hindus,[30] but is historically inaccurate as it makes no sense.[31]
Grave stones of the Gakkar soldiers who died fighting the Mughals in 1519. They then remained loyal to Mughal Emperors till the end.

According to other historians, the Gakkars are able to trace their ancestry to Kai Gohar, who was from Isfahan in modern day Iran.[32] Gohar's son, Sultan Kaid, is believed to have gone on to conquer Badakshan and Tibet, with the clan wielding their power there for centuries, including at Kashmir.[32] By the time Babur invaded India (with muskets and artillery[33]), Hati Khan (the chief of the clan) was forced to defend the Gakkar stronghold and capital, Pharwala, in 1519.[32][34][35] Khan was driven out of the city, when from the opposite side of the capital, Babur's troops had broken through, having faced strong and fierce resistance from the inhabitants,[32] but effectively lost their power.[36] The Gakkars were eventually destroyed by the Sikhs in the late 1700s, where Mukarrab Khan, who was the last independent ruler of the Gakkars, lost his factions power permanently.[32] In 1765, Gujar Singh, chief of the Bhangi tribe, wiped out most of the Gakkars,[35] and annexed their territories.[37] Throughout the Mughal tenure the Gakkar's had been extremely important; having possessed Gujurat and lands as far as Bhimbar.[32] They were so well respected, that Ahmed Shah Durani even treated them as royalty.[32] Eventually the last chieftan was betrayed after the Sikh debacle.[32] Overall, despite fighting the Mughals, the Gakkars, after having conceded defeat, honoured their treaty with Babur, going as far as to protect his son and heir, when they could have annexed the territory themselves.[36]

Construction and Costs

Rohtas Castle was built using Taraki sandstone; and is also close to Ramkot Castle. There are various estimates of how much it cost to built, and to maintain, although it contains inscriptions on it's stonework.
The castle was built using the "Ashlar masonry" technique, which consists of using a grey-green sandstone known as "Taraki".[38] Ashlar stonework masonry is a type of construction that uses stone blocks that have been prepared in advance and shaped into squares, with a smooth surface finishing.[38][39] This form of masonry is one of three types to have been traditionally used, the others being "rubble masonry", and the second being "Stone Veneering" (or "Stone Cladding").[38] The entire cost of the construction was extremely expensive, with the sandstone alone costing it's own weight in copper.[40] In total it cost 8 Crore, 5 thousand and 2.5 dams to build it according to one Indian historian.[40] However, according to another it cost Rs. 3,425,000 rupees as per the inscriptions found in the castle.[41] However the true cost of the building and maintenance of the castle may never be known given that it was so huge in scale and mired by political problems in labour recruitment (the Gakkars refused to work and support the project given that they were fiercely loyal to the Mughals).[41] The Shishi Gate however contains an inscription which claims, "[t]he amount is 16,10,00,000 and something more, which is 34,25,000 Rupees of Hindustan, 120,000 Tumans of Iran or 1,21,75,000 Khanis of Turan". Another historical document (the "Tarikh-i-Daudi") has said it cost 80,505,002 dams, whereas another manuscript states both cost and maintainence amounted to a figure of Rs. 110,107,975 rupees.[41]

Panoramic Gallery

References

Further Reading

Footnotes

  1. ^ According to the inscriptions it cost 120,000 Iranian Tuman's. According to the Cambridge History of Iran, the following valuations of currency can be used to work out the cost of the Rohtas Fort.
    1. One Iranian tuman is worth 133 German Gold Marks (GM) from 1913 (where 2.81 GM were worth 1g of gold).
    2. So 120,000 Iranian tumans is worth = 15,960,000 German Gold Marks (GM)
    3. Given the exchange rate, 1g of gold = 2.81 GM
    4. So, 15,960,000 is worth 5,679,715.30 g of gold (or 5,679.72 kg of gold or 5.68 tonnes of gold).
    5. Converting this to the gold price of May 22nd, 2017: tells that the fortress cost $230.2 million dollars in today's money.
    1. Peter Jackson; William Bayne Fisher; Lawrence Lockhart (6 February 1986). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-521-20094-3.
    2. How Much is 5,679,715.30 Grams of Gold Worth?. Wolfram Alpha. WayBackMachine Link. Retrieved May 22nd, 2017.
  2. ^ Sher Shah died in battle in 1545, dying in an explosion when he fighting the Rajputs hill fortress in Kalinjar (Uttar Pradesh). He survived the explosion long enough to regretting that he had not destroyed Lahore, where the seat of his rivals were continuing to fuel invasions into his territory.
    1. James Wynbrandt (January 2009). A Brief History of Pakistan. Infobase Publishing. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-8160-6184-6.
  3. ^ According to the inscriptions it cost 120,000 Iranian Tuman's. According to the Cambridge History of Iran, the following valuations of currency can be used to work out the cost of the Rohtas Fort.
    1. One Iranian tuman is worth 133 German Gold Marks (GM) from 1913 (where 2.81 GM were worth 1g of gold).
    2. So 120,000 Iranian tumans is worth = 15,960,000 German Gold Marks (GM)
    3. Given the exchange rate, 1g of gold = 2.81 GM
    4. So, 15,960,000 is worth 5,679,715.30 g of gold (or 5,679.72 kg of gold or 5.68 tonnes of gold).
    5. Converting this to the gold price of May 22nd, 2017: tells that the fortress cost $230.2 million dollars in today's money.
    1. Peter Jackson; William Bayne Fisher; Lawrence Lockhart (6 February 1986). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-521-20094-3.
    2. How Much is 5,679,715.30 Grams of Gold Worth?. Wolfram Alpha. WayBackMachine Link. Retrieved May 22nd, 2017.
  4. ^ Sher Shah died in battle in 1545, dying in an explosion when he fighting the Rajputs hill fortress in Kalinjar (Uttar Pradesh). He survived the explosion long enough to regretting that he had not destroyed Lahore, where the seat of his rivals were continuing to fuel invasions into his territory.
    1. James Wynbrandt (January 2009). A Brief History of Pakistan. Infobase Publishing. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-8160-6184-6.

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