Lalbagh Fort

Type: Fort
Contributed By: Nayeem
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Brief

Lalbagh Fort (also Fort Aurangabad) is an incomplete 17th century Mughal fort complex that stands proudly before the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The construction was started in 1678 AD by Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah who was son of Emperor Aurangzeb and later emperor himself. His successor, Shaista Khan, did not continue the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688.

Mughal prince Muhammad Azam, third son of Aurangzeb started the work of the fort in 1678 during his vice-royalty in Bengal. He stayed in Bengal for 15 months. The fort remained incomplete when he was called away by his father Aurangzeb.

Shaista Khan was the new subahdar of Dhaka in that time, and he did not complete the fort. In 1684, the daughter of Shaista Khan named Iran Dukht Pari Bibi died there. After her death, he started to think the fort as unlucky, and left the structure incomplete. Among the three major parts of Lalbagh Fort, one is the tomb of Pari Bibi.

After Shaista Khan left Dhaka, it lost its popularity. The main cause was that the capital was moved from Dhaka to Murshidabad. After the end of the royal Mughal period, the fort became abandoned. In 1844, the area acquired its name as Lalbagh replacing Aurangabad, and the fort became Lalbagh Fort.

For long the fort was considered to be a combination of three buildings (the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Diwan-i-Aam), with two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification wall. Recent excavations carried out by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh have revealed the existence of other structures.

The southern fortification wall has a huge bastion in the southwestern corner. On the north of the south fortification wall were the utility buildings, stable, administration block, and its western part accommodated a beautiful roof-garden with arrangements for fountains and a water reservoir. The residential part was located on the east of the west fortification wall, mainly to the south-west of the mosque.

The fortification wall on the south had five bastions at regular intervals two stories in height, and the western wall had two bastions; the biggest one is near the main southern gate. The bastions had an underground tunnel. The central area of the fort is occupied by three buildings – the Diwan-i-Aam and the hammam on its east, the Mosque on the west and the Tomb of Pari Bibi in between the two – in one line, but not at equal distance. A water channel with fountains at regular intervals connects the three buildings from east to west and north to south.

Diwani-i-Aam: Diwan-i-Aam is a two stored building. A single stored hammam is attached on its west. The hammam portion has an underground room for boiling water. A long partition wall runs along the western facade of the hammam.

A water tank: A square shaped water tank (71.63m on each side) is placed to the east of the Diwan-i-Aam. There are four corner stairs to descend into the tank.

Tomb of Bibi Pari: The tomb of Bibi Pari, the daughter of Shaista Khan, is in the middle of the complex. There is a central square room. It contains the remains of Bibi Pari covered by a false octagonal dome and wrapped by brass plate. The entire inner wall is covered with white marble. Eight rooms surround the central one. There is another small grave in the southeastern corner room.

Lalbagh Fort Mosque: The Lalbagh Fort Mosque is a three-domed mosque with a water tank on the eastern side.

No trip to Dhaka city is fulfilled without a trip to the Lalbagh Fort or also known as the fort of Auranagabad which was built in 1678 AD by Prince Mohammad Azam who was the Viceroy back then. The fort represents the dream of the Mughal Prince which stayed unfinished. So the whole fort has a sense of history and mystery entwined in the very bricks of the foundation. The Lalbagh fort falls under the Dhaka Division/subdivision and Lalbagh Thana.


How to go

How To Reach: Old Dhaka

You can reach Old Dhaka by taking local transport from any part of Dhaka city.

Where to Stay

Things to do

The fort is structured in three levels with towers donning the south gate. The fort is filled with hidden passages and a massive mosque.  It also has a fortified perimeter with a number of magnificent monuments. Among the notable monuments in the fort are the tomb of Pari Bibi and the audience room and bathing room of Nawab Shaista khan which is now being used as a museum.

Eating Facilities

Referred to where to eat in Dhaka city, click here 

Travel Tips

It is better to go there early in the morning as the light provides better viewing and a more pleasant experience due to bad lighting later in the day.

Close Days: Sunday and all other listed government holidays.
Visiting Hours: Monday from 1.30pm-5pm; Tuesday-Saturday,
9am-5pm during October-March; 10am-6pm
during April-September; During Friday the place remain closed from 12.30pm-2.00pm due to prayer.
Entry Fee: tk.10/ Bangladeshi Entrants and tk.50/ Foreign Entrants. Tel: 9673018

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