Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Jamrud Fort

Jamrud is derived from Jam and Rud (meaning river in Persian). Afghan tradition connects Jamrud with the legendary Persian king Jamshed (also called Jam) of Shahnama fame. Dr.D.B.Spooner writes ;
"I had the pleasure of going up to Ali Masjid in the Khyber in the spring of 1887, and on my way there, of seeing the fort of Jamrud. While there, I heard the tradition, that the fort was connected with the name of King Jamshed of the Peshdadian dynasty of Persia. The late Professor James Darniesteter, when he was in India, visited the place, when at Peshawar a short time before me, and he records as having heard the same tradition." [1]

Babur mentions the place as Jam in his memoirs. He writes, "Crossing Khyber in a march or two, we dismounted at Jam"........"we broke up our plan of crossing the Sind-water into Hindustan, marched from Jam, forded the Bara-water, and dismounted not far from the pass through the Muhammad-mountain" [2]

Jamrud was a Mughal military outpost and most probably there was a Mughal fort built here. The present mud fort stands on a high mound, it seems that some sort of construction was in existence here. Moorcraft, who came here before the construction of the modern fort, writes: "The plain terminated at the foot of the Khyber range. It appeared to have been formerly a place of importance, from the number of broken stone walls scattered about, and some large tanks, one of which was sixty yards square." [3]

The foundation of the present fort was laid by Hari Singh in 1836 and was named Fattehgarh.


1- Asiatic Papers, Vol-II, 1917, p-264
2- "Baburnama", translated into English by A.S.Beveridge, pp.229-230
3- "Travels in the Himalayan provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir; in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara", William Moorcroft, p-345

Jamrud Fort and the entrance to the Khyber Pass, c.1910-1919. Photograph by R.B.Holmes

Jamrud fort, 1887's wood engraving.

Jamrud fort, 1827-1843 . By Imam Bakhsh Lahori, Illustrations du général Claude-Auguste Court, Lahore, musée Guimet

Jamrud, entrance to the Khyber Pass, 1878. By William Simpson

Jamrud fort, 1870 (c)

Jamrud fort, 1930

Jamrud, portrait of photographer's drivers at entrance to Khyber Pass, 1937. Photo by Frederick Clapp

2-wheeled "tum-tum" cart leaving Jamrud Fort for trip to nearby Khyber Pass, 1895

Jamrud fort, 1897-1898

Khyber nala in flood with Jamrud fort and entrance to Khyber Pass in background, 1919. Photo by R.B.Holmes.

View of Jamrud Fort with the Khyber Pass in the distance, 1860s. Photograph by Charles Shepherd

Jamrud fort , 1928

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