Akhnoor Fort is considered as one of the most beautiful historical places to visit in Jammu. This beautiful ancient fort of Akhnoor is perched at a height of 301 meters or 988 feet above surface level and formidably stands along the right riverbanks of the mighty Chenab River that originates along the plains at Akhnoor.
Akhnoor Fort is surrounded by the scenic landscapes of the majestic Shivalik Range and the Trikuta Mountain Ranges on its Northern and Eastern sides lending one of the most breathtaking sights to view.
History of Akhnoor Fort
This Fort was constructed during the early 19th century and stands along the right bank of the River Chenab therefore commands a stunning view of the Chenab River and its surrounding lush landscapes. The construction of Akhnoor Fort was started by Mian Tej Singh in 1762 AD and completed by his successor Raja Alum Singh in 1802. It is said that Maharaja Gulab Singh got his crown from Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab here at the bank of river Chenab at Akhnoor in the 18th century.
The Fort in fact stands on an ancient site that is known to date back to the Harappan Civilization. It is also believed that the Pandavas, of the epic Mahabharata, had once stayed in the caves of Akhnoor near the Fort during the last year of their exile. Akhnoor is believed to be the mythical Virat Nagri mentioned in the Mahabharata.
According to historian Alexander Cunningham there were 19 states in Jammu province in the 19th century and Akhnoor was the largest state.
Inside the Akhnoor Fort
The fort has high fortification walls with bastions at regular intervals and is crowned with battlements. There are two-storeyed watch-towers at the corners, which are crowned by battlements and merlons. The fort has two parts which are bifurcated by a wall with a gate leading to the palace on the southern side. The palace is two-storeyed, and the walls facing the courtyard have decorated arches, some of which contain mural paintings.
‘Pracheen Pandav Gufa,’ says an inscription on the outer wall of a concrete building painted in pink on the banks of river Chenab at Akhnoor in Jammu & Kashmir. But it is not until you step into the building that you find your way into this ancient cave hidden inside the cemented four walls.
Access to Akhnoor Fort is obtained through both the river sides and the northern side. Formerly, a large part of the fort was in ruins; conservation work in progress.
Photos of Akhnoor Fort:
Below is the gallery of Akhnoor Fort:
The Fort also features a two-storey Palace on its southern side with walls facing the large central courtyard depicting arches and murals of an ancient era that once thrived within these walls.
How to get there or Location of Akhnoor Fort
Akhnoor Fort is situated in the historic town of Akhnoor which is at a distance of about 28 kms from Jammu. The Fort stands at a distance of about 4 kms from the main town of Akhnoor at a quiet location.
For directions the map is below.
What we have experienced?
Akhnoor in Jammu & Kashmir is a treasure trove of history with its mythological cave. A scenic walk along the well lit park of Akhnoor is a remarkable experience to remember. This small but stunning garden spans along the circumference of the riverbanks of Chenab beginning from Jiya Pota Ghat and stretching up to Parashurama Temple lending one of the most scenic sights to see, especially during nightfall. Other ancient sites of religious significance also dot this town, of which, the famous one is the Parashurama Temple.
It is a must visit place and perfect to get in touch with the ancient history of Harappan Civilization to the era of Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata.
We would love to hear your experience in the comment section below.
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