Dhaka is a city with a lot of historical significance. From the many historic places and renowned fort present in this city, Lalbagh Fort is one of those few places that is known for its art of the Mughal Empire. This is also popular as the Fort Aurangabad. This Fort can be seen in Lalbagh which is in old Dhaka. This is the reason why the name has been given so. Once you get there, you can observe the red soil as the Fort is located beside the river Buriganga.
This Lalbagh Fort has not been completed and actually, it is an incomplete monument that has initiated by a Mughal prince named Muhammad Azam who is Aurangazeb’s third son. He initiated working of this fort during 1678 while he was Bengal’s vice-royalty. He was there for 15 months. This fort was incomplete because his father called him to Delhi.
Shaista Khan who was the new governor of the Dhaka during that time did not complete the construction of the fort. During the year 1684, Shaista Khan’s daughter took her last breath here. Due to her death, this Fort was then considered as menacing and therefore was left in an incomplete manner. From the 3 prime portions present in the Lalbagh Fort, one of the tombs is of Pari Bibi.
On the absence of Shaista Khan, this fort slowly becomes out of sight. The reason behind this is due to the capital city was being shifted to Murshidabad from Dhaka. With the end of the Royal period, it gradually became an abandoned structure. Again in the year 1844, the name of this place changed from Aurangabad to Lalbagh and therefore this Lalbagh fort came into existence.
Presently this is taken over by the archaeological department of the nation who takes care of this monument. This has now become the major tourist place in Dhaka that attracts almost millions of people from the corners of the world each and every year.
You will find this mosque towards the west side of the fort which is aligned with Bibi Pari’s tomb. This mosque resembles a typical Bengal type consisting of the rectangular structure with three domes crowned in it. This is one amazing example of its own kind where you will observe a larger central dome. The best part about this fort is the mosque present here is still used by the people and is separated making use of the fence. The main reason for doing this is to let people in without the need for any ticket.
Pari Bibi Tomb:
From the many Mughal structures present inside this fort, the Mausoleum of Bibi Pari the crucial of all because of its unique structure. You will find a use of black basalt taken from Rajmahal hills in this tomb, white marbles taken from the Rajputana and the encaustic tiles present in different colors have been systematically decorated along the interiors of this area.
66’-0” square of the monument has been constructed on its center. On each corner, you will find the beautiful octagonal turrets capped with ribbed cupolas. When you enter this mausoleum, you will find the nine chambers. The chamber is covered with white marble and simple cenotaph in the center.
You will find the access to this chamber from the south from the entrance stuff with stone door jamb along with a door made with pure sandalwood. Other three openings are being blocked. Its floor is amazingly laid in a geometrical shape using black stone and marbles.
Governor’s residence is the third admirable structure. This was the residence of Shaista Khan which is actually two-storied building containing an Audience hall along with Hammam. Along the central portion of the hall, you will find an ornamental fountain. Hammam is surrounded by a dome that originally consisted of opening for ventilation and light. You can also find masonry tank that has steps containing bathing water. Apart from the two rooms present towards the end including the stairs, this upper floor is exactly similar like the ground floor.
You will find numerous secret tunnels that are leading ti this Lalbagh Fort. From these, two reach to Zinzira fort which does not exist any longer. Other tunnels were constructed in a maze form in order to confuse the intruders or the attackers, Once they lose their way to the fort, they will be left there until starved to death. These secret tunnels are now being sealed as it can become dangerous for people.
With numerous things to see in the Lalbagh fort in the Dhaka city, this has become a prime tourist attraction. Not only the fort itself is spectacular both for the history buffs and the archaeological lovers, but also the beautifully done minute details make it worth watching. It is a true resemblance of the Mughal era.