Tour the Fascinating Lalbagh Fort
The popular tourist attraction of Fort Aurangabad, more commonly known as Lalbagh Fort, is situated on the banks of the Buriganga River in the northwestern area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. As with many archaeological treasures in Bangladesh, the Lalbagh Fort has a long and interesting history and it is widely agreed that Lalbagh Fort stands as a monument to the unfulfilled dreams of Prince Muhammad Azam.
At the time that he was serving as the Viceroy of Bengal in the mid 17th century, Prince Muhammad Azam began the construction of the impressive Lalbagh Fort complex. Before the construction was completed, however, Prince Azam was called back to his father, Emperor Aurangzeb, to assist in the war against the Marhattas. Shaista Khan continued with the building project, but upon the premature death of his much-loved daughter Iran-Dukht, fondly known as Bibi Pari (Fair Lady), the construction was stopped. Bibi Pari was betrothed to Prince Azam at the time of her death.
The main purpose of Lalbagh Fort was to provide a defensive enclosure for the protection of the palace buildings and is, therefore, more of a palace-fortress than a siege fort. The fort is rectangular in shape with many outstanding features. The south gate of the fort consists of a three storied structure with slender minarets. The other gates are of a more modest nature. The fort has many hidden passages and a huge three-domed rectangular mosque, which is situated in the western part of the complex. Some of the other noteworthy structures within the fort complex are the Tomb of Bibi Pari and the original audience room and bathing place of Nawab Shaista Khan, which currently serves as home to a museum. The tomb consists of eight rooms surrounding a central square room, which contains the mortal remains of Bibi Pari. This central room is covered by an octagonal-shaped dome which has been overlaid in bronze and the walls are covered in decorative tile work and marble.
There are numerous statutes throughout the beautifully maintained gardens of Lalbagh Fort. The defensive walls along the eastern portion of the south-west corner have been reinforced with an internal embankment of earth. An underground room with an ornamental half-domed entrance is contained within these defensive walls and it is believed that this may have been used as a summer house.
Visitors to the intriguing district of Dhaka in Bangladesh will find many interesting places to visit. Lalbagh Fort certainly qualifies as a place of interest and is well worth exploring.