Location and Area of Roha Fort
Roha Fort stands on a hillock of the same name, on the periphery of Roha village in the Nakhatrana Taluka of Kutch. It is 50 kilometres from the city of Bhuj and is connected by main road. Constructed over an area of almost 16 acres, the fort is elevated at 500 feet (152 metres) from the ground and is 800 feet (244 metres) above mean sea level.
History of Roha Fort
Rao Khengarji I (1510-1585) established Kutch and became its ruler. His brother Sahebji set up the Roha village and died after a battle with Raysinhji Zala of Halvad. After his death, his successor Jiyaji built two big tanks on the Roha hill and his son Thakore Noganji built a fort on the hill which came to be known as Roha Fort.
It is said that 120 princesses of the Sumara state Umarkot in Sindh, sought asylum with Abda, ‘jagirdar’ (administrator) of Abdasa taluka, who died fighting Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Khilji Dynasty. Consequently, all the princesses sacrificed their lives and took ‘samadhi’ (tombstone) at Roha. As a result of this, the place also came to be known as Sumari Roha.
The famous poet of Gujarat, Thakore Kalapi wrote romantic poems at Roha hill, considering the peaceful atmosphere and the place’s intimacy with nature, with many peacocks and other birds that can be seen there even today. Poet Kalapi had written the maximum ‘chhand’ (four-line stanza) poems in the Gujarati language like ‘Mandakranta’, ‘Shardulvikridit’ and ‘Shikharini’. These poems are a delight to be read and sung particularly because of their ‘chhand’ format. They were written with Roha as the poetic background.
Architecture of Roha Fort
Roha Fort was mainly built with stone and baked bricks, unusual to the other forts of that period. It was structured mostly as a temple. The British took over the fort in the early 19th century and several modifications through renovation were made to the fort post that, including the addition of two deep wells within it. For proper administration, the British reduced the importance of forts and created ‘talukas’ (administrative divisions and subdivisions). Roha was included in the Rajpuri taluka and the village’s true development began when the taluka court was shifted there.
The present Thakore of Roha, Thakore Virensinhji Saheb lives in Bhuj and would like to develop the Roha hill as a tourist attraction, hence further exploit the historic appeal of the Roha Fort and the natural characteristic of Roha which brings a sense of solace in the minds of its tourists.
(Last Updated on : 20-01-2016)
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