Baghsar Fort Samahni Valley, Azad Kashmir


Baghsar means land of water and gardens. This beautiful place is 12 kilometers to the east of Samahni town and the same distance away from Jandichontra, it is 975 meters in elevation and is an ideal tourist resort in the Samahni Valley. Baghsar is said to have been a focal point during and after the Moghul era due to its picturesque locality and calm atmosphere.

On the top of the hill is a famous fort overlooking the lake that adds grandeur to the whole area. This four-storied massive structure of granite is a feat of engineering that has stood the ravages of time. It has also played important roles in history during the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Ranjeet Sing, and Gulab Sing.

The weather in Samahni Valley


Location of Bagshar Fort

There are conflicting opinions among historians as to who built this wonderful fort. Many believe this was the work of Moghul emperors. Some say that it was built by the Sikh rulers after they had defeated Raja Sultan Khan the last ruler of Bhimber state in 1812.

There is very little evidence available about the true history of this fort. According to G.T. Vigne (a frequent traveler between Lahore and Bhimber), this fort was built by Gulab Singh’s brother called Deyhan Singh who was made Raja of Bhimber in 1826. In his book “travel in Kashmir Ladakh and Iskardo” vol1 published 1844 he says.

Some historians believe that emperor Jehangir while returning from Kashmir fell ill and died in this fort, and in order to delay decomposing process his internal organs were removed and buried in this fort before taking his body to Lahore for permanent burial. Claims of a similar nature however are also made about Chingus Sarai near Indian controlled town of Rajouri.

If we go by Jehangir’s connection to this place then we will have to trace its roots beyond 1627(Jehangir’s death) and well into the heart of the Moghul era. Due to inadequate information and some missing references, we are unable to draw a complete picture of this historical site, but despite opposing and controversial views on its origin, this architectural heritage of the Sub Continent is and will remain a constant reminder of our glorious past in the construction field.

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