Red Fort – also called as the Muzaffarabad Fort was constructed by the Chak rulers of Kashmir. Locally, it is called as the “Rutta Qila” or merely “Qila”.
Chak rulers of the state Kashmir anticipated danger to the city from the Mughals. Construction was started in the year 1559 at a strategic site. The Mughal Empire annexed the state of Kashmir in the year of 1587, and the fort lost its significance. Ultimately the construction of the castle was completed in the year of 1646 in the era of Sultan Muzaffar Khan of the Bomba Dynasty — the founder of the city Muzaffarabad.
The spectacular architecture of the Red Fortn indicates that great experts in design and structure engaged in its construction. It is encircled on 3 sides by the famous Neelum River formerly called as the Kishenganga River. The northern part of the castle had many terraces with steps heading towards the bank of the river. The eastern side was very well secured from the threats of flood waters, but few parts on the direction of north side have suffered immense damage. There utilized to be an inn at the entrance to the fort, but just traces of that structure remains present now.
In the year 1846, Maharaja Gulab Singh of the Dogra dynasty started renovation and extension of the castle for the purposed political and military operations and his successor Maharaja Ranbeer Singh completed entire work. The Dogra military then utilized the fort till the year 1926, after which a latest cantonment was constructed, leaving out the beautiful red fort abandoned once again. Towards the middle of the year 1947, the Dogra troops left, leaving the castle abandoned.
Most of the relics of fort were stolen and a huge part was damaged during the year of 2005 earthquake.