Tuesday, December 1, 2020


     ( Bachhi Darwaza .New construction..Photo Avtar Mota)
  ( Kathi Darwaza)
     (Hari Parbat fort )
         ( Sangeen Darwaza near Firdous Cinema)
( Kathi Darwaza)
      ( Inscription on the top of the Kathi Darwaza)


Emperor Akbar built a new city below Hari Parbat and constructed a fort on the top of the Hari Parbat hill  ( Koh e Maraan) . Tuzuk I Jahangiri mentions that the fort and the fencing around Hari Parbat was got done as per orders of Emperor Akbar in 1598.  However, some additions , alterations and renovations of the fort were later done during the period of Afghan rule in Kashmir.The new city was fenced ( 5km in circumference) with a high stone wall all around that had three gates ; Kathi Darwaza, Sangeen Darwaza and Bachhi Darwaza . All these entrances were erected with heavy stones.
At page 60 of the book " Kashmir Through Ages " we read this:-

"Akbar brought Raja Todar Mal with him to Kashmir. He fixed his camp at Pattan ,measured the whole land around Hari Parbat and settled the revenue. The labourers who were employed in the construction of the new city were paid at the rate of six Annas a day if  married and four Annas if unmarried. He maintained an army of 4892 cavalry and 92400 infantry. He visited Kashmir three times. "

R. C. Kak writes:

" The Kathi Darwaza seems to have been the principal entrance, judging from the fact that the inscriptions have been put up only here. It is a very simple structure, comprising a domed chamber in the middle with two side-recesses. Its only external decorations are rectangular and arched panels and two beautiful medallions, in high relief, on the spandrels of the arch. Akbar's inscription runs as follows:

Bina-e qila'-e Nagar-Nagar bud
Ba 'ahad-e padshah-e dad-gustar
Sar-e Shahan-i 'alam Shah Akbar
T'ali Shanahu Allah-u Akbar
Shahanshah-e ki dar 'alam misalash
Na bud ast-o na khwahad bud digar
Karor-o dah lakh az makhzan firistad
Du sad ustad Hindi jumla chakar
Na kardah hechkas bigar anja
Tamami yaftand az makhzanash zar
Chil-o char az julusi padshahi
Hazar-o shash zi tarikh-e payambar.

Translation: The foundation of the fort of Nagar-Nagar was laid in the reign of the just sovereign, the king of kings, Akbar, unparalleled among the kings of the world, past or future. He sent one crore and ten lakhs (of rupees) from his treasury and two hundred Indian master-builders, all his servants. No one was forced to work without remuneration. All obtained their wages from his treasury. (In the) forty-fourth year after the accession of the Emperor (and) 1006 after the prophet."

In fact there are two inscriptions on the top stones of Kathi Darwaza. The other inscription gives the name of Mir Muhammad Hussain who supervised the entire construction activity ordered by Akbar for this new city known as ' Nagar Naagar '.
The Sangin Darwaza, "the stone gate," differs from Kathi Darwaza in being more ornate. The exterior is decorated by two corbelled windows, and there are two stairs, one on each side, which give access to the roof. The Bachhi Darwaza has been built new as the old entrance had crumbled down.

( Avtar Mota).

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