Derawar Fort Bahawalpur
Derawar Fort: You must have heard a lot of news in media related to Cholistan which portrays the difficulties of this region, There is no doubt that this region has challenges especially pure drinking water is a heavy issue there. Therefore, we are unable to receive a positive image of this region.
On the other way, Desert Cholistan is witness to the history of thousands of years, even from the period of the Indus Valley Civilization. This region carries a lot of historical places along with buildings but the most famous place here is “Derawar Fort” which is present in the hub of Cholistan for centuries.
Derawar Fort Bahawalpur
Derawar Fort is 130km to the south of Bahawalpur. This fort was initially built by local leader Jajja Bhatti. Although this fort is a multipurpose fort it was built to provide a tribute to Rawal Deoraj Bhatti. Initially, it was named Dera Rawal. With the passage of time name has changed from Dera to Derawal. At the beginning of the 18th century, local Politicians fought each other to invade this fort.
In 1733, Nawab Bahawalpur, Sadiq Muhammad invaded this fort. In 1743, he lost it. In 1804, the Nawab family invaded it again. When the British arrived, they captured all precious buildings including this fort. It remained in official use under the British till the creation of Pakistan in 1947. After that, it became the property of the Nawab family from Bahawalpur. It is still considered the property of this family. Some servants are hired for security as well as for taking care of this fort. This fort was built in the desert in a spherical shape.
In the creation of this fort, red bricks are used. The height of the walls is 1500metre while the height is 30metre. It is a spherical shape. Each wall contains 10pillars & they are altogether 40 in number. The main entrance of this fort is towards the west. As it is made with red bricks, therefore it is visible from far away. A well was built inside the fort but now it is dried.
The most eye-catching place is the underground well tunnels which are connected with each other & also connect to other small castles too in order to pursue safe exit in case of any war or emergency. Those buildings which are left today, are the best examples of high expertise & architecture of labor of that time. Rooms, weapon zones, floors, or even any other thing were built beautifully with high expertise.
Near Nawab’s family graveyard, Abbasi Masjid is situated which is quite similar to the design of Delhi’s Red Mosque. As water is considered very important in desert life, therefore, this fort was used for storing and utilizing water. Arab & Chinese trade caravans used to travel through this desert, they used to take water from people who were living in the fort. Once, Hajji Caravans of South Asia used to travel from here, they also used this fort as a place for rest during their journey.
Undoubtedly, this fort is a historical heritage displaying a glorious past, but unfortunately, its present condition is not good. The walls of the fort are becoming weaker & weaker. With the passage of time, some are even broken, and even government officials also seemed not interested in maintaining this fort. Tourist guides are even difficult to find here. Many underground tunnels are packed now. Although, this Fort is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list but still there are no arrangements made for the maintenance of this fort. This precious fort is in need of attention, otherwise the world will lose this historical heritage with the passage of time.