Baghsar Fort: A Historic Marvel

Nestled within the scenic Samahni valley near Bhimber in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, the ancient Baghsar fort is a testament to the region’s storied past. This captivating destination rests along the border between Pakistan and India, originally constructed by Mughal emperors as a strategic bastion for military endeavours. 

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Situated in the village of Baghsar, the name itself – meaning “a land of gardens and water” – aptly reflects the natural beauty that surrounds it. The journey to Baghsar Fort via Baghsar road unveils a picturesque landscape of lush green forests, enveloping visitors from every angle.

In this blog, will take a look at the history and other important aspects of this ancient fort. 

Historical Enigma: Origins and Significance of Baghsar Fort


exterior view of baghsar fort


The historical origins of Baghsar Fort in Samahni Valley remain uncertain, as historians hold divergent viewpoints regarding its builders. While established historical records attribute its creation to the rulers of the Mughal Empire, an intriguing alternative perspective emerged from the observations of English traveller Godfrey Thomas Vigne.

After traversing the landscapes of Kashmir, Vigne suggested that Dhian Singh, brother of Maharaja Ghulab Singh Dogra, might have been responsible for the fort’s construction. Another theory posits that Sikh rulers built the fort following their victory over Raja Sultan Khan, the final ruler of Bhimber, in 1812. Throughout history, Baghsar Fort played a significant role during the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Gulab Singh, and Ranjit Singh.


A Strategic Stronghold and Witness to History

Baghsar Fort assumed a pivotal role during the 1947-48 Kashmir War. Its strategic position aimed to exert control over the region, monitoring convoys and passages leading from Punjab into Kashmir. The fort served as a crucial military base during operations, necessitating the presence of stationed troops within walls.

Moreover, it stood as one component of a network of communication forts, along with Khamba Fort and Mangla Devi Fort, reinforcing robust military positions throughout the area.


Architectural Marvel: Mughal and Indo-Islamic Influences

The architectural blueprint of Baghsar Fort showcases a blend of Mughal and Indo-Islamic architecture, bearing testament to its historical significance. Despite enduring the ravages of time and conflict, this battle-scarred fortress stands resilient.

Its imposing structure was designed to withstand enemy advances, with its four-tiered construction fashioned from coarse granite and stone. The craftsmanship on display is awe-inspiring, with meticulous masonry work evident throughout the fort’s exterior.

The boundary wall encircles the compound, encompassing thirty-eight compact chambers intended for guards and soldiers. Each room features light portals and storage spaces, while apertures in the walls offer surveillance points to observe the external surroundings.


Discovering the Inner Sanctuary


inside voew of baghsar fort


Within the interior of Baghsar Fort, a serene water pond, a darbar hall, and a collection of forty-three spacious chambers await exploration. The fort boasts three entry points: the main northern entrance, an access point to the inner perimeter, and a southeastern gateway.

An observation tower graces the southeastern corner, affording panoramic views of the village and enabling vigilant surveillance against potential adversaries. Along the western wall, a firing inlet facilitated defensive manoeuvres, allowing the soldiers to engage opponents effectively. Strategically placed indentations along the fort’s periphery allowed archers to launch volleys while remaining undercover.

The architectural design thoughtfully incorporates numerous ventilators, ensuring proper airflow and light to prevent suffocation. Despite its precarious location along the line of control, the fort’s structural integrity perseveres; however, a much-needed restoration effort is imperative to preserve its historical legacy.

Exploring Baghsar Fort’s Enchanting Attractions


grass covered pathwa of baghsar fort


The enigmatic and age-old Baghsar Fort in Samahni Valley beckons with many captivating attractions that promise to enthral its visitors. The fort’s offerings are abundant and diverse from the panoramic vistas of the Jammu Kashmir region to the awe-inspiring allure of majestic mountains and the mesmerising Baghsar Lake. Let’s delve deeper into these remarkable attractions that grace the fort’s historic grounds.


Embraced by Majestic Mountains

Baghsar Fort, one of the most famous forts in Pakistan, stands amidst a picturesque panorama, enveloped by towering mountains that seem to touch the sky. A forest of stately pine trees lends a refreshing ambiance, infusing the surrounding air with their aromatic essence. Given its pivotal position along the line of control, the mountains serve as a strategic post for the Indian Army, a vantage point from which they execute their firing operations.


The Revered Tomb of Jahangir


Tomb of Jahangir in baghsar fort


Nestled within the confines of Baghsar Fort lies the resting place of the illustrious Mughal emperor Mirza Nur-ud-din Jahangir. The name “Jahangir,” meaning “Conqueror of the World” in Persian, befits this esteemed ruler’s legacy. Historical annals recount that in 1627 AD, the reign of one of the Mughal Dynasty’s most accomplished leaders ended as Jahangir passed away during his journey from Kashmir to Sarai Sadabad.

To safeguard his mortal remains and impede decomposition, his organs were interred within the Baghsar Fort. Carved from coarse granite, his tomb is graced by pillars, slightly elevated at the corners, and marked by a post at its head.

Eventually, Jahangir’s body was transported to Lahore, finding its final resting place along the banks of the River Ravi in Shahdara. The reins of the kingdom were handed down to Prince Khurram, known as Shah Jahan, who continued the Mughal legacy. Intriguing and alluring, Baghsar Fort’s attractions provide a window into the past, inviting visitors to uncover the rich tapestry of history and natural splendour that grace this remarkable destination.


Scenic Delights of Bandala Valley


scenic view of bandala valley with moutains in the rear view


Located in the Bhimber Valley and tracing the course of the River Tawi, the Bandala Valley is located just 28 km away. Between the majestic Baghsar mountains and the enchanting Reech Pahari, this valley is a veritable oasis of natural wonders.

Bandala Valley reveals a tapestry of aquatic treasures, boasting ponds, cascading waterfalls, and meandering turquoise streams. The locals and visitors find solace in its inviting pools, ideal for leisurely swims and fruitful fishing escapades.

This fertile expanse has nurtured bountiful crops of wheat and corn, a testament to its rich agricultural potential. Adding to the valley’s allure is its vibrant wildlife, including jackals, leopards, and an array of glorious avian inhabitants such as falcons, eagles, and peacocks. The panorama of Bandala Valley invites you to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of its environment.


Baghsar Lake: Nature’s Masterpiece


Baghsar Lake


Overlooking the breathtaking expanse of the Baghsar Lake, the Baghsar Fort grants visitors a lofty vantage point to behold this natural wonder. The lake’s shimmering beauty unfolds below, its tranquil waters reflecting the sky’s hues from an elevation that captivates the senses.

Baghsar Lake graces the Bhimber district of Azad Kashmir, its tranquil waters resting at 975 metres above sea level. Standing sentinel over the Bandala Valley, the lake becomes a haven for residents, with ducks and geese adding their vibrant presence. Amidst the glistening waters float, delicate water lilies are a testament to the lake’s serene elegance.


Homage to Durga Devi

The main northern entrance of Baghsar Fort pays homage to the revered Hindu goddess, Durga Devi. A finely engraved portrait of this prominent deity graces the entrance, an enduring representation of protection, motherhood, valour, and resilience. Durga Devi’s presence on the fort’s threshold stands as a reminder of the rich tapestry of cultures and histories intertwined within these historic walls.

Shahi Darbar

Nestled within the fort’s basement, the Shahi Darbar emerges as a distinguished chamber akin to a royal court. It served as a haven for meaningful discussions and gatherings orchestrated by the rulers, engaging with influential figures from history. The hallowed space resonated with the rulers’ attentiveness to the concerns of the public, as well as hosting court proceedings.


Water Pond

Embedded within the fort’s confines lies a tranquil oasis in the form of a water pond or reservoir. Measuring 23 feet in length, 14 feet in width, and boasting a depth of 28 feet, this reservoir holds significance beyond its dimensions. Revered by the villagers of Baghsar, this water source once was a sustainable water supply for its inhabitants and endeavours.


Ancient Mandir

An intriguing facet within the Baghsar Fort unveils an ancient Mandir. This sacred haven stands adorned with sculptures and statues, embodying the reverence accorded to diverse deities. Its presence hints at a rich past where a Hindu ruler might have overseen the fort’s construction.


Baghsar Fort Visiting Details

Exploring the historic Baghsar Fort requires securing permission from both the authorities and the military. Presently, access to the fort is restricted due to its precarious location. The fort’s proximity to this sensitive border region necessitates cautious entry. Despite the challenges, visitors can obtain the necessary approvals to experience this remarkable site.


Frequently Asked Questions


Who was responsible for the construction of Baghsar Fort?

There exists a divergence of opinions regarding the origin of Baghsar Fort. While some historians attribute its creation to the Mughal era under the directive of Emperor Jahangir. Certainly, the architectural details of the fort provide an additional layer to this narrative.


How old is Baghsar Fort?

Baghsar Fort, a significant relic from the 16th to 17th centuries, emerged during the Mughal epoch. Its antiquity and historical resonance position it as one of Pakistan’s most ancient and esteemed forts. The fort’s strategic significance gained prominence within the span of the Mughal imperial reign.

Baghsar Fort in Bhimber, Azad Kashmir, is a popular tourist attraction in northern Pakistan, enticed by the region’s natural splendour and delightful climate. 

This is all about Baghsar Fort located in Bhimber, AJK. For more details, visit

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