"Erected in the 19th century on a flat piece of land, the Khaplu Fort lies near an earlier mud fort constructed on a hill. The palace is one of the most magnificent 19th century buildings in the Northern Areas. A rectangular Baltistan palace plan type, it is constructed of stone masonry, reinforced with timber members and rendered in lime plaster.
Richly embellished with three storeyed timber balconies, verandahs screened with intricate perforated timber jalis (screens), carved timber posts, fascias and fenestrations end up making a magnificent symphony of solids and voids, shadow and light. The lintels, jambs and frames of most doors and windows are richly embellished. Khaplu Fort is a rectangular plan type with an inner small courtyard and a lager garden. Its courtyard is surrounded by a series of double rows of rooms -- enough rooms to have accommodated the Raja's and his family's residential needs, as well as accommodating stores, kitchens, stables etc. Both the inner and outer courtyards are planned and embellished with Mughal garden elements including still water pools, flowing water channels, eye-catching fountains and spectacular baradaris. The most intriguing element of the fort is its half-octagonal timber entrance, which transforms into a balcony at the second floor and a guest room at the third floor."
The fort is being restored by the Historic Cities Programme.
Jodido, Philip, ed. 2011. "Case Studies: Pakistan" In The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme: Strategies for Urban Regeneration. Munich: Prestel, 72-109.
The notion of culture as an asset rather than as a drain on resources is still a new concept in many parts of the world. Culture is considered a luxury in an era of unmet social and economic needs. The sad result is that both tangible and intangible cultures are succumbing to decay or decline. The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme has shown how culture can be a catalyst for development in even the poorest and most remote areas of the globe. From Afghanistan to Zanzibar, from India to Mali, the Programme’s support to communities demonstrates how conservation of cultural heritage, coupled with urban regeneration efforts, can provide a springboard for social and economic development. This publication highlights, through case studies, drawings and images, the work of the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme over the past 20 years.