Bhimgarh Fort is near Reassi in Jammu.
The fort is one of mysterious forts in India.
The fort is in a picuresque setting in a hillock of approximately 150 metres high.
It was originally constructed of clay by the Rajput king Bhimdev Rasyal of Reasi, it was later rebuilt using stone by one of the heirs of Maharaj Rishipal Rana, the founder of Reasi. The fort served as a shelter for the royal family during times of emergency.
Fast forward to 1817, when the fort underwent a major renovation by none other than Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. The fort was reinforced with a new entry gate and a stone wall one meter wide and 50 meters long, making it much less vulnerable to attacks. The main entry gate is a true masterpiece, made of Baluka stones with intricate carvings. The front wall even has loopholes, adding to the fort’s defensive capabilities. And let’s not forget the statues of the powerful Goddess Mahakali and God Hanuman that greet visitors at the entrance.
But the fort isn’t just about its defensive features, it also holds a temple, a pond, rooms of different sizes, an armoury and a treasury. After the death of Maharaja Gulab Singh, his heir Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Maharaja Pratap Singh used the fort as a treasury and armoury. It wasn’t until the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh that an English minister ordered the destruction of the armoury and the shifting of the treasury to Jammu.
In 1989, the fort was handed over to the Jammu and Kashmir State Archaeology Department and in 1990, it underwent renovation by the Vaishno Devi Sthapna Board. The surrounding areas were given a facelift with the construction of gardens and pathways, making it a must-see destination for tourists.
Sure, the fort has seen better days, having been devastated by earthquakes and lack of maintenance, but it still stands out as an important landmark in the town. So pack your bags and head on over to Bhimgarh Fort for a journey through history and a glimpse into the past.