Rohtasgarh Fort is one of the ancient forts of India which was constructed in the city of Rohtas situated on the banks of Sone river. The fort has been ruined and now cannot be accessed easily due to Naxalite activities. The hill on which the fort is situated has the height of 1500m. Tourists have to climb the stairs to reach the gate of the fort which is very exhausting.
Rohtas district was created when Shahbad district was divided into Bhojipura and Rohtas in 1972. The district covers an area of 3850km2 and comes under Patna division. Tourists can reach here from Sasaram and Dehri on Sone towns which are connected by road and railways.
The fort is located in the Naxalite area and many anti-social elements have made it their home, so the fort is restricted for the tourists. They are allowed to visit the fort during the day time and in large groups. Also tourists are not allowed to go into the interiors of the fort.
There is no entry fees to visit the fort and people can visit the fort at any time during the visiting hours.
Rohtas is situated in an area where summer season is very hot and winter is very cold. The best time to visit the fort is from October to March as the climate is very pleasant during these months. Although January is very chilly but still people will enjoy visiting the fort. If the tourists want to enjoy waterfall then they can come in monsoon though the climate is very hot and humid at this time.
There are no hotels in Rohtas district Sasaram and Dehri on Sone are the nearby districts from where people can come to see Rohtasgarh Fort. People can stay in the hotels of Sasaram or Dehri on Sone. Some of these hotels are as follows −
Hotels in Dehri on Sone
Hotel Sone Breeze located at Pali road Dehri on Sone
Hotel Urvashi located at Gandhinagar Buddha Marg Dehri on Sone
Hotel Vandana located at Pali Road Dehri on Sone
Hotel Rimjhim located at Pali Road Dehri on Sone
Hotel Buddha Vihar located at Pali Road Dehri on Sone
Hotel Rudraksh located at Station Road Dehri on Sone
Hotel Lakshmi International located near Jawahar Bridge Dehri on Sone
Hotels in Sasaram
Gopal Deluxe Hotel located at Dharmshala Sasaram
Hotel Shershah Vihar located at Main Road Faijalganj Sasaram
Hotel Rohit International located at Old GT Road Sasaram
Hotel Maurya Royal located near Sher Shah Suri Tomb Sasaram
Mountain View located at National Highway 2 near Tarachandi Dham Sasaram
Some Historians say that the fort was built by Raja Harishchandra who belonged to Solar dynasty. He named the fort after his son’s name was Rohitashv.
Rohtasgarh Fort was under the rule of Shri Pratapa during 1223CE. There is an inscription found in the fort which tells that Pratapa defeated the Yavana army and captured the fort. As per the inscription, the historians concluded that Pratapa belonged to Khayaravala dynasty.
The Hindu kings who succeeded Khayaravala dynasty built a road to the fort and built four gates on four ghats. One gate can be seen at Raja ghat and one can be seen at Kathauthiya ghat. Other inscriptions state that the fort belonged to Sher Shah Suri.
Sher Shah Suri captured the fort in 1539 and he did so because he lost Chunar fort during a war with Humayun. Sher Shah told Raja Hari Krishan Rai, the ruler of Rohtas, that he wanted to keep his treasure and women in the fort’s safety. He brought his women and children in palanquins but later on the palanquins that arrived have Afghan soldiers inside who captured the fort.
The king of Rohtas fled from the kingdom. During the reign of Sher Shah Suri, Jami Masjid was constructed by Haibat Khan in 1543. There are three domes in the mosque and the whole mosque was built of white sandstone.
Raja Man Singh was a general of Emperor Akbar who ruled Rohtas from 1558 onwards. Rohtasgarh Fort was inaccessible and also was a place to look after Bengal and Bihar easily. So being the governor of those places, Man Singh made the fort his headquarters. He made improvements in the fort and built a palace for himself.
Raja Man Singh died while being the ruler of Rohtas and due to this the fort came under the rule of a wazir of Emperor Akbar. Prince Khurram who later changed his name to Shah Jahan took refuge in the fort two times.
Once when he revolted against his father Jahangir and another time when he lost the battle of Kampat to capture Avadh. Murad son of Shah Jahan and brother of Aurungzeb was born here. During the reign of Aurungzeb, the fort was used as a prison and detention center.
The fort came under the rule of British when they defeated Mir Kasim, the nawab of Bengal. The Nawab came to take refuge in the fort but could not hide. Shahmal, the diwan of the fort gave the keys to the British Captain Goddard who destroyed many structures in the fort.
He left the fort after two months and put two guards to guard the fort. The guards also left the fort after one year and the fort was left in peace for the next 100 years. During the war of 1857, Amar Singh took refuge in the fort. There were many clashes between him and the British who finally won.
There are many structures that the tourists can see during their visit to the fort. These structures include gates, temples, mosques palaces and many others. Some of these structures are as follows −
Hathiya Pol or Elephant Gate is one of the largest gates of the fort which was built in 1597AD. The gate was named so because number of figures of elephants can be found at the entrance. This gate is the main entrance to the fort.
Aina Mahal, which is located in the middle of the fort, was built by Raja Man Singh. The palace has four storeys having a cupola on the top. Assembly hall was built on the second floor. Third floor has women quarters and tourists can enter there through a tiny cupola. First floor has the residential quarters of Man Singh and there is a gate called Baradari which connects it to ladies rooms.
Jama Masjid and Habsh Khan Mausoleum are beautiful structures which were made through stucco style. The architecture of the buildings is of Rajputana style as there are cupolas on the pillars.
Ganesh Temple is situated to the west of Man Singh palace. The architecture of the temple is also based on Rajputana style and design is based on the temples constructed in Jodhpur and Chittorgarh.
There is a structure to the west of Ganesh Temple which locals call hanging house. The stricture is located at a place where there is a trench of 1500 feet. There is a legend which says that there was a fakir who was thrown down three times with his hands and legs tied but nothing happened to him so he was buried alive here.
Rohtasan and Devi temples are located in the northeast direction. Rohtasan was a Shiva temple whose roof and main mandap are destroyed. The manadap was used to keep the lingam.
The temple was constructed by King Harishchandra in which 84 steps are there which lead to the temple. The temple is also known as Chourasan Siddhi due to the presence of 84 steps. Devi temple is also a ruined temple and the deity inside the temple is missing.
Singh Dwar is another entrance to the fort and tourists can use jeeps to come here. There is a ghat nearby called Kathauthiya ghat resembling as a container. The road is very narrow and there are entrenchment on both sides.
Rohtasgarh Fort is 102km away from Sasaram which is well-connected to various cities through road and rail transport. There is no airport in Sasaram but Gaya is the nearby airport from where tourists can catch a bus or train or hire a taxi to Sasaram.
The distance of Sasaram from the nearby cities are as follows −
Sasaram to Patna
Sasaram to Gaya
Sasaram to Mughalsarai
Sasaram to Varanasi
Sasaram to Howrah
Sasaram to Allahabad
Sasaram does not have airport but Gaya airport is nearby which is around 144km away. Gaya airport is an international airport from where domestic as well as international flights can be caught. From Gaya, tourists can catch bus, or train or hire a taxi to reach Sasaram.
Sasaram is well-connected to many cities by train. No Rajdhani and Shatabdi have stoppage here but Garib Rath, superfast and fast trains have stoppage here. Besides these, many passenger trains also pass through the town.
Sasaram is well-connected by road to many cities. Grand Trunk road was constructed during the reign of Sher Shah Suri and later many road networks connected the town to various cities. National Highway 30 connects Sasaram to Patna whereas National Highway 2 connects it to Kolkata and Delhi. State Highway 2 connects Sasaram to Arrah. BSRTC operates buses to many places. Besides this, private bus operators also operate buses from Sasaram.
The best way to get around Sasaram are auto rickshaws. Tourists can either reserve an auto or go on shared basis. Besides autos, hand-pulled rickshaws and tongas are also a good mode of transport.
Rohtasgarh fort is one of the popular monument to be visited but tourists can also visit many other places nearby the fort and in the Sasaram town. Some of these places are as follows −
Sokha Baba temple is situated in Nabinagar town and is 81km away from the fort. The statue of Sokha Baba is established in the temple. Sokha Baba is also the kuladevta of many people.
Dhuan Kund and Manjhar Kund are the two waterfalls located in Sasaram. These water falls are used to generate 50 to 100MW electricity. Every year a fair is also held nearby the falls during the festival of Raksha Bandhan.
Dhuan Kund is situated at a distance of 3km from Maa Tara Chandi Temple. The waterfall is named so due to the fog that covers the area all the year round. The fall is the origin of Kao river which changes to Thori river after entering Bhojpur. After this, the river reaches Buxar and falls in Ganga river.
Maa Tara Chandi Temple is one of the oldest and sacred temples in Sasaram. According to a Legend, Lord Vishnu chopped Sati with his Sudarshan Chakra and his right eye fell down here. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary has the area of 1342km2 and is located near Bhabhua in Kaimur hill range of Kaimur district. There are many waterfalls and lakes which people can visit. The animals in the sanctuary are Bengal tigers, leopards, boars, wood pigeon, owl, kites and many others.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb is located in the town of Sasaram in Bihar state. Aliwal Khan designed the tomb and it took five years to complete the construction. The tomb was built by using red sandstone and has the height of 122 feet.
This monument is considered as the second Taj Mahal of India. There is an artificial lake and in its centre the tomb has been built.