Lalbagh Fort

Lalbagh Fort or Fort Aurangabad, an incomplete Mughal palace fortress at Dhaka on the river Buriganga in the southwestern part of the old city. The river has now gone further south and flows at quite a distance from the fort. D’Oily’s painting (1809-11) shows that more than half of this east-west oblong fortress touched the water of the river on its south and southwestern sides.

The construction of the fort was commenced in 1678 AD by prince MUHAMMAD AZAM during his 15 month long vice-royalty of Bengal, but before he could complete the work he was recalled by AURANGZEB. His successor, SHAISTA KHAN did not continue the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688. His daughter BIBI PARI (Lady Fairy) died here in 1684 and this led him to consider the fort to be ominous.

kella lalbagh 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),

fort lalbagh Lalbagh Fort

two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification wall. But recent excavations carried out by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh have revealed the existence of other structures and it is now possible to guess a more or less complete picture of the fort.

lalbagh fort dhaka Lalbagh Fort

Tomb of Bibi Pari:

The tomb of Bibi Pari, located in the center, is the most impressive of the surviving buildings of the fort. Eight rooms surround a central square room that contains the mortal remains of Bibi Pari. The central room is covered by a false octagonal-shaped dome and wrapped by a bronze plate.

tomb of pari bibi Lalbagh Fort

The entire inner wall of the central room is covered with white marble, while the four rooms, at the sides have stone skirting up to a height of one metre. The walls in the rooms at the four corners are skirted with beautifully glazed floral tiles. The tiles have recently been restored; two of the original tiles have been retained. The room at the south eastern corner contains a small grave, popularly known to be of that of Shamsad Begum (possibly a relative of Bibi Pari).

tomb of bibi pari Lalbagh Fort

The archaeological excavations have also revealed strata of the Sultanate, as well as of the pre-Muslim periods, from where terracotta heads and plaques have been found. Thus, it is now justified to say that though the Mughals founded Dhaka, it was definitely inhabited long before the Muslims came to Bengal.

Diwan-i-Aam:

lalbagh fort Lalbagh Fort

The double-storied Diwan-i-Aam, attached with a single-storied Hammam on its west, is an imposing building. The Hammam complex includes an open platform, a small kitchen, an oven, water storage area, a masonry brick bath-tub, a toilet, a dressing room and an extra room.

lalbagh fort museum Lalbagh Fort

The Hammam portion has an underground room for boiling water and a passage for sweepers. Dividing the whole fort area into two divisions, a long partition wall runs north-south along the western facade of the Hammam.

Tomb of Bibi Pari:

The tomb of Bibi Pari, located in the center, is the most impressive of the surviving buildings of the fort. Eight rooms surround a central square room that contains the mortal remains of Bibi Pari. The central room is covered by a false octagonal-shaped dome and wrapped by a bronze plate.

The entire inner wall of the central room is covered with white marble, while the four rooms, at the sides have stone skirting up to a height of one metre. The walls in the rooms at the four corners are skirted with beautifully glazed floral tiles. The tiles have recently been restored; two of the original tiles have been retained. The room at the south eastern corner contains a small grave, popularly known to be of that of Shamsad Begum (possibly a relative of Bibi Pari).

The archaeological excavations have also revealed strata of the Sultanate, as well as of the pre-Muslim periods, from where terracotta heads and plaques have been found. Thus, it is now justified to say that though the Mughals founded Dhaka, it was definitely inhabited long before the Muslims came to Bengal

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