Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Kusak of the Janjuas

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Perched like an eagle’s eyrie high on an up-thrust of rock, the fort of Kusak existed early in the 16th century when Babur first passed through the Salt Range on his way to Bhera. Paucity of local records muffles the soft unfurling of history and we do not know what transpired in this remote hill fortress. Here the Janjuas of the eastern part might have repaired in anticipation of Babur’s attack, but from the latter’s chronicle we do know that he bypassed it.

Though Akbar and Jehangir both repaired to nearby valleys to hunt deer, we find no mention of their visits to Kusak. They may not have considered Kusak significant enough to merit a visit. In 1809, however, the Sikhs overran the Salt Range and the Janjuas fought a hard fight against the followers of Guru Nanak. The Sikhs triumphed and the fortress of Kusak fell into their hands. After the advent of the Raj, the fortress passed back to its original owners, the Janjuas of Wutli that lies a few kilometres northeast of Choa Saidan Shah from which place it can be accessed.

The Wutli Janjuas tell many a tale of heroism, some true others no more than fantasy, but Kusak, the monument of their past glory, ebbs slowly into oblivion.

Related: The Salt Range and the Potohar Plateau

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 17 January 2014 at 15:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks as it all the history was made in Punjab. And where is this ruin actually located. Wish you could add some directions.

At 17 January 2014 at 15:56, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

For the full story, you'll have to get my book The Salt Range and the Potohar Plateau.

At 19 January 2014 at 06:17, Anonymous The Salty Shrimper said...

Compelling photo. I have much to learn about your part of the world!

At 20 January 2014 at 12:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seems like a very very old fort .Very elegant and most definitely made with the idea of war in mind. From what I know about architecture and knowledge of ancient monuments, it seems like the fortification must have been much more spread out at one point, as in covering whole village areas.
Thanks for the wonderful article btw.

At 6 February 2014 at 16:51, Blogger Rehan Afzal said...

At 23 April 2014 at 14:17, Blogger Amardeep Singh said...

Juyst today, Harbans Khakh in Singapore was mentioning about this region and its history as his ancestors are from here. I have forwarded the link to him and surely he will comment.

At 5 May 2014 at 12:09, Anonymous Harbans Khakh said...

The Janjuas are descendants of Maharaja Janmejaya ,Great grandson of Arjun of the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame. A branch of them are Khakhs, some of whom are settled in India. I remember growing up in our village in India which is named after us as KHAKH. My grandfather who was the village head or Jathedar used to tell us stories of our family and how we were Royalty or, as he used to say, KHAKH PATSHAH.
It was while on a visit to Lahore Fort that I actually managed to find some information about our ancestors, in a book that I bought from the bookshop in the Fort. Your blog has provided more links and information and I would like one day to be able to visit the places connected with our ancestors.Thank you for the information. Please keep writing.Thank you!

At 5 May 2014 at 12:37, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Glad to be of help, Harbans. Thank you for visiting this site.

At 28 March 2015 at 15:48, Anonymous raja bilal akram said...

i belong to Nizam Pur Distt. Gujranwala. our ancestors were migrated from Mukhiala-Salt range about 250 years back and set up their owned territory presently named at my grand-grand father Raja Nizam Din Janjua, i also feel a thirst to study my lost land and people, it feels proud that our fore-fathers were chiefs, had their own forts and armies,

At 30 March 2015 at 09:43, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Raja Bilal, the Janjuas were a powerful Salt Range tribe. Glad to know that you are a proud descendant of Raja Nizam Din.

At 9 January 2018 at 19:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family owns the Kusak fort and currently i am preparing a database of books, articles or any historical document on the history of the fort and the area. I would appreciate any additional links and information.


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days