1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Attock

ATTOCK, a town and fort of British India, in the Rawalpindi district of the Punjab, 47 m. by rail from Peshawar, and situated on the eastern bank of the Indus. Pop. (1901) 2822. The place is of both political and commercial importance, as the Indus is here crossed by the military and trade route through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. Alexander the Great, Tamerlane and Nadir Shah are believed to have successively crossed the Indus at or about this spot in their respective invasions of India. The river runs past Attock in a deep rapid channel about 200 yds. broad, but is easily crossed in boats or on inflated skins of oxen. The rocky gorges through which it flows, with a distant view of the Hindu Kush, form some of the finest scenery in the world. In 1883 an iron girder bridge of five spans was opened, which carries the North-Western railway to Peshawar, and has also a subway for wheeled traffic and foot passengers. The fort of Attock was built by the emperor Akbar in 1581, on a low hillock beside the river. The walls are of polished stone, and the whole structure is handsome; but from a military point of view it is of little importance, being commanded by a hill, from which it is divided only by a ravine. On the opposite side of the river is the village of Khairabad, with a fort, also erected by Akbar according to some, or by Nadir Shah according to others. The military importance of Attock has diminished, but it still has a small detachment of British troops.