Malot Fort – Chakwal

Malot Fort - Chakwal

Malot Fort is located in Janjua village in Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan. It lies to the west of Kallar Kahar with an altitude of 757 feet.

Malot fort was built in 980 A.D. by Janjua Emperors. Malot Fort was built on the top of a hill in the Malot village, around 40 kilometers from Chakwal city and 12 km from Kallar Kahar. Built of red sandstone, the temple and its gateway is a fine example of the Greek building tradition wedded to local temple architecture.

History of Malot Fort

Like Nandna and the two Shivite temples of Katas, Malot also was built at a time when the Salt Range was under Kashmirian control. And so it faithfully followed the style of the Martand temple. Sikander Lodhi was defeated by Mughal King Baber here, and it is estimated that in 980 CE Shiva Temple was built here by Pan-dos, who were the heroes of Mahabharata.

Now only two of Lord Shiva’s Temples are present at the site and are in a rather miserable condition. In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin and in 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul and followed it by conquests in the Punjab region.

The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of the Punjab region. Malot town was named after the famous Janjua Rajput King Raja Mal Dev Khan Janjua, He was a great warrior and was also known as The Raja of the Highlands who was the first Rajput King who embraced Islam the teachings of a Sufi Saint. Malot was the center of his Janjua Dynasty which ruled from Pothohar to Kashmir to Muzaffargarh and the hills of Chaniot.

The Mughal King Babur’s travelogue Tuzkai-Babri also mentions Malot. Mughal Emperor Babur was heavily supported by the Janjua Rajput warriors of Salt Range during his wars against the Lodhis empire, the conquest of Delhi, and the Rana Sanga Alliance at Khanwa. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikhs recaptured the area and tried to re-unite Punjab. These temples are located at a picturesque spot near Kallar Kahar toward Choa Saiden Shah. A narrow, dead-end, broken road leads to the temples. There are magnificent views from the temples and the area is secluded and very serene.

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