Kharpocho Fort :The Majestic Fort in Skardu
Gilgit-Baltistan is an undisputed paradise for tourists. It is an embodiment of nature's perfection. The most popular destination in Gilgit-Baltistan is Skardu Fort is situated in Skardu. This fort is an excellent example of mastery of ancient engineering techniques. Skardu Fort named as Kharfocho Fort is the definite crown jewel of the city. Kharpocho fort which means king of forts in Balti is the mesmerizing site for a tourist. Fort stands at a height of 40 m above the city. Monarchs of Baltistan built this seven storey fort. An instinctive wad of stone and rock along with the rough edges make it look like being forged out of the mountain itself. This fort dates back to 8th century CE.
This fort was built by king Ali Sher at the end of 16th century. The fort was destroyed in 1857 under the leadership of Ranbir Singh. Due to its strategic location, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb also attempted to conquer the fort, but in vain.
Fort was built in such a way that an underground passage was made for the monarch’s fort in the downtown to this fort. The structure and location of the fort show that it was built exclusively for defensive purpose. This is because it is built on the top of a small hill which is surrounded by Indus River on one side and Skardu town on another side. If an attack was obstructed Raja of the state had to move there. Having Indus River on one side blocked the enemy’s entrance and hence Raja was protected and soldiers were to communicate through an underground passage.
An ancient mosque in the fort attracts tourists, but it’s closed for praying visitors.