Jamrud Fort

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Jamrud Fort in 1906

The Jamrud Fort is located besides Bab-e-Khyber at the entrance to the Khyber Pass in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

History[edit]

In October 1836, Jamrud was conquered from the Khyberis by the Sikhs. Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa (1791-1837), the well-known Sikh general, proposed to build a big fort at Jamrud. The proposal was opposed; nevertheless the foundation of the fort that has survived was laid by General Hari Singh Nalwa on 6 Poh 1893 Sambat (18 December 1836) and the construction was completed in 54 days [1][2] "Jamrud...noted for its fort built with 10 feet (3 m) thick walls c.1836 by the Sikh Hari Singh Nalwa, one of Ranjit Singh's generals, was originally named Fatehgarh to commemorate the Sikh victory over the disunited tribes."[3]

Early in 1837, Maharaja Ranjit Singh's (1790-1839) grandson Prince Nau Nihal Singh was to be married. Hari Singh Nalwa sent his forces to Lahore for this historic celebration. At this time, Mr Fast, an Englishman, previously in the service of the British India Government, passed through Jamrud on his way to Kabul. En route he encountered Mohammad Akbar Khan, son of Dost Mohammad Khan. When Akbar Khan learnt that the fort at Jamrud was unprotected, he decided to attack. The battle between the Afghans and the Sikhs was fought on 30 April 1837. Heavy casualties were suffered on both sides. Ultimately the Afghans retired towards the hills, which showed that the day remained with the Sikhs. The loss suffered in this battle by the Sikhs was indeed heavy. Hari Singh Nalwa had sent out an appeal for help to the Maharaja to dispatch reinforcements from Lahore post haste, however his letter was not forwarded to the Maharaja by the Dogra chiefs. Reinforcements could not reach in time and Nalwa laid down his life in the battlefield. It was a great victory for Maharaja Ranjit Singh indeed, for Jamrud and Peshawar [4] continued as a part of the Sikh empire.

In 1837, the fort was captured from Afghan ruler Dost Mohammad Khan by the invading Sikhs of Punjab led by Ranjit Singh. During the Battle of Jamrud, Sikh Commander Hari Singh Nalwa was killed but the fort was defended by the Sikhs. The Soldiers of Ranjit Singh Empire defended the whole region vehemently until its downfall during British regime. The invasion of Khyber and foundation of Sikh Empire was the result of atrocities of Afghans during Sher Shah's time and Ranjit Singh's Empire included Muslim commanders and soldiers from Punjab as well who were mercilessly slaughtered during Sher Shah's time [5][6]

"In 1836 Dost Mohammad's forces, under the command of his son Akbar Khan, defeated the Sikhs at Jamrud, a post fifteen kilometers west of Peshawar. The Afghan leader did not follow up this triumph by retaking Peshawar, however, but instead contacted Lord Auckland, the new British governor general in India, for help in dealing with the Sikhs. With this letter, Dost Mohammad formally set the stage for British intervention in Afghanistan. At the heart of the Great Game lay the willingness of Britain and Russia to subdue, subvert, or subjugate the small independent states that lay between them."[7]

When Sikh army was concentrated at Lahore in the celebration of Maharajas grand son,the inside information was passed by the Dogra brothers Gulab and Dahain Singh to the Afgan king Dost Mahammed, who laid the siege of the fort Where about eight hundred Sikh troops were inside the fort with their commander Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa . The siege was laid with approximately twenty to twenty five thousand Afghans troops on 23 April 1837, With this highly imbalance of troops, the Afghans force was forced to lift the siege and siks troops extended their presence right up to Kyber Pass.The Kalsa Sarkar wazir Jawahar Singh,Sardar, nominated General Sardar Gurmukh Singh Lamba, recipient of IZAZI-E-SARDARI(Highest Military Award) as military cum political commander to safe guard the extended kingdom and the fort of Jamrud .Samadhi of Sardar Hari Singh made wich still exist in the fort.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jaffar, S.M. (1945). Peshawar: Past and Present. Peshawar: S. Muhammad Sadiq Khan. p. 120. 
  2. ^ Sandhu, Autar Singh (1935). General Hari Singh Nalwa. Lahore: Cunningham Historical Society. p. 74. 
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica (Micropedia) 6 (15th ed.). 1990. p. 492. 
  4. ^ Bakshi, S.R.; Pathak, Rashmi, eds. (2007). Punjab through the ages. Delhi: Sarup & Sons. pp. 194–5. 
  5. ^ Adamec, Ludwig W. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan. Scarecrow Press. p. xxi. ISBN 0-8108-7957-3. Retrieved 2012-05-26. "1837: Lord Auckland appointed governor general. Akbar Khan, son of Dost Muhammad, defeats Sikhs at Jamrud..." 
  6. ^ Jeffery J. Roberts, The Origins of Conflict in Afghanistan, p 4.
  7. ^ "THE GREAT GAME". Library of Congress Country Studies. 1997. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 

Coordinates: 34°00′12″N 71°22′43″E / 34.0034°N 71.3786°E / 34.0034; 71.3786