Ranikot Fort also known as ‘The Great wall of Sindh’, is often compared to the Great Wall of China, and considered to be the world’s largest fort. The question is, what is the purpose of such a large fort and why was it built? This answer is something historians still need to figure out.
Initially, it was believed the fort was built during the regimes of the Sassanians, the Scythians, the Parthians or the Bactrian Greeks. However, the evidence collected in recent times revealed the fort originated during the rule of the Talpur Mirs. The written record available states the fort was built to resist the pressure of the British forces over Sindh and also act as a place of refuge for the Mirs in case they could not control the march of the British. The irony here is, the British took over Sindh even before the fort was completed.
According to historian Ishtiaq Ansari, the Talpurs had sent their families to Thar and Kachchh when Afsharids attacked Sindh during the times of Kalhoras. However, for the future, they needed a place where the safety of their family was assured – hence, the Ranikot fort was built. The fort was named after a torrent Rani Nai, which was the main source of supplying water to the whole area.
Ranikot was nominated in 1993 by the Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO world heritage status, and has since been on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fort is also listed as a historical site under the Antiquities Act, 1975
Things to do at Ranikot
Apart from being a historic wonder, Ranikot fort is one of the most famous travel spots in Sindh that is visited by locals and foreigners all year round. Here are some things to do when you visit the historic spot:
- Singing and dancing around the campfire
- A long walk
- Yoga retreat
- Exchange ghost stories