The fort was notable both for its effectiveness as a defence installation and for its architecture. Contemporary reports put the walls of the fort at 40 to high and 6,800 feet (2 km) in circumference. The fort's 46 bastions included two flanking towers at each of the four gates (the De, Sikki, Hareri and Khizri Gates). A ditch deep and wide and an glacis protected the fort from intruders.
Within the fort stood a citadel flanked by 30 towers, enclosing mosques, a Hindu temple and a Khan's palace. The citadel was severely damaged by the battering it got from the guns of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1818.
The Fort was originally known as Katochgarh and is attributed to have been built by the Katoch Dynasty.