The Great Wall of Sindh, Pakistan’s mighty fort
Nearly everyone on Earth is familiar with the Great Wall of China. The impenetrable wall snaking up and down along several hills is one of the most recognized travel images recorded – Ranikot Fort is Pakistan’s answer to its much better known Chinese counterpart.
At first glance, the similarities of both walls are striking, and it seems that the only difference between the walls are the hills in Pakistan bare no vegetation, unlike the green hills the Great Wall of China is known for.
But the Great Wall of Sindh is not a protection barrier like the Great Wall of China. Rather, the walls form the outer defense system of the fort of Ranikot. Within the outer walls there are three inner forts named Miri Kot, Sher Garh and Mohan Kot – and together they constitute what is generally regarded as the largest fort anywhere in the world.
The dimensions of the fort are truly impressive – its outer walls measuring more than 35 kilometers in length, and in total the huge fort occupies an area of more than 65 square kilometers, larger than some modern micro states.
The fort seems to be contradictory in itself, since this colossus of it was build in the middle of nowhere, and being far away from any significant settlement, it didn’t seem to have a purpose in protecting anything at all. Since little research has taken place at the fort, the current state of knowledge is rather disappointing. Nobody knows who built the fort, or for what purpose it was built. Even the age of the fort remains dubious: while some consider the fort to have been built in the early 20th century, some argue that it might date back to the 9th century.
Ranikot Fort is not only neglected by scientists. Until recently the Pakistani government has made no move in promoting Ranikot Fort as a tourist attraction. Thus, visitors to the enormous fort might have the place entirely for themselves.