Bhimgarh Fort is situated in the picturesque town of Reasi and thus is also referred to as the Reasi Fort. Reasi is a small town located approximately 64 kms north-west of Jammu and can be accessed by road.
Bhimgarh Fort is perched atop a small hillock set at an altitude of about 150 meters above surface level. This Fort was primarily used by the Maharaja, his Royal Family & Courtiers as a shelter ground during foreign invasions or emergencies.
This formidable Bhimgarh Fort was originally constructed of clay alone and to strengthen its foundation and structure, on one of the successors of Maharaja Rishipal Rana, who was the founder of Reasi town, had the Bhimgarh Fort reconstructed with stone.
The renovation work of Bhimgarh Fort was initially started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, the former Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir way back in 1817. This continued up till 1841 after it was announced completed, and refurbished with stones to fortify the Fort.
Additions were also introduced to Bhimgarh Fort including a new entrance gate and a massive stone wall measuring a meter wide and 50 meters long that encircles the Fort area to further strengthen and fortify the edifice from foreign attacks.
Made of Baluka stones, the Entrance Gate features exquisite Rajasthan carvings while its façade wall features loopholes measuring about 50 meters in length a meter in width. The entrance is also decorated with gigantic statues of Goddess Mahakaali and Lord Hanuman as a symbol of protection and strength to ward from any evil threats and unwarranted invasions.
Bhimgarh Fort, as the name suggest, symbolizes the strength and formidable aspects of Bhim, a central character of the epic Mahabharata era. He was the second of the Pandava brothers who was characterized by his great stature and strength.
The precincts of Bhimgarh Fort feature a medieval temple, a small reservoir, an armory room, a treasury, and a number of varied-sized rooms. After the demise of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the former ruler of J&K, his heirs or successors, Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Maharaja Pratap Singh used this Fort primarily as an armory and treasury repository.
Later, the Armory possessions within the storehouse of Bhimgarh Fort were shifted to Jammu and the present storehouse was ordered to be destroyed by an English Minister to make way for other multipurpose rooms, when Jammu and Kashmir was under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.
After the Imperials abandoned the Bhimgarh Fort, it was handed over to the Archaeology Department of Jammu and Kashmir in 1989 as ordered by the State Government of India. Later, Bhimgarh Fort was again renovated under the supervision of the Vaishno Devi Sthapana Board Committee in 1990.
The façade and surrounding extensions of Bhimgarh Fort were revived and restored with the addition of beautiful meandering pathways and lush gardens to support its exterior beauty. After enduring a number of earthquakes in the past, this fort is formidable enough to support its own structure despite the lack of maintenance after its facelift.ancient sites of religious significance also dot this town, of which, the famous one is the Parashurama Temple.
Bhimgarh Fort is opened to public visits and is soon becoming one of the most visited, top, and attractive tourist Heritage Destinations in Jammu. It majestically and quietly stands amidst utmost serenity and scenic expansions and is considered as one of the most significant landmarks of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.