Over the past few decades, we’ve slowly been losing our monuments and no one knows where they’ve disappeared!
However, Government has been trying to figure out where the monuments have gone and how to protect Virasat we at Jammu Virasat in an endeavor to explore the heritage this time we would be exploring Chingus Fort in Rajouri. While poorly maintained, this fort offers a panoramic view of the valley and it lies on the banks of Tawi River.
So here are some facts that you probably did not know about the expanse of Chingus Fort in Rajouri:
- Chingus Fort or, so to say, Chingus Sarai is located in a small village Chingus on a nallah on the main National Highway of Jammu –Poonch, some 154 Kilometers from main Jammu and 35 Kilometers from Rajouri.
2. 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.
3. Chingus Sarai is one of the most important Mughal Monuments on old Mughal road constructed by an Iranian engineer Ali Mardan Khan on the orders of emperor Jahangir in between 1605to 1621 AD. This Sarai was the fifth halting station for the royal carvans on Mughal road which was 170 miles long from Gujrat (Now in Pakistan) to Srinagar and divided into 14 halting stations.
4. The monument is surrounded by natural atmosphere located on the right bank of Sukhtao river in between Nowshera and Rajouri which is about 131 KM away from winter capital Jammu and 255 km from summer capital Srinagar via Mughal road. C.E.
5. The Mughal Sarai Chingus is about 300 years old monument which had remained center of hustle bustle of royal carvans during Mughal period from 1586 to 1751 AD.
6. Mughal sarai Chingus is a spacious inn with a mosque, the burial place of the entrails of Jahangir, 44 small Hujras (Residential Cells) and three Dalaans. The outer walls are covered with coat of lime plaster, the surface of which is divided into large shallow rectangular panels and arches.
Historic factor: In 1927 emperor Jahangir while returning from Kashmir fell seriously ill at Behramgala in Poonch area. He was advised by Physicians for complete rest of few days.
Therefore, the royal caravan halted at Bharmgala. During this period the king started recovering. One day he decided for a hunting trip. He came out from his camp along with Queen Noor Jahan, sat on a terrace near NooriChambwater fall and started waiting for a dear to hunt. At that time an attendant was trying hard to bring a dear in front of the king on the opposite hill so that he could shoot him. When the attendant reached on a dangerous spot exactly on the opposite side of the emperor, he abruptly slipped from a stone, fell in front of the emperor and died on the spot. His mother who was present there started crying and weeping badly on the death of her son. This was very shocking scene for the king and affected adversely his health and his condition became critical. Therefore, Queen Noor Jahan immediately decided to rush towards Lahore.
However, Emperor Jahangir passed away at next halting station Rajouri.In order to avoid possible confrontation of succession among the princes, Noor Jahan kept the fact a secret from the people and the carvan and to avoid decomposition of the body the entrails were buried at Chingus Sarai while the rest part of the body was taken to Lahore where it was buried at Shahadara Lahore. After the burial of entrails this Sarai came to be known as Mughal SaraiChungus.
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.