|Loharu Fort, Haryana, India. indianetzone.com|
|Loharu Fort, Haryana, India.|
The first battle in 1671 A.D between Thakur Madan Singh and the Mughal Governor of Hisar, was fought over the issue of land revenue and the second one was between Thakur Kirat Singh and Raja Bhopal Singh of Khetri over the control of the fort. Outside the Loharu Fort Raja Bhopal Singh was killed and a Chatri in his honor came up in the place where he was cremated; Loharu is just 1 km from the fort. In 1893, the fort was part of the state of Ferozpur Jhirka, ruled by Nawab Ahmed Baksh Khan. Until 1971 the other Nawabs of Loharu had controlled it. Later it was transferred to the Government of Haryana by the last heir late Nawab Aminuddin Ahmed Khan.
|Loharu For ttheweek.in|
Ever since, the fort came under the Govt. administration, periodic maintenance has become a far cry and some parts of the fort are crumpling. No guards are posted near the gates and the fort and the surrounding places look like a ghost town. This sleepy place is a semi-arid town where the main occupation is agriculture. Until few years ago the state animal husbandry department had it office here and there was some semblance of life then. After they had moved out no body came here.
This fort was once home to a fine library and Rampur Raza Library now has some 3,000 books donated from the library of Loharu. The Ghalib Institute has artifacts and memorabilia from the poet who was a respected person in the past. Prominent people from various fields have stressed the need to restore the fort to its former glory, so that it will hold a prime place in the heritage tourism map. Tourism positively would help this economically backward town, particularly the youths will get the benefits.
The fort was in a good shape when the state department set up offices in 1971. Once tehsil offices shifted elsewhere it slowly fell into decay because of negligence, poor upkeep an lack of security guard, Further, the mansions inside the palace were not occupied and as a result, they were crumbling. Many structures in the north-wing had collapsed so were some parts of the east-wing. Only the south-wing of the fort (containing the Farukh Manzil) has survived and it is also slowly rotting. The east wing has Delhi-style haveli which is quite interesting.
OneAditya Sangwan did an 18 minute documentary film on ''Loharu Fort'' and is getting rave reviews. This film will be screened in Iraq and in Canada (Fake Flesh Festival) as part of film festivals. He has already won the lake city Film festival award, Madhya Pradesh. He made the documentary along with a team of 25 people.
Like so many smaller forts have been converted into heritage hotels, something must be done to preserve this historical fort for the posterity.