MULTAN: On the way to Khangarh from Alipur in Muzaffargarh district is a place called Lohar Wala. One kilometre to the left of Lohar Wala is a raised piece of land at a height of about 10 feet. On it stands Qila Ghazanfar Garh.
In the past, Ghazanfar Garh was a hub of business activity. The region hosted a large market where people from all over used to come for trade. However, after the subcontinent was split, the fort was turned into a village. Now, the once great village is known as Muaza.
Constructed on approximately 40 bighas, the ancient fort was built to protect the cities of Khangarh and Shujaabad. Situated on the other side of the main road, concealed between a cover of fields and trees, the fort is known as a ‘hidden castle’. During wars, soldiers could attack their opponents from within the fort and no one would be the wiser.
The fort was established on the name of Nawab Ghazanfar Khan, who was the son of Nawab Shuja Khan, a member of the Sadozai clan which ruled Multan for nearly half a century.
Nawab Shuja Khan gained fame for three reasons. Firstly, he provided a strong foundation for the Sadozai clan. Secondly, he kept Sikh invaders from conquering Multan with assistance from the people of Kabul. Thirdly, he founded and established cities in the name of his family members such as Shujaabad, Khangarh, Sikanderabad, Ghazanfar Garh and Muzaffargarh. For protection, Nawab Shuja Khan also built forts in each of these cities.
The walls of the fort are made with mud bricks and are seven feet wide. There are two doors and four towers atop four fences which provide an ideal vantage point to spot the enemy. The fort was conquered during the final attack by Sikh invaders during the rule of Nawab Muzaffar Khan while the castle was handed over to the Hindus who helped the invaders during the attack.
However, during the war, the fort’s walls and towers sustained heavy damage. As a result, not a single fence remains intact. Later on, the fort became a home for more than 100 Hindu families who established a Hindu and a Sikh temple. A mosque was also built in the area, but the structure is abandoned.