Hari Parbat Fort

Justifying the mystic charm and undeniable beauty that aptly personifies Jammu and Kashmir are its heritage sites as well, that signifies the existence of an ancient and formidable era of a bygone period. The panoramic rhapsody of Kashmir has lured aficionados in large numbers leaving them mesmerized by its picturesque gifts and panoramic vistas.

Ancient Palaces and Forts form an integral part of the splendid tourist attractions in Kashmir that captivates everyone who visits them and one such Heritage Site in Jammu is Hari Parbat Fort, an ancient fort whose establishment can be traced back to the period of the Mughal reign in Jammu & Kashmir.

Hari Parbat is also referred to as Koh – e – Maran. It is hill that overlooks the city of Srinagar, which also happens to be the summer capital and the largest city of Jammu and Kashmir in India.

Hari Parbat Fort is the ancient heritage site of a Durrani Fort which was erected in 1808, however; it was in 1590 when its first fortifications were built under the instructions of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Mughal Emperor had the outer wall of the Fort erected to plan a new capital for his kingdom by the name of Nagar Nagor to be established within the confines of this exterior wall. This project was however left incomplete. The construction work was resumed in 1808 when J&K was under the reign of an Afghan Sultan named Shuja Shah Durrani after whom, the Fort was also named as the Durrani Fort.

Hari Parbat Fort is the original fort of the Mughals perched atop the stunning Sharika Hill of Kashmir. It was aptly constructed on the riverbanks of the Dal Lake offering one of the most breathtaking views to cherish thus accentuating the splendid beauty of its surroundings.

Hari Parbat Fort is formidably secured on an elevated altitude that commands a panoramic vista of the Dal Lake fringed with Chinar trees and a small Char Chinar island that nestles amidst a lush umbrage gleaming over the lake with luster. The imposing Fort structure is surrounded by almond orchards showcasing a spectacular sight during April when they blossom to the hilt thus announcing the advent of the colourful spring season in Kashmir.

The southern end of the outer wall of the Hari Parbat Fort is Gurdwara Chhati Patshahi that commemorates the visit of Guru Har Gobind to Kashmir at Kathi Darwaja in Rainwari, Srinagar. This is a highly revered Sikh Gurudwara in Kashmir and is believed to have been blessed by the visit of the sixth guru of Sikhism who once traveled through Kashmir occasionally preaching. He stopped by this Gurdwara and stayed here for few days before continuing on his journey across lands.

Apart from the Gurudwara, there are 2 highly revered Muslim shrines of Khwaja Makhdoom Sahib and Akhund Mullah Shah enshrined on the southern slope within the precincts of this imposing Fort while the sacred shrine of Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (also referred to as Sultan-Ul-Arifeen and Mehboob-ul-Alam), nestles below the Hari Parbat Fort towards the southern end of Koh – e – Maran Hill.

Featuring 2 floors and many pillars, the Muslim Shrine structures display an ancient architecture that appeals to many intrigued tourists. They are largely visited by believers of all faiths, and cultural backgrounds throughout the year making it a highly respected shrine belonging to a Sufi saint, who was also known by the name of Hazrat Sultan.

A famous Hindu Shakti Temple lies on the western slopes of the Hari Parbat Fort and is referred to as the Sharika Mata Temple considered highly sacred by the Kashmiri Pundits. A life-size statue of the presiding Deity, Goddess Jagadamba Sharika Bhagwati, who is known to be a form of Durga Mata or Shakti, features 18 arms and is represented by a Swayambhu Shri Chakra or Mahamaha Shri Chakra, collectively named as the Maha Shri Yantra comprising of triangular patterns and mystic circular impressions with a red dot at the center.

Three different religious sites within the surroundings of Hari Parbat Fort are a stunner to experience as they symbolize the epitome of secularism in Kashmir and are visited by many followers to pay their tribute to the various religious symbols of India.

Places to Visit in Kashmir