Skardu Fort is also known as Kharpocho fort. In the Balti language, Khar means ”Fort”, and the Kharphocho means “The King of Forts .”It is located in Skardu, Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region. The fort is perched above the river’s junction and overlooks Skardu’s Rock and thus giving a panoramic view of the whole Skardu. The fort was built in the 17th century by the Maqpon dynasty rulers of Baltistan and served as a strategic place for the military. The fort has a long and exciting history; today, it is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can enjoy fascinating views of the surrounding area from the fort’s walls. Kharphocho fort is worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Kharphocho Fort Skardu Attractions, Ticket, Timings, and Location
Located in Gilgit Baltistan, a high-mountain area in the north of Pakistan, this ancient architecture of Skardu city, known popularly as Kharphocho fort, also called Skardu fort. Also, the world’s second-largest peak, K2, is in Gilgit Baltistan. People of various cultures, traditions, languages, religions, and ethnicities live in Gilgit Baltistan. Kharphocho Fort Skardu Baltistan is a fantastic sight for tourists from all over the globe. Moving onwards in the article, we will know its timings and the many attractions this Fort offers.
History of Kharphocho Fort
Almost 500 years from today, Kharphocho Fort Skardu Gilgit Baltistan was constructed in the reign of Ali Sher Khan Anchan (1560-1625 AD), the famous king of Baltistan at that time. According to historical facts, Ali Sher Khan is the king who united Baltistan for the very first time in history during his rule, and he extended the borders of his territory up to Ladakh, which is also a popular tourist attraction known for its crystal-clear beautiful skies, high mountains and breathtaking views. Since the rule of Ali Sher Khan, this fort became a citadel for the succeeding kings. It is one of the oldest Forts in Pakistan.
In 1857, the ruler of Kashmir, Ranbir Singh, attacked this fort, and as a consequence of that attack, this fort was almost demolished. During the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, which was developed in 1947 after the partition of the sub-continent, Indian forces were deployed inside the Kharphocho fort. Under the direction of the Pakistan Army, the Pakistani forces attacked this fort in February 1948 to occupy Kashmir, which is actually a part of Pakistan but is still under the control of India. The attack of Pakistani forces failed miserably. After the defeat, Pakistani forces laid siege to the fort for up to 6 months. Fortunately, the Indian forces deployed in this fort finally retreated and surrendered after running out of weapons and ammunition on 14th august 1948, exactly one year after the establishment of Pakistan. Since then, the name of Skardu was changed to Gilgit Baltistan and is included in Pakistan territory.
The Architecture of Kharphocho Fort Skardu Baltistan
Kharphocho Fort is situated at an altitude of 4,600 feet above sea level in the Skardu district of Gilgit Baltistan. on one side is a gigantic mountain with mesmerizing views. The fort’s rocky and jagged structure depicts the hard time it has suffered in history. It appears as if it was constructed on a huge mountain. The bulk magnitude of the Skardu fort will astonish you to the core. Architecture is composed of large stones and enormous walls. You will see KHARPHOCHO engraved in bold white words on one of the rocky walls. The ceiling of the fort is almost 30 feet high, with massive tree trunks and stones supporting it. The fort is a beautiful depiction of the fact that ” the best view comes after the most challenging climb”.
What are the attractions of Kharphocho fort?
Snuggled between the majestic Karakoram and the highest Himalayan mountains is situated the Kharphocho fort Skardu Gilgit Baltistan. It will not be wrong if I say that it is a heaven on earth for nature admiring people. The mere tremendous volume of the fort will throw you off. A journey to this mesmerizing location is never dull. It is one of Baltistan’s most well-liked and popular tourist attractions. Let’s talk about its attractions one by one.
A famous saying about this Kharphocho fort is that ” only those people should come who are willing to experience the challenging and steepest climb to the Skardu fort”. Look over carefully at each step you take. After trekking on tricky and difficult trails for about 30 minutes, you will reach the top of the hill, where a sense of bewilderment will occupy your mind when you discover the never-ending astonishing beauty of the fort and Skardu city.
Overlooks the junction of rivers meeting
As the Kharphocho fort is standing on the bank of the Indus river, when you will manage to reach the top, you will be awestruck by the mesmerizing view of the wide and deep blue Indus river. Moreover, you can treat your mind and eyes with the breathtaking view of the exclamation of the Shigar and the Indus river lying close to the fort.
Beautiful view of the valley
While you are on the way towards the Kharphocho fort, the beautiful view of Skardu valley that you will come across is unmatchable, with its vast greenery and majestic mountains spreading in all directions. Wherever your eyes will navigate, you will see lush greenery, tiny homes of Skardu people at a distance, shiny lakes, and gigantic mountains.
In the courtyard of the fort, there you will discover the remains of an ancient mosque. This is one of the oldest mosques found in Gilgit Baltistan. Its unique architecture is based on the Kashmiri and Balti styles. It is made up of wood, marble, and limestone. The not-so-good condition of the mosque will show you how much suffering it has gone through in history. as it is locked for visitors, you cannot go inside the mosque.
Apricot and Cherry trees
Another attraction and specialty of Kharphocho fort Skardu Gilgit Baltistan is the apricot and cherry trees on the northern side of Kharphocho fort. The fruits are not only beautiful but also a treat for your tastebuds. The apricot is orange in color and possesses a sweet flavor. The cherry orchard has different colors, like red, black, and blue cherries. People of Skardu use these fruits to make jam and jellies. When you get tired and hungry after all that hiking, you can enjoy these fruits, which will make your belly happy and provide you with vitamin C and other nutrients.
Use of wooden craftsmanship to build the castle
The great use of wooden craftsmanship and artistic skills to construct a castle is commendable. The Skardu fort was built in such a way as to protect from invaders and enemies in the past. And the style of construction shows you the way kings and queens used to live in the old times. A water channel is also located near the fort, called ”Gango pi Khrongh”.in the past, Persian was declared the official language of Baltistan, which is why you will discover some text inscribed on the walls in the Persian language. Kharphocho fort Skardu is undoubtedly a masterpiece for its visitors and spectators.
Skardu City View
As you will hike along the steep pathways of the Skardu Baltistan fort, you can have a bird’s eye view of the whole eye-catching Skardu city, which is an embodiment of beauty. The entrance point of Kharphocho Baltistan fort is through a small and narrow door almost the size of a window; only one person can enter at one time. First, you have to step your one leg inside the door then your head, after that you are good to go. as you go inside, you will come across a window from where you can have an iconic view of the entire Skardu city and beautiful rivers. Whoever visits Kharphocho fort, make sure to capture a picture of that iconic scenery.
Many Rooms Inside the Fort
The ancient Architectural design of Kharphocho fort consists of dozens of rooms, small and large, where kings and their families used to live many years ago. A wall covers the spacious rooms. Rooms are dilapidated as canon fires burned them down during the war of independence of Gilgit-Baltistan in 1948.
Skardu Fort Ticket Price
There is no specific ticket price to visit Kharphocho fort Skardu, but the person who looks after the fort can charge 70 to 100 rupees per visitor as this is his only source of income.
Kharphocho Fort Timings
Skardu fort is open for its visitors every day of the week from 11 am to 5 pm.
Location of Kharphocho Fort Skardu
Kharphocho fort is located on Chumik road, Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan.
What is the name of the famous fort in Skardu?
The famous fort in Skardu is ”Kharphocho fort”, also called Skardu Fort, located in Skardu on the banks of the Indus river. It is a fantastic tourist attraction.
Who built Skardu Fort?
Kharphocho fort, the kings of the fort, was built by the famous king of Baltistan, King Ali Sher Khan Anchan, during his rule at the end of the 16th century.
How old is Kharphocho Fort?
Kharphocho fort Skardu is almost 800 years old, built to provide military protection from enemies.
Kharphocho fort Skardu Baltistan is a breathtaking sight for tourists from all over the globe. The fort was built in the 16th century and is now open to tourists who want to experience its historical significance and natural beauty. If you are looking for a fantastic tourist destination that will take your breath away, add Kharphocho Fort Skardu Gilgit Baltistan to your list!