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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.
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