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Chingus Fort

Jammu and Kashmir is a land of rich heritage, culture, monuments and tales. And for this the state makes a hotspot for holidays and vacations. Situated in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, Chingus Fort or Chingus Sarai, is one of the oldest fort that dates back to 16th century. Built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir, this fort is also called one night fort as Mughals used it every year to stay for a single night while on their way to Kashmir. While poorly maintained, this fort offers a panoramic view of the valley and it lies on the banks of Tawi River. Chingus is a small yet historical village and Chingus Sarai is located about 2,000 feet above sea level on a nallah.

Historic Factor

As with all ancient monuments, Chingus Fort also carries an interesting tale. The word ‘Chingus’ is a Persian term that signifies intestines. Inside the fort rests one of the two graves of Mughal Emperor Jehangir, who died while on his way to Kashmir in 1627 AD. It is said that in order to avoid war and make way for safe passage to Delhi, his Queen Noor Jahan decided to bury Jehangir’s intestine and other abdominal parts inside the premises of the sarai. His other grave lies in Lahore, Pakistan. 

Architecture and Legacy

Built in Mughal architectural style, Chingus Fort holds two apartments. Well planned, this fort comprises a residential complex and an open yard. There are separate passages to enter both apartments. However, from inside, both of them are connected. The residential complex within Chingus Fort is surrounded by walled enclosure. There are arched cells that open towards the courtyard.

There’s a central chamber at the entrance in the western wall with arched roof and a small guard's room on either side. On the outside, there are shops on both the sides. The fort is constructed of rubbles, large pebbles and lakhauri bricks in lime surkhi mortar.

Destruction Due to Low Maintenance

However, today, this fort rests in an untidy condition with broken walls and heaps of garbage all around and therefore is not much of a tourist spot. Because the fort is not well maintained, a cell on its northern side has collapsed.

How to Reach

The only way to reach Rajouri is via road through NH-1. Rajouri is situated at a distance of around 154 km from Jammu. The nearest airport is at Jammu, which operates regular flights from major Indian cities. Regular bus and taxi services operate from Jammu to Rajouri at regular intervals all through the day. Chingus Fort is around 35 kilometers away from Rajouri.

The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi railway station that’s well connected with cities such as New Delhi, Goa, Chennai, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Jalandhar, Bhopal, Agra and Nagpur.

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