Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lalbagh Fort

The Lalbagh Fort is an incomplete Mughal palace of Aurangabad. It is also known as the fort of Aurangabad. It is one of the popular tourist attractions of Bangladesh. This fort is situated in the side of the Buriganga River, southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 1857, during the Great Rebellion, this fort is also the witness of the revolt of the native soldiers against the British. This Lalbagh Fort is included with the Tomb of Pari Bibi (Fairy lady) and Audience room and Hummam Khana (bathing place) of Nawab Shaista Khan, now housing a
museum. This fort shows the history of Aurangazeb and Shaista Khan. Now everyday lots of people visit this historical place. It is one of the great historical places of Mughal era.

The fort has a three storied structure with slender minarets at the South Gate. It has lots of hidden passages and a mosque of massive structure with three domes. This fort is considered to be a combination of three buildings. These three buildings are mosque, the tomb of Pari Bibi and the Diwan-i-Aam. Now the fort’s area is 18 acres. This fort has huge decorations for water supply, sewerage, roof gardens, and fountains. There is also a small museum in the fort, where anybody can see the clothes and weapons of the Mughals and know very little about the Mughals.

In 1678, the construction was commenced by the Prince Muhammad Azam during his 15 month long vice-royalty of Bengal. But before the work could complete, he was recalled by Aurangazeb. So he did not complete this work. After that his successor, Shaista Khan, stayed here in Dhaka up to 1688 but he also did not complete the work. In 1684, His daughter Iran Dukht nicknamed Pari Bibi (Fairy Lady) died here and this led him to consider the fort to be ominous.

Many water channels, water tank and fountains are very common feature of Mughal architecture. A big square water tank also placed in front (to the east) of the Diwan-i-Aam and in between the southern and northern gateways, adds to the beauty of the building. This big square water tank is 71.63m each side. There are four corner stairs to descent into the tank. The Hummam complex includes an open platform, a masonry brick bath-tub, a small kitchen, an oven, a dressing room, water storage area, a toilet and an extra room.

The tomb of Pari Bibi is the most impressive of the surviving buildings in this Lalbagh fort. There are eight rooms surround a central square room which containing the tomb of Pari Bibi. It is also covered by a false dome, octagonal in shape and wrapped by brass plate. The central room’s entire inner wall was covered with white marble and the four side central rooms had skirted with stone up to one meter. But the wall in the four corner rooms had skirting with the beautiful glazed floral tiles. These tiles have recently been restored; only two of the original tiles have been retained. But there is a southeastern corner room which contains a small grave. This small grave generally known as Shamsad Begum’s grave. No any accurate information found about this Shamsad Begum. But possibly, she is the relative of Pari Bibi.

The Lalbagh Fort Mosque is a three-domed mosque. It has also a beautiful structure with a water tank in front (on the eastern side) for ablution. It is one of the beautiful structures of this fort and one of the important monuments of this fort. It was designed with Mughal architecture.

Lalbagh Fort is a beautiful tourist spot of Bangladesh. Everyday many local and foreign people visit this incomplete palace of Mughal. If you will visit Bangladesh or visit here in Dhaka, don’t miss it.